|The unholy alliance of the LTTE and the JVP|
|Wednesday, 26 November 2008|
For years after the JVP leader Rohana Wijeweera unleashed a Molotov-style cocktail revolution in 1971 in a futile attempt to grab power but was thwarted under the leadership of Sirimavo Bandaranaike and Felix Reginald Dias Bandaranaike, and the subsequent political developments in Sri Lanka, which showed some ascendancy of the political power of the JVP, mainly due to its campaign they carried out against the Tamil political groups including Thondaman and then the LTTE, the people of Sri Lanka had always believed that the arch enemy of the LTTE was not the Government but the JVP.
JVP called itself a Marxist-Leninist party, and based its revolutionary struggle on the strategies adopted by Castro and Che Guevara to take over Cuba. The folk hero was Che Guevara. At that time, with the Soviet block in power, and the capitalist structure seemingly in disarray, Che Guevara was the hero of millions of youngsters around the world. Rohana Wijeweera grew a beard and sported a cap to have a physical resemblance of his hero and Demi-God, Che Guevara.In the early days of the JVP, Rohana Wijeweera wrote a thesis on the ethnic crisis.
If one reads his voluminous and platitudinous dissertation on solving the ethnic crisis, one would not see much of a difference between the Marxist Leninist theories of the right of self-determination; the right of the Tamil people to secede from Sri Lanka.Easy spread
Most youth could not understand the theory and when the JVP brought forth a communal bigoted anti-Tamil agenda, this book was soon forgotten. Before sowing the seeds of communal hatred, Rohana Wijeweera played into the minds of the youth, who had been discriminated against for thousands of years due to their origins of birth. At that time, caste played an important role in society.The halls of fame were opened only to the elite or to the Govigama Kandyan Buddhists. The majority of the Sri Lankan population was not Sinhala Kandyan Buddhist.
So, it was easy to spread the message of discrimination, which was largely true and impose it upon the intellectually inferior, uneducated youth, who had little learning of the English language and little knowledge of the world around them, to convince them to accept Wijeweera’s own interpretation of the Marxist Leninist theory.
The torch bearers of this new ideology were the JVP. The conventional Marxists were not only considered as pseudo Marxists but also as anti-Nationalist and were made the objects of hatred. Later, many in the Leftist movement were killed by the JVP.At the same time in Jaffna, Prabhakaran followed the leaders of the TULF and other leaders of their generation, whose rhetoric mixed with racial hatred easily captured the imagination of the youth, who had been prevented from entering the universities by certain legislations brought by the Government in the South.
Though the leaders proclaimed, on the political stage, that their struggle was to achieve an independent State for the Tamils, called Eelam, to convert the more conservative masses to their ideology, yet it was built on a dreamland fantasy.
The promise of a State where the Tamils would rule themselves was the means of capturing the votes of the youth, in order to come to power during the Parliamentary Elections.
The youth believed in the promises and pledges of their elder statesmen.
When in power they changed their tune as they knew that this was an impossible pledge like all election pledges. The youth soon found out the truth, that for the umpteenth time, the politicians had failed them.
Prabhakaran has something very much in common with Rohana Wijeweera. Both came from the farthest Northern point and Southern tip of the Island. They both belonged to the Karave and Kareiya (fisher) caste.
Prabhakaran appealed to the youth who had been distanced by the Brahmins and the Vellalas. They used the caste as an instrument of oppression. In the North it was far worse than in the South. In the South, the notion of caste was gradually withering away, but in the North, it was a part and parcel of the long Hindu traditional culture.
Prabhakaran saw this as an opportunity to attract the youth to his movement. He also displayed his daring qualities by pulling the trigger to kill Alfred Duraiappah, the Mayor of Jaffna in 1975. Duraiappah came from the nobility. He was elected from the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and became the Mayor of Jaffna. He was a popular politician who could not be easily defeated, so Prabhakaran shot him dead.
The children of the other so called inferior castes, who had been oppressed for centuries by the Vellalas, saw the emergence of Prabhakaran as a beacon of light that would emancipate them from the narrow parochial caste society of Jaffna. It is a well-known fact that though Prabhakaran earned the respect of the Vellalas for his bravery and audacity, yet he would never be entertained in the house of a Vellala, as it would be necessary to wash the house with water mixed with saffron to cleanse it.
Rohana Wijeweera and Vellupillai Prabhakaran had the same ideals. They hoped to become the leaders of their own Government. Both thought of ushering in a new era. Both were Marxists who had followed the heroics of Che Guevara and the mass adulation of Che Guevara during that era.
It was symbolic to have the posters of Che Guevara in one’s room, to show that you were different from the rest of the decadent society, and it brought intellectual superiority.
In 1971, the insurgency was unleashed by Rohana Wijeweera with the objective of the ultimate liberation from the multifaceted oppressions. It was also based on Rohana Wijeweera’s superiority of intellect and his rhetoric of being an undergraduate of the Lumumba University which expelled him as his revolutionary fervour was so radiant that even the Russians could not temper it.
His plan was precise, and was based on the module of Castro and his small but loyal army that threw out Batista’s corrupt Government.
Rohana Wijeweera’s army comprised mainly of the lower caste Sinhala youth and members of the disbanded ‘Govi Hamudava’, a creation of the UNP.
Prabhakaran went into hiding after successfully shooting down Alfred Duriappah, the Mayor of Jaffna. The methods employed by Prabhakaran were more sophisticated than those employed by the JVP, as he had learnt from the mistakes of Rohana Wijeweera. Vellupillai Prabhakaran was virtually the younger brother of Rohana Wijeweera. They had many things in common, and racism was their forte. After the defeat of the insurrection, and after being released by J. R. Jayewardene, Wijeweera decided to fight the UNP and Jayewardene.
Originally, the UNP was very much elated by the fact that Rohana Wijeweera, during the famous meeting held at the Town Hall, after being released from jail, castigated the dethroned Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike, which they dearly wanted. Rohana Wijeweera became the spokesman of the anti-Bandaranaike ethos as the UNP wanted to plant mass hatred on their famous feudal leadership theory of Mrs. Bandaranaike. Jayewardene feared that in the near future, Sirimavo Bandaranaike would again come out of defeat and challenge the UNP. Hence, Jayewardene found a devoted ally in Rohana Wijeweera.
After shooting Duriappah and escaping to India, Prabhakaran had the opportunity of coming back to Sri Lanka when he found that the separate state promised by the TULF was a sham. In the 1977 elections, the SLFP and the Left were decimated.
As usual, the Sinhalese Government made enough mistakes not to address the ethnic question. Amirthalingam was enjoying the fruits of being the Leader of the Opposition, which gave him a powerful position, equivalent to the rank of a Cabinet Minister.
Rohana Wijeweera found that his glib talk about the utopian goal of a socialist state, devoid of corruption, a goal that would bring ultimate liberation to the oppressed Sri Lankan people by democratic means, was elusive. Wijeweera found to his amazement that the Sri Lankans had not forgotten the killing fields, the gory spectacles of dead bodies floating in the rivers and quickly distanced themselves from him and his band of killers.
Wijeweera believed, like his followers, that the country would vote for him when he contested for the Presidential elections. Like Kumar Ponnambalam, Rohana Wijeweera was taught a lesson of his lifetime on what democracy means in Sri Lanka.
J. R. Jayewardene was accused by Rohana Wijeweera of being aligned with Thondaman and paving the way for a multi-religious, multi-cultural society where he alleged that the majority community, the Sinhalese Buddhists were deprived of their rights. Prabhakaran appealed to the youth and stated that the liberation of the Tamil people would come only through a separate state and it could be fulfilled only by an armed struggle.
After the 1983 Black July, both Prabhakaran and Rohana Wijeweera got a new lease of life. The chauvinist Sinhala barbarians who killed the Tamils and destroyed their property created two monsters; Rohana Wijeweera and Vellupillai Prabhakaran. Soon, Wijeweera went into hiding when he was accused of being instrumental in the racial riots. Prabhakaran found that the exodus of the Tamil people from Sri Lanka to the other countries, a great blessing in disguise as most Western Embassies provided them with open visas to travel to any country and be domiciled as refugees.
The Tamil diaspora was the main backers of Prabhakaran. Long after the racial riots, the exodus to the West continued. Most Tamils went to the West as economic refugees.
Therefore, it was important for them that Prabhakaran continued with the war as, if peace returned, they would have been compelled to return to Sri Lanka and thousands of Tamils waiting to obtain refugee status would be returned. The Diaspora continued to support the Eelam War and keep the engine of destruction working overtime. Peace was the last thing they expected.
If you trace the history of both the JVP and the LTTE, one comes to the irresistible conclusion that knowingly or unknowingly, deliberately or by accident, overtly or covertly, both had been partners in the struggle to destabilise Sri Lanka.
They supported each other’s cause. If Rohana Wijeweera and his men were to seize power in the South, and Prabhakaran in the North and Eastern provinces, they would complement each other. They deceived the masses in a bid to achieve these goals.
After the Indian intervention and the signing of the Peace Accord, and the deploying of the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka, most of the Tamils in the North and East believed that the war would come to an end.
They believed Prabhakaran would never defy the agreement that had been signed. For the LTTE, the only escape route was to reach India when the danger was imminent. So it was thought too foolish to accept the fact that Prabha would renegade on the promises given to Rajiv Ghandi that he would honour the Indo-Lanka Agreement.
Though Rajiv Ghandi virtually forced Prabhakaran to sign the Agreement of acceptance, he never comprehended the deceptive mind of Prabha, who only wanted to escape from the High Security prison. It was the only way Prabhakaran could have escaped from the prison guarded by the elitist Black Tiger commandos of the Indian Army. “Get me out of the Prison, I will teach Rajiv Ghandhi a lesson,” Prabha echoed.
Similarly Rohana Wijeweera imprisoned by the Presidential Commission entered into a deal with JRJ and agreed to support the UNP if he was released. He agreed that under no circumstance would he launch another struggle against the Government.
The accidental shooting of a University student caused the students to dress in white and go from house to house with pictures of their dead colleague and plead with parents not to vote for Mrs. Bandaranaike’s Government.
The deal with the JVP was sealed and JRJ got 2/3rd majority. Wijeweera was released and when he was asked what he would do if JVP unleashed another arms struggle, JRJ, who was supposed to be as cunning as a fox and articulate was that he was named the ‘Twentieth Century Fox’ said he (Rohana) will have to find a place to hide. “I am not Mrs. Bandaranaike”, everyone clapped. Even Rohana Wijeweera must have clapped non-stop like the members of the Politburo of Soviet Russia clapping after Stalin’s speech.
This was the same attitude JR took when he sent his cousin, former Army Commander ‘Bull Weeratunga’, to Jaffna to quell the LTTE. Prabhakaran and Rohana Wijeweera may have jointly applauded the Fox for giving them an additional lease of life by these horrendous political mistakes.
After the Sri Lanka Army hierarchy, comprising Royalists and Thomians, declared that it would take only eight minutes for the Indian Army to take over Sri Lanka after the infamous ‘Parippu drop’, JRJ and Rajiv signed the Indo-Lanka Agreement. The Agreement included the Cessation of Hostilities and the handing over of all the weapons by the LTTE to the Sri Lankan Government.
The euphoria that engulfed the nation when the LTTE activist symbolically handed over a weapon, to the Secretary of Defence Attygalle, made many people believe that that marked the end of the hostilities.
But it was soon found out that only a few weapons were handed over to the Sri Lankan Government. So it was that Rajiv Gandhi and JRJ were fooled by Prabhakaran. Prabha had not shifted even an inch from his utopian goal of Eelam and believed that only through an armed struggle can Eelam be achieved.
Then Prabhakaran decided to wage war against the LTTE’s former mentors. Prabha and his comrade in the South Rohana Wijeweera jointly opposed the Indian Army, as it was a possibility that the Indian Peace Keeping Force would eventually defeat Prabhakaran and implement the 13th Amendment which would have deprived both Prabha and Rohana from achieving and sharing power.
If the greatest enemy of the JVP was the LTTE and their public enemy number one was Prabhakaran, then the JVP should have welcomed the advent of the Indian Peace Keeping Force which would eventually have destroyed the LTTE terrorists and would have brought long lasting peace to the country. Instead, Rohana Wijeweera decided to unleash a continuous armed struggle against the occupation of the Northern and Eastern provinces by a foreign army.
Though many Sinhalese were killed by the DJV for selling, for patronising Indian goods, not a single Indian soldier was even harmed by the DJV.
Rohana Wijeweera and the JVP started a spate of killings in the South and a campaign against the so-called Indian expansionism. They killed any person selling Indian goods, including drugs. The former Chairman of a Pharmaceutical Corporation was killed for the alleged reason of having sold Indian medicine.
Why did Prabhakaran want the Indian Peace Keeping Force, which virtually confined the Sri Lankan Army to barracks, to leave Sri Lanka? Why did he start the struggle against the Indian Peace Keeping Forces? How did a ragtag band of young rebels manage to kill so many Indian soldiers?
This would clearly show that Prabhakaran was determined to fight against the Indian Army mainly because the Indo-Lanka Agreement, though denounced by the Sinhala racists, was not sufficient for Prabhakaran. He felt that he must be the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of Eelam, and cannot be interfered with anyone.
Why did Rohana Wijeweera then oppose the Indian Peace Keeping Force and the mandate of the Indo-Lanka Peace Accord, if it was to crush the LTTE and make them politically inferior resulting in the implementation of the 13th Amendment, enforcing a peaceful settlement to the ethnic crisis?
How could that concept be repulsive to the ideals of the JVP? The rationale behind these two extremist parties, fighting to get rid of the Indian Peace Keeping Force, was the same. Both did not support an amicable settlement of the ethnic crisis.
Prabhakaran found that the Peace Keeping Force was a hindrance to his utopian dream. Wijeweera thought that it would stabilise Sri Lanka and devolve power to the Tamils, and would effectively negate any chance of the JVP capturing power in the South. So, both the JVP and Prabhakaran were partners in the same crusade of achieving their ambitious goals by defeating their common enemy, the Indian Peace Keeping Force.
The young and the not so young accepted the theory as proposed by their leaders. They were virulently either anti-Tamil or anti-Sinhalese. They were both racist, had their own goals and believed that once the Indian Peace Keeping Force was restrained, then the internecine struggle would erupt again. The Indian Peace Keeping Force went to the extent of killing all the LTTE veterans.
Courtesy: Daily News
|Last Updated ( Thursday, 23 July 2009 )|
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