5. The Geo-politics of Imperialism and the Unitary State of Sri Lanka: Militarization and Structural Genocide of the Eelam Tamil Nation
Athithan Jayapalan [+]
University of Oslo (PhD candidate)
Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam [+]
Lawyer, Sri Lanka
This chapter will present a historical background of the nation of Eelam Tamils and their attachment from time immemorial to their traditional homeland in the north and east of the island known today as Sri Lanka. The peril of British colonialism oversaw the establishment in 1833 of the presently existent unitary state. From then onwards Eelam Tamils have been subjected to structural genocide levied against them by a matrix of comprador elites of the Sri Lankan state and their imperialists backers, be it global or regional hegemons. The multifaceted processes and series of actions taken against them, through the framework of the state, has aimed at dismantling the national characteristic of the Eelam Tamils and their intricate connection with their homeland. Political protests from Tamils commenced in the backdrop of state aided colonization in the Tamil homeland in the 1930s, revolving around the principles of recognition of Tamil national existence, their traditional homeland, and the right to self-determination in the form of a federal solution. Increased state terrorism and the opting for a military solution to deal with the Tamil national question, conditioned the armed and revolutionary phase of the Tamil national struggle, out of which rose the Eelam Tamils vanguard organization, the Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelam (LTTE). The course of the civil war crystalized the array of global and regional hegemons who opted to safeguard the comprador unitary state and neutralize the Tamil struggle, chief amongst which was the US/UK axis of powers. The condensing alliances of hegemons and their backing of the military solution to the LTTE and their struggle, concluded in the genocidal massacres at Mullivaikkal in May 2009. Since the annihilation of the Tamil struggle and de-facto state, structural genocide backed by world and regional hegemons and their corporate allies have been orchestrated in a hitherto unprecedented manner, whilst also aiming for the exploitation of the natural and human resources of Tamil Eelam. This chapter will present the conditions of structural genocide and military occupation whilst illuminating the forms of resistance formed by Eelam Tamils in their political struggle for justice, life, dignity, and sovereignty.