President Jayawardene, in his now famous interview
with Ian Ward of the Daily Telegraph, in July 1983, had many things to say. Apart from his
oft quoted statement that he could not think of the lives of the Jaffna people or their
opinions, he also declared:
"The more you put pressure in the north, the happier the Sinhala people will be
here.. Really, if I starve the Tamils out, the Sinhala people will be happy."
President Jayawardene also wondered aloud whether the Government should not do that
which the British had done in Malaysia. President Jayawardene was speaking to a British
journalist, and as always he suited his words to his audience. After all a British
journalist would be more receptive to a British way of doing things. But President
Jayawardene's Minister of Industries, Cyril Mathew was somewhat more explicit:
"Terrorism cannot be stopped and has never been stopped by means of the law.
Terrorism has been stopped by terrorism. In no other way is it possible.."
The intent of the declaration made by President Jayawardene and his Government was
clear. The Government of Sri Lanka was set on the path of terrorism. The legitimating
propaganda was that 'terrorism must be stopped by terrorism'. But what was the nature of
the so called 'terrorism' which the Government of Sri Lanka sought to eradicate? The
factual position appears from a report published by the International Commission of
Jurists in March 1984. It said:
"..the scale and size of terrorism in Sri Lanka is not such as to constitute a
public emergency threatening the life of the nation.. and so does not justify measures
permanently derogating from the rights guarantied by the Covenant.. In particular, the
Prevention of Terrorism Act 1979 infringes many of Sri Lanka's obligations under the
International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights...and some of its provisions would
be an ugly blot on the statute book of any civilised country...if terrorism is to be
contained or eliminated the legitimate expectations of the Tamil community must be
But clearly, the Government of Sri Lanka was no longer concerned with the lives or the
opinion of the Tamil people, leave alone their 'legitimate expectations'. It seemed to
believe that state terrorism was the answer to the Tamil national question. In March 1984
and in the succeeding weeks, the Sinhala army moved into Tamil areas in the North and East
of Sri Lanka in increased strength.
A new army commander was appointed. The Government insisted that all Tamils should
carry identity cards. Tamils were taken into custody as hostages. The army shot at random
in Chunnakkam, a busy market town in the North of Sri Lanka and in urban Jaffna as well.
More than 200 Tamils young middle aged and old, were killed.
The Guardian in England reported on 17 April:
"Most of the dead are admitted to have been passers by, shot at random by vengeful
infantrymen. They reportedly included men and women in their sixties...when the security
services cannot find known suspects, they detain their fathers or brothers.."
The Government sought to legitimise its actions by claiming that it was
attacking 'terrorists'. Ex Oxford Union President, Lalith Athulathmudali, was appointed
National Security Minister and his pronouncements were in the style of Hitler's propaganda
chief, Joseph Goebbels who said in the 1930s:
"Propaganda does not have anything to do with truth. We serve truth by
serving a German victory"
It would seem that Minister Athulathmudali seeks to serve truth by serving the cause of
Sinhala state terrorism. In an interview reported in the Sri Lanka Island, appropriately
enough, on the 1st of April, Minister Athulathmudali said, with reference to the killings
in Chunnakkam on the 28th of March:
"According to the information I have received, the Air Force men were fired on
by terrorists who were on the roofs of some buildings. The servicemen fired back.
Unfortunately, while terrorists were killed, there was also the death of a lady who had
been marketing. She had been accidentally hit by a stray bullet. The first reports to the
media were that the Air Force had shot at the crowd. The events in Jaffna last week were
blown out of all proportions."
Ex Oxford Union President, Lalith Athulathmudali was not without the skills of an
undergraduate debater. To ex Oxford Union President Athulathmudali it was all a question
of the events in Jaffna being 'blown out of all proportions.' It would appear that certain
appropriate proportions should be maintained when air force personnel are accused of
killing civilians. But, perhaps more appropriately, what are the facts ?
According to Minister Athulathmudali, bullets directed at roof tops, somehow started
'straying' downwards. The air force men fired at terrorists on roof tops and they fired
with such accuracy, that the bullets 'strayed' and hit a lady who was marketing at ground
level. Though Minister Athulathmudali's statement was reported in the Sri Lanka Island
newspaper on the 1st of April, he was not relating an April Fool joke. But this was not
all. Minister Athulathmudali who is a lawyer by profession, stated rather disingenuously:
"Unfortunately, while terrorists were killed, there was also the death of a
lady who had been marketing"
Lawyer Athulathmudali deliberately led his listeners to infer that apart from the lady
'who had been marketing', the others who were killed were terrorists. But who were
these so called terrorists who were killed on that fateful day at Chunnakkam?
One of those who were killed on the 28th of March at Chunnakkam was 22 year old
Krishnandan who was employed as an operator at Nathan Brothers at Chunnakkam and he was
shot whilst at his work place at ground level. Was he a terrorist, Mr. National Security
Minister? And was Krishnandan also killed by a bullet which was directed at the roof tops
and which 'strayed' downwards?
Krishnandan was the sole bread winner of his family. He supported his elderly father,
who is a T.B. patient, and his mother. He supported two unmarried sisters and a brother
who was 13 years old. Does that concern you, Mr. Minister?
Another who was killed at Chunnakkam was 53 year old Kandiah Balasubramaniam who worked
as a watcher at the Jaffna Railway Station. He was shot at Chunnakkam on the morning of
the 28th of March, whilst on his way to work. was he also a terrorist, Mr. National
Security Minister? And was Kandiah Balasubramaniam also killed by a bullet which
Does it concern you, Mr. Minister, that Kandiah Balasubramaniam was the sole bread
winner of a family of five daughters, aged 21, 19, 17, 13, and 8 years and one disabled
son who was ten years old?
Another of the dead was 27 year old Nadarajah Yogarajah who helped his brother in the
family store at Chunnakkam and who was shot whilst standing in front of the shop. Was he
also a terrorist, Mr. National Security Minister? And was Nadarajah Yogarajah also killed
by yet another bullet which was directed at the roof tops but somehow 'strayed'? Not only
the Tamils of Sri Lanka, but the Tamils the world over would like to know your views Mr.
And does it concern you, Mr. Minister that Nadarajah Yogarajah leaves behind him a 60
year old mother and an unmarried sister?
Another of the dead was 42 year old Vairavi Thiagarajah, who had left his home at
Market Lane, Chunnakkam, that morning to buy some firewood and milk powder for his infant
twins. He did not return home. He was shot dead in the shop whilst he was purchasing milk
powder. Was this man also a terrorist, Mr. National Security Minister? And was Vairavi
Thiagarajah killed by a bullet which 'strayed' into a shop selling milk powder?
And does it matter to you, Mr. Minister, that Vairavi Thiagarajah leaves behind a widow
aged 36 years, a son aged 12 years, a daughter aged 6 years and twins aged 4 months? Or is
it that you and your Government feel that this is the price that the Tamil people should
pay for their struggle to be free from a continuing oppression?
Another of those killed was 68 year old Vallipuram Sinnathurai who was a vendor of
vegetables at the Chunnakkam public market. He was shot dead whilst selling vegetables and
his body was eventually brought back home in a bullock cart. Was Vallipuram Sinnathurai
also a terrorist, Mr. National Security Minister?
And was Vallipuram Sinnathurai also killed by a 'straying' bullet - a bullet
directed at the roof tops but which somehow found its way into the Chunnakkam public
market, and 'accidentally' killed a vegetable seller at ground level. Does it concern
you, Mr. Minister, that Vallipuram Sinnathurai leaves behind his widow Ponnama who has no
one to support her?
Yet another who was killed was 37 year old Thambimuttu Suntharalingam. He was a street
hawker who used to supply vegetables and on the morning of the 28th of March he left home
by cycle to go to the Chunnakkam market. He did not return. He was shot at Chunnakkam. Was
Thambimuttu Suntharalingam also a terrorist, Mr. National Security Minister? And was he
also killed by yet another 'stray' bullet? And does it concern you, Mr. Minister that
Thambimuttu Suntharalingam's widow must now look after her aged parents, who live with
her, and her 4 year old son and twins aged one year and eight months. Does it concern you
that this widow is herself a T.B. patient?
Another who was killed at Chunnakkam was Kathiravelu Kanesh who had accompanied his
uncle, Suppiah Balasubramaniam, to Chunnakkam. his uncle went as usual, on that day, to
read palms at the Chunnakkam market. Kathiravelu Kanesh was shot whilst at the Chunnakkam
market. Was Kathiravelu Kanesh, who accompanied his uncle, who was a palm reader, was
Kathiravelu Kanesh a terrorist on a roof top, Mr. National Security Minister? And was
he also killed by a 'stray' bullet? And does it matter to you, Mr. Minister, that
Kathiravelu Kanesh left behind a widow who is six months pregnant and who must now fend
And so, Mr. Minister, this was not a day when merely one bullet, which was directed
at the roof tops somehow 'strayed' downward and killed a lady at ground level. That would
have been curious enough. But as Alice remarked in Wonderland, the story becomes curiouser
and curiouser. It was not even a day of two straying bullets. It was not even a day of
three or four or five or six or seven straying bullets. It would seem that all the bullets
fired on that day at terrorists on roof tops, somehow 'strayed' downwards and killed
people at ground level.
In fact, Mr. National Security Minister, we all know, do we not, that it was not a day
of straying bullets at all. We all know do we not, that the persons who were killed at
Chunnakkam on that day, were not terrorists but were persons who were there on legitimate
business of their own.
The bullets fired by the air force at Chunnakkam did not stray. Like all good
bullets, they went in the direction they were fired. On 28 March 1984 the Sri
Lankan Air Force exhibited their prowess and their bravery and fired at random in the busy
market town of Chunnakkam with intent to kill and terrorise civilian Tamils.
And if these eight persons who were killed at Chunnakkam as a result of the shooting on
the 28th of March were not terrorists, who were the so called 'terrorists' who were killed
on that day? Because, the official communiqué of the Sri Lankan Government stated that
only seven persons were killed by the shooting.
The truth is self evident. The air force did not kill any terrorist at Chunnakkam on
that day because in fact, there were no terrorists in Chunnakkam on that day. The air
force did not fire at the roof tops because there were no terrorists on the roof tops in
Chunnakkam on that day. The Sri Lankan air force committed murder and National
Security Minister Lalith Athulathmudali sought to insult the intelligence of the world by
seeking to narrate the story of the mysterious case of 'The Straying Bullets'.
Francis Whelan commented in the London Times on 7 May 1984:
"..In the past two months at least 100 Tamils in the northern province of Jaffna
have been killed by security forces. The official explanation is that these people were
all 'terrorists', but this is contradicted by the accounts of every independent observer
who has visited Jaffna. One typically disturbing incident occurred on the 28th of March,
when air force personnel opened fire in the market place at Chunnakkam, a town about 8
miles outside Jaffna. Eight Tamils were shot dead and 22 others were wounded...
If the victims were really terrorists, one might expect that fact to come out at the
inquest into the deaths. However no inquest will be held into the killings in
Chunnakkam market place, nor into any of the other recent deaths of Tamil civilians.
This is because of a rule called Emergency Regulation 15A which was introduced last June
and which allows the security to dispose of any dead body as they see fit, without post
mortem or inquest.
The International Commission of Jurists (in their report of March 1984) is particularly
scathing about Regulation 15A arguing that it is bound to be regarded as a 'deliberate
device for covering up murder'. But President Jayawardene will not repeal it; rather, he
and his new Minister of National Security, Lalith Athulathmudali, actually intend to
strengthen the emergency rules. One of the new rules would effectively do way with the
right of habeas corpus, which according to an official spokesman ' the Government
considers as an unnecessary exercise.'"
The massacre at Chunnakkam marked the beginning of the Malaysian style operation
which President Jayawardene had wondered about in July 1983 and it is therefore something
more than a stray interest that leads us to inquire as to what President Jayawardene had
in mind when he referred to a 'Malaysian' type solution. What was it that was done in
In 1948, the British launched a campaign to counter a communist insurgency in Malaysia.
It was an insurgency which was confined to sections of the Chinese in Malaysia. The
British campaign lasted several years. The back of the insurgency was broken by 1957. The
communist insurgency failed but the Malaysian national liberation struggle succeeded and
the British handed over power to an independent Malaysia in July 1957.
Robert Thompson, who served as adviser to the campaign, has written of his experiences
in a publication on Studies in International Security. That which he has written is
relevant and revealing. He says:
"...the first requirement is an identity card system throughout the country.. this
makes it easy to check absentees and visitors...Dusk to dawn curfews outside hamlets
should be imposed and strictly enforced. Bulk supplies of food and other articles of value
should be convoyed between towns and villages and no individual should be allowed to take
such articles outside the hamlet...Check points should be established to enforce all these
regulations, and snap checks should be carried out on all roads, rivers and tracks ..
There are many who will criticise the harshness of the measures which may have to be
used. This is a mistaken attitude. What the peasant wants to know is: Does the government
mean to win the war? Because if not, he will have to support the insurgent. The government
must show it is determined to win. Only in that way will it instil the confidence that
it is going to win...The blame for the harshness of the measures can be placed squarely on
the insurgent...There should be in the whole of the government's approach an adroit and
judicious mixture of ruthlessness and sympathy.."
Robert Thompson was frank and clinical. He continued:
"As an example of a ruthless measure it is worth quoting the case of a village in
Malaya of about 3000 inhabitants. This was a very bad area...Having given the inhabitants
a choice between the government and the communists, and having failed to make any headway
by appealing to or persuading them to cooperate, the government surrounded it with several
battalions at dawn one morning and moved the whole village out.
Everyone in it, men, women and children, went into detention. All the houses were
razed to the ground and crops destroyed. This did not cause a public outcry because the
effectiveness of the result...silenced all criticism."
And, so we begin to have some understanding of President Jayawardene's
"Malaysian" type answer to the Tamil national question. It would seem that ex
Oxford Union President and new Minister for National Security, Lalith Athulathmudali, is
co-ordinating a Malaysian style operation in Jaffna with 'an adroit mixture of
ruthlessness and sympathy' - ruthlessness in deed and sympathy in word. In the
interview reported in the Island, Minister Athulathmudali said:
"Q. Can you tell me one country where tough measures have arrested terrorist
A. One of the best examples is Malaysia where there was a fight against Communist
infiltrators and commandos. The Malaysians won.
Q. But that was against Communists?
A. Yes, but the majority of these terrorists are trained in Marxist ideology. So it is
the same format."
However, events and time will prove that President Jayawardene's 'Malaysian' type
solution will turn out to be counter productive - because despite Minister
Athulathmudali's assertion, the 'format' is not the same.
The insurgency in Malaysia was communist in origin and it was confined to a section of
the Chinese people. The British successfully prevented the insurgency from developing into
a national liberation struggle by promising and then granting independence to Malaysia in
1957, with the Malays and Chinese sharing power.
This was the major political plank of the campaign and it was this which was crucial to
its success. The British left Malaysia. If they had sought to continue to
rule in Malaysia, the insurgency would have developed into a full fledged national
liberation struggle to oust the foreigner from the soil of the people. This was the
political lesson of the Malaysian campaign.
It was a lesson which British Adviser, Robert Thompson, presumably, did learn when he
went to South Vietnam in 1961, after his successful completion of his tour of duty in
Malaysia. In Vietnam, the tough approach resulted in the strengthening of the liberation
movement - it led to a marriage of Marxism and nationalism and this has often proved to be
a potent mix in the developing Third World.
In Sri Lanka, the struggle of the Tamil people is a struggle to be free from a
continuing Sinhala oppression. It is a national liberation struggle and so long as the
Sinhala Government has no intention of relinquishing its rule, the struggle will continue.
Every act of Sinhala "ruthlessness" will have the result of increasing the
togetherness of the Tamil people and will confirm them in their belief that they are being
oppressed by a foreign army and a foreign government.
President Jayawardene and his Government are bent on teaching the Tamil people, in the
crucible of immediate experience, something which John Stuart Mill said many years ago in
1872, 'soldiers to whose feelings the people are foreigners, will have no more scruple in
mowing them down, and no more reason to ask the reason why, than they would have in doing
the same thing against declared enemies'.
President Jayawardene and his Government are engaged in a 'Malaysian style' military
operation, without the Malaysian style political solution. Unlike the British, the Sri
Lankan Government has no intention of recognising the existence of the Tamil nation, leave
alone granting freedom to the Tamil people.
The Sri Lankan Government has failed to offer any meaningful political solution to the
Tamil national question. Minister Lalith Authulathmudali paid lip service to the question
of a political answer. He said on the 1st of April:
"I believe in a political solution. I believe that every man, woman and child must
believe and work for a political solution through non-violent means."
The rhetoric of ex Oxford Union President Lalith Athulathmudali was suspect for more
than one reason. He and his Government were engaged in a planned attack on the Tamils
which found its most open expression in
July and August 1983,
when thousands of Tamils were killed by persons identified as henchmen of leading
Ministers and when the Government of Sri Lanka secured that the army and the police would
look the other way whilst the grim deed was done.
It was a holocaust which has led to a demand by the Tamil people, in many lands for an
independent international inquiry into the allegations of murder and arson against the
Government of Sri Lanka. Minister Athulathmudali speaks on behalf of a Government which
has blood on its hands. But, be that as it may, what was the nature of the political
solution which the Government of Sri Lanka had in mind and which Minister Athulathmudali
did not spell out in his interview on the 1st of April?
President Jayawardene declared in a magazine interview on the 7th of April 1984:
" How can I say I want Regional Councils when everybody else is against them?...I
am a prisoner, not of any particular group but a prisoner of circumstances, law, the
constitution and the political parties. I cannot throw my weight about and say: do this,
do that. I am not a dictator"
These were the words of President Jayawardene, who had, deprived his chief Sinhala
political rival, Mrs.Bandaranaike, of her civic rights, soon after he assumed power in
1977, and who had in 1982, secured the extension of the life of the Sri Lankan Parliament
from six years to twelve years.
These were the words of a President who has had with him for an year and more, the
undated signed letters of resignations of all the members of Parliament of the ruling
party, including Ministers and who cheerfully admitted in an interview reported in the
Island on the 5th of February: ' Yes, I have heard that some people call it my atomic
These were the words of a President who on more than one occasion
promoted police officers within hours of their being
found guilty of violating human rights by the Supreme Court. These were the words of a
President, whose Government had enacted the infamous Prevention of Terrorism Act which was
described by the International Commission of Justice in a report published in March 1984
as containing provisions which would be 'a blot on
the statute book of any civilised country'.
These were the words of a President who had secured the amendment of the Sri Lankan
Constitution on six different occasions in six years so that a recent Sri Lankan joke was
that the constitution had become a 'periodical'. And President Jayawardene would have the
world believe that he was a prisoner of the law and of the constitution. President
Jayawardene is no prisoner either of the law or of the constitution. And, it is not
without relevance, that as long ago as in June 1957, at a time when he was in the
opposition he said:
"The time has come for the whole Sinhala race which has existed for 2500 years,
jealously safeguarding their language and religion, to fight without giving any quarter to
save their birthright...I will lead the campaign.
It was President Jayawardene who also declared, twenty years later, in 1977, soon after
he had assumed control of the Government of Sri Lanka that 'the Sinhala people are saying
, I am not saying, that if it be war let it be war, if it be peace, let it be peace.'
As always, the style was familiar. 'The Sinhala people are saying - I am not saying' -
it was always somebody else who was responsible. But behind the 'style' lay the reality.
The Government of Sri Lanka was engaged in an undeclared war against the Tamils of Sri
Lanka - it was engaged in a fight 'without giving any quarter'.
The Sri Lankan Government's views on the Tamil national question, should not,
therefore, come as a surprise. The Sri Lankan Government refuses to recognise that the
Tamils in the island of Sri Lanka are a people with an ancient history, a common language
a common culture and a traditional homeland.
The Sri Lankan Government refuses to recognise the existence of the Tamil nation. The
Sri Lankan Government refuses to recognise the need to sit and talk with the Tamil nation,
as a nation, and with its leaders, as leaders of a nation.
The Sri Lankan Government refuses to recognise that which is guaranteed by the first
article of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, namely, the right of
a people to freely determine their political status. The Sri Lankan Government goes
even further. It seems to have some doubts as to whether the Tamils in the island of Sri
Lanka have any problems at all.
In a magazine interview on the 7th of April President Jayawardene said:
"Q. Do you accept that the Tamils have grievances in the first place?
A. They may have in Jaffna. But what are their grievances in the rest of the
These were the words of the President of a country which had witnessed the planned
murder of thousands of Tamils outside Jaffna during July and August 1983. A few thousands
were killed but then the dead do not have grievances and perhaps that is what President
Jayawardene had in mind.
Thousands of Tamil wives and children have lost the bread winners of their families but
in President Jayawardene's perception they have no grievances.
Thousands of Tamil homes were destroyed and Tamils in Colombo and elsewhere were
pauperised, but in President Jayawardene's perception, they too have no grievances.
The Tamils in Colombo, in Kandy, in Amparai were assaulted and killed in 1958, but in
President Jayawardene's perception, the Tamils outside Jaffna have no grievances.
More than a million Tamils who were born in Sri Lanka and lived on the tea estates in
the central parts of Sri Lanka, were rendered stateless in 1948, but in President
Jayawardene's perception, Tamils outside Jaffna, have no grievances.
The Tamils of Trincomalee and Batticaloa have protested time and again against the
systematised colonisation of their traditional homeland, but in President Jayawardene's
perception, Tamils outside Jaffna, have no grievances.
The Tamils in Colombo and elsewhere were deprived of employment in the public service
by the enactment of the Sinhala only law in 1956, but in President Jayawardene's
perception, the Tamils outside Jaffna have no grievances.
Thousands of qualified Tamil youths were refused admission to Universities because they
were Tamils, but in President Jayawardene's perception the Tamils outside Jaffna have no
'The Tamils may have grievances in Jaffna - but what are their grievances in the
rest of the Island?' What, indeed?
It would seem that in President Jayawardene's perception there were really no
grievances so far as the Tamils were concerned - presumably the real grievances were the
grievances of the Sinhala majority. And so perhaps not unnaturally, President
Jayawardene's so called political solution seeks to resolve the grievances of his Sinhala
electorate by setting up District Development Councils in Tamil areas, so that the Sinhala
majority may more effectively manage the Tamil people and continue the oppression behind a
The District Councils will be without executive powers and with very limited rule
making powers. They will be financially dependent on the centre. A minister nominated by a
Sinhala President would form a joint executive committee together with the elected
chairmen and similarly nominated ministers of one or two other district councils. The
joint executive committee would meet under the Chairmanship of the President. The
intention of the frame is clear.
The control of the activities of the District Council will be in the hands of an
executive dominated by the President and his nominees. The Sinhala majority will manage
and control the Tamils even in the relatively insignificant functional areas where the
District Councils have some jurisdiction.
President Jayawardene's proposal has no claim to originality. It is a gambit often
adopted by a colonial power in the face of a rising national consciousness - a gambit
which seeks to perpetuate colonial rule with the assistance of collaborators from those
who are ruled. It is a legal frame which, President Jayawardene hopes, will help to create
an appropriately servile Tamil quisling 'leadership' which will depend on the patronage of
their Sinhala masters for their survival.
This is President Jayawardene's political solution to the problem created for the
Sinhala people by the national consciousness of the Tamils in the island of Sri Lanka - a
national consciousness which has been fertilised by the martyrdom of thousands of Tamils,
brave and honest, brilliant and dedicated. President Jayawardene's political solution
seeks to perpetuate Sinhala rule and Sinhala discrimination. President Jayawardene
offered no solution to the grievances of the Tamils - after all, he was not quite sure
whether they had any grievances at all.
He declared in an interview with the London Times, reported on the 7th of May 1984,
that if the Tamil United Liberation Front did not agree, they can stay out. 'We do not
need agreement with them to go ahead with our proposals'. He added that the TULF
was 'dead as dodo'. This was two days before the scheduled resumption of the
Round Table Conference with the TULF, on the 9th of May.
These were not the words of a leader who was concerned about amity and reconciliation.
These were the words of a leader who believed that Biafra style terrorism was the answer
to the Tamil national question. These were words which were intended to render the Round
Table Conference 'dead as dodo'.
And on the 9th of May, not surprisingly, the so called amity talks broke down and
the TULF walked out. But, then President Jayawardene was being consistent. He was not
concerned with the opinions or the lives of the Tamil people and he spoke with the
belligerence of a conqueror about the leaders of a conquered people. History will show
that he spoke too soon and that he spoke unwisely.
The Sri Lankan government is engaged in a Malaysian style military operation without a
Malaysian style political solution. This is nothing but a Biafra type terrorism which is
intended to intimidate and frighten the Tamils in the island of Sri Lanka into accepting
the servile role of quisling collaborators in the proposed District Councils. And it is
this state terrorism that has now unfolded in the traditional homelands of the Tamil
people in Sri Lanka.
The random shootings in Chunnakkam and in Jaffna Town during the recent past will
not, however, silence : they will create a quiet determination and a growing resolve
amongst the Tamil people.
The Tamil people know that these are the terrorist actions of a Government which seeks
to subjugate the Tamils of Eelam and bend them to its will. The Sinhala Army may even
temporarily conquer and subjugate the Tamils of Eelam. Such conquests are not unknown in
history. But there will be no peace or rest for the land or its rulers until the army
departs - and depart, they will.
In the interregnum, the Tamils of Eelam will be called upon to pay a heavy price in
suffering and pain. But pain is a great teacher. It is teaching us that we suffer because
we are Tamils. It is teaching us that we are not alone in our suffering. It is teaching us
that our pain is shared by millions of Tamils everywhere. It is a pain that is teaching us
that we are one. And in that increasing togetherness we are finding a new and surging