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Rajini Thiranagama

Rajini Thiranagama was a doctor,an LTTE member and a human right activist. Her personal trajectory explains much of the Tamil independence movement and represents also a clear evidence of the derangement of such movement in the LTTE incarnation.

In the early years of the armed struggled, she was very much in tune with the aspiration of the Tigers; later on, she become increasingly critical of both the Tigers and the central government. Sge begun to collect evidence of human rights violation by the LTTE and the Indian Peace Keeping Forces (IPKF). She was one of the founder of the University Teacher for Human Rights, whose activity culminated in September 1989 with the publication of “The Broken Palmyra”, a book reporting the violence in Jaffna in the 1980s, committed by all parties involved: Sri Lankan government, LTTE and IPKF.

A week later, she was shot dead in front of her house in Jaffna.

courtesy University Teacher for Human Rights, Jaffna, Sri Lanka (uthr.org).

Her spirit is a guidance for everyone who’s committed to bring back Sri Lanka from the hell where has fallen. It is interesting that a person like Rajini in the first stage of the conflict, was aligned with the military struggle. To me it is a clear sign that the discrimination and the oppression of the Tamil community reached such a point that no other choice was available but to embark on a open warfare with the government. And with equal clarity, her condemnation of the LTTE and her subsequent assassination are the crystal evidence of the Tigers brutality. The LTTE stemmed from a natural sentiment of self-defence and justice, but very soon their ideal spiralled into a blind perpetuation of violence for the pure sake of it.

Students walk past a destroyed building in Jaffna [CC HumanityAshore]

The LTTE mutilated any attempt from the civil society to emerge as an expression of the Tamil community and the result was that no other path was available but to fight till victory or dying trying. The horrendous truth is that the leadership chose that direction intentionally: Prabhakaran eliminated such person from the political and intellectual landscape, precisely because they were representing a voice of conscience and a limit to his delirious warmongering.

The LTTE bears heavy responsibility for the way the IV Eelam War ended. Certainly the strategy on the field has been criminal; but much worst than the frantic decisions of a bunker situation, the two decades of terror imposed first of all on the Tamil people are the moral culprit of the tragic end of the conflict.

The responsibility of Sri Lankan government stands in full, despite this evil collaboration. That is why we must keep on, taking inspiration from people like Rajini Thiranagama towards a salvation of Sri Lanka. The German philosopher Heidegger said that: “where danger threatens, that which saves from it also grows”.

So I’m not surprise that in the moral devastation of the Sri Lankan war, you can find great spirit like her.

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Lalgarth, assembly of Adivasis women.

Almost unknown in India there are more than 80 millions of indigenous people, the Adivasis. These people are living in the continent before unmemorable time. You may say that they always lived there. Recently their situation has been publicized due to severe injustice against their rights. Prevarication and disempowerment have been the constant attitude of the central government towards the Adivasis, but the situation deteriorated for a simple reason: in the territory inhabited by Adivasis, huge deposits of mineral resources have been found. Mine companies keen to put their hands on that wealth have supported para-military groups in an effort to drive out of their homeland these millennial inhabitants of India.
The case of Adivasis has been analysed to describe a general trend in the Indian: basically the dynamics subsequent to the independence has been characterized by a reverse colonization: a powerful, dominant Indian elite has been handed down the previous British dominion. The outcome is that an anglophone, foreign ruler has been substituted with an Hindi (but also anglophone), local ruler. Even worst: the European master was obliged to follow principle of civilization such as a generalized empowerment of human rights and citizenship. The impossibility to fairly and correctly grant this empowerment was the driving force the self-collapse of the British dominion. In fact it has lost a moral authority to rule other people, primarily under its own matrix of judgement. The new, local masters on the contrary didn’t feel the need to respect any principle. This is why such a vast portion of Indian society lives in extreme poverty and a complete disempowered state.
The new masters had the authority to rule only granted by their local ethnicity, in front of the British and by their strength to crush any other rival, in front of their people.
Therefore you can see that in the union process many actual battle have been fought against small rulers who didn’t recognize the new master. The unification of modern India passed through, also, sheer military conquest.
The centrifugal forces are always running underground because of this purely violent force of cohesion. The separation from Pakistan has been a miracle of pacific transition only because of the unique personality of Mahatama Gandhi: otherwise it could have been a bloodbath of inhumane proportion. The persistent tensions in all the are, from Bagladesh to Sri Lanka, from Kashmir to Maldives, from Nepal to Myanmar are the resultant of this despotic rule.
Politics in India is governed by local chieftains who administered the empire of the central rulers, as representative of the strength, not the law.
The new Hindi ruler are of course incarnated in the first place by the Gandhi family, though not exclusively. And they are paradigmatic for two reason: in the first place, because with peace to democracy, the central power in India is handed down dinastically. Second, because this supreme power is far from being uncontested: the tragic history of the family is the mirror of the centrifugal forces in the kingdom ruled by the family itself.