A general amnesty for Tamil political prison
|A general amnesty for Tamil political prisoners
Many who defend democracy are appalled by the unfair and unjust 20-year jail sentence which a Colombo high court judge passed on journalist J.S. Tissainayagam on charges of supporting terrorism and inciting racial hatred in his articles. By this decision anybody who speaks for Tamil liberation could be jailed for supporting terrorism. Of course no democrat supports terror action against innocent people, especially against women and children. Also, military attacks on other liberation fighters merely because they disagree on some political issue, should be condemned severely. But armed resistance against national oppression is just and fair. Even the UN, the bourgeois “world parliament” has accepted this principle. In Lanka not only Keppetipola and Puranappu are considered as men who fought for Sinhala liberation, even Sardiel who shot the first policeman while in service in Lanka, is considered to be a hero of the Sinhala people. All of them were considered by the then courts, as criminals and, severe punishment was meted out to them. But, today those court decisions are considered as reactionary if not downright stupid. In other words, such decisions are not sanctioned by any form of natural justice but merely made on some conditional political basis. Clearly this judgment too falls in to that category. Thissa is also convicted for inciting racial hatred. It implies that any defence of Tamil right to self determination is an attempt to incite racial violence, and hence falls into the category of inciting racial hatred. So, the oppressed nation has no right to claim that it aspires for separation and independent existence. On the other hand, all chauvinist campaigns of Sinhala chauvinists that claim that Lanka belongs only to the Sinhala nation are protected by law. Even intimidation and discrimination conducted in the name of a unitary Sinhala state are just and fair.
In the end, it is the victor who decides on the nature of the outcome. Generally, one who wins is correct and the other side is wrong, and will be considered hoodlums. This is official history. Fortunately, official history is negated by a few who have made unbelievable sacrifices, even sacrificing their lives, to correct this notion. Jesus, along with the bandit and terrorist who died on a Roman cross, is today believed by many to be the son of God. Peter, the first disciple and others, disregarded the power of the roman empire and the reactionary Jewish establishment, to convince mankind that Jesus who was killed as a criminal, actually fought for equality of man. Obviously as a Marxist I reject both the Christian belief as well as Tamil nationalism. But, just as much as I respect Jesus for giving us eternal inspiration to fight for what one sees as just, I respect the efforts of Tissainayagam; for what he did to obtain freedom and liberty to his people.