Mili-Brown Duo steps to tango of terror

If the politics of desperation made a much decorated Army Commander who led his troops to defeat the ruthless LTTE, to embrace a swan in a suicidal plunge into the world of politics he had little knowledge of, the same desperation seems to be driving the British Labour Party into an embrace with the so-called Tamil Diaspora in the UK.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his Foreign Secretary David Miliband – the Mili-Brown Duo of British politics - have made haste to invite members of the so-called Global Tamil Forum (GTF) to the House of Commons and also attend its meeting there, to play their now familiar act of Sri Lanka bashing.

It is known that the Mili-Brown Duo are desperate for votes as the Labour Government faces certain defeat in the General Election due in a few months time. So one can understand their frantic efforts in seeking to scrape the barrel of possible Labour voters, even if they come from the ranks of those who continue to support terrorism and a terrorist organization that remains banned in the UK and Europe, too. But their antics of despair – in which they can learn much from Laurel and Hardy in its comical aspects - are also tempered with the battle for supremacy within the Labour Party.

David Miliband is being much touted as the next possible leader of the Labour Party (Clement Atlee, Hugh Gaitskell and other famous and respected leaders and prominent members of Labour must be doing spin turns in their graves at the thought), so Gordon Brown, for all his denial of being a bully to his officials, must put on a show that he is a better bully than Miliband, when it comes to dealing with a former colony of the once Great Britain; which did not give in to their threats and warnings in an attempt to give a respite to the LTTE that was racing to doom on the beaches of Nanthikadal.

With the traditional block votes of Labour fast disappearing after the long and little achieved term of Tony Blair, where Gordon Brown dutifully, although with gritted teeth, found the money for all his excesses, including the much opposed invasion of Iraq; and now with Brown and Miliband bogged down in Afghanistan, while the British economy is still not showing signs of recovery despite of all the so-called socialist palliatives given by Gordon Brown and his Darling at the Exchequer; Labour is now trying to avert its certain defeat even with the several thousand pro-LTTE expatriate Sri Lankan Tamil voters eager to fuel new fires of hatred in Sri Lanka, by giving them the hope of pushing hard on the agenda of a separate state in Sri Lanka by a yet another, most unlikely, Labour Government. This means to hell with all the traditions of the Commonwealth, the important principle of not interfering in the internal affairs of another country and also not even bothering to understand the meaning of the repeated mandates received by the Government of Sri Lanka, both in provincial and Presidential elections.

It is obvious that for the present leaders of the Labour Party that is in a downward spin of historic proportions, there is no value in respect for principle and decency in local politics and international relations. What the Mili-Brown Duo is doing to Labour, which saw the beginning of the end of Empire, is not far removed with what the JVP and UNP together tried to do to Sri Lanka by their championing of the candidacy of Sarath Fonseka, at the last Presidential Election. At the lowest level it was the politics of cheap opportunism, in excelsis, it was the height of desperation to save their own parties from the ignominy of defeat. That is a story we expect to be replayed at the district and electorate levels at the coming general election.

The Mili-Brown Duo and others, even those from among the Conservatives such as William Hague, who are anxious to grab the votes of expatriate Tamils in the UK for their own parties, have an important lesson to learn from the recent Sri Lankan example. It is that hectoring and the use of abusive language does not bring about the required results in politics. The hoorays that Sarath Fonseka received when he used vulgar and threatening language to frighten his opponents did not turn out into votes, when the final count was taken, with or without the puerile belief in a "computer gilmaal" of Somawansa Amarasinghe. The "Poda Mahinda" antics of Ranil Wickremesinghe did not attract any more Tamil votes for Sarath Fonseka, than what he would have got if such foolish utterances were not made.

Gordon Brown, David Miliband and others of the Labour Party caught up in expenses and other scandals, may gain fool’s comfort in the cheers they may have received from the supporters of LTTE terrorism who they invited as guests to the House of Commons, and tried to provide the fuel to keep their dream of a separate State of Eelam alive, while hoping and praying that some of those votes would push them to the top in the first past-the-post elections in the UK. But, this is no guarantee that they would have caught the ear of the larger British, Scottish and Welsh voters to propel them to comfortable victory. That remains their problem, which the voters of the UK will ultimately resolve.

But, what is more important is that any expectation the Global Tamil Forum may be having that the presence and blessings of the Mili-Brown Duo at their meeting at the Commons would in any way sway the voters of Sri Lanka on April 8, is another pipe dream of the purveyors of terror, seeking to use the openings of democracy for their sinister ends. It may be better for the Global Tamil Forum to think of the actual problems faced by the Tamil people of Sri Lanka today, caused by what the LTTE has done to them through three decades of terror; and how their conditions can be genuinely eased, and aspirations gained, instead of hoping that some asinine comments by a Brown or Miliband or any such others abroad may help to change the course of events in Sri Lanka any more. The Mili-Brown Duo stepping to the tango of terror, will strike no rhythm among Tamils in Sri Lanka.

The days of colony are over. David Miliband should remember who told that to him so clearly in Sri Lanka, not so long ago. Not even the efforts of a so-called Global Tamil Forum can succeed in restoring colonial strategies in Sri Lanka again. May be the Global Tamil Forum should try its hand at helping this and the next UK Government to maintain their writ over the Falklands.

That may give the GTF some chance of making a better impact on public opinion in the UK.

Vango, aiyar! Raise the Union Jack high. You have no other flag left to carry. The Tiger standard is no more. Make "Long Live the Queen" your clarion call; and long dead will Eelam be.

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