It was with shock and dismay that I found that the keynote speech of R Sampanthan at the 14th Convention of the ITAK in May 2012, echoes in significant respects those of Velupillai Prabhakaran
, to the extent that that there are near-identical passages. Here is a single sample:
The world does not revolve around the axis of justice. The freedom struggles of persecuted communities are not measured on the scales of justice. Global powers that preach of Democracy and Human Rights are themselves not the epitome of justice. We do not expect governments around the world and international organizations that support them to take pity on us, sacrifice their interests, and ensure that our rights are given to us. That`s Mr. R Sampanthan, at the ITAK 14th Convention, May 2012.
Now ladies and gentlemen, here`s Mr V. Prabhakaran: We are fully aware that the world is not rotating on the axis of human justice. Every country in this world advances its own interests. It is the economic and trade interests that determine the order of the present world, not the moral law of justice nor the rights of people. International relations and diplomacy between countries are determined by such interests. Therefore we cannot expect an immediate recognition of the moral legitimacy of our cause by the international community. That`s from the Maha Veera day Address of November 1993.
Mr Sampanthan, the most prominent local leader of the Northern Tamil community, which exists a few miles away from the sub-regional landmass, reiterates his party`s commitment to achieving with the support of the international community, the same `soaring aspirations` that could not be achieved through armed struggle. He asserts some would say confirms that `the international community`, through its current stance, may open the space for the achievement of that goal: The current practices of the international community may give us an opportunity to achieve, without the loss of life, the soaring aspirations we were unable to achieve by armed force. (R. Sampanthan, speech at ITAK 14th Annual Convention, Batticaloa, May 2012, Colombo Telegraph)
Mr Sampanthan`s transparent declaration of tactics could have been critique or caricature penned by a Sinhala chauvinist, and had it been authored by a Sinhalese, would have been dubbed `racist stereotyping` (even by me). The softening of our stance concerning certain issues, and the compromise we show in other issues, are diplomatic strategies to ensure that we do not alienate the international community. They are not indications that we have abandoned our fundamental objectives In other words we must prove to the international community that we will never be able to realize our rights within a united Sri Lanka
Although the issue at hand is the same, the prevailing conditions are different. The struggle is the same, but the approaches we employ are different. Our aim is the same, but our strategies are different. The players are the same, but the alliances are different. That is the nature of the Tamil people. Although we still have the same aim, the methods we use are now different (Ibid)