We, the people of Tamil Eelam, have an inherent right to self-determination. Subject to Genocide at the hands of successive Sinhala national governments and as an essential measure of protection we wish to establish our own independent and sovereign State of Tamil Eelam.
Preamble to the Tamil Eelam Freedom Charter
-Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran – Prime Minister TGTE
It was recently reported in the media that In an interview to India’s daily, The Hindu, Economic Development Minister, Basil Rajapaksa has said that Sri Lanka cannot afford another war and there is no guarantee that a future Northern provincial government would not do the same as what LTTE did.
The Minister said that Sri Lanka cannot risk a provincial government forming its own army through police powers devolved to provinces under the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. Basil Rajapaksa, who visited Delhi earlier this month to explain Sri Lankan government’s stance on the 13th Amendment to the Indian leaders, has rejected the arguments that an armed struggle by the Tamils was now a thing of the past.
Pointing out that Sri Lanka’s other provinces, which have functioning governments, do not have their own police forces although the constitutional provision is there under the 13th Amendment, the Minister has raised the question why the major Tamil party Tamil National Alliance (TNA) insists on having its own police for the Northern Province which is yet to have an elected government. He has also noted that the devolving police powers would actually amount to going against the 13th Amendment which was created by the Indo-
Lanka Accord in 1987. The Minister has emphasized that it is very clear in the Accord that only one mechanism should be there for law enforcement for the entire country and there cannot be separate mechanisms.
Responding to a question whether India-Sri Lanka relations had been affected as a result, Basil Rajapaksa has said both countries understand each other’s point of view. He has emphasized that it is Sri Lanka’s problem, and Sri Lanka must find a solution from Sri Lanka itself. Minister Basil Rajapaksa has underscored that as two sovereign countries that have been friends for a long time, the two nations have to understand each other. “Our people have been very understanding of India and India must understand that,” the Minister has stressed.
In the above context of what the Minister has expressed we may examine the contents of the TGTE Charter which states thus:
1. ‘The creation of an independent and sovereign State of Tamil Eelam remains the only viable option to lead a life with security, dignity and equality, both individually and collectively.
2. For over six decades we have struggled, through both non-violent means and armed resistance, to protect ourselves from state sponsored Genocide. We demand the international community organize a referendum to enable us to exercise our right to self-determination and also take all measures to bring to justice the perpetrators of Genocide against the Tamil people.
3. The North-East of Sri Lanka is our traditional homeland and will be the territory of the State of Tamil Eelam. The maritime and aerial limits of Tamil Eelam will be established according to international laws.’
Rudrakumaran the Prime Minister of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) speaking at the annual TGTE event in Canada held at the Scarborough Convention Centeron Saturday 20th April 2013 said:’ “Presently, the international powers view the Tamil national issue as having three vantage points involving Sino-Indian-Sri Lankan geo-strategic interests. We hope by mobilizing Tamils across the globe, we can add our fourth unified vantage point, moving from a triangular to a quadrangular framed issue, enabling us to
influence the course of events in the Indian Ocean and in the South Asian geo-political stage in a meaningful manner,” , Rudrakumaran stressing the importance of the enormous impact the Tamil Eelam Freedom Charter will have, “serving as a catalyst,” towards unifying all Tamils beyond party and group affiliations,” as well as changing events in our favour in the region said that such a move would be of mutual benefit to the parties concerned: “Asiahas become the most important political geography in the 21st century. President Obama’s policy of “Pivot to Asia” highlights this. As observed by diplomats and geo-political experts the island of Sri Lanka is strategically situated in the Indian Ocean. As we stated in our Advisory Committee Report published in 2010 March that the TGTE is conscious of the strategic location of the island of Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean and the geo-political situation in South Asia and elsewhere in formulating its political strategies. We believe that the Tamil political interest and the geo-political interests of the democratic powers can intersect and thrive.”
Rudrakumaran referring to Mark J Grabrielson and Joan Johnson Freese’s article entitled the ‘Tamil Nadu Factor in China’s Naval Basing Ambitions in Sri Lanka’, explained “when the Eelam struggle is undertaken by the Tamils across the globe, especially the Tamils in Tamil Nadu in conjunction with Eelam Tamils, the effect of it will multiply,” forcing India to review its foreign policy to strengthen its position in the region by placing less reliance on its relationship with Sri Lanka. In the light of China’s naval basing ambitions that include access to a new seaport which it funded and built in Hambantota, Southern Sri Lanka, a development, “…impacting the balance of naval forces in the Indian Ocean,” as analysed by Gabrielson and Johnson Freese, Rudrakumaran believed “India has to address the Tamil Nadu factor as an opportunity to actually strengthen its position formidably against China’s ambitions by aligning itself with Tamil Nadu towards finding a political solution for Eelam Tamils that’s in accordance with Tamil aspirations, thereby protecting her interests in the region.(Source:Internet)
Rudrakumaran, a lawyer based in the United States was the former International Legal Advisor to the LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran. Thus it is seen that Minister Basil Rajapaksa’s contention that devolving police powers to these provincial councils would pave the way for the re-establishment of an army in the North is quite true and the risking of such an action may result in another failed attempt at the formation of a separate state in the North and East through the resurgence of an armed struggle as in the past resulting in misery to our Nation.
This fact necessitates a strong military presence in the North and the East and continued vigilance as even our brethren living in the North and East do not desire such an eventuality judging by the demonstrations held in these areas. It is the diaspora led by the TGTE thriving comfortably in foreign lands on the millions of dollars flowing into their coffers in the guise of protecting an eelam cause that are hell-bent to destablise Sri Lanka in the eyes of the international community. The Government has already commenced a dialogue with all stakeholders to achieve a consensus through consultation and compromise, It is advisable that all Sri Lankans should resort to the ballot and not to the bullet to resolve any conflicts among the ethnic groups. With the forthcoming Northern Provincial Council election the will of the people in the North would very soon be made known not only to Sri Lankans but to the international community as well.
Lakshman I.Keerthisinghe LLB, LLM.MPhil,