11 August, 2022

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39 Years After Black July, It Is Time For Tamil Eelam: Preparing For A Unilateral Declaration Of Independence

By Lorenzo Fiorito and Sowjeya Joseph

It’s time for Tamil Eelam.

As Sri Lanka’s economy collapses completely, the people of that country to the south of Tamil Eelam have asked their leaders to step aside. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the one-time butcher of Mullivaikkal, now has been running frantically from place to place in a military airplane. He’s seeking asylum abroad (as we all tend to do when angry mobs try to kill us – though not all of us have done quite so much to personally invite mob justice).

Black July 1983

Ranil Wickremesinghe, who has just been elected president, was originally appointed as “acting president” by Gotabaya Rajapaksa. This confirms his status as an extension of the Rajapaksa clan’s rule. The fact remains that the country has no one genuinely in charge, enjoying the people’s confidence. Indeed, the Southern protestors’ demand “Gota Go Home” has simply become “Ranil Go Home.” Sri Lanka is not likely to become more stable anytime soon.

Yes, it’s time for Tamil Eelam. But where are our leaders? Not a single Tamil “leader,” whether in the homeland or diaspora, has expressed willingness “to take the lead,” and declare the independence of our state.

The Tamil people have made it clear, time and time again since the Vaddukoddai Resolution, exactly what they want their leaders to do. But only one leader, Velupillai Pirabakaran, has ever really tried.

Some want, yet again, to reform the Sri Lankan state. It’s almost as if the Tamil genocide had never happened, or as if that ongoing genocide were not an essential part of how the state works. Tamils have no interest in remaining within a state that requires their ongoing genocide to function. All attempts at constitutional reform are meant to revive the failed Sri Lankan state, and to keep Tamils within it.

Some, who fall under this category, have gotten so caught up in this momentous drama that they’ve forgotten history. Any member of the Tamil diaspora, who’s involved in Tamil politics, should be prepared to return to the island, and to live under the political system that they help to create. Anyone who tries to create political prescriptions for others should be prepared to accept the consequences of those prescriptions for themselves. (The diasporic Tamils writing this article, personally, stand for Tamil Eelam—and not for Sri Lanka, whether reformed or otherwise).

Almost as bad as these would-be reformers of Sri Lanka, others believe that the international community must first give Eelam Tamils permission to exercise our independent statehood. But “one should be pragmatic enough to understand that no ruler anywhere can concede anything that is not in his power to give. New nation states are never given, they are always taken.” A sovereign people does not ask for permission to be free: it grants permission to its chosen representatives, to use strategies and take actions that exercise its own inherent freedom.

There is No One in Our Way but Ourselves

While our post-2009 political structures have held the Eelam Tamil nation together (to be sure, in loosely connected fragments) for 13 agonizing years, the nation is entering a new phase.

Sri Lanka is no longer our all-powerful oppressor; it’s just another failed and powerless state. It cannot afford the troops, in the numbers that it would need, to occupy the entire island militarily.

The international law is clear. Tamil Eelam is a legal fact, simply waiting for acknowledgement.

The arguments range from state continuity, between precolonial times and the present; to improper decolonization, without gaining Tamils’ expression of their free and genuine will; to original title, ancient title, and historic title over territory and maritime zones; to Tamils’ exercise of the right of self-determination.

According to Paragraph 122 of the ICJ’s Advisory Opinion on Kosovo: in and of themselves, unilateral declarations of independence do not violate any rule of international law.

As it collapses, Sri Lanka is no more in charge of sovereign Tamil Eelam than is Portugal, Holland, or Britain. No one is in charge of Sri Lanka. And no one is in charge of the global order, either. There is literally no one to stand in our way, but ourselves.

Tamil Eelam needs a leadership that understands this new reality and can take advantage of it.

Currently, a power triangle of Russia, China and India is forming (although the latter likes to appear friendly to both power blocs, the West and the East). Trade and finance between these three states have significantly increased after Russia´s invasion of Ukraine.

With the emergence of a different global order, the Tamil nation must make sure to be friendly with everyone and not to blindly rely on the West, particularly the USA. As Henry Kissinger once said: “To be an enemy of America is dangerous, but to be a friend is fatal.” From recent history, both the Kurds and the Afghans can provide lessons to Tamils.

This global power rebalancing will also influence the outcome of Sri Lanka´s financial crisis. It has yet to receive a substantial bail-out package either from the IMF or from other states (e.g. India, China). Sri Lanka is in turmoil because of its institutionalised racism towards the Tamil nation and other peoples living on the Island. This crisis is not just a consequence of tax policy, the COVID pandemic, and the war in Ukraine, but is a direct result of military spending on the very expensive war against the Tamil people. Other factors just accelerated the process.

By now, foreign investors will understand that even liberal regime changes (such as the one that took place in 2015) can lead to massive investment losses. Ranil Wickremesinghe (who told the World Economic Forum, as PM in 2017, that he would make Sri Lanka rich by 2025), seized the chaos and turbulence of the present moment to fulfil his lifelong dream of becoming President of Sri Lanka.

At the end of the day, Sri Lankan politicians do not feel accountable to their own people, nor for their promises to investors. Foreign investors would be well advised to align their goals with those of the Tamil nation if they are ever to receive any return on their investments.

From the perspective of the Tamil nation, Sri Lanka´s debt cannot be restructured without placing conditions on any restructuring deal: to resolve the dispute between Sri Lanka and Tamil Eelam. A two-state solution is the only fair and just outcome. It will provide stability and prosperity for the two nations, as well as investment return and security for foreign investors. Otherwise, foreign investors lose out, and future foreign investments into Sri Lanka will decrease.

Mandate of the Sovereign Tamil People: A Constitutional Assembly For Tamil Eelam, and not for Sri Lanka

Who, with both the will and the ability, will seek the mandate to lead Tamil Eelam? It is a simple matter of courage plus strategy.

Diasporic Tamils should join diaspora organizations in large numbers—if those organizations have democratic internal structures. They should support the best people inside those structures, or should put forward candidates who will listen to the sovereign people’s will.

There are certainly enough people in the homeland who will wish to seize the moment, and they will have their own tactics.

New leaders will have to be found from among the youth, as well as from within the political “background,” where the most useful and effective Tamil national organizers tend to operate.

If it is time for Tamil Eelam, then it is time to create a Tamil Eelam Constitutional Assembly. This assembly would:

  • draft a constitution for Tamil Eelam;
  • create a provisional government (with proportional representation from the homeland and diaspora); and then
  • seek a democratic mandate—both to ratify that constitution, and to represent the sovereign Eelam Tamil people as its government.

Once duly elected, this government will be the government of Tamil Eelam, without cowardice, and without obscuring its status as a government of the sovereign state of Tamil Eelam.

The Government of Tamil Eelam would conduct a binding referendum of the sovereign people on the question of independence. (For, unlike the one distributed so widely throughout the diaspora in 2009-10, this referendum would be worded in such a way as to be legally binding.) The Government would invite UN observers to monitor the referendum.

If it wins the referendum, the Government of Tamil Eelam would negotiate a binding separation agreement with the Government of Sri Lanka (assuming that Sri Lanka has a government to negotiate with), enforceable via the Permanent Court of Arbitration.

Then, armed with the people’s mandate and international legality, the work of building a nation can begin: yet again.

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Latest comments

  • 1
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    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.

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      For Tamils to get their rights, foreign intervention is absolutely necessary. Tamils in Srilanka must use this opportunity to create such condition. This is why I asked Tamil politicians to vote for Ranil, not because Ranil is going to do wonders to Tamils, and I congratulate Tamil MPs who had the back bone to violate the machination of slimy spineless crook Sumanthiran and vote for Ranil. I asked them to do it because, Ranil is hated by Sinhala elite and is unpopular with most of Buddhist priests and Sinhala masses. Sinhala officials will sabotage what Ranil measures taken by Ranil and Sinhala masses will continue aragalaya. This will result in political instability and no economic recovery. Also if armed forces act tough there will be blood shed and if they refuse to take orders, there will be anarchy. Initially armed forces will act according to orders, but after sometime they will refuse to co-operate leading to chaos, a sure scenario for Indian military intervention. There is news that Sumanthiran and Sanakyan had met Chinese ambassador secretly without telling other members TNA. In 1987, Prabaharan spoiled the Indian party, this time Tamil youths must not allow it to be repeated and rise up an kick these self servers out.

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        Gnana,,

        Ranil is usually hated by Sinhala masses, but this time it is different. Ranil is only the face but the paksas are still ruling. Now the Jungi Aragalaya does not have much support. Agendas of different groups like Born again christains, Tamil groups etc have now been exposed. There are many buddhist clergy (also Catholic Clegy like Brother Charles )who are asking that the government be given chance to work. Argalaya has no support from the Armed forces. Near the parliment where a soldier was seriously assaulted, the soldies rounded up a few anthare parayas and gave them a good lesson. So if you are aim is to get the indian military to interven that will not happen. If at all they will come to Jaffna on Lankan invitation. Modi has great plans to introduce Hindi to the Peninsular. When he was here last time he spoke to Tamils in the peninsular in Hindi and spoke to the rest in colombo in English. See his thinking…
        Good luck Gnana.

  • 4
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    Call it ‘Vellala Tamil Eelam’ because only Vellala Tamils in Yapanaya who were the most privileged group in Sinhale/Ceylon at the time indigenous Sinhalayo gained independence from British want a separate State within Sinhale/Sri Lanka.

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      Eagle ‘donkey’ Eye: privileged group in Sinhale/Ceylon at the time indigenous Sinhalayo gained independence from British.

      TFN: independence from British? It is Britain you illiterate fool, not British!
      Indigenous, really? From when did you become indigenous to SL? Idiot merely because the Sinhala race was created in SL, doesn’t mean you are indigenous to SL. Take your nose out of Gota’s ass and smell some fresh air for a change.

  • 4
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    Sinhala Buddhists who are the indigenous people in Sinhale should start a protest (Aragalaya) demanding that the Government should punish those who violated the Constitution by promoting the idea of creating a separate State within Sinhale/Sri Lanka by passing Vadukkoddai (Batakotte) Resolution that contains a manufactured history of Sinhale and asked Tamils to take up arms and fight against the Government of Sri Lanka and Sinhala Buddhists to grab their land in NE to create a separate State for Tamils in Yapanaya.

    • 4
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      EE,

      Have you done your DNA test? I am willing to pay for it.
      Please let us know to which caste you belong to Vellala Tamil, Salagama, Durava, Karava or Govigama?
      Please read https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/sri-lankas-sinhalese-tamils-historical-myths-realities/
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/how-we-came-to-this-pass-vi/ and the articles written by the author Sachithanandam Sathananthan . He has provided links to the other articles written by him. Pls widen your knowledge.

    • 5
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      Eagle ‘clown’ Eye, keep saying all crows are white for a long time and then all the crows will look like swans. What a joker!!!

    • 2
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      Mahindapala, according to archaeological findings, Veddhas (in eastern, central and southern parts) and Dravidians in the rest of the country are the indigenous people of the land. There is no evidence of anyone called Sinhalese existed in the land in pre-historic times. Sinhalese are entitled only to certain parts and not the entire Island. First religion was Saivaism and not Buddhism and first language spoken was Elu (considered proto-Tamil) and not Sinhala. Even Veddhas worshiped Murugan the God of Tamils and wrote in Brahmi and Tamil Brahmi the scripts of Tamils demonstrating that Veddhas came under Tamil influence. Get ready to hide under the bed, as Indian military is going to take over, as BJP fellows feel that Srilanka was part of Indian Kumarikandam.

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        Gnana,

        You can go on and on… but Sinhale is the home of the sinhalese and Tamil Nadu is the homeland of Tamils.

        As for hidding under the bed, I think you yourself better get ready. Modi has great plans to introduce Hindi to Jaffna , either you learn or will have to hide under the bed. I suppose you can recall all your previous experience when IPKF attacked the Jaffna Hospital

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    This is neither the time or place for fairy tales. If you really want Eelam look no further than TamilNad.

    • 2
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      This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.

      For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

    • 4
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      Svenson, wow another side clown has joined Eagle ‘chief clown’ Eye on CT. Fairy tales? Is Eagle Clown fighting for TE? He is the only one who is dreaming up fairy tales here in this thread.

      • 2
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        Excellent TFTN. No comment, just personal abuse can only mean you have lost the argument…….and lost Eelam as well.

    • 0
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      Svenson,
      “The time or place for FAIRY TALES”
      Are you fond of ‘FAIRY TALES’, Nightingale??
      Then, to enable you to differentiate between, ‘FAIRY TALES’ and reality in this world one needs to have a better understanding of reality??!!
      “Burning the Neighbour 1983” referred, was not a ‘FAIRY TALE’, NOR WAS IT DAY DREAM??!!
      REALITY!!?
      Perhaps the Nordic Vikings always remain in their domain of dreams, even in the never ending day light effect of Lapland, leaving no time for dreams, but ‘Day Dreams’!??!!
      They think all others too are Day Dreaming, like the Laplanders and their Reindeer for eternal company???

  • 3
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    Vellala Tamil politicians in Yapanaya who had separatism in their agenda as far back as 1930s when British ruled Sinhale, the Land of Sinhalayo and Vedda Eththo passed Vaddukoddai Resolution in 1976 to form a separate State within Sinhale for Tamils and outsourced fighting to grab land belong to Sinhalayo in NE to Dalit Tamils and lived in Colombo with their families amongst Sinhalayo.

  • 0
    2

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.

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  • 3
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    It is so ironic to support violence now when it suits you.

    • 1
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      VanguardII,
      Humanity and Mankind always tend “to support violence when it suits them most”
      Historical fact!
      Hitler and Nazi Germany, Slobodan Milosevic and Kosovo are examples, which stand out??!!
      Our 1st Executive President JRJ, felt the need to keep company with that elite?!
      CHOICE WITHOUT COMPARE??

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