:::Democratic Deficit:::: SRI LANKA

By: Chandi Sinnathurai

The international community cannot afford to remain silent much longer about theslow-genocide of the Minority Tamils in Sri Lanka - Tamil Eelam. There is currentlymuch talk in the air-waves about the remembrance of the Rwandan genocide and thedespicable partiality shown by the West.

The two Hutu militia groups (Interahamwe and Impuzamugambai) were slaughtering theTutsis and moderate Hutus (that were trying to protect the helpless Tutsis) fromApril 6th through July 1994. While this horror was taking place, in the top levelsof the UN there was much debate on semantics! By this time nearly 100,000,000 humanbeings have been brutally murdered in this holocaust in such short a period.

Do we officially designate this horrendous butchery as "atrocities?" The UN argued! Virtually all the countries in the West declined to intervene. The UN did notauthorize its peacekeeping force to bring the killings to a halt by using force.President Clinton called the inaction of the US as the "biggest regret in myadministration". Since Independence of Ceylon from Britain in 1948, the Tamils have faced acontinuous threat of slow genocide from the Sinhala majoritarian state. Perhaps,since the 80s' - in spite of the 1983 state-sponsored pogrom in which many thousandsof Tamils were liquidated -- the Western governments have surreptitiously adopted apolicy of cooperation and have extended a firm hand of friendship with the Sinhalaregimes. This they have efficiently done to the extent of not only providing armsbut also supplying military intelligence, surveillance and training assistance. Inother words, the West has emboldened the ruthless Sinhala regimes with a 'nod andwink' to suppress, oppress and breach the fundamental human rights of the principalminority.

All these are done not without strategic and economic interests!

The Tamils have repeatedly received a step-motherly treatment from the West. TheTamil Tigers, the sole representatives of the Tamils have been proscribed as aterrorist out-fit in the US, Britain, Canada and more recently in the EU-rope. TheTigers are the only legitimate force the Tamils have for self-defense from beingtotally annihilated.

This writer is concerned whether the ground is set for another Rwanda to be repeatedby stealth against the Tamils in Sri Lanka. No amount of regret can replace theloss of precious human beings!

It is a universal fact that Sri Lanka suffers from, among other things, "Democraticdeficit." Much has been written and documented about that matter and hence there isno need for me to rehearse the arguments here. It suffices to say that there isonly superficial constitutional guarantee of safety for the Tamils within aUnitarian constitution.

This legal instrument of Politico-Buddhist majoritarian constitution legitimises thestate terror against the Tamils.

Sri Lanka is also a "Failed state". Noam Chomsky in his book on Failed States(2006) writes the following:


The term "Failed states" was cooked up by the self-designated "enlightened states"of the so-called first-world! Chomsky is asking the West, the US in particular, tohave a hard look in the mirror.

In the Cold War years the US was concerned with the 'defence of communistaggression' until 1979. President Regan began with the rhetoric of the "EvilEmpire" and the fight against the menace of "State-backed international terrorism." In 1994 President Clinton expanded the category of terror state to include "Roguestates." A few years later "Failed states" were added to that category. Post 9/11President George W commenced the so-called "war on Terror" - a war withoutfrontiers. This gave Bush and Blair the illegal legitimacy to invade an Arab statelooking for the elusive WMD!

Scholars have pointed out that since 1947 it is the US that has been the "Chiefperpetrator of 'pre-emptive state terror'."

Even as this writer pens this piece the representatives of the Tamil Tigers are inOslo, Norway for a discussion. This writer is less concerned of the out come ofthe discussion. To put it bluntly, such discussions in plush surroundings haveconsistently failed to transform the ground reality.

One ought to be more concerned as to what the Tamil Tigers are going to say aboutboth their posturing in regard to the genocide of the Tamils perpetrated by theSinhala state; and its policy and approach towards the International community'sill-advised draconic steps toward the suppression of the Tamil struggle.

'Softening the blow' exercise or diving and ducking the crux of the crisis orengaging in shouldering part of the blame or even mincing words with second-handanswers would be boringly mundane.

Of course, the Tamils should be making it clear to the West that no amount ofsuppression would be curtailing the liberation struggle for honourable peace. It isexpected that the Tamil Tigers would use this platform to reiterate to the worldthat Sri Lanka has failed to achieve any acceptable peace.

Sri Lanka is a failed state; a terror state; an out-law state that has the blood ofthe Tamils in their hands which has no regard for international law. It is also apolice state that has "democratic deficit".

The West can no longer be pretending to be snoring while being wide awake.

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