The Tiger chief has spoken. Unlike his previous speeches full of sabre-rattling, threats, warnings and vivisection, Tuesday`s one was not a roar but a whine punctuated by feeble growls here and there. Overall, it was a passionate entreaty to the international community begging for its help vis-à-vis the increasing alienation of the LTTE internationally.
The not-so-eagerly-awaited speech begins with a lament. Prabhakaran is sad that the `Sinhala nation` is lagging behind other nations in Asia in this `Asian century`. Many countries in the region, he says, have made vast strides in various fields and are researching into the space, the moon and the atom. The reason why the Sinhala nation cannot keep pace with the others, according to him, is that it is trying to destroy the Tamil nation. Then he sheds a few tears for the island which, he says, `continues to soak in blood`. Not a bad start but he is being a bit too maudlin!
Then, he does a little bit of philosophising. `Buddhism,` Prabhakaran tells us, `is a profound spiritual duty.` Wow, he knows his Buddhism! `Its philosophy,` he continues, `is life without desires, a life of love and justice.` If so, then why on earth did he bomb the Dalada Maligawa, where the sacred tooth relic of the Buddha is kept, in 1998 and massacre a busload of Buddhist monks at Arantalawa in 1987? Devil quoting scriptures, one may say! He blames the Sinhalese for being `immersed in poison of racism`while claiming to be Buddhists. (Look who is talking!)
Thus, he cleverly tries to market his violent campaign to the non-Buddhist West, where he is getting isolated. Not a bad try! But, if it is the so-called Sinhala Buddhists who, according to him, are suppressing the Tamil nation, why has he resorted to ethnic cleansing against the poor Muslims who are no party to the conflict? In 1990, he chased all the Muslims from the North and grabbed their property, didn`t he? He has also massacred thousands of Muslims.
Prabhakaran lambastes the international community for being trapped in a chauvinistic project of the Sinhala state. `The one-sided involvements of foreign powers,` he says, `are not new in our prolonged struggle.` He cites the Indo-Lanka Accord as an example and views the Indian intervention as `part of its regional expansion`. He faults India for having tried to force `an ineffectual solution` on `the people of Tamil Eelam`, which, he says, didn`t envisage devolution at least to the extent of what was promised in the Banda-Chelva pact. He blames the `Sinhala state` for blocking India`s solution. Here, one has the `Sun God` lying through his teeth! It is he who went all out to scuttle the Provincial Councils by taking on the IPKF.
He blames the international community for making the same mistake as India. `What we find most incomprehensible,` he laments, `is the fact that these same nations, which labelled us terrorists, not so long ago fought in defence of their own freedom.` The reason, somebody should tell Prabhakaran, is that the world doesn`t consider his war a freedom struggle. No freedom fighter destroys the people whom he claims to protect. Prabhakaran has wiped out the entire democratic Tamil political leadership save a handful destroyed the future of a whole generation by forcibly turning children into cannon fodder killed thousands of Tamils exploited the people under his gun in every conceivable way by way of illegal taxes and ransom and violently suppressed political dissent. Has any freedom fighter used disabled people as suicide bombers? Prabhakaran did so yesterday by getting a disabled woman to blow herself up in Colombo! (The International Day of the Disabled People falls in a few days on Dec. 03.) A true freedom fighter cares for the people, especially children and women, whom he tries to liberate. But, Prabhakaran cares only for his family. His children are studying abroad and one is being groomed as his successor in the safety of a well fortified underground bunker, while the offspring of the ordinary people are being abducted and turned into combatants. That`s why, Prabhakaran should realise, the world doesn`t consider him a liberator. Pol Pot, Bokassa, Idi Amin, Papa Doc were not regarded liberators, were they?
Prabhakaran says `the Sinhala state` used the ceasefire as a cover to prepare for war, and blames the SLMM for doing nothing about it. As far as we are aware, the UNF government made no war preparations. Instead, it totally neglected the military. So did the UPFA government until last year. What did Prabhakaran do during that time? Didn`t he smuggle in several shiploads of arms, as Karuna claimed later on? The present government, he says, `assembled its military might and let loose a massive war on the eastern region`. `The Rajapakse regime,` he says, after unilaterally abrogating the ceasefire agreement, is ruthlessly implementing its military plan to remove the contiguity of the Tamil homeland?` (Emphasis added). Nietzsche`s assertion that the lie is a condition of life stands! Aren`t grown up men ashamed of lying? President Rajapaksa was lily-livered and weak-kneed until Prabhakaran`s boys captured the Mavil Aru anicut last year, plunging the country back into war. Within days of President Rajapaksa`s election, it may be recalled, Prabhakaran promised war in his 2005 heroes` day speech. The Tiger chief should own up to the fact that it was his military miscalculations that made a meek President Rajapaksa fight back first and then go on the offensive.
Having lashed out at the SLMM and the international community, Prabhakaran rises to their defence. He blames the government for reprimanding and controlling the Norwegian facilitators, vehemently criticising the SLMM, branding UN officials as terrorists, instilling fear in journalists and NGO workers. See how concerned he is! But, the question is why he abducted two UN workers a few months ago. The INGOS have been keeping their local staff indoors for months in the Wanni in view of LTTE abductions.
`It was only when we proved our military prowess and only when we were militarily in a position of strength,` Prabhakaran says, `that the Sinhala nation signed the ceasefire agreement.` What is wrong with his memory? Is age telling on him? Can`t he remember that it was he who declared a unilateral truce in 2001 and the UNF government only reciprocated that gesture?
The Tiger chief keeps contradicting himself at a rate. Having accused the government of `ruthlessly implementing its military plan to remove the contiguity of the Tamil homeland (read the recapture of the East), he says, `We have strategically withdrawn from the east while launching defensive attacks.` If so, why should he worry about the government`s military action? He boasts, `The Sinhala nation could have learnt the dangers of putting its feet too wide apart in our land as it did during past battles? it will soon be forced to face the serious consequences of its misguided ambitions.` Hush, Hush! If the government is making a blunder, he should keep silent. It was Napoleon who said, `Never interrupt your enemy, when he is making a mistake!`
`Operation Ellalan, the very first combined Black Tiger and Tamil Eelam Air Force attack`, he brags, has `disrupted the daydreams of the Sinhala nation`. True, that raid was a huge success and it dealt a devastating blow to the military. But, has it taken him anywhere near his goal? He has lost Tamilselvam and a state-of-the-art satellite communication centre worth millions of dollars in retaliatory air-strikes. It is sad that he has not mentioned those cadres who perished in seven arms smuggling vessels sunk by the Navy since his last heroes` day speech. Unbecoming of a leader, eh?
The LTTE air wing had nothing to do with the success of the Anuradhapura attack, contrary to Prabhakaran`s claim. It was the Black Tigers who should be given the full credit for that raid posthumously. Prabhakaran`s son`s planes came after everything was over just to show off. Did he send those planes to the scene to promote the image of his son he is grooming for leadership?
Finally, the Tiger chief lets the cat out of the bag. He laments that `although 80 million Tamils live all around the globe, the Tamils do not have a country of their own... on this sacred day, it is the hope of our people that the international community will cease giving military and economic aid to the Sinhala regime and accept the right to self-determination and the sovereignty of the Tamil nation.` He reminds the international community that it has helped East Timor and Montenegro become independent states. That is the kind of solution Prabhakaran is seeking. He is not just trying to solve a local problem but a broader international issue.
So, how can the international community or other pundits claim that he who wants to create a state for 80 million people will settle for devolution in the North and the East of tiny Sri Lanka?
`We are not terrorists, committing blind acts of violence impelled by racist or religious fanaticism,` Prabhakaran says, `our struggle has a concrete, legitimate, political objective.` Whom is he trying to fool? He had better go tell that to the Marines ? or to Hillary Clinton!