19 June 2011
65 percent of the participants in an opinion poll conducted in Tamil Nadu this month by Centre for Public Studies of the Loyola College in Chennai said that an independent Tamil Eelam is the appropriate permanent solution for the question of Tamils in the island of Sri Lanka. 70 percent of them said that the Government of India should declare Mr. Rajapaksa as war criminal
in the coming sessions of the parliament. According to 74 percent of the participants, all political parties of Tamil Nadu should jointly lead a struggle on the question of Tamils in the island, after giving an ultimatum to the Centre. An overwhelming 81 percent welcomed the resolution on Sri Lanka in the Tamil Nadu State Assembly. The opinion coming from the effective civil society initiative challenges obsolete views of the intelligence-operated analysis groups in Chennai, political observers in Tamil Nadu said.
Among the 81.5 percent that welcomed the TN Assembly resolution, 58.8 percent said that it was a historic decision, while 22.7 percent felt that it would have been better if ‘genocide’ had been spelt out more clearly and Rajapaksa had been specifically named as a war criminal.
Economic sanctions against Colombo found the support of 42.3.
Only 17. 2 and 14.4 percentages had faith in equal rights through talks and autonomy through constitutional reforms, respectively, while 64.9 percent of the participants favoured Tamil Eelam as the permanent solution to the question of Eezham Tamils.
On the question of Kachchatheevu, 62 percent welcomed the resolution in the Tamil Nadu Assembly on officially linking the state in a case pending in the Supreme Court of India, challenging the ceding of the islet to Sri Lanka by India. 46 percent of the participants wanted India to retrieve the islet, while 25 percent favoured talks with fishermen of Ilangkai, 21 percent wanted Indian naval patrolling to be strengthened and only 2.5 percent were of the opinion that there should be alternative livelihood arrangements for the fishermen.
The opinion poll was conducted between June 11and 15, among 3132 participants from all districts of Tamil Nadu, covering people of different age groups, literacy levels, professions, castes and religions.
Professor S. Rajanayagam of the prestigious Loyola College, an autonomous institution of the University of Madras, directly guided the conduct of the poll that followed a social-psychological approach incorporating quantitative and qualitative methods.
In an earlier opinion poll conducted by the Centre for Public Studies of the Loyola College in November 2010, the results predicted the defeat of the DMK and the victory of the AIADMK. The opinion poll said that the DMK would get only 55 seats. At that time, intelligence operatives suppressed the release of this opinion poll result.
Meanwhile, B. Raman, a former Indian intelligence bigwig now associated with analysis outfits operating in Chennai, writing to South Asia Analysis Group on Friday, argued against indicting Rajapaksa for war crimes or crimes against humanity.
“While there were obviously serious violations, evidence available till now do not bear out the stand of those who accuse the Rajapaksa Government of violations amounting to crimes against humanity or war crimes,” he said responding to Channel 4 documentary Tuesday.
“The Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora which has been active in demanding an international enquiry has stepped up its pressure on Governments and non-Governmental personalities, including reputed journalists of India and other countries, to take cognisance of the forensic evidence collected by the documentary and support the demand for an international enquiry,” Raman wrote.
“Unfortunately, human rights violations are rarely avoided in counter-insurgency situations however much the Security Forces try to do so. Terrorist and insurgent organisations train themselves well in creating situations where human rights violations do occur in order to seek the intervention of the international community,” he defended Rajapaksa.
Raman couldn’t conceal the fear in the circles that supported the genocidal war, whether the outcome was going to lead to their international exposure, critiques commented.
Raman’s advice to Government of India on Channel 4 revelations was neither indictment of Sri Lanka nor political justice to Eezham Tamils as a nation. In a typical ‘counterinsurgency’ style he advised personal appeasement of the remaining victims and protection of the Rajapaksa regime.
“The objective should be to ensure that justice is done to the relatives of the victims and that the honour of the victims is respected even if it be posthumously. It should not be to use the documentary as a stick to beat the SL Government with,” was his advice.
The fact that around 146, 000 Eezham Tamils have gone unaccounted in the Vanni war alone may be not be that big an issue for those who think of advising an establishment on how to encounter over a billion people. But it is time that the world for the sake of its civilisation has to take a serious note of the few who hijack establishments to become anti-people, commented a civil society activist in Tamil Nadu.