The World Socialist Web Site has received more letters in response to the March 9 statement "Oppose LTTE campaign of threats and violence against SEP supporters in Europe!" We urge our readers and supporters to send protest letters demanding the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) immediately cease its attempts to suppress political debate within the Tamil community and end all threats against Socialist Equality Party members and supporters. (Previous correspondence can be viewed here.)
To the British Tamils Forum:
I wish to add my condemnation of the threats and attempted violent intimidation recently directed at members of the Socialist Equality Party by pro-Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam organisations at demonstrations and meetings in Berlin, London, Paris and Stuttgart.
This attempt by LTTE stewards to stifle democratic discussion and debate is beyond contempt. I had the privilege over many years of sharing comradeship with leaders and members of the SEP and its predecessor, the RCL. Their courageous struggle to unite the Tamil, Sinhala and Muslim masses on the basis of an international socialist perspective and programme in face of virulent attacks by the Sri Lankan state and nationalist chauvinist groups has long been a burning inspiration to socialist-minded workers and youth everywhere. This includes those like myself who live in a country with long colonial and historical ties to Sri Lanka.
Only those who fear exposure of the bankrupt nature of their political programme act in this cowardly and thuggish way. The deepening economic crisis of the world capitalist system has intensified the ferocious rivalry between the imperialist powers for control over the human and material resources within the former colonial countries. They are also demanding that the corrupt national bourgeois regimes that seek to satisfy their own selfish greed by sharing in this exploitation must impose greater and greater attacks on the social conditions and democratic rights of the masses under their political control.
For decades the leadership of the LTTE has sought to utilise the crisis of both imperialism and the bourgeois nationalist regime for its own reactionary ends. By mobilising Tamils on a separatist programme, the LTTE hoped to pressurise the Sinhala-elite that dominates the political and military state apparatus into recognising a separate Tamil state in the north-east of the country. From there these petty bourgeois leaders could negotiate for themselves the best terms for allowing one or another imperialist power, or this or that capitalist conglomerate, a licence to exploit the Tamil workers and peasants—a form of ethnic sub-contracting for imperialism.
What has been the result of this deeply reactionary policy? Catastrophe: First and foremost for the Tamil workers and peasants themselves who have suffered hundreds of thousands dead, communities destroyed, as well as state and communal violence. But there is not one ethnic group or section of society that has not been fatally touched by this disaster.
Herein lies the nub of the issue. It is the continuing exposure and tattered and threadbare nature of its politically bankrupt perspective that drives members of pro-LTTE organisations such as Comite de coordination tamoul en France (CCT) and the British Tamils Forum to make these thuggish attacks.
The SEP, the Sri Lankan section of the International Committee of the Fourth International, offers the only progressive political solution for resolving the crisis. Through the unification and mobilisation of the Tamil, Sinhala and Muslim peasants, workers and youth for the overthrow of the reactionary Sinhala elite-dominated capitalist state and the establishment of a United Socialist States of Sri Lanka and Eelam.
I add my voice to all those demanding: Hands off the SEP! For the Defence of Democratic Rights! Full and Open Discussion and Debate within the Tamil Community!
Rotherham, South Yorkshire
To the British Tamils Forum and LTTE,
All members of the Society of Homoeopaths in Sri Lanka unanimously vehemently condemn the threats and violence against Socialist Equality Party members in Europe and elsewhere.
It is a well-known fact that the socialist party has a long history of defending the democratic rights Tamil minority in this country.
How can an organisation (the LTTE) that claims to be fighting for the denied democratic rights of Tamils by the Sri Lankan government, when it is denying the democratic rights of others. By this act the LTTE is strengthening the government and the imperialist forces in a covert form.
The Sri Lankan government is using the war situation it has initiated to deprive the democratic rights of everyone in this country. Even the democratic rights of the Homoeopaths to elect their council by secret ballot are in danger. The ministry is working to change the Act, with the support of a certain section of Homoeopaths, to have the members of the council appointed by the Minister, in order to use their influence in an independent body.
We demand that you cease all kinds of harassment and intimidation against the SEP.
Dr A. Jesudas, Dr A. Shantha Kumar
Joint Secretaries, Society of Homoeopaths, Sri Lanka
To the LTTE and its supporters
The attempt of supporters of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to prevent the political intervention of Socialist Equality Party (SEP) members in anti-war demonstrations in Europe and Canada must be condemned. LTTE supporters used violence and threats on February 4 in Paris, London and Berlin and on February 7 in Stuttgart. On March 16 similar acts were reported from Toronto in Canada.
The SEP provides a correct picture of the atrocities of the Sri Lankan government's war in the Wanni through the WSWS. The SEP has a long tradition of defending the democratic rights of Tamil people. Why are the LTTE supporters desperate to suppress the political activities of the SEP?
LTTE appeals to the "international community," or major powers, to oppose the war and support their separatist perspective. The major powers earlier backed the peace process that began in 2002. They demanded that the LTTE agree to a deal with the Colombo government. The LTTE showed its readiness. When the war began, the US, India and other powers started openly supporting the war.
The SEP appeals to Sinhala and Tamil workers to unite and seek the support of the international working class, including workers in the Indian sub-continent, against the war. The SEP's perspective is completely different from the LTTE perspective, and based on the struggle for socialism.
War has brought disaster to the Tamil masses in the north and east. President Mahinda Rajapakse's government has widened military occupation in the east after the war there. The same thing is destined to happen in the Wanni too. In Jaffna we are under the military occupation. We live here in Jaffna, which is like an open prison.
Many poor Sinhala youth who have been recruited to the army are getting killed on the war front. Working people in the south face attacks by the Rajapakse government on living conditions and democratic rights, using this war.
The SEP demands the withdrawal of troops from the north and east to end this occupation, in order to unite Sinhala workers with their Tamil brothers. This is the main thrust to defend Tamils from the Colombo government's military repression.
The SEP has pointed to the root cause of war. It is the discrimination against Tamils since the 1948 independence, in order to defend capitalist rule by dividing and weakening the working class along Sinhala and Tamil communal lines. The end of capitalist rule and bringing to power a workers and peasant government—a Sri Lanka-Eelam Socialist Republic, as part of the struggle for a Socialist South Asia—is the only way out for the Tamil and Sinhala working people.
I think the LTTE fears the SEP's exposure of its separatist and bankrupt perspective. I urge Tamil and Sinhala workers and youth to support the SEP perspective. The LTTE must stop attacking the democratic rights of the SEP to carry out its political activities.
V. K. Das
SEP member from Jaffna