11 August, 2020

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Breakout Blueprint: ITAK’s Attack Plan

By Dayan Jayatilleka –

Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka

The keynote speech by Mr. R Sampanthan, the leader of the main Tamil parliamentary party at the recent congress of that organization is in many respects a landmark event. It sheds light on a number of key strategic issues and should make clear to the international community that the matter of political dialogue leading to ethnic reconciliation is, has become or is becoming rather more complex and fraught than is customarily thought.

The senior political leader of the Tamil community in the island’s strategically sensitive Northern Province reconfirms the political aim and goal of his party. Perhaps more importantly he clarifies the international strategy that is being, and is to be, adopted in furtherance of that political project, as well as the interconnection between the international strategy and domestic tactics in support of the project. It is not so much a strategy for breakthrough as for ‘breakout’.

Mr. Sampanthan’s speech (posted in full on Colombo Telegraph) not only states clearly that the political project lies outside the parameters of both the 13th amendment as well as the structural form of a unitary state, it also provides considerable evidence that the goal of a sovereign state of and for the Tamils, one in which they enjoy absolute rather than shared or devolved authority, remains the goal. The terms ‘devolution’ and ‘power-sharing’ do not appear in the speech.

Perhaps the key segment of Mr. Sampanthan’s speech is that the adopted strategy is to prove to the international community, especially India and the USA, that a solution for the Tamil people is not possible within a united Sri Lanka. The repeated use of the term ‘united’ rather than ‘unitary’ reveals that the strategy is not merely to convince the international community that a solution cannot be found within the unitary form and framework, but rather within a united Sri Lanka, i.e. Sri Lanka as a single, united country. Despite several references to a ‘united’ Sri Lanka elsewhere in the text, this strategic perspective reveals a latent commitment to a secessionist goal by other means.

This interpretation is confirmed by a passage in which it is stated that the softening of the political stand of the main Tamil party is merely tactical, does not indicate a shift of political goal and is intended to dovetail with ongoing and emerging international trends and leveraging those international trends and factors in favor of that political goal.

Key extracts of the speech follow:

 

  • “…We gather here following our victory in the passage of the recent Resolution at the UN Human Rights Council, a condemnation against the Sri Lankan government by the international community, which has recognized that the Sri Lankan government has committed the crime of extermination against our people, and that it continues to deny them their political rights…”

 

  • “…Up to 500 years ago, the Tamil people established their own governments, and governed themselves.  Our party symbolizes a time in history, until the entire country was, for administrative convenience, ruled as one Nation by colonial powers, during which our people had their own sovereign Tamil governments. The symbol of our party chosen for us by our founder – the House – also symbolizes this. This House is the Home of our community; our community’s historical habitat; our community’s sovereignty. Our fundamental objective is to regain our community’s Home, its historical habitat and its sovereignty. The symbol of the House symbolizes this unshakeable aim…”

 

 

  • “… Today, the only hope it has is the interest and involvement of the international community in the reasonable demands on which our struggle is based.  It is this that stands as a force for us, from outside our community, today. We must not forget the lesson history taught us, of the difference of opinion we had with India that not only caused it to distance itself from us for the past 20 years, but even caused it to work against us. We want to ensure that we do not act such a manner again, and thus alienate ourselves from the international community.

The softening of our stance concerning certain issues, and the compromise we show in other issues, are diplomatic strategies to ensure that we do not alienate the international community. They are not indications that we have abandoned our fundamental objectives.

Our expectation for a solution to the ethnic problem of the sovereignty of the Tamil people is based on a political structure outside that of a unitary government, in a united Sri Lanka in which Tamil people have all the powers of government needed to live with self respect and self sufficiency. We believe that only within such a structure of government can the Tamil people truly enjoy the right to internal self-determination that is their inalienable right.

The position that the North and East of Sri Lanka are the areas of historical habitation of the Tamil speaking people cannot be compromised in this structure of government. We must have unrestricted authority to govern our own land, protect our own people, and develop our own economy, culture and tradition. Powers must be allocated under this structure based on the understanding that meaningful devolution should go beyond the 13th Amendment to the Constitution passed in 1987. This position has been accepted by our party. Our acceptance of this position does not mean that we consider the 13th Amendment to be an acceptable solution, nor that, in the event  our right to internal self determination is continuously denied, we will not claim our right under international law to external self determination.  It only means that this is the only realistic solution today.

The above solution is also one that is likely to be acceptable to members of the international community including India and the United States, whose support and assistance is necessary in order for us to succeed in our struggle for political autonomy today.

Further, since the thinking today is that whatever political solution that is arrived at must be one within a united Sri Lanka, the above solution is one that those in Sri Lanka cannot oppose as unreasonable….”

 

  • “The world has recognized that the Tamil people have faced continuous political persecution, and that this persecution has begun to manifest itself in new ways in recent times. The world has recognized that great destruction took place during the final phase of the war. The international community that supported the government diplomatically and militarily during the war, has now begun to exert pressure on the Sri Lankan government to fulfill the promises it made to them. This includes the promise to arrive at a political solution acceptable to the Tamil people on the conclusion of the war.  Exasperated by the failure of the Sri Lankan government to fulfill its promises three years after the conclusion of the war, the international community has begun to exert diplomatic pressure on the government.

During this time, in which the international community is greatly involved in the ethnic problem involving the Tamil people, we must work in co-operation with them; we must consider their advice to us, and we must give advice to them.

If we behave in a manner that results in the international community getting embroiled in problems or controversy it is our community that will face the consequences. Our priority now is to expose the Sri Lankan government that for so many years in the past attempted to describe the ethnic problem and a ‘terrorist problem’. We must clearly prove to the international community that the Sri Lankan government, which has delayed for so long in giving the Tamil people their rights, has never made any genuine effort to do so. In other words – we must prove to the international community that we will never be able to realize our rights within a united Sri Lanka. We must be patient until the international community realizes for itself that the effort we are involved in is doomed to fail. To put it more strongly, the international community must realize through its own experience, without us having to tell them, that the racist Sri Lankan government will never come forward and give political power to the Tamil people in a united Sri Lanka. (My emphasis- DJ)

  • “…The international practice prevalent during the mid eighties, when the intervention of India occurred, has now changed. Although the issue at hand is the same, the prevailing conditions are different. The struggle is the same, but the approaches we employ are different. Our aim is the same, but our strategies are different. The players are the same, but the alliances are different. That is the nature of the Tamil people. Although we still have the same aim, the methods we use are now different. In the past the United States and India stood against us. However in the favorable circumstances that have now come about, the United States and India are to a great extent supporting our position. The Sri Lankan government continues to maintain friendships with those standing against them. India’s vote in support of the Resolution presented by the United States at the UN Human Rights Council was an astonishing international development in our favor. This can only be seen as indication of future developments…The current practices of the international community may give us an opportunity to achieve, without the loss of life, the soaring aspirations we were unable to achieve by armed force.” ( my emphasis-DJ)

 

  • “…Our patience however, will not be everlasting. Our patience too, has its limits. Once we have reached that limit, we will move onto the stage of our effort. We will not hesitate to gather our people together and with the support of progressive forces in our country, and the international community, even engage in a non-violent struggle. We will decide on specific deadlines and when the time comes for such action, we will act…”

This speech provides a glimpse of future tactics inasmuch as it speaks of a non-violent campaign which it fears will be met with violence, at which point the international community should act decisively. The stances of the party until then can be understood as setting the stage and positioning itself for such an endgame.

 

 

 

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Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    Dear Dayan!
    Do you think that a political solution would be possible when Siňhala nation adheres to its Siňhala – ‘Thēravāda’ Buddhist nationalism based on imaginary and false doctrine the “Āryan” – Siňhala – Siňhalese – Thēravāda Buddhism – Laňkā with one-to-one correspondence?

  • 0
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    Dayan

    Well come! Good to see you are back.

    This time with a different cap! Never mind,

    what is your response to Gotabayah’s interview to the BBC?

    Being a learned person, do an anlsis on this and give a proper answer to this as well.

    TNA’s position is obvious from the beiging itself.

    If there is no local solution, they will look for international mediation and it may eventually end-up in what you are presuming.

    This is the world order, considering the situation of Eritheria, East-Timor, Southern Sudan, Kosova and others.

  • 0
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    Sri Lanka needs to build an almighty Foreign Service. Best and brightest must be recruited.

    She also must unite the patriotic Sri Lankan diaspora to rise above politics to safeguard national interests in foreign capitlas.

    Writing on the wall is clear. TNA is trying to reach the Ealam goal by other means. Statements to the contrary from TNA are just deceptive. Do not be fooled by sugar-coated statements about Tamil rights to which no one is opposed, except the few racists.

    Extremist, racist, Tamil ethno-nationalist project is very much alive.

    Sri Lanka get your act together. Smart power is the key.

    • 0
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      We have already the ALMIGHTY SAJING

      • 0
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        “Almighty SajinG” @ Sri Lanka’s MEA should be shown the door. Sooner the better.

        Sri Lanka has an incredible talent pool to recruit from. Both inside and outside the country.

        Please quit posting inefficient, uneducated, henchmen and cronies to our missions aborad or to MEA at home.

        All successive regimes are guilty of that horrible crime against Sri Lanka.

  • 0
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    If the Rajapaksha racist government continue to remains in power this dream of Elaam would come true! Buttfuck and chase away the Rajapakshas and elect a democratic government that reflect a true cross section of the civil society in the whole country and arrive at a suitable political settlement. All this started with SWRD Bandaranayake’s Sinhala only racist policy!

  • 0
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    GOSL must abolish thesawalame law.. This very law embodies the evil racist ideology of the eelamist… Intergration for all in the North of Sri Lanka.. Not a step back

  • 0
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    Tamils are merely asking to be left alone to pursue their lives and livelihoods in peace and be considered ‘equal’ in every way to all other citizens.
    They want to be governed by their elected representatives and not by a Military Governor assisted Paramilitaries.
    They want free and fair elections.
    They want their lands and homes back.

    • 0
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      peace, Justice, Freedom can only be achieved through integration.. war, hate, injustice through segregation.. the eelamist way.

  • 0
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    Dayan says “……. that the matter of political dialogue leading to ethnic reconciliation is, has become or is becoming rather more complex and fraught than is customarily … ”

    Simple Dayan thought giving 13th would solve all the problems forever …. Come to the party, Dayan … It’s not too late ….

  • 0
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    Dayan,

    You did not know the history or geography of Sri Lanka. This is why you gave birth to the 13Plus game.

    Now Sampanthan made you a cat shit on a rock.

    We do not forget that you were a believer of “this war was not winnable” gospel.

    • 0
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      This clown Wijeyawickrama should quote a single thing I have written in which I’ve said the war is not winnable. On the contrary I argued that the war was winnable as far back as the late ’80s early ’90s ( see interview by Sivaram in North east Herald). Which is why I have lectured by invitation at every single Sri Lankan military academy –including at the invitation of the iconic Gen Gamini Hettiaarachchi, to the joint classes of US Green Berets and SL Special Forces over ten years ago which produced the LRRP enterprise. It is also why the memoirs of the army commander who liberated Jaffna, Gen Gerry de Silva, contains an introduction written by me at his invitation.

      By the way, nothing that Sambandan has said means that we should scrap the 13A. it only means we shouldn’t have the election soon.

    • 0
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      Dear Colobo Telegraph

      Why you are allowing the Sinhala Buddhist Chauvanist also RACIST to contribute to your esteem Media journal which received the award from Gurardian UK?

      This so called Charles Wickre…………. came running back to UK on the day the ressolution against was voted in the UN in Geneva.

      The reason was that the UN identified this racist as Sinhala Chauvanist who advocating violencent within the UN HRC.

      He was just a Police constable with 8th standard.

      When he was he had a Tamil girl friend. She refused to marry this racist is the anger he has against the Tamil people.

      How can these 8th standard qualified fellows can talk against Dr Dayan Jayalatilake who has proved that he is neither racist nor Sinhala chauvanist.

      Dr Dayan, please ignore this Sinhala Buddhist Chauvanist. Dont give him any CREDIABILITY.

      KIRUBA of TCHR is the right person to teach lessons to these type of RACIST characters.

      Dayan for God sake, please ignore this uneducated fellow.

  • 0
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    Tamils say they will play the same record. What is new in there ?

  • 0
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    A break out will be inevitable despite whatever the measures taken by Gosl… The tamils have realised that they are nothing but slaves under the sinhalese regime..

  • 0
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    The residual effects of an ideology based on ethnic cleansing and mono-cultural preponderance, as practiced by Velupillai Prabhakaran and evident in Eelamist ideology, does not seem consistent with the demographic distribution of ethnic groups in Sri Lanka from colonial times.

    On the contrary, chracteristics of a unitary state are that any person or family of any ethnic group can establish themselves in any part of the country without reservation or without earmarked sections solely for the use of one group. However, it excludes deliberate social engineering where ‘colonies’ are established by moving masses of one ethnicity and transplanting them with state sponsorship.

    Concentrations of ethnic groupings must remain naturally contoured, and as results of economic, religious, cultural, geographical, industrial bases not specifically engineered towards hegemony by one group. The ethnic cleansing of the Eastern province, of Muslims was a clear example of an attempt to do so.

    The regional statutory laws that prevailed specifically to exclude anyone outside the designated ethnic / caste group must be dismantled, in order to be consistent with more liberal statutes of an inclusive, secular and modern unitary state.

    In that context, it would be wise for any political party that purports to represent the interests of one ethnic or language group to accede to these precepts rather than canvass for re-establishment of a flawed status quo that was both impractical and unfair, and which set dangerous preconditions for civil war in the first place.

    At the same time, equality of status, access, usage and universal practice must be ensured for all common languages in Sri Lanka.

  • 0
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    Dayan Jayatilleka:
    Singing yet one more time for your supper!

    Your “erudition” does not belie the fact that you are part of a propaganda team that includes Karuna, K.P., Mervin Silva, Pathali Champika, the Dambulla head priest, Gota and the rest of the Rajapaksa pandankarayas. Your mealy-mouthed “analyses” only seek to disguise the ugly reality of your racist masters who cover the rest of their bases with the likes of the Dambulla priest, Mervin etc.
    Obviously, you and the rest of that motley crew think that everyone who reads your piffle is a “pol buruwa.” Sorry to disappoint you, chum!

  • 0
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    SO.. finally the cat is out of the bag. The smokescreen of legitimate grievences has given way to soaring aspirations. At least it is in a way good that he has come out in the open with what he really wants with out hiding behind claims such as discrimination and greivences which are not difficult resolve.
    But the problem is that this whole project is completely reliant on
    International community and that is also mainly on hillariouly Clinton.
    Prabha made the same mistake of relying on the west to save him and perished. We’ll have to wait and see the fate of Sambanthan.
    If he fails the all or nothing gamble it will be the poor Tamils who will be paying yet again.
    How easy it is to dream expensive dreams at other peoples expense!

  • 0
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    The whole objective of the war against those ruthless and barbaric Tamil Tiger terrorists was to eliminate the creation of a separate Tamil state in Sri Lanka. The sacrifices made by the brave and gallant Sri Lankan youth to fight these barbarians and wipe them out will be a worthless effort if the entire Separate Tamil Nation idea is not eliminated once and for all. The government must pass a bill outlawing and criminalizing any individual or organization trying to promote the division of the country by act or word. The government must also encourage ALL Sri Lankans to move around in ALL parts of the country and settle down wherever they are comfortable. The outdated Racist “Thesawalami” law must be abolished immediately to facilitate ANY Sri Lankan to acquire property in Jaffna.

  • 0
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    There is a way out, but it is not with this government.

  • 0
    0

    Dear Appuhamy,
    Could you please explain why you want “Thesawalamai” law deleted?

  • 0
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    The origin and developement Thesawalamai is base in Tamil area;base on fedul character legal system of in Sri lanka.Its not suited to path of capitalist developement , north part of island.
    Thesawalami Law protected vital interest of higher Vellala Cast in North.

  • 0
    0

    Dayan, I feel sorry for you. Now you have reduced yourself to just quote from R Sampanthan’s speech! This is what happens to anyone who goes to boutique or supermarket for this rogue regime! For the Rajapakshas you are now a bundle of scrapped junk material and it is just a matter of time until the same thing happens to Sajin or any donkey in the government who does the laundry operations! We note that finally your reason prevailed over your stooping attitude of the regime and spoke of the truth in your controversial interview! What you did not calculate was that truth was anathema to the Rajapakshas because they are just uneducated, uncultured bastards in the very words of former president of SL! This same plight happened to former CJ Sarath N De Silva who went after carrot dangling prime ministerial post promised by the liar MR who ultimately discovered he had actually followed the proverbial plump testicles of the goat (or the Rajapaksha) and dragged the country to an irredeemable abysmal of chaos and lawlessness giving questionable and controversial judgments! To make amends and pay off some of his karma which he shall definitely have to pay in his successive lives he ultimately and to no avail tried to speak on behalf of Sarath Fonseka.

    Despite the blemish in your name you can continue where you left off at your truth-speaking interview and help build and fashion the cause of building a democratic government under the leadership of Ranil Wickramasinghe and contributions from all the contemporary key players who are opposed to your former illegal government which came to power through vote rigging!

  • 0
    0

    Dear A.Sumanaweera!
    I am sure that you have not studied and analyzed the “Thesawalamai” Law now in practice!

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