The Tamil Nadu resolution is a cause for celebrations. It’s a reason to thank the students, the people, the State Assembly and Chief Minister Jayalalithaa for taking the Eelam freedom struggle to the next level – Kusal Perera would have to one day eat his own words.
At last the Diaspora Eelam Tamils have been recognized as a people deserving to be counted. That Eelam is our land and that we have a stake in restoring our land, the land of our birth, our homeland, the land we love and cherish, the land we had to flee and can’t go back to; the land that needs to be resurrected, that land that holds the ashes and remains of tens of thousands of our slaughtered dear ones, whose souls have to be appeased so that they may rest in peace.
We the Diaspora Eelam Tamils (not just Eelam Tamils in the island of Sri Lanka) have been recognized as a people deserving the right to vote in an UN Security Council sponsored referendum for a “separate Eelam”! The Diaspora Eelam Tamils have been looked at by our detractors, as people distant from Eelam who whilst residing in and enjoying the comforts of their adopted land, pontificate on the necessity for Eelam. The TGTE has always maintained that Diaspora Eelam Tamils are part of the Tamil nation constituting a nation of people, as Prime Minister Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran would say: they are “two sides of the same coin”.
Today Tamil Nadu has re-affirmed that truth in a history making resolution. Even the Vaddukoddai resolution passed in 1976 that received an overwhelming mandate in the general election of 1977 included Tamils residing abroad.
Yes Tamil Nadu has spoken, ladies and gentleman. What couldn’t be achieved in a muzzled Sri Lankan parliament has been achieved in the Tamil Nadu State Assembly that represents more than 75 Million people. The Sri Lankan parliament’s 6th amendment prevents Tamil MPs from ever talking about a separate Eelam. In the land of the pioneers of parliamentary democracy in Great Britain,Scotland is able to discuss separation but not inSri Lanka where democracy is merely a high sounding concept of little value.
I have said it and say it again, let the world be put on notice that Eelam is not a fallacy or a pipe dream but real.
Kusal Perera is a hypocrite when he says the “the call for Thamil Eezham outside Sri Lanka is a total disconnect with its irrelevance to Tamil Politics,” citing TNA leader Sambanthan’s statement about “building on the 13th amendment,” with Kusal attempting to create the impression that democracy is flourishing in Sri Lanka: “Genocide” can only be bandied about in the Diaspora and in TN, but will not be proved under a State, how ever undemocratic and racist the State is, when Tamil people participate in open electoral campaigns and elect their own representation for different tiers of governance. When they can invest and indulge in trade and business and have representations in business chambers as well. That is reason why democratic political parties of Tamil people in SL do not take up the call for a “referendum” and do not talk about “genocide” like those in the Diaspora and in Tamil Nadu,” he concludes in his patronizing style.
For all those people like Kusal who think parliamentary democracy works in Sri Lanka and Tamil representatives enjoy parliamentary privilege and have the freedom to express their deepest aspirations and concerns, I say to him and the rest to go back and examine their conscience without blurting out misleading notions and making hollow claims on Sri Lankan democracy. I ask him what happened to the proposals made by the Tamil representatives at the talks after the talks held at the APRC that the TNA wasn’t called to attend and the UNP refused to attend. How many more talks does Kusal want before he can be convinced that these talks are not going to go anywhere?
Again for all those people who stupidly raise the fact that a huge chunk of the Tamil population lives in Colombo like Kusal does, I say why not, that’s the capital ever since for heavens sake and yes many of them have been living there for generations like my own family, when the country was called Ceylon and not Sri Lanka, others who may belong to the recently displaced people who have moved to safer ground; all of them are still Eelam Tamils, they may remain in Colombo or decide to live in Eelam, that should be their choice. This is not unusual in countries that have separated.
The Tamil Nadu Assembly’s resolution moved by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa calling for a “referendum on a separate Eelam among Tamils in Sri Lanka and those who have migrated abroad,” have made Diaspora Eelam Tamils ecstatic.
It’s a cause to celebrate and to thank the Tamil Nadu students, people, the State Assembly and CM Jayalalithaa. Nobody not even the likes of Kusal can deny the tide in Tamil Nadu is going to destroy his own notions about the students and reiterate the importance of the Tamil Nadu factor.
Tamilnet reported the passage of the resolution as a “historic move:
“In a historic move, the Tamil Nadu State Assembly on Wednesday unanimously passed a resolution for bringing in arrangements at the level of the UN Security Council to conduct a referendum among Eezham Tamils in the island as well as in the diaspora on the question of Separate Eelam. In addition, the resolution passed at the Tamil Nadu Assembly demanded the Government of India to stop calling Sri Lanka a friendly country. The resolution also included the earlier demands ie., Independent International Investigations on Genocide and War Crimes as well as imposition of economic sanctions on Sri Lanka. The resolution, unanimously passed, was moved by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Ms Jayalalithaa. Passing the resolution, Chief Minister Ms Jayalalithaa also urged the students of Tamil Nadu to end their current agitation and to return to studies, with the hope of winning their aspirations in the near future.”
All those detractors and non-believers of the Eelam Freedom cause are not going to be pleased including Kusal who represents the educated Sinhalese, some of whom have been my friends but have left me because for what I believe. They are going to call this a meaningless exercise that would not impact Sri Lanka. I disagree. I think that it’s going to have a huge impact among the people that matter in the corridors of power not to mention in the Indian centre of power.
The student protest is not merely a “solidarity campaign” as Kusal squabbles; it’s creating uproar in Tamil Nadu political circles and has the propensity to shake the Indian government from under its feet, like never before.Indiathe arbiter of theTamil National question cannot ignore the ground swell of support for a referendum call from Tamil Nadu.
Prime Minister Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran’s words ring true when he says in his article ‘Geneva Resolution: Not A Victory For Tamils, But A Defeat For Sri Lanka’, that “the Tamil Nadu students’ uprising, launched with the support of the people, has the power to change the stance of the political leaders of Tamil Nadu and India.” Achieving Tamil Eelam he says rests on “Tamil Nadu (successfully) engaging the Indian government”: “The political reality is, whether we like it or not, the victory of the Tamil Eelam liberation struggle depends largely on the success of Tamil Nadu in engaging the Indian government. International diplomatic calculations are made on the premise that India is the dominant regional power in the Indian Ocean and South Asia. It is also a growing global power. International relations are determined on these bases of power. Thus,India’s role is important in the creation of a new state of Tamil Eelam in South Asia.”
Cynics like Kusal deny everything, except that they have a bad regime in power in Sri Lanka and want to “use” us to effect a regime change in Sri Lanka; that’s all they want, their love for us ends there; they deny that the tens of thousands of Eelam Tamils who were mercilessly wiped out was genocide and genocidal acts have been systematically and structurally perpetrated against Tamils in Sri Lanka ever since independence; I have in my opinion piece, ‘Sri Lanka’s Genocide: Major Cover-up must be Exposed’, made the case for genocide, citing authorities including providing proof of intention that would have to be decided in international courts; in addition I have backed my arguments from quotes from Prof Boyle “who represented two associations of citizens within Bosnia and was involved in developing the indictment against Slobodan Milosevic for committing genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes in Bosnia and Herzegovina.”
Kusal also denies our right to a referendum on Eelam, and raises examples like South Sudan without any arguments to support his conjecture, where there is no denying that the case of South Sudan has many similarities to Tamil Eelam (including an Al Basher in Sudan and a Rajapaksa in Sri Lanka). In fact in my article INDEPENDENT TAMIL EELAM – THE FINAL DESTINATION I speak of the arrangements for the South Sudanese Diaspora to vote: “Special arrangements were made for centres to be opened in the Diaspora countries including Canada for Southern Sudanese people living abroad to cast their vote.” I said, hoping one day it would be our turn.
Kusal goes even further and denies Tamils the right to self determination and calls it a “Marxist formulation”, and shamelessly promotes and gives a link to a pdf document that was published by two members of the APRC who decided that the APRC deliberations must come out in the open; whereas the final report that the Chairman of the APRC presented to President Rajapaksa recommending a new constitution that still preached a “unitary” system including the “preservation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka,” has become a worthless document, gathering dust somewhere waiting to be shredded.
Kusal has to be reminded that as recently as a few weeks back Great Britain held a referendum among the people of Falklands to decide if they wished to remain with Great Britain. Everyone from David Cameron was calling on Argentina to respect the wishes of the people of Falkland to stay with Britain on the basis of their right to “self determination.” May I also remind Kusal that Argentina refers to Falklands as Malvinas, so his refusal to accept the 1987 merged NorthEast provinces as Eelam would not deter Eelam Tamils from pursuing Eelam and invoking the right to self determination that is “recognized in international law and is mentioned as a key component in many United Nations Treaties and Declarations.” I suggest Kusal reads my article, ‘Why Tamils of Tamil Eelam Deserve Self Determination:
Pakiasothy Saravanamuthu of ‘The Centre for Policy Alternatives’ has also commented on concepts such as ‘self determination’, as not relevant, which I strongly contest. He was also the man who came and preached in Canada that “the Tamil Diaspora’s contribution to the Tamils in the NorthEast should solely be directed to “development”.
The cynics of “Eelam” are of different hues and persuasions both local and foreign. Some show sheer ignorance and some are constantly in denial mode.
I am talking of people who all want to push some sort of a political solution down our throats.
And these ideas that they fancy are thrust upon us Eelam Tamils whilst our aspirations, most specifically our inalienable right to our homeland are ignored, denigrated and even sneered at.
There are the Sinhala apologists who have this patronizing attitude that they can dictate to Tamils what they should accept as a form of political solution. Then there are some governments, should I say neighbouring or neighbourly governments, who have special and vested interests: geo-political, strategic and or commercial; and even some well intentioned rights groups pursuing their own causes; all of whom want to give their mostly unsolicited views on what is our due.
The same old archaic 13th Amendment (plus, minus or plus plus, heaven knows what they mean), the APRC that never saw the light of day (as I explained earlier), that most insincere, “devolution to the provinces” mantra and yet other forms of delaying tactics are repeated by these folks that’s nauseating to hear and pathetic to say the least.
Worst still there are some extremist forces, I would say a significant lot and mind you from the government who think Tamils deserve absolutely nothing that the whole island belongs to them and Tamils have to pay obeisance to Sinhala Buddhist Supremacy and accept Sinhala Buddhist hegemony and resign themselves to second class status.
Words such as “peace” “reconciliation” and “accountability” are bandied about by some although fully recognizing in their own minds that it is has no meaning in the Sri Lankan context. These words are especially down right disingenuous coming from a Sinhala government that keeps claiming that it has to be given the time and space to come up with “homegrown solutions”, yes time and space to come up with nothing, I would say.
The US sponsored resolution itself still harps on these very words. But soon “governments of this world” as Prime Minister Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran envisages in the same article mentioned above, “will have to accept the establishment of an independent state of Tamil Eelam on the basis of remedial justice,” for genocide. Surmising that “while knowing the truth, these governments want to confine the problem within the boundaries of their own preference,” he sets out the strategy that Tamils must center on:
“….today our strategy should center on how we are going to widen the distance between powerful global players and our enemy the Sinhala government, and how we are going to develop our relationship with these global powers. However, we should not sacrifice our own self-interests to these global powers. At the same time, we cannot expect the global powers to give up their interests fully and support us on the basis of justice. Thus, in order to deal with powerful governments, I believe we must employ twin tactics that will produce results. First, we have to determine how to align our interests and the interests of the powerful global powers and design necessary plans. This should happen at the diplomatic level. Second, we as people should engage ourselves with global powers through democratic and diplomatic means.”
The Tamils and the TGTE would continue to engage the governments of the world together with their brethren in Tamil Nadu towards achieving their aspirations of an independent Eelam.
To those who say the Sinhalese have endured more than 30 years of terrorism, I say Tamils have endured Sri Lankan state terrorism, anti-Tamil state policies and systematic and structural genocide ever since independence. I have always maintained we need a rare breed of Sinhala statesmen who don’t play the racist card to emerge with a new narrative. It is for the Sinhala government to think what their next positive forward looking step should be as a response not only to the US resolution that expects certain obligations to be discharged by Sri Lanka but also the Tamil Nadu resolution that calls for a referendum on a separate Eelam.
*Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah- Chair, TGTE Senate