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     Democracy and Terrorism - or Terrorism of Democracy?

    Latest News Written by Sabesan - Melbourne, Australia Wednesday, 22 February 2006 The article link with Sri Lankan TerrorismThe Hamas organisation which won in the Jan. 25th general election assumed power last Saturday(18.02.06) in the Palestine parliament. Hamas, declared as a terrorist organisation by America, Israel and the European countries, has been elected to power through democratic means by the Palestinians, causing great shock in the West. The international media too has reported this indeed is a shocking matter. A truth emerges from this: The countries of the world concerned and the international media had not...

    been hitherto aware of the real situation in Palestine until now. This is revealed by the 'shock' that they had experienced or had to stomach. Today it has been proved that the ground reality is that, those organisations stamped as 'terrorists' by these countries, are recognised by the people as their representatives in the countries of these organisations. We wish to discuss certain important matters on the basis of this ground reality.Who are these called Hamas?Hamas is a vast organisation among the many Palestinian liberation organisations which rose up against the Israel invasion on Palestinian. Begun in 1987, one of its main aims, to fight against Israel's invasion, takes primary place. It is believed that Hamas was indirectly supported by Israel in those times as a counter force to Palestine's leader Yaseer Arafat's Palestinian Liberation Organisation. Israel, which could not accept the PLO which was relatively mild, now has to face Hamas, described as an extremist organisation. Had Israel negotiated with the PLO in the right manner this situation would not have risen.Hamas felt that any peace talk with Israel was but and act of surrender to Israel. Hamas continues to launch suicide attacks as the ultimate of its attacks. Besides, Hamas did not accept the peace pact between PLO and Israel. Time proves that reasons for Hamas hard-line attitude are justified. Israel did never implement the accepted stipulations of the peace accord. Normalcy of life, greatly hoped for by the Palestinians was denied to them. Unable to enjoy peace and independence, without employment opportunities, without facilities for education they were forced beyond the limits of their patience. Meanwhile, the administration of the Palestinian Alfata organisation's Palestinian, was totally corrupt. The people of Palestine were unable to enjoy any benefits and they lost faith in the Alfata organisation.But Hamas, while engaged in a violent struggle, launched several public welfare projects and are administrating them very efficiently. It runs an administration free of corruption. Its activities involve in looking after the basic needs of the people in Gaza strip, with the co-operation of the people, have won the praise of the Palestinians.Beyond all these, the Palestinians would have realised an important matter: Alfata does not conduct talks with Israel on the basis of strength but on the basis of weakness. There is nothing wrong in their expectations that an organisation conducting talks to win their rights should posses political and military strength.Therefore the Palestinian people, through democratic means, have delivered a judgement which shocked the Western countries and their media while it is not a matter of surprise for them who keenly observe the history of liberation struggles.Their judgement declares that their democratic representatives too are of the Hamas organisation.The leaders of the Western countries and America, declaring themselves the guardians of the high values of democracy, and stipulating conditions to Hamas without accepting the sovereign mandate of the Palestine people are but ridiculing and insulting the democratic rights of their own citizens. These leaders, refusing to accept the democratic decision of another country basically slight their own citizens' democratic decisions and values. This is a challenge to universal democracy.This could be further elaborated thus:Those stamped as terrorists by the Western world have now justified their struggle through democratic means. But the Western world countries, which proudly proclaim themselves as true democrats, are opposed to this democratic decision and this is more dangerous than the terrorism they speak of.While something that is accused as terrorism is showing its democratic face, democracy is showing its terrorist face.Then, what is terrorism? Is there a clear definition for terrorism? Are not the justified political struggles conducted along the lines of morality being branded as terrorism because of the absence of a definition to terrorism?What was said above is not about Hamas but about the Liberation struggle for Tamil Eelam! To be honest, we are not the source of this statement. It is our National Leader, Honourable Vellupillai Pirabhakaran, who is the author of this clear concept.Many views expressed by the Tamil National leader, Honourable Vellupillai Pirabhakaran in his last martyrs' day speech in 2005, are becoming the realities of today. Having clarified many matters, he had also posed the question about the term 'terrorism'.It is appropriate to observe the views of the Leader again in the context of present times.
    'The international community is fully aware of the fact that we are running an efficient, self-governing administrative structure in the majority areas of the Tamil homeland, which were liberated from Sinhala military occupation by our organisation. Our administrative structure is formidable, consisting of our controlled territories with huge civilian populations, protected by a powerful military force. We have a police force and a judicial system to maintain law and order. We have also developed a complex administrative infra-structure of a shadow government. Though a large number of Tamils are still living in the military occupied Tamil region, their allegiance is with our liberation movement. The Sinhalese ruling class refuses to accept this ground reality, this political truth and attempts to belittle our liberation organisation as a 'terrorist group'. We are disappointed and sad to note that some international governments, having been influenced by this false propaganda, continue to retain our organisation on their terrorist list. Biased positions taken by powerful nations acting as guardians of the peace process, in excluding and alienating our liberation organisation as a 'terrorist outfit' and supporting the interests of the Sri Lankan state, severely affected the balance of power relations between the parties in conflict at the peace negotiations. This pro-state bias constrained our liberty to choose our own political status. This partiality finally became one of the causes for the collapse of the peace talks.There is no clear, coherent, globally acceptable definition of the concept of terrorism.
    As such, just and reasonable political struggles fought for righteous causes are also branded as terrorism. Even authentic liberation movements struggling against racist oppression are denounced as terrorist outfits. In the current global campaign against terror, state terrorism always finds its escape route and those who fight against state terror are condemned as terrorists. Our liberation organisation is also facing a similar plight.The world is well aware of the problems created by the Sinhala state and its obstacles and duplicity against the peace process facilitated by Norway which dragged on for the last four years. The international community knows that we have not closed the doors for peace losing patience even in the face of so many oppressions and incitements. We have proved beyond suspicion our will for peace during the four year peace process.' The National Leader of Tamil Eelam said in his 2005 November martyrs' day speech.Dear readers!The aim of this article is not to compare the Tamil Eelam liberation struggle with the Palestinian liberation struggle. On the contrary, we wished to discuss the discrepancy and the lack of clarity the concerned world countries have about the concepts and terminology of democracy and terrorism. We cited our Leader's martyrs' day speech as an example to strengthen our view. The events that take place after the victory of Hamas prove our National Leader's views are absolutely right.The western countries, which compels Hamas to accept the existence of Israel, should first accept the fact that, Israel as a country is established within the Palestinian homeland. Only then should they comment on Hamas.We wish to point out some more matters here. Hamas has not won the election or the war by acts of giving in. On the contrary it has earned its victories on the basis of strength and struggle. Whether anyone likes it or not, Israel is forced to reconsider its invasion of Palestine only because of the resistance and struggle against the invasion by the Hamas organisation. The world countries too have realised this truth and the Western world cannot continue to dispute this!This matter could be viewed from another angle: We should imagine the reaction of the world countries had Hamas badly lost in this election; they would have cried to the heavens that democracy had won.It should also be pointed that these Western powers which speak so much of democracy, do maintain very friendly and cordial relationships with countries ruled by kings and not by democracy. There are no elections held in these countries; yet the western powers maintain friendly relationships with them. But there had been elections in Palestine where its people have delivered their judgement in a democratic manner; but the Western world refuses to establish relationship with Palestine.What glaring contradictions!The western world can no longer function like a bundle of contradictions. These countries preaching sermons on democratic traditions and values should themselves practice what they preach. If not, the very people of these countries will find it difficult to digest the trends of their leaders. Hamas stands as a clear example to the fact that unnecessary pressures will not prove useful if they go beyond a certain level.This article is a translation of the analysis broadcast on Melbourne's 3CR Tamil Voice. The full Tamil version is published in The article is written by sabesan and translated by Vannijan.

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