More than two hours of open talk with Sri Lankan Tamil writer Kuna Kaviyalagan reveals many things about the alleged genocide in the island nation Sri Lanka. Although in his earlier age he fought for the cause of separate Eelam (Home land of Tamizhs), he now openly criticizes the mistakes committed by Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
Kuna Kaviayalagan is a former Journalist and writer who penned three important novels in Tamil including 'Nanjunda Kadu', 'Vidameriya Kanavu', and 'Appal Oru Nilam'. In his novel, he openly attacked LTTE and he himself is of the opinion that the failure of diplomacy is one of the major reasons for the eradication of LTTE in the war.
Now he lives in Netherland as a refugee. Last week, he came to India to attend a literature meeting in Chennai. When contacted for an interview for the vikatan.com, he agreed to speak out on the precondition that he would be happy to discuss literature alone 'beyond the time' and not politics. I accepted this offer as I believed that he could not stop him from speaking politics.
When we entered his house, he was reading 'Mounathin Satchiyangal' written by Samsudeen Hera. The place where I met him was worst affected during Chennai rains, and it showed no signs of that disaster now, but, he stands as a testimony to the decades of turbulent history of Sri Lanka.
I am not familiar with Tamil Eelam literature. So I start my interview with a flat question. What induced you to become a writer...?
(Mildly he laughs). First of all, I was not familiar with Tamil literature. After the Vanni war, I was researching about the geopolitics and written a political article about the policy of America on Asia. My first novel 'Nanjunda Kada' (Forest that consumed poison) was an extension of that political article. Apart from that, I am carrying the marks and pains of geonocide. Naturally writing novels become a self healing magic for the aggrieved soul.
You have criticized LTTE in your first novel Nanjunda Kada... Am I Right...?
Of course. When I decided to write novel, I was particular that my work should be an uncompromising one. So I boldly criticised the mistakes done by LTTE also.
Did u ever think that the war could have been avoided...?
Understand one thing first. We (Tamils) were not the reason for the war. Our homeland was torn badly due to the geopolitical game of world nations. China wanted this war to ensure its hegemony in the Asia and they supported the Singhalese government. Organically, America and India should have stood with Tamil People side. But unfortunately, they too supported the Lankan government. India was deeply worried about China becoming a close friend of Lanka. India wanted to neutralize growing influence of China in Sri Lanka. So, they supported Lanka. America wanted to ensure cordial relations with its partner India in Asia l. So, they supported India's policy of helping Sri Lanka. America wanted that LTTE only to be defeated in the war. But, India wanted that LTTE to be destroyed.
You are saying this as geopolitics. But the Tamil nationalists here claim that the racial enmity of India is the reason for supporting Sinhalese in the war...?
No. Geopolitics is one and only reason for it.
So can we call it as diplomatic failure of LTTE?
It is not only the diplomacy failure of LTTE. Mullivaikal, is the failure of all civilised societies. You call this as 'war crime' but I would argue that this war itself is a crime. LTTE had signed in the peace treaty at that time. Breaking the treaty, who imposed the war on them...? By imposing the war against the militant group who accepted peace and agreed for truce, the world nations had set a bad example. Due to this, I fear that here after no militant movements believe in the peace treaties.
Do you think, If the central government was not headed by Congress, such extermination of LTTE would have not happened?
No. It is India's stance.
So many times LTTE extended his hands towards Indian government, but India refused to believe LTTE. What do you think about it?
LTTE had done some mistakes in early stages. They were politically unmatured on that time. But later they realised that mistake and believed without India there is no solution in Sri Lanka. But unfortunately, India assumed that LTTE's free Tamil Eelam demand as Great Nation or Broad Nation demand (Including Tamil Nadu). So only they have not supported the demand as well as LTTE who fought for the demand. But still we believe that there is no solution without India.
Once India put forward a solution due to the efforts of former Tamil Nadu Chief minister MGR. Connecting North - East (home land of Tamils in Island Nation) as a single province and making Prabhakaran as Chief minister for that province. But LTTE refused to come to the table, do u think had they accepted it, this much destruction could have been averted?
Yes. It's true. This is the diplomatic failure of LTTE. If they had accepted it, we could have moved our struggle to next step. Unfortunately, LTTE paid their total attention in war and its victory. They fared poorly in political moves. If they paid their attention on both the fronts, as you told, this much destruction might have been averted.
What will be the solution for Lankan Tamils at this time?
Connecting Tamil Home land, North and West, making it as a Tamil province and decentralising the power, especially, Police and Revenue is the solution.
Like State structure in India...?
Yes. It is the solution now.
Is their any chance for another war in Lanka on Seperate Nation demand...?
No. Never. but at the meantime, war only came to end. Struggle is still alive. The pursuit and struggle for autonomous rule will continue. Tamil People of Sri Lanka have political awareness and they are struggling for the ethnical rights. That is why still tamil National parties are winning in the elections in Tamil region, there.
If Rajapakse came forward to accept your demand, would you agree and support him?
Yes. The battle enemy need not be a political enemy. We have an example for it. Japan was poorly destroyed by America in the second world war. But after the war, they both become good friends.
How the Tamil militant groups had seen the Tamil people in the Tamil Nadu and the political leaders during the war times ...?
Whole heartly, they believe the Tamil people in Tamil Nadu but never the political leaders here. It can be understood, for the political leaders here, Tamil Nadu politics is more important than the Tamil Eelam politics. For their political welfare, the Tamil leaders here used us. We were aware of it.
If they truely loved the Eelam Tamils, why they have not extended the support to the Tamil refugees here in the several camps of Tamil Nadu.
Then, how you will win in the struggle...?
We only have to row our own boat. we only have to deliver our own child.
This doubt was raised by Indian government only. Sacrifice of the Tamil national leader Prabhakaran is uncomparable. But, Sri Lanka, who conducted the war has declared he was dead. I think reason behind the doubt is, if Prabhakaran was declared dead by the Indian Government, it will be forced to lift the ban on LTTE in India, and organically the Rajiv murder case will come to an end, and the accused in the case including Perarivalan will be released. India don't want this. so they are only keeping alive about the death mystery of Prabhakaran. Unfortunately, the Pro Tamil Eelam leaders are also became party in it.
When the interview ends,
I thought that we should not speak politics but all your questions are in and around politics. Being answerable, i happened to speak politics. I am not a politician, literature is only my job and I love to spend rest of life in literature only.
After a warm handshake, I left the place.
- M Niyas Ahmed