The Secretary of the Vietnamese Communist Party and the theoretician of the Vietnam revolution, Comrade Li Duwan, once said `socialism` and the `Vietnam nation` is one and the same. Yet, is it true ? Socialism is an economic system. A nation is different. A nation is a society of people with a distinct geographical presence and a political definition. Why then did Li Duwan, a thinker of high repute call them as one ? It is, most probably a very lyrical way of explaining that the liberation of the Vietnam people and socialism are inseparable.
Here in Sri Lanka, the Tamil people are also fighting for their liberation. And today, the LTTE heads that struggle. The LTTE resorts to terror as a means of achieving their objective(s). Their objective is to establish a separate Tamil state, an Eelam. This common knowledge to all of us. There is also a war in the Muslim world in Arabia. Isreal and its allies are waging this war against the Arabs. The rights and freedom of Arabian nations are closely tied to this war. The world community that stands for freedom therefore stands in solidarity with the Arab people. The emergence of Al - Queda is an outcome of this unresolved, protracted war. Al - Queda is also an organisation that is resorting to terror. And they have given their terror campaign, a fundamental religious interpretation. They claim to establish an `Islamic World State`, for that was what God intended, according them. Therefore, the Al - Queda sees no geographical demarcations in their struggle. The whole world must one day come under the rule of `their kind of Islam`, which is an extreme fundamentalist perception.
The issue in the Arab world is that Al - Queda has given the Arab people`s struggle a fundamental turn with its religious interpretation. Therefore Bush and the world comfortably interlaces Al - Queda presence in the Arab struggle with political militancy, to oppose Arab liberation. This religious fundamentalism thus plays a very offending role in the Arab world.
Now, what do our `Li Duans` (JVP & JHU) say about this ? For them and their likes, Al - Queda and the LTTE are no different. They are both `terrorists` and therefore the LTTE should also be militarily defeated. And then they argue, while Bush and the world is fighting against terrorism, why are they asking us to negotiate ?
On its face value, this argument of the JVP and the JHU seems correct. But the important question is, are the two, the LTTE and the Al - Queda, equal and same ? There is a basic difference. LTTE is not a religious fundamentalist projection without borders. Bush and the world is fighting against a religious fundamentalist projection that accepts no borders.
Like the LTTE, almost all liberators and liberation movements in the present world and in the past, have chosen terror as an effective weapon in their struggle. So did our own Keppetipola `senevi`. The reason why they chose armed struggle that throws up terror is the failure in negotiating a settlement over a long period. But, when a reasonable political answer to their grievance(s) was offered, all such movements and organisations have come to the negotiating table. That is the political nature of liberation struggles.
This political nature of liberation struggles differs very much from religious fundamentalism. Religious fundamentalism offers no space for negotiation. For positions adopted by religious fundamentalism is non-negotiable. They are accepted as laid down by Almighty God. Therefore, Bin Laden would not negotiate his position of `terrorising` all `misguided people` who oppose `his right` to establish a `World Islamic State` in the name of God.
So was the Japanese `Aum - Shinrikiyo` cult Buddhist fundamentalist Soko Asahara. He was once called a `Bodhisathva` by Dalai Lama. Asahara believed achieving an end to the world is his ultimate salvation. He was sentenced to death after an 08 year trial by the Japanese judiciary. Hitler was no different with his dream of establishing an Aryan Empire that led to a holocaust of Jews, as had never happened in human history ever before. Such extremist goals can never be compromised with. And therefore the world community can not afford to sit for negotiations with such destructive ambitions, even if the method of achieving them is holy and non violent.
This is reason why the international community while labeling the LTTE as a `terrorist` group, still compels us to sit for negotiations. There is definitely a soft point in any struggle that has a political objective and a genuine aspiration of a people who feel they are discriminated against, that allows for negotiation. That was the inert character in the Vietnam war, in the Irish conflict and in the apartheid South Africa. It`s that inert character that needs to be sought out for negotiations for that is what ultimately paves for peace.
This very plainly explains that religious fundamentalism and terrorism are not one but two different projections. Terrorism is only a means and not a political objective. The JVP and the JHU should make an attempt to understand this basic difference. And without making an effort to understand this difference, there is no purpose in blaming the world for asking us to negotiate with the LTTE, even when it is banned as a terrorist organisation. Finally, let me conclude by saying that in Sri Lanka, in our `motherland`, the only fanatical fundamentalist projection is the Aryan Buddhist ideology for a `Dharma Raajya` by the JHU, on which the JVP too has compromised.