The Monkey, The Organ Grinder and The Music Composer

Prof: Hudson McLean

Usually, I receive a bagful of email daily. Whilst some of these are bulk mailed, directed at the President of USA to a humble Sirisena Podibanda of Haputale, a few are personally directed at me. Many of these are of the hysterical variety.

Jump not from the Dunhinda Falls yet!

What most of the Sri Lankans, both Sinhala and particularly the Tamil peasant has not realised is that, after the 11th September 2001, the world order changed.

That is the main reason why, the Tamil Tigers and their leader buckled under combined pressure from the Norwegians and the Tamil Diaspora deposited and scattered in the West.

The Diaspora for one, did not want to be singled out as the financial supporters of a Proscribed Terrorist Organization. Many of them who are not nationals of these Western countries, should they continued their support, would be counting their days in the West. The citizens of such countries, specially the well to do doctors, accountants might have to change their comfortable accommodation to something less salubrious.

Another open question would be, what if by accident, one of the suicide bombers killed an American or a European. If you remember, when in the recent past, some LTTers boarded a Russian owned vessel, they were most apolegetic. Vladimir Putin and his Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov would certainly return the complement with due interest.

The LTTE leader who unilaterally declared the cease fire, did so at the point of a barrel from the Norwegians. One has to consider the real role of the Norwegians.

Norway does not sit inside the European Union. But Norway is a key player in NATO, headed by USA and UK. Until 11th September 2001, Erik Solheim played the king-pin. He enjoyed a plate of Dosai in Vanni, even used his fingers. He claimed he loves the hot spicey South Indian curries. He was playing to the Tamil gallery with the ultimate objective of possibly getting a nomination for a Nobel accord.

Things did change after the Twin Towers collapsed. The mighty America got up with a vengeance. It was directly from the Office of The President of the United States, the Norwegian Foreign Ministry received "instructions" to put an end to the LTTE debacle in Sri Lanka, on specific request from the Indian authorities. The Indians claimed that Pakistan was quite a handful and they prefer not to have any harrasment from the Southern flank.

This time, the "Music" was written by the American President, directed at the Norwegian "Organ Grinder", to order the LTTE "Monkey" to dance to the NATO tune. That's when the terrorist leader was forced to back down, with a tail between his legs.

The other option would have been one of the American Fleet moving closer to Trincomalee. And Solheim would not be needed in that exercise.

What the Sinhala observers have to understand is that, the LTTE leader has an obligation to his own publics. It is part of the "political game". He too has to play to his publics in the NW, a tune which they would accept and understand. He cannot say directly, "Sorry ole fruit! Our game is up. Let's go to our huts and let the Sinhala army come and run the show."

First he has to act inflated by acting the generous peace maker. Then he has to show the territorial lines he would offer to his people. Would the Government of Sri Lanka as the guardian of the sovereignty of the entire Island accept these maps? That is another question.

These are what one might address as "Negotiation Tactics". Ask for the skies and accept something that might drop, possibly by accident. Keep hoping.

But I accept that the Sinhala patriots must be vigilant. But Do Not Panick.

This is one of the objectives of the LTTE. Get the Sinhala to panick and throw the first stone. Do Not Fall into That Trap!

And the Prime Minister is playing a delicate game. Also close to his chest.

The dramatic entry of the Chief Negotiator Dr. Anton Balasingham by sea plane directly into the Tamil-LTTE held areas was televised on the BBC. What the BBC failed to explain was that, special permission was applied directly to Honourable John Amaratunge the Minister of Interior for an Entry Visa and landing. This was generously granted by the Minister, personally.

The Code of Conduct and Etiquette was observed by the LTTE high command, to the letter, proving that, "Who is in charge".

"Catholic priests were blessing the boundary lines", said one writer. Good for them. They too have a role to play. When someone invites a priest to bring his Holy Water and the little brush and request him to "Bless this Land, on which we tread", of course, the priest would oblige. It is a different matter if the Government has given the land. When the priest blesses an imaginary line, God tends to keep it that way.

But no one complained when Ranil bared his chest, (looking like a Tarzan without exercise) at a Hindu ceremony in Jaffna. Hats off to him!

Regarding the weapons that were smuggled in recently, those were purchased and paid for sometime back before the 11th September. They needed a safe house. This will be one of the final issues which Erik Solheim will be held responsible for. He has to deliver the weapons to the Sri Lankan Army in front of his Nordic colleagues.

If I were in LTTE shoes, I would have left the loot somewhere in Burma and sold it off to the highest bidder.

Let me forecast the End Game.

Solheim is now faced with a dilemma. He either goes in obscurity as a Failed & Fooled (by cunning LTTE Tamils) or may return to Norway as an achiever of peace. Once peace goes the next steps forward, each step is a retreating step for the Leader of LTTE. Really he has no part to play. There is an international warrant for his arrest. He cannot play any significant public or indeed any international role in the future.

VP did not win any war. He did not get his Eelam. the Island of Sri Lanka remains as one sovereign State as before. The offers made by the governments of Sri Lanka have not changed but now in force. The only sad part is that over 65,000 Sri Lankans are not able to enjoy peace. And VP left a legacy of a brutal scar in the hearts of the Tamils, generations to come.

Over the nest few months, a Press announcement will be made that, VP has suffered a minor heart attack and was flown by private ambulance plane to Norway for specialist treatment. Then a news black out.

After a few weeks, another announcement. No major repercussions but on medical instructions, VP is expected to rest for a while. Like John Wayne, in a good ole Western, VP (with his loot) will fade into the Norwegian sunset!

Credits-: Music written by George W. Bush. Orchestra directed by and at the Organ, Erik Solheim. Choreography by LTTE Team with Vellupillai Prabhakaran at the lead. Produced and Directed by United Nations Team with NATO in attendance.

Happy Easter to All!


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