Rathu Sahodarayas of the JVP sinking in a political mire of their own making are desperately clutching at straws. If the outcome of the past PC polls is any indication, they won't be left with more than a handful of seats at a future parliamentary election. What a drop from the zenith of their performance to the nadir over a span of a few years signifies is that they are about to find themselves in the exalted company of the so-called name board parties this country abounds with.
Many are the opportunities that Rathu Sahodarayas have missed in democratic politics. Never did they take the tide in their affairs at the flood. Had they rejoined the UPFA government after President Mahinda Rajapaksa's victory and used the state power to render some service to the masses, they would have been able to make inroads into the SLFP's vote bank the way they had done at the 2004 parliamentary polls, where some of their candidates even beat SLFP stalwarts in terms of preferential votes. Nor did they act in such a manner as to be able to bask in the reflected glory of the victorious armed forces. True, they were among those who forced President Rajapaksa to pick up the gauntlet that Prabhakaran threw down at Mavil Aru in 2006. But, thereafter they resorted to a self-defeating exercise.
Rathu Sahodarayas could not market their brand of patriotism to the public as they did not contribute anything other than empty rhetoric to the country's war effort. They even tried to topple the government by opposing its budget together with the UNP and the TNA. Their claim that they were instrumental in defeating the Tiger terrorism reminds us how a Tiger was killed with an umbrella! One day a boastful young man undertook a journey through a jungle infested with Tigers claiming that he was capable of handling any situation, though he was armed with only an umbrella. After he entered the bush, sobering reality dawned on him. But, unable to bring himself to run back and lose face, he proceeded and suddenly a tiger materialised before him licking its chops, happy to see its dinner walk in. Out of his desperation, our hero aimed his umbrella at the man eater and pulled an imaginary trigger. Lo and behold, there was a deafening bang! And the animal lay in a pool of blood! "How come I managed to kill the beast?" our man was wondering, when he saw a, elderly hunter creep out of the thicket carrying a smoking gun and eyeing the carcass. Rathu Sahodarayas, too, trained their umbrellas on the Tigers and the killing was done by others!
Now that the JVP has manifestly failed to exploit the military victories to get votes, it is trying to conjure up the bogey of Indian expansionism to create a platform for the next election. It is making a song and dance about a 50-bed field hospital India has donated for the benefit of the IDPs of the Vanni in a bid to whip up anti-Indian feelings among people as it did in the late 1980s.
There is nothing called a free lunch. India's humanitarian assistance does not stem from pure altruism. The humanitarian situation here has a bearing on the South Indian politics as could be seen from the anti-Sri Lanka protests in Tamil Nadu. Even former chief minister Jayalalitha considered a bitter critic of the LTTE is now accusing India of not doing enough for the war displaced in Sri Lanka. She has also publicly subscribed to the creation of a separate state in Sri Lanka. So, the Central Government dependent on the backing of Tamil Nadu political parties for survival cannot remain noncommittal where the plight of the war displaced is concerned. The provision of tangible humanitarian assistance is the means by which India is trying to defuse the crisis situation in Tamil Nadu and silence its critics.
Today, India is not employing coercive methods such as the infamous lentil drop of 1987 in sending humanitarian aid here and therefore there is no reason why the much needed relief coming through proper channels should be rejected.
The National Freedom Front (NFF), an offshoot of the JVP, claims that there is the possibility of Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) operatives coming here with medical teams. The RAW, we believe, does not have to send any more personnel here. They are already here in their numbers. No such fears should be harboured unnecessarily as the hospital at issue will be located outside the theatre of military operations and run jointly by Sri Lanka and India.
If it is in order for Sri Lanka to benefit from Indian economic and military assistance, how come only her humanitarian help could be bad? Are the warring Rathu Sahodarayas of the view that Sri Lanka could have defeated the LTTE in all but name without India's blessings? The Central Government, they ought to realise, stands accused by the Tamil Nadu politicians including its ally, the DMK, of having provided military aid to Sri Lanka to crush the LTTE. Nay, it is being held responsible for the humanitarian situation here because of its backing for the war against the LTTE. Therefore, Sri Lanka ought to appreciate India's political compulsions and be flexible in helping the latter perform an extremely difficult balancing act.
We hope that the JVP's India bashing, which harks back to the reign of terror of the 1987-89 era, does not portend the outfit's departure from the mainstream politics again. Absit omen!