The following article was written by a correspondent, a member of the Revolutionary Communist League of Sri Lanka, who recently traveled to Jaffna, the principal city of the Tamil-populated Northern province of Sri Lanka. It details the terrible massacres which were carried out in Jaffna and throughout the Tamil area by the Indian military forces sent into Sri Lanka under the reactionary Indo-Lanka Accord. The world capitalist press has been completely silent on these mass killings, one of the greatest crimes of recent decades, because imperialism is intent on portraying the Gandhi regime as the agent of “peace” in Sri Lanka.
The Revolutionary Communist League, the Sri Lankan section of the International Committee of the Fourth International, the world Trotskyist movement, is the only political tendency in the workers’ movement in Sri Lanka which opposed the Indo-Lanka Accord and warned that it would lead to direct Indian assault on the fighters of the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam), the principal nationalist group. The RCL condemned the illusions in the Indian government of Rajiv Gandhi, peddled by the LTTE leaders, as a betrayal of the Tamil struggle. The RCL is fighting for the mobilization of the working class, both Sinhalese and Tamil-speaking, in revolutionary struggle for the establishment of a United Socialist States of Sri Lanka and Tamil Eelam, as part of the struggle for the socialist revolution throughout the Indian subcontinent.
As its self-declared cease-fire drew to a close, the Indian government stated on November 21, 1987 that it had resumed its bloody military offensive against the Tamil nation and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the Northern and the Eastern provinces of Sri Lanka. The grossly misnamed “Indian Peace Keeping Force” (IPKF) finally took control of the shell-shocked city of Jaffna on November 24.
Meanwhile, it has turned its attention to the Eastern province, where it has kept up its record of massacres of civilians. One of the most horrible was the one at the Muslim village of Ottamawadi, where more than a hundred civilians were murdered in cold blood by IPKF soldiers in revenge for a successful ambush by the LTTE, claiming the lives of 18 Indian soldiers.
Though the LTTE has continued its struggle against the Indian invaders militarily, its policy towards the Indian bourgeois regime is one of compromise. This is a blind alley because it opposes all attempts to mobilize the Indian working class and the oppressed masses against the capitalist Gandhi regime, without whose overthrow no oppressed section in the subcontinental region can gain its freedom.
The role of the Stalinists, reformists and the revisionists in relation to the counterrevolutionary invasion of Eelam by the Gandhi regime’s troops has been one of treacherous connivance.
Particular mention must be made of arch-revisionist Michael Banda, former general secretary of the British Workers Revolutionary Party turned anti-Trotskyist. He played a major role in disarming the working class as to the true nature of the Indian regime as far back as 1971, when he glorified the counterrevolutionary intervention by the Indian Army to nip in the bud the liberation struggle of Bangladesh.
The following eyewitness accounts of the events in Jaffna in October and November, by those whose names we do not want to divulge for security reasons, offer a glimpse of what happened in the ravaged peninsula in those gory days. Limited as they may be, these accounts do present an indication of the suffering and struggle of the people of Jaffna and its environs.
The so-called cease-fire was declared after Mahendraraja, the deputy leader of the LTTE, and Sankar, an area leader, released 18 Indian soldiers held by the LTTE as prisoners of war on November 10, 1987.
Releasing the prisoners, Mahendraraja declared that the LTTE was willing to discuss the surrender of arms if the Indian forces returned to their positions of October 10, lifted the ban on the LTTE, repealed the Rs. 1,000,000 prize for the apprehension of their leader V. Prabakaran, issued a public declaration to the effect that he is pardoned and granted a public amnesty to the LTTE members.
On the same day, a statement by Prabakaran said the brutal treatment of the Tamils by the IPKF had shocked and dismayed the masses. IPKF shelling has caused a large number of civilian deaths; strafing by helicopters has caused havoc. The economic and social life of the masses has collapsed, subjecting them to untold hardship.
He pointed out that his organization had supported the implementation of the accord only with reservations, as it had signified a retreat incompatible with the aspirations of the Tamil people and concluded, “Therefore, it is unfair for a democratic country like India to force us to accept the accord in toto.”
Even as the LTTE leader was pleading with the Indians to be democratic, the Indian ruling class left no room for doubts as to its intentions. Its democracy was nothing other than the imposition of its interests at gunpoint.
In reply, Indian Foreign Minister Natwar Singh stated in parliament that there was no alternative to the LTTE accepting the accord in toto and laying down its arms.
The Indian bourgeoisie’s war against the Tamil people, launched after joint consultations involving the Indian foreign minister, chief of staff and the Sri Lankan president, started on October 9.
The first blow was struck at the editorial offices of the two newspapers, Eela Murasu and Mura Soli. The employees of both were arrested. Although the employees of the latter were released, those of Eela Murasu, which is the LTTE’s organ, were not. Their fate is not yet known.
Beginning October 10, a 24-hour curfew was imposed in Jaffna. Electricity was cut off. The next morning people found that guards were stationed at checkpoints. IPKF guards were going into houses and checking everyone for weapons. The curfew this time was for real; the guards were forcing people to stay at home. News that some curfew violators were shot at and a number killed indicated that the Indians meant business.
The illusion shared by many, fostered even by the LTTE, the major organization of the liberation struggle, that the Indians were in Jaffna to protect the Tamil people, died on that day.
One of those interviewed by us, a senior government employee, described the situation as follows:
From the very beginning, I was critical of the Indians coming into Jaffna. But some welcomed them. ‘The suffering is over,’ they said.
The people of Jaffna were told that they should leave their houses and go to camps at the school and temple premises. At the beginning, only a section of the population complied. It was simply not possible for people to go into the few places indicated. There were too many. They would keep on coming home during the day to cook their meals and go back to the camps at night.
On October 10, after the Indians had put up the checkpoints, fighting broke out in the town. The Tigers started attacking IPKF soldiers. The IPKF withdrew its patrols to the periphery, where it had its camps. They were also encamped in the heart of the town, inside the old Jaffna Fort.
By October 9, according to the Indian government, 22,000 troops were surrounding the city. The actual number would have exceeded this at least by one-half. Major battles took place at Chunnakam, Urumpirai, Kopay and the Indians were kept from coming in for 24 days.
The liberation fighters held up the advance of the three columns, making use of every advantage that their superior knowledge of the terrain offered them. There was house-to-house fighting.
In delaying the advance of the Indians and preventing a quick victory, the LTTE hoped that the Indian masses would find enough time to intervene and help them to work out a bargain with the Indian government.
But events proved that they had not calculated the treachery of the Stalinists and their reformist and revisionist cohorts in the workers’ movement and the role of the Tamil Nadu bourgeoisie in holding back the mass movement.
Above all, they had failed to grasp the counterrevolutionary intentions of the Indian bourgeoisie and be able to turn to the oppressed masses of the subcontinent for support.
Frustrated because “the might of India” could not march unresisted into this small provincial town, the IPKF forces perpetrated a gruesome massacre on October 13. One eyewitness related his experience:
On October 13, I saw with my own eyes the first massacre by the Indian troops. Twenty-six corpses lay strewn about in the Pirambady Lane in a pool of blood, machine-gunned and crushed by tanks. In a side street close to the Kokuvil railway station and the technical college, they had exterminated four families, every single member! Sixty-year-olds and infants included. Four university students, who had been boarding with them, had met with the same fate.
Another eyewitness, a resident of the Pirambady Lane, recounted the events that led to the massacre.
On the night of October 12, a squad of parachuters was dropped into the university campus close by, on information that Prabakaran was inside. Twenty-nine of them were immediately cut down by LTTE fire. Thirty-one had managed to escape into nearby houses, taking the residents hostage to prevent the LTTE from attacking them.
Later in the day, a column of armored cars arrived over the railway track to rescue the trapped soldiers. Troops alighting from these now advanced into the lane. They were being guided by an informer. When the LTTE snipers hit the informer, the troops forced two people of the area to guide them to the spot where Prabakaran was supposed to be hiding. These then denied all knowledge of Prabakaran and pointed to where the trapped soldiers were.
On reaching the spot, both of them were gunned down without warning by the soldiers who then turned on the hostages and anybody within reach. By now, all the rest of the residents of the land had run away to safety. They heard screams and gunfire, a hail of machine gunfire.
After the troops departed, the returning residents beheld the carnage. Immediately afterwards, all residents in the Pirambady area left for the refugee camp at Koduvil Hindu College. Soon the library of the Jaffna campus and other buildings in the area were bombed.
The Indian Army continued its atrocities against the residents of the Kokuvil area after it was occupied on October 23. When the IPKF reached the Kokuvil junction, they simply directed cannonfire at the threestoried school building with almost a thousand refugees inside. The building simply collapsed, bringing immediate, painful death to 26, mostly women and children, and seriously injuring 76. Many of these people died within a few days.
I was inside the premises when the building collapsed and shall never forget the terrible sight: the cannons blasting away, the bricks and cement falling, the building tottering a moment, with the hapless people crying out, their voices merging into deadly screams, and then finally the collapse.
Among the debris in the dark, we ransacked for the survivors. Bodies had been blasted into pieces by cannonfire. That night, the dead lay silent and the wounded moaned and screamed, while the rest stayed stunned and shivering without being able to offer any help. A number of them suffered nervous breakdowns. One of my friends, a senior government officer, kept on telling me, ‘Have all of us gone mad, or is it really happening?’
But what was most shocking and revealing about the real intentions of the counterrevolutionary Indian regime was the reply that the injured and bereaved got from the officer in charge of the IPKF at Kokuvil. When informed of this heart-rending atrocity by a delegation, he simply said, ‘Our forces mistook it to be an LTTE arms factory.’ Then he gave some kerosene and ordered that the dead be burnt immediately, lest worse follow.
The most seriously wounded were surreptitiously removed for medical treatment with the help of the LTTE cadre. A doctor from the IPKF arrived only five days later. He, being Tamil-speaking, managed to explain that the IPKF officers had prevented him from visiting the refugee camp on the excuse that there were LTTE men in the camp. Anyway, he recommended that five patients be sent to the hospital immediately.
There was no food at the camp. People had to survive on a thin rice gruel, three cups a day for five days before the IPKF delivered some bags of rice and dhal. This was hardly enough for one meal for the 1,750 families who had gathered there.
It is quite clear that the IPKF’s “peace keeping” was nothing other than the pacification of Jaffna in the style of any army of occupation. Its conscious aim was to punish the populace for their political support for the national liberation struggle and cow them with brute force.
The IPKF succeeded in getting a large number of the residents to go into the camps. The condition in every camp was similar to what was seen at the Kokuvil Hindu College. Neither toilets nor water facilities were provided. Thousands of people were forced to squat for long nights without any room to stretch themselves.
Sleeping was out of the question. At night, the only thing they could do was to doze off, only to be rudely awakened by a burst of shellfire, sometimes right in their midst. Not a minute passed without the fear of sudden death.
The figures given below of those killed by shellfire, though necessarily incomplete, provide a glimpse of the situation:
* Seven deaths at the Chundukuli Girls College refugee camp.
* One child and several grownups killed at the Osmania College refugee camp, Jaffna.
* Seven killed at the Inuvil Pillayar Kovil Temple grounds, one at the Hindu Ladies College and several at the Kondavil Amman Kovil
The Stalinists, CWC (Ceylon Workers Congress), LSSP, and all the revisionist groups had supported the Indian invasion, pretending in order to deceive the masses that the accord would secure some concessions to the Tamils. The Sri Lankan bourgeoisie invited the Indian Army into the island when it found that it was impossible to keep the working masses in check by itself.
The lie that the Indian bourgeoisie had some intention of getting relief for the Tamil people was the cover for this brutal intervention. The bourgeois TULF, and the petty-bourgeois organizations, such as the EPRLF, TELO, ENDLF and the EROS, all had put themselves at the disposal of the Indian bourgeoisie. The LTTE, the most consistent of the petty-bourgeois organizations, too had lent credibility to this vile lie.
As no newspapers are being allowed in Jaffna, news spreads slowly. Even by word of mouth, it does not spread fast, as little mutual contact among people is possible due to the military occupation.
Pirambady and Kokuvil are not the only massacres that took place. On October 22, 29 fishermen and refugees were massacred at Arali Lagoon, when they were trying to cross into Kayts Island for safety. When an IPKF helicopter started firing at the five boats that were crossing, the people put up white flags. They kept on shouting and even went to the extent of lifting up some children to show to the helicopter crew that they were civilians.
Without heeding all this, the helicopter went on shooting from 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM. A few managed to dive under a bridge and save their lives, but 29 were killed on the spot and many others died in the hospital.
On October 24, at Ponnali Bridge, Indian helicopters attacked with rocket mortars, killing four people including a child. On October 25, Indian helicopters and bombers attacked the Chavakachcheri market place, killing 40 people on the spot.
Massacres at the Jaffna Hospital of this nature are innumerable, in terms of the cruelty and sheer callousness. This is what happened at the Jaffna General Hospital on October 21.
A group of Black Cat commandos, an elite unit of Indian soldiers, broke into the hospital and started shooting wildly. Several patients were killed in their beds, and a number of employees also were killed. Then the commandos, recognizable from their black uniforms, herded all 64 people who were at the hospital to the X-ray room, threw two hand grenades and started spraying the room with bullets.
The whole group was mowed down. Three doctors, six nurses, a matron and more than 25 workers were killed on the spot. Only those who were covered by the dead bodies of others managed to escape.
One Sivagurunathan, a visitor to the hospital who lived to tell the tale, told the reporter of the Tholilalar Pathai, the following:
I was in Ward 8, where my wife was, when they came in shooting at random into the hospital from behind.
Some employees ran in the direction of the X-ray room, and I followed them there with my wife. I was one of the first to reach it and went in with the rest. Soon the others ran into the room and the room got filled and we were pressed against the wall.
Then, the attackers, driving a group of people before them, arrived in front of the room. They pushed everybody inside. They threw grenades inside and started shooting. People were screaming and falling on each other. Loud explosions shook the place, followed by the rattling sound of machine gunfire. I felt a stabbing pain in my foot and fell down. The others kept falling on me.
Then, everything was silent. I crawled near my wife who was lying a few feet away. When I raised her, she groaned and fell down. I managed to creep out and crawl to Nallur Kovil. I had gone to the hospital that day to see my wife.
When the IPKF attacked Urumpirai on October 10, she was injured. That day I lost all five of my children while trying to escape from the shellfire of the Peace Keeping Force. They were killed in a hail of fire along with six others when we were trying to cross the road. My eldest was 15 years old, a girl, and the youngest was a boy, 7 years of age.
After this, the Indians declared the hospital under their control. One doctor, who had not been present on the day of the massacre, came to the hospital the next day. Dr. Sivapadasunderam, the child specialist, went to the mortuary and was walking down a lane in a depressed mood when they shot him in cold blood.”
Hospitals and doctors have been special targets for the Indian invaders. It is part of their genocidal strategy of breaking the back of the Tamil nation. Hospitals at Tellipalai, Manipay, Inuvil and Moolai have been attacked and abandoned, some of their staff killed. There is only one hospital functioning and that, the Jaffna City Hospital, is under the direct control of the IPKF.
The health services have been deliberately broken up as part of the military strategy, obviously to deprive the liberation fighters of any medical assistance. The leading private doctors are underground hiding from the Indians, whose first concern is to look for the leading doctors, arrest and liquidate them.
The Indian operation is, in fact, a pacification program and not in any way a peace keeping mission. In this, they are bringing all the experience of the Asiatic despots who preceded the British in Delhi and all the cunning, perfidy, brutality and the technical perfection of capitalist imperialism together.
The educated were a special target of the IPKF. R. Chandrasekeram, the professor of education of the Jaffna University, a revered old man, was severely wounded by a shell which fell into his home.
His friend, a bank manager, set out with him to the hospital. He never reached it, for they both were shot by Indian soldiers on their way.
The logic of the Indian soldier is simple. If you are wounded, you must be LTTE, and therefore you have no right to survive. If you are educated, you are suspected.
The experience of a lady teacher from Jaffna working in Colombo is particularly illustrative. She had returned to Jaffna just before October 10 to see her mother, who was very sick. IPKF soldiers came into her house and demanded her identity.
When they were shown her degree certificate, they threatened to kill her, saying that she must be a Tiger. She managed to escape after a crowd had gathered in response to her wailing. When she returned to her Colombo school a week later, a teacher named Abu Youssuf of the same staff, a Stalinist leader in the Teachers’ Union, said to her, “I thought you got married to the IPKF.”
After the Indians seized the city from the control of the Tigers, they set up checkpoints every few yards. They entered houses by force to loot and rape. Families close to the camps sent the women away due to fear of these locusts. Eight girls raped in homes near the Uduvil camp, two sisters of Manipay, are cases personally known to our informants.
At Ariyalai, Thirunelvely, a gang rape took place. Seven girls were raped at Maniyam Thottam. In Jaffna city itself, reports tell of rape to death. One of our informants saw the corpse of a victim with her head severed in the Muslim Jumma Masjid road.
The worst takes place at checkpoints. A mother reported how her young daughter was stripped to the very underskirt, her body was felt all over by the IPKF soldiers. Cases of rape at checkpoints have been reported.
When the members of the Citizens Committee of Jaffna complained of this to the Jaffna area committee of the IPKF, they were told such searching cannot be avoided because women can conceal bombs in their brassieres.
When complained to about rape, they were told Indians are not savages and the stray soldier who does so should be punished, provided there is proof. One of the Sinhalese dailies carried the story of a mother whose daughter had been abducted. Every day, harrowing tales of the beastly behavior of the Indian soldiers keep on reaching us.
Once, when girls were abducted to the Uduvil camp, the people of the area went in a group and rescued them. People complain that the Indian “peace keepers” do not stop at looting valuables, but go for chickens and goats and are not loath to help themselves to items worn by the persons unfortunate enough to be accosted by them. On the high roads, nobody dares to wear a wrist watch in Jaffna these days.
At 3 PM on November 14, three Indian soldiers who came to a house in Manipay snatched away the Thalikkody (ceremonial necklace worn at marriages) from a woman resident. Entering the house, one soldier held a rifle at the male residents, stating that they were LTTE. The others started ransacking the house and one of them demanded the necklace and took it by force. The ornament was worth Rs. 25,000.
The residents of the house complained to the Indian authorities, who have not taken any steps to do anything about the matter. After this, many residents of that area left their homes and return to them only surreptitiously.
The curfew imposed on October 10 continued uninterrupted until November 10. In Jaffna itself, the 24-hour curfew lasted until October 25. In Annaikkottai, Sudumalai and Manipay, an unofficial curfew continues.
The official announcement by the Sri Lankan radio regarding the curfew is a sham. The announcements by the Indian radio too are changed at will by the area commanders. A population of over 5,000,000 has been under virtual house arrest for more than one month at a time.
In this situation, the bare necessities of life are unobtainable. Prices quadrupled overnight, e.g., a kilo of rice, which sold at Rs. 7.50 prior to the occupation, shot up to Rs. 30.00. The prices of other commodities were similar, if available. The poorest, especially those who had no savings, died of starvation and sickness. The majority who died were the very old and the very young.
Even after the IPKF forces claimed that they were in full control, on November 19 at Myleddy, 10 miles from Jaffna town, they shot dead 18 scavenging laborers. This happened after two hand grenades had been tossed at the IPKF in a nearby place. The soldiers simply dragged out the laborers and their families from their huts, stripped them naked and shot them.
The limitless brutal violence, starvation, murder and death due to lack of medicine, large-scale massacre, pestilence, wanton destruction of property, rape, and loot have been unleashed consciously to destroy all will to fight against national oppression and keep the Tamil nation subservient to the bloodthirsty capitalist classes of India and Sri Lanka.
The massacres continue even as we write. The latest was reported from the Eastern province, where in a place called Kumburumali, an IPKF unit shot 13 Tamil civilians dead on December 10. Another 18 were injured at this place. Major General Jameel Mohammed, put in charge of the Eastern Province after the massacre of Muslims had taken place previously, promised to act appropriately if a prima facie case was established against the soldiers.
Refugees, both Tamil and Muslim, are now streaming to Colombo from the North and the East and reports of wanton destruction are being published in some papers, with photos of victims. Some of the Sinhala bourgeois press and political parties are trying to utilize the plight of the betrayed Tamil nation for a campaign to return the Sri Lankan Army to Jaffna.
General Sunderji, chief of staff of the Indian Army, explicitly stated on December 9 the real intentions of the Indian bourgeoisie, when he declared, “No self-respecting country can accept the presence of an organization like the LTTE within its boundaries.”
While the “self-respecting” Colombo regime is inviting the Indian capitalist army to its Northern and Eastern provinces to massacre its citizens who are fighting for their historic right of national self-determination, Gandhi, who keeps saying that he will withdraw his troops the moment President Jayewardene requests him to do so, well knows that the Jayewardene regime would fall like a pack of cards the moment the Indian troops are withdrawn.
Did not Kautilya live long before Machiavelli? The Indian bourgeoisie carries within its briefcase all the perfidy of its Brahmanic progenitors to supplement the cunning of its imperialist masters. It is well aware that Jayewardene is its quisling now.
It is true that the LTTE did resist the brutal might of the much-vaunted fourth largest army in the world. Outgunned and outnumbered, it resisted the advance of the Indian Army into Jaffna for three weeks. It kept them from advancing from Kondavil to Palali for six days—a distance of only five miles.
It took 11 days for the Indian Army group in the Jaffna Fort, situated in the heart of Jaffna, to break the LTTE cordon around the fort, and to enter the Jaffna town. Even this could only be established by the Indian Army using heavy air support—both from Indian and Sri Lankan air force helicopters and bombers—together with constant shelling and firing from Indian and Sri Lankan naval vessels stationed in the waters around the Jaffna lagoon.
At Chulipuram, the LTTE ambushed an Indian Army unit of 23 armored vehicles, killing 5 of them and taking 18 prisoner. An ambush at Chankanai destroyed a number of tanks, killing 10 soldiers. One vehicle turned turtle, crushing one IPKF soldier. Tellippalai, Kondavil, Kokuvil, Manipay, Araly and Sandilipay witnessed major battles against the invaders.
At Kondavil, Santhosam, the LTTE leader of Trincomalee, laid down his life fighting. The number of Indian soldiers killed ranges between 500 to 600 and the number wounded are in the region of 2,000.
Nevertheless, the LTTE leaders are to a great extent responsible for having isolated the deep mass movement developing against the Indian invader. Thousands of ordinary people supplied food and other needs to the fighters. They provided information about the movement of Indian troops and logistical support, labored with them in building bunkers and other defenses.
How deep this mass movement was can be seen by the unstinting support given by the masses of Jaffna to the LTTE-led resistance against the invader. These selfsacrificing people displayed the will of this tiny oppressed nation and her determination to hold back the might of this army for one month, at the gates of Jaffna, thus instilling courage to the minds of millions fighting oppression all over the world.
There were a few who doubted the possibility of fighting the mighty Indian Army, but these were a mere handful. None except the political cronies of the Indian ruling class huddled in the political organizations of the TULF, PLOTE, TELO, EPRLF and EROS groups and the handful behind the treacherous labor leaders in the Stalinist, Samasamajist and Nava Samasamajist and other revisionist organizations supported the Indian offensive against Jaffna.
A. Amirthalingam, secretary of the despicable bootlicking TULF, made the following plea on behalf of the Indian bourgeoisie. “The Indian troops, who have come to defend the Tamil nation, should not be attacked.”
Padmanabha, the leader of the EPRLF and a pet poodle of the Indian ruling class, said speaking from his haven in Madras, “The Indian troops are engaged in a struggle against imperialism.”
The PLOTE leader held interviews in Colombo indicating his fond hope that the Indo-Lanka Accord would bring peace, and he engaged the treacherous “left” leaders in a discussion. EROS, playing a double game, declared, “Both sides should come back to negotiations.”
These people completely support the military offensive of the Indian capitalists against the Tamil nation and, therefore, endorse all the atrocities committed by the Indian marauders. They wait like carrion crows, jackals and vultures on the side lines, hoping that the Indian Army will finish the job, for them to swarm in for the spoils.
The Stalinists of both Sri Lanka and India have turned out to be the most enthusiastic supporters of this accord, even more than their bourgeois masters themselves. In order to defend the flank of their ruling classes from the working classes of both countries, they found it necessary to issue a joint statement—a “Second Indo-Lanka Accord.”
The counterrevolutionary pus that their Sinhala language daily Attha spouts every day of the week would be hard to beat, even in their own abominable ward. They keep gloating over every atrocity of the Indian forces, insisting that the LTTE must be wiped out. They slander the LTTE, falsely accusing it of being an imperialist agency, even as their leaders, Gorbachev and their master Gandhi, conduct publicized secret parleys with Ronald Reagan, the leader of world imperialism.
The Attha has not publicized a single massacre, loot or rape by the Indian Army in Jaffna. So low have they stooped that they justify, in perverted language, the attempts of the Indian soldiers to violate the modesty of the young Tamil girls, under the pretext of searching for explosives in their underwear.
The LSSP’s role has been no less contemptible. The NSSP, the Sri Lankan cohorts of the “Militant” group in Britain, is now attempting in vain to escape the responsibility for the massacres, after having supported the accord.
While these treacherous leaders of the working class did play a decisive role in isolating the working class from the national liberation struggle, the policies of the LTTE, as the leadership of the national liberation struggle, were decisive in bringing about the political isolation of the liberation struggle from the working class.
Their political reliance on the Delhi regime and the bourgeois political parties of Tamil Nadu, such as the DMK and the AIADMK, made them confine the struggle of the liberation movement purely to the national question of the Tamils and prevented the other oppressed sections, especially the Indian and Sri Lankan working classes, from joining hands to defeat reaction.
This was something they simply could not accomplish because of their subservience to the Indian bourgeoisie, which flowed directly from their petty-bourgeois class character.
The October 16 issue of the Kamkaru Mavatha, the organ of the Revolutionary Communist League, had the following to say on this question:
But national liberation cannot be achieved through a movement based on national exclusivism and aimed to win one’s own rights only. In our epoch, such a movement will find itself isolated among capitalist nations, whatever the strength of the mass movement it may generate. A liberation movement of a particular oppressed nation can go forward only as part and parcel of a movement fighting fully and unreservedly for democracy.
National exclusivism prevents the national liberation struggle of an oppressed nation from becoming part of such a movement. This is because, in the last analysis, national exclusivism is connected to the attempt made by the national bourgeoisie to exploit the workers and peasants in its own country. Herein lies the source from which flows the political impotence of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.
The RCL, the Sri Lankan section of the ICFI, and the Socialist Labour League, the Indian Trotskyist organization, alone gave correct political leadership to the national liberation struggle and defended it unconditionally.
We call upon all workers and youth to campaign for the defense of the LTTE and the Tamil nation from the brutal attacks of the Indian invader and join our organizations to build revolutionary leadership.
This will open the path for the overthrow of the Indian bourgeoisie and its Rajiv Gandhi government and the Sri Lankan bourgeoisie and the J.R. Jayewardene government and bring to power the proletarian dictatorship, which alone is capable of accomplishing democratic tasks, including the securing of the right to self-determination of the Tamil nation and advancing to a Union of Soviet Socialist Republics of the Indian subcontinent.