– by Shenali D Waduge –
When Hitler and the Nazi’s were defeated by the Allied Troops (UK, US, France and Soviet Union) a policy of Denazification took place. The objective was to totally eliminate any ideology associated with Nazism. World War 2 ended in 1945 and immediately thereafter the program of Denazification began. Only after its conclusion in 1958 was Germany handed back to the Germans after occupying it for 13 years after the war was over. It is now ever more clear that everything that the LTTE stood for is now being carried forward by the TNA. This same denazification of the LTTE-TNA vis a vis the ideology of separate homeland and succession needs to now be applied here in Sri Lanka.
Denazification as a legal term was coined by the Pentagon in 1943. Known as the “Denazification Directives” it meant the removal of all physical symbols associated with Nazi regime, The Nazi party was abolished, any Nazi links to cultural, social, intellectual, economic or even politics was abolished and removed. Everyone who supported Hitler or the Nazis were held accountable and charged with war crimes at the Nuremberg Trials. The aim of the trials was to purge all elements of Nazism. Germany had to even remove the Swastika from its Iron Cross Medals in 1957. This is no different to what Sri Lanka needs to also do minus the atrocities that the Allied Troops committed for which they are yet to be held accountable for.
Refugees of Nazism both German and Austrian were all sent back to Germany and Austria. Germans had to fill a questionnaire that helped categorize them as Major Offenders, Offenders, Lesser Offenders, Followers and Exonerated Persons. The Americans applies this category to every Germany above 18 years. 1.5million Germans were categorized as hard-core Nazis.
Denazification also took place with US taking over German media and 37 German newspapers, 6 radio stations, 314 theatres, 642 cinemas, 101 magazines, 237 book publishers and 7384 book dealers and printers made sure there were NO criticism of the Allied occupation or its forces. Over 30,000 book titles ranging from school textbooks to poetry were banned and anyone in possession of even one was punished. The banned books were confiscated and destroyed. Even artwork related to Nazism were prohibited.
Denial of the holocaust is considered a crime and banned in most countries of Europe. In 2001, the EU criminalized holocaust denial.
The constitution of German was completed on May 8, 1949 and ratified on 23 May greatly influenced by the denazification process. Germans were to be all held responsible in what was officially termed “collective responsibility” for the actions of the Nazi regime. “Collective guilt” was another term applied to all Germans. This was the psychological warfare imposed upon the Germans by the Allied troops and its policy was never questioned. Posters in German were put up “You are guilty of this” or “These atrocities : Your Guilt”. Photos of dead humans carried heading “Who is guilty?” or “This town is guilty! You are Guilty”. Germans were forces forced to see rotting corpses and made to further feel guilty on a quest to make ALL Germans feel “collectively responsible” and “collectively guilty” for the crimes of the Nazis.
The goal of denazification was to ensure that never again Germany would be able to destroy European peace.
How is the denazification of Germany relevant to the terrorism that prevailed in Sri Lanka throughout 30 years?
For starters the fact that rebel movements were first mobilized by India training as much as 50 groups of Sri Lankan Tamils on Indian soil, providing them arms and financially supporting them and having Indian intelligence supervise their crimes in Sri Lanka, satisfactorily removes any argument of the country suffering an “ethnic” problem except to suit politicians and their own personal agendas.
Corroborating this fact is the reality that more Tamils live outside their propaganda suited “Tamil Homeland” and amongst the Sinhalese whilst numerous Tamils hold public and private senior positions with no “exclusive” grievance applicable to Tamils. Lists of aspirations can be compiled by all communities – it is ridiculous to except a Government to deliver everyone’s aspirations!
Having said that what confuses the dilemma is the reality that we cannot disassociate the LTTE from the TNA.
The links are not hard to miss. The first salvo for “separatism” was attempted during British reign, Tamil ethnic political parties (All Ceylon Tamil Congress) were created during British rule, other parties slyly hid the quest for separatism under a “federal” party name and the Vaddukoddai Resolution of 1972 even called for youth to take up arms. This was the very year that Prabakaran at 18 established his Tamil New Tigers on 22 May 1972 which he rechristened as LTTE on 5 May 1976. Either Prabakaran hijacked what the Tamil politicians wanted to achieve or both were following the same objective by different route though it served well to use the fact that LTTE annihilated Tamils to establish that the two entities differed. In reality what the LTTE did was to remove all Tamils who were for peacefully living with other communities something which the TNA would have silently accepted too. This is what neither the remnants of the LTTE overseas and the Tamil politicians in Sri Lanka cannot hide.
As far as “collective guilt” is concerned Tamil civilians have always preferred not to make their stand known either about the LTTE or the Tamil political parties and more importantly about the desire to live amongst the other communities in Sri Lanka. Given that no one is keeping them by force as they live outside “Tamil homeland” the least that they now can do is to put an end to the charade that is disintegrating the nation primarily because of their silence. The Tamil civil population actually can put an end to the politics of separatism that prevails if only they come out and tell their politicians that they do not wish to separate and they do not wish for their representatives to continue the separatist quest. Only a handful of these Tamil opportunist MPs are taking the entire nation to ruin.
So long as these Tamil political parties include in the political manifestos the objective of a separate homeland and self-determination we are simply going around in circles. Therefore, the Tamil people need to break their silence just as the Muslims should not do the same mistake by silently watching radicalism and fundamentalists nurture its tentacles to create another issue that would also start to break Sri Lanka apart.
TNA-LTTE are one and the same
In terms of the end objective there is no difference in TNA or LTTE. TNA is an unregistered alliance formed in 2001 comprising ACTC (All Ceylon Tamil Congress), the EPRLF (Eelam People’s Revolutionary Liberation Front), TELO (Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization), TULF (Tamil United Liberation Front). It was with this 2001 alliance and the LTTE’s attempt to influence TNA politicians to enter parliament that needs everyone’s attention. TNA is in parliament because of the LTTE.
When TNA issues a manifesto with the following policies it cannot despite fielding a retired judge cover its stripes! Moreso, when the TNA and its new Chief Ministerial candidate makes the same demands as the LTTE it simply seals that both TNA and LTTE are one and the same – the only difference being the armed factor that divided the two apart. Once the military component of the LTTE has been removed everything that LTTE demands is no different to that which TNA has been demanding. Denazification of the LTTE-TNA would have removed all insignia, all slogans, all parties and all associated entities with that separatist ideology all together. As it is there are 44 registered political parties of which 15 are Tamil and most of them carry the “eelam” name – if Allied Troops had their way, all these would have been removed and no one could go crying to the UN or other humanitarian agencies claiming human rights violations. If the Allied Troops did so to Germany, they cannot object to Sri Lanka adopting a similar policy.
2001 TNA election manifesto
a) Recognition of Tamils as a distinct nationality
b) Recognition of a Tamil Homeland with guaranteed territorial integrity
c) Recognition of the inalienable right of self-determination of the Tamil nation.
d) Recognition of the right to full citizenship and fundamental democratic rights of all Tamils.
2004 TNA election manifesto
Accepting the LTTE’s leadership as the national leadership of ‘Tamil Eelam’ Tamils and the Liberation Tigers as the sole and authentic representative of the Tamil people, let us devote our full cooperation for the ideals of the Liberation Tigers’ struggle with honesty and steadfastness. Let us endeavour determinedly, collectively as one group, one nation, one country, transcending race and religious differences, under the leadership of the LTTE, for a life of liberty, honour and justice for the Tamil people.”
It is not just the TNA manifesto there are plenty of examples that connect TNA-LTTE alliance.
· TNA parliamentarians openly attend pro-LTTE events abroad and have no qualms about speaking atop these stages or delivering speeches that echo sentiments of separatism. There are enough of speeches to prove this.
· TNA parliamentarians openly communicate and laise with LTTE front organizations overseas who form the LTTE Tamil Diaspora probably all kept united by our “friend” the neighbor.
· In 2001 TNA announced that the LTTE was the “sole Tamil National Entity” claiming that as SOLE REPRESENTATIVE of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka LTTE had a right to negotiate on behalf of the Tamil people.
· Foreign mission briefings about country data always include TNA as a pro-LTTE party while media briefings carry similar description and sufficient proof is available to prove that both foreign missions and foreign media are well aware of the LTTE-TNA alliance though for their advantage they keep mum.
· In 2004, the most damning evidence comes from the EU Election observation Mission with its Chief John Cushnahan releasing the EU report on 17, June 2004 that clearly establishes beyond doubt of the LTTE-TNA alliance: Firstly, the LTTE intended that no other rival Tamil party (or Tamil candidate from the mainstream political alliances) to the TNA would be able to claim to represent Tamil interests. A chilling message to this effect was sent early in the campaign when a UNP candidate and an EPDP activist were murdered. Incidents such as this seriously restricted the right of the parties other than the TNA to campaign freely in the Northern and Eastern Districts. During the 2004 elections, the major incidences of violence was perpetrated by the LTTE, whereas at the earlier elections, the primary source of the violence (although not all), were the two largest political parties.
· Then in 2009 in a statement to the President signed by Anandasangaree as President/Secretary of the TULF states “Democratic Tamil National Alliance considers the TNA, as the first and the worst enemy of the Tamil People. They should take full responsibility, among many other matters, for the loss of several thousands of lives and for causing injuries for many more.…. All have become paupers now. They will find hardly anything left when they return to their homes one day. All these or atleast 90 % of these could have been saved and total displacement could have been avoided if only the TNA had the forethought to advise the LTTE to release the people from their grip, to go anywhere they liked. The TNA is blamed for this because, when everyone, every organization, every country, the EU, the UN etc. had made this request specifically, only the TNA kept on asking for the war to stop. When the 8000 students who sat for the G.C.E(O/L) exam were taken away for compulsory training by the LTTE the TNA kept mum. Some of them are now dead and others are under detention by the Government. Where are the children and grand-children of the TNA MPs. Will the TNA at least now tell the world as to what happened to the students at Sencholai. …. “Who are these gentleman of the TNA now wanting to form an alliance with the DTNA. They are the people whom the LTTE elected to represent them in parliament fraudulently and it is they who unashamedly claimed the LTTE as the sole representatives of the people. The LTTE is no more and hence they do not need any representation in Parliament. Under the Present circumstances the most honourable action the TNA can take or must do is to quit parliament without clinging on to that office. Neither the PLOTE nor the EPRLF (Pathmanabha) gave any indication to Mr. Srikantha who met me by appointment and the other two by accident. As for me I will not touch the TNA even with a “pole”. The dead, the injured and those living in the IDP camps deprived of all their rights will not pardon us if we have any deal with them. The TNA should not under-estimate our alliance partners who cannot be bought over with a mayor-ship or with any membership in Parliament as they sold themselves in April 2004. …. “For five years I fought a lone battle, amidst threat to my life, unbearable humiliations etc. I was also christened as a “traitor”. I now feel exonerated. Let the souls of the dead haunting our homes bless me and not curse me.” V. Anandasangaree, has signed the statement as President – TULF & Secretary – DTNA/2009.
But, it appears V Anandasangaree might have to eat his own words because his statement of 2009 has been reversed and he is now joining the TNA alliance. However, politicians cannot say and undo what they say every full moon and expect us to accept what they want to use when it becomes beneficial to politicians in a game of opportunity for opportunists.
Should we not then have every right to pin point TNA’s “collective guilt” to every crime committed by the LTTE? Killing of civilians, destruction of civilian property, suicide missions on civilians and public places, human smuggling, narcotics, induction of children as child soldiers, depriving children of human rights and their right to education, bank heists and other raids, political assassinations and the list goes on. For by virtue of canvassing a former supreme court judge as Chief Ministerial candidate for the North does not exonerate neither the TNA or the LTTE except to question the credibility and the integrity of the former judge himself tying up with a party guilty of its allegiance and alliance to LTTE terror.
When TNA goes running off to India to be told what to say and what to do we do not need higher educational qualifications to understand that India is pulling all the strings be it Tamil Diaspora, TNA or now the Northern Chief Ministerial candidate. It was India who drafted all the Resolutions pushed against Sri Lanka in Geneva though it was too much of a coward to own up and had to even hide behind the US simply to fool Sri Lanka that India remains a “friend”. It is a country that does not know whether it is coming or going but inspite of it all it cannot break away from its ugly policy of disintegrating its neighbors who all find India nothing but a childish bully unfit for superpower status.
Germany as a nation suffered tremendously – its denazification program ensured that ideology of Nazism was buried before the country was handed back to Germany. The Germans were not entitled to decry foreign occupation or object to foreign military presence and that foreign presence remained for 13 years. Sri Lanka has no foreign military presence, the Sri Lankan army is the national army and the Government has every right to position it wherever it sees fit – no Chief Ministerial candidate or foreign government or a Tamil Alliance linked to the LTTE has any right to be demanding its removal simply because someone is going to be elected Chief Minister of a province. A province is not a country. The war was fought fare and square. LTTE challenge the Sri Lankan Forces – the challenge was accepted, enough of amnesty’s were given far more than they actually deserved, 2 Presidential appeals to lay down arms were ignored claiming the LTTE would fight to the end and what are the remnants whining about now? The LTTE and its supporters must be dreaming if they think they can make challenges and expect the Sri Lankan forces to become chicken fodder.
It is time Sri Lanka adopted some harsh measures for which it can give adequate grounds that it is only following what the Allied Troops did to ensure that neither the LTTE nor TNA destroys the peace that 27,000 Sri Lankan troops sacrificed their lives for.