The Third Deadly Event of the First Independence Day -Part II
It is by looking back that one can detect how coming events had cast their shadows across the political landscape.
In the previous article I showed how the two major events that were staged on the Galle Face end of the city on the first Independence Day – 1. the joint rally of the Marxists at Galle Face Green and 2. the official Independence Day celebrations at Temple Trees”, the residence of the first Prime Minister of Ceylon (as it was known then) — foreshadowed “the class war” that raged in the south. The Marxist leaders dominated southern politics with their doctrines of revolutionary politics which, among other things, legitimized political violence to achieve their ends.
They promised that the revolution that was coming round the corner would eliminate poverty and usher in the workers’ paradise. With this promise they launched wave after wave of strikes that took them nowhere. Neither the revolution nor the paradise they promised ever materialized. But they created the ideological environment for the rise of the next generation of lumpen Marxists, the fascist JVPers, who resorted to brutal violence in a futile bid to overthrow the ruling class and replace it with a regime of their own which would have been, if it materialized, another Pol Potist regime. The misguided, angry, frustrated youth, stagnating in pools of unemployment without any upward social mobility, went berserk armed with mainly ideological weapons of social destruction. Mercifully, their military adventures were short lived. The innate resilient forces that resisted anti-democratic forces, whether from the Right or the Left, saved the nation from the barbarism of the Sinhala Pol Potists in the JVP. The triumph of democracy, however flawed it may be, is the greatest achievement of the post-independent generations.
The Tamils of the North were not that fortunate. Jaffna Tamils have been the victims of their own oppressive authoritarian forces, starting from Sankili and ending in Prabhakaran. Jaffna leadership never provided breathing space for genuine democratic grassroots to rise as a dynamic force within the parameters of the peninsula. For instance, Prabhakaran’s fascist cult emerged from the vicious Vellala culture that oppressed, humiliated, and reduced the Tamils to sub-humans. The Tamil political failures were tragedies caused by their own leaders, who like the Marxists, endorsed violence to achieve their separatist goals.
The Batakotte (which became Vadukoddai) Resolution of May 14, 1976 encapsulated the distorted history, the glorification of a non-existent past, and the legitimizing of Tamil violence. The Old Guard, led by S. J. V.Chelvanayakam, who drafted the Resolution, urged the Tamil youth “to come forw@|