25th May 02:24
Fascism in the name of 'Peace'?
The focus of politics in the past few days has been on whether the drafts of
the proposals for an Interim Administration for the north and east sent by
the government to the LTTE and the Peoples Alliance have differed. The PA
read much significance into the differences while Prof. G. L. Peiris said
that there were no substantial differences. LTTE spokesman Tamil Chelvam,
getting free rides on Sri Lanka Air Force helicopters, did not appear to be
much concerned about alleged differences in the drafts. Instead, he said
that the drafts 'failed to meet the aspirations of the Tamil people'.
Cynics point out that Tamil political organisations have never said that any
draft submitted to them by any government has met the aspirations of the
people, they claim to represent.
All these issues seem to be of little significance because the one important
proposal on which the draft will stand or fall apart is the decision to
grant the LTTE, the majority in the Interim Council. The LTTE makes no bones
about its claim that they are the sole representatives of the Tamil-speaking
people and will brook no allies or opposition. It is one of the few fascist
organisations in the Third Millennium in the entire world - Kangaroo Courts,
summary executions such as lamp post hangings, much of its recruitment to
its armed forces being done by abduction of children.
It is to this organisation that the United National Front government under
the leadership of Prime Minister Wickremasinghe has proposed giving control
of two of the nine provinces - one third the land area of this country.
Whether the Prime Minister intends of making certain that the democratic
rights of the people in these two provinces will be ensured after the
Interim Administration is installed is not known. It will be an
unprecedented calamity if the democratic rights of the people are to be
surrendered in this manner.
The Island has in many editorials raised this issue of handing over power or
even power sharing with an organisation that is unabashedly fascist in word
and deed. Yesterday, Neville Ladduwahetty, writing on this page on 'Donor
Funds and the Proposed Interim Administration' raised some of these issues
particularly in view of the massive reconstruction and rehabilitation
efforts which western nations and Japan have undertaken to sponsor. It will
indeed be a grand mockery of the democratic values that these nations stand
for, particularly in the context of the Global War on Terrorism, if these
nations help to install an organisation whose savagery has been unrivalled
in recent times.
The LTTE is well aware of how the international opinion views them. But as
stated by some of their fellow travellers in two letters on the opposite
Opinion Page, all this continuing barbarism and savagery is justified in
view of the suppression of Tamils and acts committed on them during the
riots and military operations by the Sinhalese and the army. Democracy means
nothing to them. As one of the writers on the opposite Opinion Page equates
'democracy' with a so called 'Sinhalaocracy'. They argue very strongly for
the barbaric 'Tigerocracy' that is now holding the people of the Wanni in
Whatever the injustices that have been committed on the Tamil people, it
does not stand to reason that one third of the country should be voluntarily
put under a fascist regime in the name of 'peace'. If this is 'peace', it is
the 'peace of the graveyard' as a leading organisation comprising mainly of
Tamil academics, the University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna), UTHR(J)
has persistently said.
As writer Ladduwahetty pointed out yesterday, the way out could be the
coercive ability of the donor nations to make the LTTE to adopt democracy.
This could be as impossible as for the proverbial Tiger to change its
stripes or the leopard to change its spots. But there is hope in that the
Tigers commenced suing for peace with the change in the international
climate against all forms of terrorism. If the donor countries really put
the squeeze on the LTTE, instead of lionising them as in the past, the
braggadocio from the Wanni may cease and a more conciliatory approach
adopted. The donor countries who have always had a soft corner for the
terrorists and looked at Sri Lanka governments with a jaundiced eye may be
suspecting that if the LTTE is coerced the Sri Lanka government may take
advantage and refuse to abide by its commitments.
Government spokesmen have admitted that an Interim Administration will not
fall within the parameters of the constitution. The government has no power
whatsoever to cir***vent the law by using extra constitutional methods to
install a fascist regime.
Whatever change that has to be brought about, should be done in accordance
with the constitution and that should be only through a referendum or a
general and/or presidential election.