Midweek Review
Decapitating the nation with the Sama Diyaredde (Scenes from an unfolding tragi-comedy)

by Gunadasa Amarasekera
Decapitating the nation with the Samadiyaredde would be the best way I could give expression to what I see happening around me at the moment in the name of a peace process. To those of us who know our Sinhala no elucidation may be necessary to understand what is being conveyed by this expression. But for the benefit of those Sinhala thuppahiyas who do not know their own language let me offer some elucidation. ‘Diyaredden bella kapanawa’ is a pithy Sinhala saying to illustrate how one is decapitated or destroyed without his being aware of what is happening to him. He is taken completely unawares. It’s only much later that he realizes that he has been decapitated and that too with hardly any pain or trauma.

There is a belief among us Buddhists that we should face death with as much awareness as possible so that we may be born into happy surroundings in our next birth. Since I believe we are in such a situation at the moment it would be beneficial for us to face it with our faculties fully alert and not be under any illusions. It is this thought that prompted me to write out this scenario tracing the different stages-the acts and scenes involved in this tragi-comedy. I hope it would help those innocent souls who are forced to watch this drama in blissful ignorance to understand what is happening before their eyes. The final outcome of these peace talks is known to all three participants in this process. Ranil Wickramasinghe is fully aware of it. So are Prabahakaran, and Mr. John Westbourg of the international community. It is only the audience consisting of the Sinhala (m)asses who are not aware of it. There is a fundamental difference between these peace talks and those that have taken place before. All our leaders who took part in these talks were deceived and taken for a ride by the tiger. Premadasa succumbed to his tricks, so did Chandrika.But our present leader will not be in that position. He knows too well what is happening. The final outcome of these peace talks is to make the Sri Lankan State into a confederation. The main objective of the peace talks is to achieve it behind the backs of the Sinhalese keeping them in a state of blissful ignorance. The sama diyaredde would be used as an anaesthetic to decapitate the nation with a minimum of pain or trauma.

The present peace process was started by Ranil, Prabahkaran and the so-called international community. But now I find another participant, Chandrika Kumaratunge and the PA under her leadership. This was made clear by her at the inaugural election rally held in Anuradhapura where she admonished her party members to abstain from criticising this peace process or even bringing it into the election platform. This means that she too has become a willing collaborator in the decapitation of the nation. This should not come as a surprise to those of us who had observed her behaviour during the past seven years. It was because of some inexplicable fear that she displayed that the international community chose Ranil to carry out their agenda. In her coming into the picture at this moment what she is demonstrating is that she is there if Ranil fails to do the needful. We are now at the first stage, in Act 1 of this decapitation drama.We have signed the MoU with Prabhakaran for a permanent cease-fire. Many would have seen with what glee Prabhakaran made his first skin incision. There are any objectives that Prabhakaran achieves with this MoU.

I) Firstly the very signing of the MoU makes him a fully accredited partner enjoying the same legal status as the Sri Lankan State. Every clause in the MoU substantiates this conclusion. The JVP has right from the beginning pointed this out very clearly. Mr.SL Gunasekera in his succinct analysis has pointed this out in no unmistakable terms. As a matter of fact SL Gunasekera in his analysis points to the fact that with this MoU alone Prabhakaran has achieved everything he needs to achieve. The peace process is a fiat accompli. Reading through SL’s analysis one gets the feeling that the producers and actors of this tragi-comedy are not all that clever, but rather amateurish at their game. They seem to have in the very first Act revealed the grand finale which should have been kept to the last.

The crux of SL’s argument is to show that this entire exercise orchestrated by the Norwegians is ultra vires, vitiates the law of the land, bypasses the rights of our parliament and the powers of the President. It is an attempt to replace the law of the land by a code of international law that has no relevance to our situation.

2) The intention of this MoU is to allow Prabhakaran to maximize his military and political strength and establish his sway over the East and North within the shortest possible time. It is as a prelude to this that the elections of the North and the East were postponed at Prabahakaran’s request. Clause 1.8 in the MoU states that all paramilitary groups other than the LTTE will be disbanded within 30 days. This means LTTE would be the only military power in the area. Clause 1.3 states that Sri Lankan armed forces would continue to perform their legitimate task of safeguarding the sovereignty and integrity of Sri Lanka without engaging in offensive operations against the LTTE.I hope it is not the JVP that the government has in mind in formulating this clause. A JVP insurrection could well be construed as a challenge to the sovereignty and integrity of the Sri Lankan State!!This clause is obviously to allow the LTTE to bring in any amount of arms without being intercepted by our navy.

The amendment Ranil Wickramasinghe wants to bring in after having signed the document will in no way nullify it. It will be outside the law and a contradiction of 1.3. Whether such after thoughts work or not what is clearly revealed by the unloading of arms on five occasions during the last two months is that Prabhakaran may well have known of these conditions months ago. What would be the next stage, the next Act after the MoU? The next Act in the drama would be the deproscription of the LTTE. It might probably happen after about three months, and no one would oppose it by then. There had been no exploding of bombs, no killings and no violations of the conditions imposed. Obviously Prabhakaran has turned over a new leaf. So why not allow the deproscription? The NGO brigades will go round the country getting the Sinhala (m)asses to carry banners demanding the deproscription. This I believe is the most crucial step in the entire process- the turning point in the tragi-comedy. Once this is achieved there would be no turning back, and no force on earth will be able to stop the avalanche sweeping over.

This would be followed by the third Act in the drama- the creation of an Interim Council joining the North and East. Ample preconditions have been provided for the formation of such an Interim council by the MoU.Clause 2.3 in the MoU states explicitly that government forces will have to vacate school buildings etc. within five months. 2.4 states that all other public buildings should be returned to their intended use as drawn up by parties and published within one month.

What all these convoluted clauses mean is that the army must be withdrawn from the North and the East within six months allowing Prabhakaran to establish his military supremacy. If the above clauses are to help Prabhakaran to establish his military supremacy, clause 1.13 is for him to establish his political hegemony.90 days after signing the MoU tigers (unarmed) will be allowed into any part of the North or East and engage in political activity- spread the Eelam message. All this might probably take six months or more. Once the interim council has been firmly established there is the possibility of a referendum being held in the North East. Tamilchelvam has already told us that they may consider a referendum on Quebec lines and are prepared to accept the verdict of the people even if it is to their disadvantage. How clever of Ranil to have made such good democrats out of tiger terrorists in such a short time! As I see things will go on in this manner for over a year or so during which time Prabhakaran will see to it that we divert our resources and finances to rehabilitate the North and the East .The NGOs will convince us that this is the only way by which we can expiate for the sins we have committed. In the mean time there is the possibility that Prabhakaran may come over to worship at the Sri Maha Bodhi and even give a big donation to the Dalada Maligawa in compensation.

During this time the NGO groups will hold country wide peace celebrations and Dr. Ariyaratne will be going with bands of pilgrims to worship at Nagadeepa. Our Tamil brethren will come from the North and we would be going there and partake of kevum, kiribath and masala thosai. It is amidst this merry-making and jubilation that the fourth Act will open. And lo and behold what do we see on the stage? An angry disgruntled Prabhakaran complaining to the world that he has been cheated that things have gone awry, he has not achieved anything for his people and the only solution he sees is separation- forming his own Eelam. He will remind us that he has already got a mandate from his people to form a separate Eelam if their aspirations could not be achieved with less. This would be the cathartic moment. He will be confronted by Ranil the roaring Sinhala lion, Wickramasinha - ‘come here you murderer, I have treated you too well, you are not going to have your Eelam. the international community is not going to allow it, the sovereignty and the integrity of our country has to be preserved. I will order the army out of the barracks if you insist any more on your Eelam the lion will roar. This roaring of the Sinhala lion will soon be drowned by the sounds of the bomb blasts across the length and breath of the country. The panic-stricken Sinhala masses will be running amok, weeping wailing and pleading that they be saved from this holocaust. ‘Give anything and save us, give the entire islandif you need to do so but save us’.

The fifth Act will open with John Westbourg at the centre representing the international community with Ranil and Prabhakaran on either side. He will repeat what Ranil has said in a similar threatening manner and remind Prabhakaran that there is already an international army waiting there outside if Prabhakaran is not going to abide by what he has promised at the talks. With the opening of the 6th Act we will see a crestfallen dejected Prabhakaran with tears rolling down his cheeks agreeing to give up Eelam and opt for a confederation as an alternative." Say so, you can have your confederation, you can be the Prime Minister, but I will be the President of the two federal states’. As Ranil makes this proclamation Westbourg would be nodding his head in agreement.

In the final Act we will see a happy smiling Ranil reminding the audience that peace has been achieved preserving the sovereignty of the Sri Lankan State with a minimum of pain or trauma." And even that little pain and trauma could have been avoided if you Sinhala (m)asses had listened to me earlier and heeded my election promises" he will say with a wry grin. Prabhakaran will be seen departing to the North muttering the words of his God father ‘North is now and the rest later’. John Wesrtbourg would be seen getting ready to fly back to Oslo to recommend to the Noble peace committee that both Ranil and Prabhakaran be awarded the next year’s Noble Peace Prize,and it is likely that he may recommend Chandrika for a consolation prize for the yeomen backstage support she had rendered over the years.

Many years later when ethnologists were researching into causes that had led to the extinction of races by the21st century they came across a very strange case which they had not encountered before. A race called Sinhala confined to a tiny island had suffered extinction by being subjected to decapitation with a women’s bath cloth -a diaredde named PEACE.