Eelaamists and the Karuna Blunder
The editorial below from a paper calling itself "Eelaam Nation" shows how the Eelaamists are now capitalizing on the incorrect policy which the MahindaR regime had adopted towards the Karuna faction (TVMP).
Certainly Karuna's break with the LTTE seriously weakened the LTTE. But the fact remains that he too is an Eelaamist and had been guilty of serious crimes against the Sri Lankan state and people. He is said to have been the terrorist guilty of executing some 600 policemen in cold blood who had surrendered peacefully during Premadasa's cease-fire. Even though he may have helped the SL forces in the campaigns in the East we are not sure exactly what this help had been. Meanwhile he has been guilty of the very terrorist crimes which GOSL has leveled against the LTTE even after the Karuna defection from the LTTE.
With another faction outplaying Karuna within the TVMP the latter had been forced to flee, and the present problem has arisen as to the aid which GOSL is said to have given Karuna in connection with what may be regarded as Karuna's second defection. According to the Eelaam Nation editorial GOSL had given Karuna a diplomatic passport under the Sinhalese name K. Gunawardene, which passport was used by Karuna to gain entry into the UK. It has been claimed that this "Gunawardene" had even acted as the Director of Wild Life conservation!
The problem that has arisen with Karuna is the misconception entertained by GOSL and many 'patriots' is that the SL separatist problem centers around the question of eliminating the LTTE. Of course the LTTE can be eliminated because it is now at the lowest ebb due largely to the new turn in the global War on Terror and the exacerbation of the conflicts within the Tamil separatists. However eliminating the LTTE will simply take the problem to square one. This was the situation that prevailed before Prabhakaran erupted on the scene. The thinking amongst GOSL, the peaceniks and sections of the 'patriots' is that the original problem could have been solved by conceding racial devolution or "power sharing" even going as far as federalism. But even if this could have worked in the pre-1956 situation (which is itself is questionable) it would not be feasible after the Hela revolution, and especially after the LTTE emerged. Now all separatists have tasted the power of the gun and the bomb, and they have more local and international help than anytime in the past.
In the light of this to support Karuna, Devananda, and even Anandasangaree is a foolish policy. True to could lead to short-term gains, like the so-called clearing of the East, but it leaves the long-term problem unresolved. Devolution and power sharing will simply endorse the racist principle and will simply be an Apartheid type of solution. It will provide the constitutional basis on which a future Prabhakaran can successfully make the full transition to Eelaam.
The immediate problem is what will happen to Karuna. This is largely in the hands of the British government as Karuna is in their custody. It is not clear how they will play this. He can be charged with immigration offences (for which GOSL will partly be involved as it has willingly given him a false passport). Or he could be charged with the more serious crime of human rights violations as some human rights groups have been demanding. Initially even the LTTE group in the UK wanted him charged thinking that only immigration violations will be held on him (for which they will have the pleasure of having GOSL stand in the dock). But when they realized that human rights charges could be leveled against him they backed off as the most serious HR violations were done when he was in the LTTE.
Whether the British authorities will use Karuna as a proxy for GOSL is to be seen. Clearly he has been involved in child recruitments and the elimination of opponents. If he claims that these were done with the complicity of GOSL, the credibility of GOSL will be seriously dented. So it would be interesting to see how it play out. Whatever be the outcome GOSL will be compromised because of the policy it has adopted to the Karuna group. Also the bargaining power of GOSL with the UK and the EU, however little it may be now, will be further weakened.
It is also interesting to see the role of the SL High Commissioner in the UK. Some questions have recently been raised about this HC and her relations with expatriates in the UK. Earlier it was reported that the HC was simply a bystander (“looking on”) while a serious problem which calls into question the issue of passports by GOSL has been involved. This is simply not good enough.
The position of the paper Eelaam Nation is also interesting. It does not appear to be a strait-forward LTTE front. It could be an attempt to revive the Eelaam notion in a post-LTTE context. So far Eelaam has been synonymous with the LTTE. But if Eelaam has a life beyond the demise of the LTTE there are serious implications for Sri Lanka. This means that even the exit of the LTTE will not be the end of the separatist problem in Sri Lanka.
"â€¦â€¦..but if I had served God as diligently as I have done the king He would not have given me over in my gray hairsâ€¦â€¦. I am come to leave my bones among you."--- Cardinal Thomas Wolsey (c.1473â€”1530).
These last words of Cardinal Wolsey the virtual head of state and head of church in England under Henry VIII, spoken at his execution ordered by Henry VIII his erstwhile ally, for High Treason may not be quite relevant to the plight of Karuna , but are analogically close.
The highest echelons of the state apparatus moved in unison to christen Karuna with the name, Kokila Gunawardene with the blessings of the Head of the State of Sri Lanka. For a brief while Gunawardene alias Karuna "functioned" as Sri Lankaâ€™s Director of Wild Life Conservation well on his way to attend a climate change conference on behalf of the Sri Lankan government as a representative attached to a department which came under the ministry of environment, on a diplomatic passport.
Having experienced climate change first hand by moving from things "hotting" up exacerbated by the arid heat of the east of Sri Lanka to the salubrious autumn weather of Kensington in London there is no better person in Sri Lanka today more qualified to attend a conference on climate change than Karuna himself and speak to it. We have in these columns predicted that Karuna when he passed his use by date would be thrown away like an old shoe. We even recommended that he be offered a diplomatic posting to join the array of those distinguished persons most of whom hold office, it appears, at the will of men of straw.
There has never been a dearth of political scoundrels amongst the Tamils. Some Sinhala leaders, who, through desperation, because of the guilt complex emanating from their hidden racial prejudices and their disguised agendas designed to the detriment of the Tamils or both require intermediaries or proxies to relate to the Tamil people and still appear genuine. These leaders in order to execute their hidden agendas draw from a pool of servile professional scoundrels thriving on the national question. Mahinda Rajapakse conniving with some Tamil scoundrels to get rid of another Tamil scoundrel is a classic example of the extent to which such leaders are prepared to go. Rajapakse has not only got rid of Karuna from Sri Lanka but has also made the way for minister Devanandaâ€™s party to contest in whatever elections are ! to be held in the east.
Sonali Samarasinghe a credible journalist, whose veracity we have no reason to doubt, writes in the Sunday Leader, 11 November 2007: "According to the document (K T Rajasinghamsâ€™s letter) the President, Minister Devananda and Rajasingham had discussed issues ranging from child recruitment by Karuna, role of the Defence Ministry in protecting Karuna, changes in the diplomatic service, setting up communication networks to counter LTTE propaganda and winning over Indiaâ€¦..The discussion according to Rajasingham's letter to Fernando took place at the Presidential Suite No 1727, Intercontinental Hotel, Geneva".
By such clandestine process of deceptively bundling Karuna off to Britain in the manner as it happened Sri Lanka has moved from state terrorism to people smuggling and to international terrorism. Even Karuna an adept at abductions and quite familiar with their logistics would agree that this is an abduction of sorts with the difference being that here the abductee was a willing party.
The head of a State claiming to be a democracy in descending to such low depths has gravely insulted the people of Sri Lanka and brought upon them international disgrace.