Prabhakaran returns to Jaffna: he’s not dead!

Who said that Velupillai Prabhakaran is dead?

According to a report in TamilNet (Friday 19, March) his voice is still alive and screaming. In fact, his voice was heard again by a small gathering assembled at Veerasingham Hall on Friday. The message in the voice was so familiar they must have been wondering whether Prabhakaran went down in Nandikadal at all.. Leaving no ambiguity in the minds of the Jaffnaites the voice said:

1. I will scrap all the military camps in Jaffna peninsula

2. I will also scrap the High Security Zones

3. I will appoint a commission of inquiry to find out to what happened to missing Tamils under Mahinda Rajapaksa

4. The Sinhalese will have to beg forgiveness of the pain inflicted on the Tamils

5. All paramilitary forces will be disarmed except the forces of the state.

Isn’t that the known voice of Prabhakaran? But due to unavoidable circumstances he couldn’t be there in person. So he sent his loyal alter ego. He sent Ranil Wickremesinghe who repeated his agenda verbatim. He, to all intents and purposes, seems to be very keen on keeping Prabhakaran alive and well. It seems that he likes impersonating Prabhakaran because he has no credible identity of his own.

According to the pictures published in TamilNet Veerasingham Hall was occupied by about 200 – 300 people. That figure speaks loudly and clearly about Wickremesinghe’s appeal to the Jaffnaites. Obviously, he must be a joke to them because he is cutting a ridiculous figure when he pretends to be Prabhakaran. Which sensible Jaffnaite will believe that Wickremesinghe can do what Prabhakaran couldn’t do?

Besides, they must be sick to their back teeth with the big promises made by Prabhakaran. Even the stooges of Prabhakaran in the TNA have jettisoned his big dream of Eelam. But Wickremesinghe is imagining that he can do better than Prabhakaran. To be honest, the drummers in the nagasalam that accompanied him and his wife to the Hall made a bigger impact in Jaffna than all the nasal noises he made in his opportunistic speech.

In any case, the Jaffnaites would have taken all what he said with a pinch of salt because they know that his boasts ( example : CFA) never works. They are mature enough to know that to implement Prabhakaran’s agenda he must first have the power. But they know that his chances of becoming prime minister (forget April 8!) even in 2015 is as great as resurrecting Prabhakaran and make him walk on the waters of Nandikadal..

But this does not deter Wickremesinghe. He goes on like a wound up robot in a one-track route that goes straight to Nandikadal. According to some sociological statistics, the suicidal rate in Jaffna is the highest in Sri Lanka. Wickremesinghe opening his campaign in Jaffna and repeating Prabhakaran’s agenda is another way of keeping the suicide statistics at peak level.

As I said earlier, he has not strategies. He has only stunts. Repeating Prabhakaran’s agenda is his latest stunt. This stunt is to appease one community at the expense of the other without realizing that he can lose both. He says, for instance, that “we” (implying the state/Sinhalese?) must apologize to the “people” (Tamils?). Doesn’t he know that his President, Chandrika Kumaratunga, apologized publicly to the Tamils for acts of commission and omission? So how many more times is the state going to apologize to the Tamils?

Besides, which sole representative of the Tamils has apologized to the crimes committed in their name to the other communities? When Anton Balasingham apologized for the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi his leader, Prabhakaran, distanced himself from it by maintaining a grim silence. In fact, when the crimes against the other communities were pointed out the theoretician Balasingham argued that “collateral damage” was inevitable in any war.

However, he didn’t think that the same argument could be applied to the Sri Lankan forces. In their twisted logic, when war crimes and crimes against humanity are committed in the name of Tamils they are classified as “collateral damage” and when the Sri Lankan forces commit similar acts they are classified as “war crimes and crimes against humanity”.

Wickremesinghe has joined the Tiger lobby pointing the finger at the Sinhala-Buddhists. As for apologizing shouldn’t he give the lead by apologizing for ridiculing and demeaning the forces when they were advancing with self-sacrificing courage to eradicate terrorism so that Wickremesinghe could go to Jaffna and campaign peacefully? Now, if he is a gentleman that some say he is, shouldn’t he publicly apologize to the soldiers who fought on behalf of all communities for them to live in a peaceful and democratic society, however defective it may be?

Without an ounce of shame, he even decided to make the General whom he ridiculed at the height of war as his president in peace time. After the war Wickremesinghe has no qualms in joining hands with the General who had sworn to take the soldiers who fought under his command to an international tribunal. So why isn’t Wickremesinghe asking his would-be president to apologize to the soldiers and the nation for his treacherous betrayal? Or is Wickremesinghe quite content with the General’s performance hoping that he could reap some benefit from it?

Another boast of his goes like this: “Once UNP comes to power our aim will be to restore normalcy of life and prioritizing development of the country and we will strive to achieve these goals.” In the first place, there is a big “IF” right in front of his claim.

Second, did he restore normalcy with his CFA or did he worsen it? He admitted in an interview with a Tamil radio in Europe that he is not responsible for the breakdown of peace but that they should blame Prabhakaran. But that is not what he said when he removed the barriers on the roads and allowed all Tiger terrorists to gain free access to Colombo and other strategic places. He was cocksure of solving the terrorist problem with his futile CFA.

As for prioritizing development the Wijedasa Rajapakse report speaks eloquently about how Ravi Karuanayake & Co prioritized the development of their bank accounts when Wickremesinghe was in power.

Finally, he says that all paramilitary forces will be disarmed except the forces of the state. Didn’t he say that jointly with Prabhkaran in the failed CFA? Of course, he went further. He even pulled up the Navy Commander for attacking an LTTE ship that was threatening territorial integrity and sovereignty of the nation. He never had the guts to pull up Prabhakaran even when he committed the worst crimes against humanity and the nation..

The upshot of all this is that we have Prabhakaran coming back to haunt us again with Wickremesinghe attempting to play the role of Prabhakaran better than Prabhakaran. The moral: we must never assume that Prabhakaran is dead as long as Wickremesinghe is alive.

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