Goodbye extremism?

It is reported that the British Tamils have overwhelmingly endorsed the principle of Eelam at a mock poll in Britain over the weekend. Over 99 per cent of 64,000 persons who took part in the poll, we are told, voted for a separate state in Sri Lanka.

Why those LTTE sympathisers had to go so far as to conduct a vacuous poll is baffling. For, they had already made their position known on Eelam during the final stage of the Vanni offensive by wreaking havoc in London and other western capitals in an abortive bid to save Prabhakaran and his fellow murderers.

As for separatism, what really matters is not the opinion of the Eelam lobby living in clover overseas but how the people of Sri Lanka's North and East have voted at last week's presidential election. Ironically, over 99 per cent of them have voted for Gen. Sarath Fonseka, the former army commander who claims the full credit for having killed Prabhakaran and decimated the LTTE's military wing, and President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Commander-in-Chief, who prosecuted the war on terror. Even the Tamil National Alliance, which had recognised the LTTE as the sole representative of Tamils, threw in their lot with Fonseka and in the process accepted him as their sole representative! A paradigm shift, eh? (Prabhakaran must be spinning in his grave.) Thus, the first national election held after the conclusion of the war has destroyed the very foundation of Eelam on home soil whatever the LTTE rump may say overseas.

The people have also defeated southern extremism. They trounced the JVP's chosen one, Fonseka and the whole caboodle of forces that backed him in the presidential race. Today, the JVP has been reduced to a political IDP in the South, looking for straws to clutch at to avoid being bogged down in a mire of its own making.

The JVP's predilection for clinging on to things that dangle is only too well known. In 1970, the JVP clutched at Sirimavo's sari pota and one year later took up arms against her only to be decimated; in 1978, it clasped JRJ's sarong pota and a few years later resorted to terrorism to overthrow him; in the late 1980s, it honeymooned with Premadasa clasping as they did his sarong pota, let go of it shortly afterwards and trained its guns on him to meet its Waterloo in 1989; in 1994, it clung on to Chandrika's sari pota, made a comeback and, true to form, ditched her in 2005; then it caught Mahinda's saataka and turned its back on him, and in 2009 it got hold of former army chief Fonseka's boot laces in a bid to defeat Mahinda, but found itself hoist with its own petard!

At present Rathu Sahodarayas are apparently trying to get hold of the tail of the ‘Elephant’ by entering into a grand alliance led by theUNP under the Swan symbol. But, UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe is too smart to fall for the JVP's wiles as he is aware that it is only trying to shore up its dwindling political fortunes and avoid disaster at the next general election where its parliamentary strength will be reduced to a few seats as opposed to the 39 slots it secured in 2004 thanks to an electoral piggyback ride courtesy of the UPFA. Ranil is reported to have said this time around the UNP would not compromise its Elephant symbol and its colour, Green.

To be or not to be is the JVP's question. It cannot afford to go it alone at the parliamentary polls and the UNP and its allies do not want to touch it with a barge pole. Left in the lurch following last week’s electoral disaster, it is carrying the can. Rathu Sahodarayas are desperately trying to keep themselves afloat in a political whirlpool by clinging on to the straw of a computer gilmaat (a computer fraud in the JVP parlance). Whom are they trying to fool? They cannot fool all the people all the time.

As one of our readers suggests in a letter on the opinion page today, the JVP et al ought to learn from Samantha, a youth from Balangoda, who offered to tonsure himself if his favourite candidate Fonseka lost in the presidential contest and graciously kept his word after his defeat. Yesterday, we carried a picture of Samantha on page one. He could have refused to shave his head by citing the so-called computer gilmaat as an excuse but he has, like a man, proved that he is not a shameless coward.

It is hoped that when the bankrupt southern extremists are relegated to the political dustbin at the next general election, they will not revert to galkatas politics and make the country run red with the youthful blood of honest and courageous rural lads like Samantha once again.

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