Sebastian Rasalingam in the Island wherea different title was deployed: “Solheim and Prabhakaran”
Mr. Eric Solheim has used the book launch of BBC’s Frances Harrison to claim that he and the `international community’ offered an “organized end to the war which included the LTTE handing over weapons, registering LTTE caders and every single Tamil civilian supervised by international authorities and theUN, the US, India, etc.” He claims that this was ‘not heeded by Prabhakaran’ and the ‘international community’ could have done this even if the majority of people in Sri Lanka backing the Rajapaksa government did not want the self-appointed ‘international community’ to intervene.
Does Mr. Solheim know that neither the Sinhalese nor the poor Tamils living in the Vanni have much trust in him or the ‘international community’? Even Prabhakaran knew that Solheim’s word was only as strong as pie crust. Can Solheim give one example where the ‘international community’ delivered the promised goods in any such conflict that they waded into?
Starting from the ‘international community’ interventions in the Suez crisis headed by Anthony Eden, to the Afghanistan/Iraq effort headed by Bush, they, like the proverbial bull in the china shop, have wreaked havoc in their attempts to create ‘peace’.
Mr. Solheim knows very well how he heeded war-mongering Anton Balasingham at every step, aided and abetted the Tigers to arm and secured them international recognition and respectability. He knows how the Norwegians secretly delivered powerful communication equipment to the terrorists, foiled attempts by the Sri Lankan navy to destroy Tiger ships that brought in arms by leaking intelligence to the Tigers. Every time the Tigers killed a prominent Tamil dissident, or even a person like Minister Kadirgamar, the Norwegians, and their mouth pieces in the Colombo NGOs would attempt to excuse the Tigers, and demand that the ‘peace process’ should go on. The ‘peace process’ had become a killing reprieve for the Tigers!
Solheim knew that the LTTE has killed more Tamils than all the armies of the south since King Dutugamunu’s time. Solheim knew that Prabhakaran came to power by assassinating the leadership of the Tamil United Liberation front (TULF) the Tamils elected in 1977 to lead them. So, they were usurpers who had no legitimacy to speak for the Tamils. From then on, the intellectuals, teachers, journalists, priests—in short, anybody who talked of peace or reconciliation was assassinated by Prabhakaran, Anton Balasingham and their buddies, while Mrs. Adele Balasingham busied herself in training female suicide cadre and encouraging the recruitment of child soldiers.
Most of the upper-caste Tamils and those who had means had migrated or moved to the south and live peacefully among the Sinhalese. So, the carnage and the LTTE jackboot fell squarely on the lower-castes and the impoverished Tamils who remained in the North because they could not afford to move. Even the Tamil members of Parliament were forced to become mouth pieces of the Tigers, and lived in the South for their own safety. This reign of terror on the Tamils, as well as the Sinhalese went on unabated for three decades. The ‘international community’ continued to demand that the Colombo government go on talking ‘peace’ to an intransigent terrorist.
During this time the rich Tamils migrated to the west, to form the ‘Tamil Diaspora’. They hijacked the international community with the aid of the LTTE extortionist network. They targeted the marginal electorates to twist the arms of politicians. They used Christian Tamil pastors to influence western Church leaders and capture the ‘human-rights’ organizations. In effect, democracy, justice and human rights were turned upside down. A terrorist group that held its own community to ransom for three decades presented itself as the leaders of human rights! Money collected in the name of ‘charity’ or Tsunami reconstruction was channeled via the ‘Tamil rehabilitation Organization’ for buying arms and laying deadly mines in the Vanni.
Mr. Solheim knew about all these. He knew that there had never been elections in the Vanni to get even a token legitimization of the Tiger regime. The upper-caste Tamils dreaming of the glory of a neo-Chola kingdom that would over-arch south Asia, supported the Tigers emotionally. When they talked of a ‘federal solution’ they meant federating with Tamil Nadu!
And yet, when Solheim and his friends crafted the ceasefire agreement (CFA), there was no requirement for the Tigers to lay down arms, to register every combatant, or even allow the ordinary Sri Lankans to legitimately enter the region occupied by the Tigers. Arbitrary taxes, kangaroo courts, and expropriation of land by the Tigers could now be legitimized thanks to Solheim’s CFA. The Sri Lankan army was shackled. The Sri Lankan government had to supply food, pay and maintain hospitals, schools, roads, and the civil administration of the Tigers! It was an amazing CFA!
In contrast, the Tiger cadre did not have to obey the laws of the land. They could go anywhere in the south, carry daily suicide attacks, set up safe houses, assassinate many government ministers, build up child soldier cadre, import weapons, and finally even taunt the government by closing the Mavil Aru sluice and cutting off the water to 15,000 farmers. Even at that point the Norwegians and the international community tried to ‘defuse’ the matter, without recognizing the need to bring to heel this Tiger who was above the law, and fully ignored the very CFA so dear to Mr. Solheim.
What Mr. Solheim has said at the book launch is that he and the international community were ready to formulate another CFA to the Tigers, and then the Tigers would be able to manipulate the situation so that they can carry on their carnage for another 30 years, killing all the Tamils by slow attrition, and waging war with the Sinhalese to the point of chronic despair.
No one would have gained anything. The people, be they Tamils or Sinhalese, would have ended up in dire straits, just like Haiti which has been subject to many interventions by the ‘international community’. But Mr. Solheim could have claimed a personal victory and bagged a Nobel Prize for ushering in ‘peace’. Even if that is now not possible, Solheim, Harrison, Sooka, the Director of Channel 4, and others could cover up their own guilt in shielding the Tigers for decades as well as make a mint of money by book sales, TV and drama productions. Perhaps, the Eelam Tamil Fronts may put up seed money for all this opportune commercial activity.
3 responses to “Rasalingam slashes Solheim’s grandstanding activity”
Agree totally with Sebastian R.
It is time that human rights advocates, start looking into the likes of Adele B, and expat LTTE supporters based in UK Australia, Canada etc, who encouraged and funded the recruitment of thousands of child soldiers for the LTTE.
How is it that Adele B is living in UK, without being prosecuted ? No charges against her !! What Adele did was a cime against humanity. Only those who lost heir children to he LTTE will inderstand the enormity of this crime. No inquiry against Solheim !!. Guess being white, implies they are above the law.
“Human Rights” advocates conveniently want to inquire only into the last few days of the war? Is it to protect the NGOs and the likes of Solheim, Fraces Harrison, Adele et al, who prolonged this war. Any inquiry needs to focus on Solheim, Adele and others and the activities of NGOs – which lead to the deaths of many children.
When Rasalingam speaks about “The upper-caste Tamils dreaming of the glory of a neo-Chola kingdom that would over-arch south Asia, supported the Tigers emotionally” he leaves out a lot.
In 1949 when the ITAK of SJV Chelva and other essentially called for `liberating’ the `traditional homelands’, they thought that a small minority (say 12%-15%) Tamils could some how wrest the North and the east from a 75% Majority who had claimed that whole country even in its ancient chronicles. Ultimately, historically, all land ownership has been based on exercise of naked power, and if a small minority is to capture power from a majority, it has to do so swiftly, almost as in a military coup or palace revolt
Instead, the Tamil minority pitched into battle with a majority six times bigger than itself. Any such confrontation is clearly extremely disadvantageous to the minority that is certain to suffer both life and liberty. Initially the majority did not take the conflict seriously., but in the end it did. The historical error of rich, powerful Colombo lawyers and high-caste mandarins was to imagine that a small minority can capture power by extra-parliamentary struggles that ultimately lead to armed struggles as both sides become polarized by the wounds they inflict on each other.
In Europe today (e.g., in France) the percentage of Arab-speaking immigrants has exceeded the percentage of Tamil speaking people in Sri Lanka. Historically the Arabs had advanced all the way up to Poitiers in France during the middle ages and they too can mount claims for much of Spain! However, history is irrelevant and unfortunately, it is he/she who is strong that wins. Even Human-rights agencies work only for those `causes’ that pay them handsomely.
However, Arabic has no place in modern Europe, unlike Tamil in Sri Lanka (even if rather imperfectly). It would be interesting to ask if a political process based on language/ethnic discrimination etc., would arise in Europe, given the initial European interest in `human rights’ . The answer is, in my view, NO, since the Europeans are even less likely to be as accommodating as the rather weak governments that Sri Lanka has had in the past. The Arab war was is launched from outside, and not from inside, unlike the Tamil bid for power which belatedly moved to an internationalized stance, since 1998 and 1999 when Prabhakaran called for `third-party mediation’ on his November 26th addresses.
That call was mere strategy and not based on a wish for political compromise . Solheim came in as he was acceptable to Balasingham and pushed forward by the Tigers. In fact, if at any time the Tigers had said no to Solheim, he would have had to go, even if SL and the `international community’ had wanted him.
So in judging Solheim’s peculiar role in the matter, some understanding that Solheim had no power to `democratize’ the Tigers needed.
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