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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2305

Lalins Column: Hitler, Prabakaran and Wijeweera-Kaput. Who else?

By Major General (Retd.) Lalin Fernando

What a shindig in SL that excites itself thoroughly on the cheapest of thrills. An artless monk dropped a clanger at a private function telling the former defence secretary GR that “some describe him as a Hitler”! In SL people are described as honest too. This does not make them that. The priest added that GR should go for it and govern effectively. GR however is still not a politician.

The loquacious history quoting PM, voluble minister of finance and the stuttering education minister thought they saw the Thai navy SEALS coming to save them from ‘yahapalana-vaikkal’ they had been left with after 3.5 years of talent show rule.

Not to be outdone, a similarly frustrated Mrs. Vijayakala, UNP minister from Jaffna, whose husband Mahesweran made a mint during the Eelam conflict and was murdered by the LTTE, ingenuously wanted a return of those very LTTE fascists. She clamoured for a reincarnation of Prabakaran (no different from the evil JVP and Wijeweera) to prevent child abusers. She had however protected one from arrest recently!

Was Vijayakala speaking for the UNP, non cabinet ministers, or what? She was definitely not speaking for the UNP partner in Jaffna, the TNA. They, who were mouth pieces for the LTTE before, are very devious now. They are getting exactly what she asked for, without using the word LTTE or Prabakaran.

“Himmler had something ‘simmler”

It soon became a Ceylon tea party during the FIFA world cup.

Just as the SEALS closed in, Vijayakala dumb founded the besieged. Prabakaran not only brought back black memories of 30 years of conflict that killed 100,000, an utterly servile CFA and worse, - government collaboration with the enemy.

Hitler, Prabakaran and Wijeweera shared something similar. They were fascist dictators who gloried in killing. Hitler however is totally irrelevant to the vast majority if not almost all in SL. Instead if they recall WW2 should know Tojo the Japanese commander who with 899 of 5,000 Japanese military charged, were executed for war crimes in the East and whose forces bombed Colombo. They do not. The Nazis executed were far less. SL in San Francisco excused the Japanese from reparations and won lasting admiration. The Japanese have still not asked for forgiveness for their bestial crimes in the East, especially in China (20 million killed).

The Sri Lankan duo were very real monsters. Only they, not Hitler, Mussolini, Franco or Salazar, Vikings, Huns, Crusaders and Napoleon, all of the present EU, impacted on SL. SL could however remember Westmoreland and his resulting product Pol Pot, MacArthur, Bush and now Trump.

Will the PM recall that while Hitler took 12 years to murder 6 million Jews, Churchill was responsible for the deaths of at least 4 million Indians in 1943-4 in West Bengal, Orrisa, Bihar and what is Bangladesh today. He ordered the removal of food stocks from a bountiful 1941 harvest in India to feed Britain. Was this not genocide? When told about the calamity, he responded by asking how it was that Gandhi was still alive. He was as brutal and racist as Hitler. He would not acknowledge that the British XIV army was the best Britain had in WW2, just because 90% were mainly Indian. Would it have soothed SL’s elite if the monk had given GR a choice?

Hitler came to power raging among other things that the Germans were not defeated but betrayed by the armistice that ended WW1. The local fascists were wiped out at Nandikadal in May 2009, despite chilling efforts by the west, including Britain, to impose an armistice. Thankfully they were summarily seen off by then President Rajapakse. If otherwise, SL could be still fighting and negotiating CFAs with the LTTE. There would have been no peace in ‘our time’.

An article in the ‘Island’ (6 June 18) titled “One folk, one ‘fuhrer’ (fuehrer surely), one fatherland” echoes very similar battle cries adding ‘one religion’, now booming across the Atlantic and the Pacific. Was this an unintended double entendre? What if GR was asked to be a Trump instead? Would RW have been gutted?

India with its 1.2 million nuclear armed forces would have been much amused by SL’s latest. It couldn’t care a fig if SL produces 225 Diyawanna Hitlers even though some Indians fought in Nazi SS divisions and with Japanese forces in WW2. But remembering its IPKF debacle (1987-90) and how its ally, the SL government under president Premadasa betrayed it by collaborating with the LTTE, it may have been just a bit nervous about another SL triangular series. The inaugural one cost 1,200 IPKF lives.

PM RW deviously retaliated by repeating his oft quoted refrain that it was MR’s ally that was responsible for the murder of 600 policemen in the East. Karuna the most formidable of LTTE military leaders denies this. The turning of Karuna tolled the end for Prabakaran and his disparate allies not excluding the TNA. Does it still also hurt the UNP more than the TNA?

What SL seeks answers for is why the government in which the PM was a minister asked the policemen to surrender and after they were murdered (exactly like the 33,771 Jews by the Nazi Sondercommando in Babi Yar at Kiev) then wash their hands off it? Was it not a shocking if not also criminal order? Was it also treachery? The 600 policemen did not ride to their deaths like the Light Brigade at Balaklava. They were offered as a human sacrifice to the Sun God to save the spurious peace talks with the terrorists being held in the Hilton hotel, Colombo by Premadasa? Fully armed, they were not arrested but escorted by the hapless (again) STF in a SLAF plane with chef de mission Minister Hameed. His sole concern was their safety not the lives of the policemen. This must be the most long drawn single act of treachery in the annals of conflicts. But when a single LTTE policeman Nadesan died suddenly at Nandikadal who bawled?

Hitler in SL was often at the butt end of jokes and crude songs during and after the war. Non white colonials (read Tissa Devendra in the Island) even welcomed Hitler’s blitzkrieg because he was whipping SL’s colonial ruler Britain.

There were attempts at authoritarian rule in SL but no mention of Hitler. There was a coup in 1962. Had it succeeded there would have been civil war. Did the UNP not provide the accused with top government jobs subsequently?

During the 30 year conflict many believed a SL dictator should lead against the terrorist dictator. The defeat of the LTTE doomed that double edged sword.

SL did however try in varying degrees from 1977. The icon selected by Colombo’s elite was Singapore’s PM Lee Kwan Yew. Ignored completely was that they had a majority Chinese population that responds to moral courage and merciless leadership. SL struggled to clear the primary tests, honesty, justice and racial harmony. In 2015 the PM instead picked up Mahendran from Singapore.

The excitement in SL may however be due to a few possibly farfetched comparisons if not similarities with Germany under Hitler. Hitler appointed himself Fuehrer (Head of state and Supreme Commander-1934). JRJ brought in a new constitution which made him SLA’s first Executive President and C in C in 1978. Both got rid of opposition in different ways. Hitler had crystal night with his SS leading. In SL thousands of striking government workers were dismissed in 1980. Race riots followed in 1983, instigated by government goons and SS unions. Former PM Mrs. Srima Bandaranaike was deprived of her civic rights. Hitler forced his Vice Chancellor von Papen to resign. Hitler declared war against Poland, starting WW2. JRJ started the 30 year Eelam conflict. Hitler wrote Mein Kampf. RW proclaimed Roosevelt’s ‘100 days’ in 2015 but without attribution.

Hitler‘s grandfather was not known to him. Hitler’s father was Alois Sckicklgruber, an illegitimate child of Maria Anna Sckicklgruber. Alois’ name was changed to Hitler (by error for Hiedler) in an illegal birth certificate at age 40, by a priest. The grandfather was an Austrian Jew named Frankenberger. There is speculation about JRJ’s ancestry the education minister should know about before he makes another gaffe. JRJ got the Supreme Court judges, even those picked by him, attacked with stones in their official houses. Hitler dismissed judges who did not toe the Nazi line. Hitler had death camps. What camps did SL not have under JRJ’s successor Premadasa in 1989-90? There were even unsuccessful attempted assassinations of both. In Germany by Col (and not General as in the Island) Stauffenberg. In SL it was by the JVP. However, Hitler’s final solution was attempted only by the LTTE and the JVP, both on the Sinhalese.

Where do JRJ’s hopefuls fit in then? But there the comparisons end. Hitler committed suicide when he knew he had lost and Germany was ruined. Not even Prabakaran, the godfather of suicide bombers, did that.

Jayadeva Uyanagoda a former JVP leader also woke up as if from the dead at the Hitler call, mother’s milk. The JVP was a fascist organization referred to as Che Gueverists, apparently with a North Korean plan in 1971 and a Pol Pot like plan in 1989-90 under his and its leader Wijeweera. It attempted to overthrow the government twice. It led to 72,000 deaths, 60,000 in the second attempt in one year, genocidal and exclusively of Sinhalese but apparently protesting the invasion by the IPKF that it did not dare to attack. This has to be the only time that an insurgent force protesting foreign invasion attacked its own forces.

The German Ambassador expressed shock. He should relax. SL does not take its politicians seriously when they are not robbing or violent.

Education Minister, A Kariyawasam (AK). who in 2015 during servile commemorations of the 100th anniversary of WW1, announced that Napoleon fought in that war; that would be 100 years after Waterloo. This time he pitched in to say Hitler was also a policeman. Hitler for all his faults was a highly decorated soldier (Corporal) in the List (16th Bavarian) Regiment who twice won the Iron Cross First Class in WW1, normally awarded to higher ranks. He was never a policeman. Hindenburg called him the ‘Bohemian Corporal’ yet handed over the German Chancellorship to him. He was wounded once and also gassed in WW1.

AK was also clueless as to what dual citizenship meant. What was AK before he became a minister? Policeman, Corporal or regal blunderbuss?

The PM not to be left behind says if a priest had asked him to be a Hitler he would have told him to stop speaking. Vijayakala gave him the chance to show his regal colours. He bluffed. SL must wonder what he told VP when during the CFA, VP was murdering his way to elusive Eelam. Four hundred (400) soldiers alone were killed. SL will not forget that the PM joined his MPs to denigrate its forces when he realized VP and the LTTE were facing defeat. Which countryman, far less a former PM, anywhere in the world has ever done so?

The Finance Minister MS in 2008 thought Army Commander Gen Fonseka was not fit to be in the Salvation Army. He should say so of Hitler, clamp up and not worry about GR. As media minister he says he may follow Mrs. Clinton’s method of filtering news including fake. Is this a shot across the bows at Trump?

It may be best if priests steer clear of politics and not venture out of their chosen path and knowledge boundaries to please laymen, politicians or not. They should not bring ridicule on the clergy. Politicians should not look to win matches with others mishits to save themselves from just retribution for the ruination they have brought about. Journalists must not try to invest in demonic ghouls or the NY Times.

The man who the priest thought could do a Hitler transformation of SL, as defence secretary, actually laid down the order for an unarmed police force-that would be a rarity in Asia-like in China. Meanwhile did Jehan Pereira try to inveigle SL to use Rodrigo Duarte’s methods? He thinks that the lightly armed police in Jaffna has not been able to stop grave crime, especially by drug addicts (Island 10 July 18). He contrasts it deviously for the benefit of SL’s critics with the obviously well armed Army for the benefit of SL’s critics. The Army had and has no police role in Jaffna or elsewhere. Has he conveniently forgotten how the LTTE made money by smuggling drugs with a Gestapo like police force in place?

With all these besieged politicians and dried up activists still hanging on, Hitler is the least of SL’s mounting concerns. As for unhappy SL she may soon have to observe Prabakaran’s birthday (26 November) too if this circus goes on for much longer.

- Asian Tribune -

Lalins Column: Hitler,  Prabakaran and Wijeweera-Kaput. Who else?
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