27 May, 2020

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Self-Determination: Crimea Leads The Way For Other Ethnic Minorities

By Veluppillai Thangavelu –

Veluppillai Thangavelu

Veluppillai Thangavelu

Crimea Leads The Way For Other Ethnic Minorities To Invoke The Principle Of Self-Determination 

These days newspaper pages are filled with news stories related to two different subjects at two different parts of the world.  One is the annexation of Crimea as part of the Russian Federation by President Vladimir Putin last Friday (March 21, 2014).   Russian President signed into law bringing the Crimea region into Russia, a move that has met with strong condemnation by the West and by threats of further sanctions against Russia. The United States and European Union have already targeted dozens of Russian and Ukrainian officials linked to Crimea’s unrest with far reaching assets freezes and travel bans.

The other news is about the disappearance of Malaysian Boeing 777 Airlines Flight 370 that evaporated into thin air on March 10, 2014.  Twelve days later the missing plane has not been located despite air and sea search by ships and planes belonging to 26 countries covering thousands of sq. miles of land and sea. Former pilots and aviation experts are having a field day expounding a multitude of theories about the plane’s fate.

The full-blown 4 year old civil war in Syria that began in 2010 has killed over 100,000 people, half of whom are believed to be civilians. Bombings are destroying crowded cities and horrific human rights violations are widespread. Basic necessities like food and medical care are sparse.

The U.N. estimates that over 6.5 million people are internally displaced out of a total population of 23 million people and over 2.5 million Syrians have registered with the United Nations High Commission of Refugees, but hundreds of thousands more await registration.  Most children have been out of school for months, if not years. More than 97% of Syria’s refugees are hosted by countries in the immediate surrounding region. The number of Syrians registered as refugees or pending registration was 110,000 in Egypt, 168,000 in Iraq, 515,000 in Jordan, 716,000 in Lebanon and 460,000 in Turkey. According to the UN, more than half of all Syrian refugees are under the age of 18.  At this rate, the UN predicts there could be four million Syrian refugees by the end of this year — the worst exodus since the Rwandan genocide 20 years ago. Syria once a stable country is now a burning inferno.  Yet political turmoil in Crimea and disappearance of the Malaysian 777 Boeing flight 370 has overshadowed the civil war in Syria.

On March 16 a referendum was held asking people to say yes or no to two questions on the Crimean referendum ballots.

Question 1 – Are you in favour of Crimea becoming a constituent territory of the Russian Federation?

Question 2 – Are you in favour of restoring Crimea’s 1992 constitution?

According to the 1992 constitution, the autonomous Crimean Republic was part of Ukraine and relations with Kiev defined on the basis of mutual agreements.

A few months ago no one would have dreamt Crimea will secede from Ukraine.  President Yanukovych faced violent street protests and the opposition called for his resignation since refusing a partnership agreement with the European Union in November 2013. The president rejected the EU deal — which he had earlier agreed to in principle — because he said it would threaten the country’s close trade ties with Russia. Street protests turned violent   and the agitation, backed by US and her allies continued for about three months.

As the movement grew and eventually became violent, President Yanukovych introduced controversial anti-protest laws (later annulled) and then took a short sick leave. Under intense international pressure to end the violence, Yanukovych and opposition leaders signed a deal on February  21 to allow early elections, a new constitution and new unity government. However, parliament quickly voted to depose Yanukovych, who fled Kyiv. The interim government issued an arrest warrant for Yanukovych accusing him of “mass killings” of protesters. Yanukovych resurfaced in Russia and said he planned to continue to fight for Ukraine. He claimed  he is still the legitimate President of Ukraine and vowed to return. He dubbed his opponents ‘neo-fascists’ in   ‘neo-fascists’ in a defiant speech from Rostov-on-Don, Russia.

The opposition parties that took control of the government made an extremely foolish and provocative move to abolish the use of Russian language in the semi-autonomous region of Crimea. This infuriated the people of Crimea and gave an excuse for Russia to intervene to save the besieged Russians in Crimea who constituted 58% of the population.  Crimea is the cradle of the Russian Orthodox religion, and the Russian empire came into existence as a result of the struggle for the Crimea and adjacent areas, to understand the complex problems facing Crimea we should look at the complicated history of the country’s past. Before that here is a snapshot of Crimea.

•Territory                 –      Crimea
•Status                      –      Semi-autonomous region of Ukraine
•Status                      –      Autonomous republic within Ukraine
•Population             –     2 million
•Capital                    –     Simferopol
•Area                         –     26,100 sq km (10,077 sq miles)
•Languages             –     Ukrainian (official), Russian, Crimean Tatar
•Ethnic groups       –     Russians 58%) Ukrainians (24%)  Tatars (12%) others (6%)
•Religion                  –     Christianity 33.16%, Islam (3.1%) Non – religious (62.5%)
•Main industries     –   Tourism, agriculture, ore, mining, chemicals

The semi-autonomous Republic of Crimea earlier part of Ukraine lies on a peninsula stretching out from the south of Ukraine between the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. It is separated from Russia to the east by the narrow Kerch Strait. (See map)

Crimea was annexed by the Russian Empire during the reign of Catherine The Great in 1783 and remained part of Russia until 1954, when it was transferred to Ukraine under the then Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev who was a Ukraine by birth.  Under Greek and Roman influence for centuries, in 1443 Crimea became the centre of a Tatar Khanate, which later fell under Ottoman control.

Rival imperial ambitions in the mid 19th century led to the Crimean War when Britain and France, suspicious of Russian ambitions in the Balkans as the Ottoman Empire declined, sent troops. Given autonomous republic status within Russia after the Bolshevik revelation Crimea was occupied by the Nazis in the early 1940s. Stalin accused the Tatars of collaborating with the German occupiers and deported them en masse to Central Asia and Siberia in 1944. Many did not survive and a million people perished due to famine.

Only after the collapse of the Soviet Union they were allowed to return.  By the time over a quarter of a million did so in the early 1990s, it was to an independent Ukraine where they faced very high unemployment and extremely poor housing conditions. There were persistent tensions and protests over land rights, and allocation of land to Crimean Tatars was a contentious issue.

After Ukrainian independence, political figures from the local Russian community sought to assert sovereignty and strengthen ties with Russia through a series of moves declared unconstitutional by the Ukrainian government. The 1996 Ukrainian constitution stipulated that Crimea would have autonomous republic status, but insisted that Crimean legislation must be in keeping with that of Ukraine.

Crimea has its own parliament and government with powers over agriculture, public infrastructure and tourism. The Crimean Tatars have their own unofficial parliament, the Mejlis, which states its purpose as being to promote the rights and interests of the Crimean Tatars.

The port of Sevastopol is a major naval base and has been home to the Black Sea Fleet since Soviet times. Following the collapse of the USSR, the fleet was divided up between Russia and Ukraine.

The continuing presence of the Russian fleet in Sevastopol has been a focus of tension between Russia and Ukraine. In 2008, Ukraine – then under the pro-Western President  Yushchenko – demanded that Moscow not use the Black Sea Fleet during the conflict with Georgia.

Both countries had agreed to allow the Russian fleet to stay until 2017, but after the election of the pro-Russian Viktor Yanukovych as president in 2010, Ukraine agreed to extend the lease by 25 years beyond 2017, in return for cheaper Russian gas.

Crimea had a troubled relationship with Ukraine right through out. Ukraine is the largest country in Europe next to Russia. It ranks as the 44th largest country in the world. It has an area of 603,550 sq km and a population of 45.1 million (UN, 2011).

Ironically President Putin used the principle of right of self-determination of people. The Crimean referendum held on March 16, 2014 became direct expression of the will of people that have the right for self-determination according to the UN Charter” President declared.  This is a 180 degree about turn  since the days of Kosovo’s referendum based on the same principle. Russia opposed the referendum while US and NATO countries supported it. Now the roles have been reversed without anyone apologising. People have the right to   self-determination,  if they have a well defined territory, a common language and culture and who view themselves as a distinct nation and vote for independence in a referendum.

It is under this principle Britain claims sovereignty over Falkland Islands and  South Sudan and East Timor became independent.  Falklands voted at a referendum held in 2013 in which 99.8% voters voted to remain a British Overseas Territory on a 92% turnout.

Crimea and Kosovo is there any parallel between the two? Are they similar or different?

Vladimir Putin’s key argument justifying Crimea’s secession from Ukraine and annexation by Russia is the West’s acceptance of Kosovo’s declaration of statehood in 2008.

Kosovo and Crimea both sought independence against the wishes of their central governments but the two situations have many differences.

With the strong support of the United States, the ethnic Albanian-dominated Kosovo seceded from Serbia over Serbia’s strong objections. Russia, a historic Slavic ally of the Serbs, at the time argued that the Kosovo declaration was a serious breach of international law that could lead to a series of statehood claims elsewhere in the world.

Enter Crimea, Ukraine’s strategic Black Sea peninsula. After Crimean residents voted overwhelmingly Sunday to secede and join Russia, Putin is invoking the precedent of Kosovo to justify the vote while the West insists the ballot is invalid.

There are similarities as well.   Both Kosovo and Crimea have a majority who belong to an ethnic minority. Just as Kosovo Albanians feared Serbian repression during the autocratic rule of late Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, Russians living in Crimea feared the Ukrainian nationalists who came to power in Kiev in February.

Both the ethnic Albanians in Kosovo and the ethnic Russians in Crimea voted overwhelmingly in favor of secession, while the Serbian minority in Kosovo and the Ukrainian and Tatar minorities in Crimea mostly boycotted the vote.

There was foreign military intervention in both regions with NATO intervening in Kosovo and pro-Russian troops seizing control of Crimea ahead of the vote.

There are differences. NATO intervened in Kosovo in 1999 only after significant evidence of Serbian abuses against ethnic Albanians, including mass killings and deportations. Pro-Russian forces intervened in Crimea with no major abuses or violence reported against ethnic Russians by Ukrainians.

The West didn’t annex Kosovo after driving Milosevic’s forces out of the former Serbian province, but sent in peacekeepers. Russian troops took control of Crimea before its referendum was held.

Kosovo declared independence but did not join its ethnic brethren in neighbouring Albania in a single state. Crimea, which has a majority Russian population, signed a deal to join Russia two days after the vote.

Kosovo declared independence nine years after Serbia lost effective control over its former province and only after a long diplomatic process when it was virtually an independent state. Crimea voted to secede from Ukraine only weeks after the country’s pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych, fled to Russia.

In July 2010, U.N.’s highest court ruled that Kosovo’s declaration of independence was legal but did not endorse Kosovo’s claim to statehood. Kosovo remains unrecognized by the UN because of Russia’s veto powers.

“Our Western partners created the Kosovo precedent with their own hands,” Putin said on March 18, when he signed the treaty to incorporate Crimea into Russia. “In a situation absolutely the same as the one in Crimea, they recognized Kosovo’s secession from Serbia as legitimate while arguing that no permission from a country’s central authority is necessary for a unilateral declaration of independence.”

The moral of the story? It is the familiar argument might is right.

Tibet is reeling under the jackboot of China since 1950. Chinese government troops invaded Tibet on October 7, 1950, and  captured the town of Qamdo (Chamdo) on October 19, 1950.  The UN General Assembly condemned the Chinese invasion of Tibet on November 18, 1950 but beyond that nothing was done. No country, including US, is prepared to go to war with China over Tiber. That is the sad reality.

Crimea’s decision to join Russia after voting in a referendum shows people of the same ethnicity tend to join their cousins for security and cultural reasons. Crimean example gives impetus to other ethnic minorities like Kurds, Tibetans, Kashmiris, Thamils who suffer persecution to ascertain their own independence and sovereignty by invoking the same principle of self-determination and R2P.  May be not today, but in the future it might be possible.

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Latest comments

  • 2
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    Take it easy! Bensen

  • 12
    3

    Rubbish from the Tiger rump as usual. Do high caste Vellalas want anything to do with low caste Indian Tamils? They cannot sit at the same table as their own people in the East and the tea estates. They are racist hypocrites. That is why their call for Eelam has always been for a separate Tamil Eelam and never for union with TamilNad.

  • 8
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    Mr.Thangavelu,
    Are you implying that the Tamils in the north and east of Sri Lanka will opt for a Crimea-like option to become a part of India? If you do, you are living in Cuckuland, This shows how little you know of indigenous Tamil psyche, here. You have a right to express your concerns about the Tamils here, but have no right to misrepresent them and add to their woes.

    The Tamils in the north and east will never opt to be part of India, willingly . They will never surrender their distinct identity or allow it to be overwhelmed under any circumstances. They know their distinct identity will be swamped by Tamil Nadu. We, the indigenous Tamils in Sri Lanka do not claim origins in India, as even the Sinhalese do. We have linguistic and cultural affinities, but do not have even distant cousins there.

    We seek help from India, when we are under pressure here in Sri Lanka, not as kin, but as good neighbours. We are and will be thankful for whatever help we get to solve our problems here, but that will be it. No more ! Even the LTTE did not accept Indian hegemony!

    Have the likes of you given up the South Sudan bogey now, in exchange for the Crimea bogey?

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • 0
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      Well Dr. Narendran, if the only option forced on the Tamils is to choose between getting assimilated by the Singhalese and getting mingled with the Tamilians of Tamilnadu thereby losing their distinct identity to some extent, which one will you choose? I feel that the vast majority of the Tamils would choose the latter. As things are the overwhelming majority of the Sinhala Buddhists would wish the Tamils to get assimilated amongst them and there is very little chance of that attitude changing. What do you say?

      Sengodan. M

      • 3
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        Sengodan,

        We have shared this island with the Sinhalese for more than a millennium and survived with our identity intact. Even the past three decades of bitter wars have not destroyed our identity or seriously dwarfed our numbers. I surmise that the Tamils will remain a distinct community within Sri Lanka, until this earth is there in a habitable form. How the war- affected Tamils resurrected their cultural symbols starting soon after the war ended, even before their personal problems were solved, was something I watched with fascination.

        However, I doubt we will survive as distinct community as part of India- very small fish in a big crowded ocean syndrome. Considering how Tamil Nadu cinema and television are already enfeebling our distinctiveness, I fear what a closer association would do to us. Further, the historical barriers that the Jaffna Tamils erected to insulate themselves from unwanted South Indian Tamil influences and inroads, should not be ignored. Such barriers did not exist between the Tamils and Sinhalese in an age gone by. Whatever barriers are there today due to post-independence calamities, are slowly breaking down. If a political solution can be found, the remaining barriers will evaporate. The dangers of Sinhala assimilation are a much lessor worry to me than the swamping / smothering by Tamil Nadu,

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

        • 0
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          “The dangers of Sinhala assimilation are a much lessor worry to me than the swamping / smothering by Tamil Nadu”

          What a crazy comment! Sinhalisation of the North-East is going on at an accelerated rate and you have the nerve to suggest that TN is more of a threat to Eelam Thamils than the Sinhalese chauvinists. There is clearly only one person on this thread who is from cuckoo land, and its not Thangavelu ayya.

          • 1
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            What are you taking about? Is it about Sinhalisation of land in the north and east? I am a taking about the distinct identity of the Tamils. They are two different things.

            Dr.RN

  • 4
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    Sri Lanka and its armed forces are behaving exactly in the same manner as the Indonesians and their armed forces in East Timor before its independence.

    Only, the results so far seem to be different because of the circumstances prevailing in the case of Thamils.

    Hopefully Indian elections in May may change this situation for the betterment of Thamils.

  • 3
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    Veluppillai Thangavelu –

    “Self-Determination: Crimea Leads The Way For Other Ethnic Minorities”

    Yes. It is one of the methods of curtailing the hegemony of the majority.

    The Tamils should ask India and Tamil Nadu y\to help out, in getting your just Human Rights in your adopted land of the Native Veddha. This is because the other Paradeshis, the Paras, the Para-Sinhala, because of Monk Mahanama Sinhala “Buddhist” Racism is making it difficult for the Para-Tamil, to live in peace and practice Deity Hinduism, and discriminate against the low-caste Tamils. Buddhist say Life-is-Suffering and they make everybody suffer.

    At least ask India to get BOTH the Pata-Sinhala and Para-Tamil back to South India, where they came from, proven scientifically from their DNA.

    Alt for Native Veddah Aetho. All for Native Veddah Aetho.

  • 3
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    Mr Thangavelu,
    Thank you for the article.
    “May be not today, but in the future it might be possible.” If it is not today – WHEN? Tomorrow whole N&E will be fully sinhalised.

    • 0
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      Anpu,

      In anyway it cannot happen overnight. It cannot happen in even five or ten years. In the meantime so many other things can happen. So, no need to panic!

      Sengodan. M

  • 3
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    The important thing here is why the west don’t agree with what Putin did and do not recognize Crimea as separate country. Any country who wants to follow Crimea path needs to first aligne with Russia!

  • 2
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    Kosovo was a small province of Serbia, a constituent of Yugoslavia, which had been the rock supporting the Non Aligned Movement since it’s inception. When TITO who had held this country together died, fissiparous forces were let loose, with support from the usual sources. Yugoslavia also stood in the way of the eastward march of NATO, to encircle Russia and weaken it as a nation. The US tried to impose a US citizen, Panic, as it’s president, but when the locals rejected him different methods needed to be employed. The KLA which had been burning churches and evicting Serbs from their villages had found their saviour. We know that US asst. under-secretary of State Nuland spent at least US$5 billion undermining and orchestrating events in Ukraine as confirmed by Rand Paul, the US Republican senator. How much was spent on the Serbian imbroglio we do not know, but it resulted in a continuous day and night bombing campaign lasting some 88 days before the Yugoslavs submitted and was broken up i.e. balkanised. NATO is now a permanent resident there.

    Milosevic, the leader was tried at the ICC, specifically set up to convict him and his generals. His alleged crime, the killing of 200,000 ethnic Albanians (both new arrivals and old) were found to be false, and Navi Pillay of the day, Louise Arbour of Canada was left with egg on her face when the so-called mass graves proved to be empty. The allegation was therefore pure fiction. This did NOT stop Kosovo being extirpated from Serbia and handed over to the terrorist group KLA, which is known to have traded in human organs, kidneys hearts and the like, during the period. Such is the company NATO keeps to achieve it’s global ambitions. The US and NATO which today is championing sovereignty and territorial integrity, did not give a damn then.

    Crimea was part of the empire built up by Kievan Rus, the creator of what is today Russia, Byelorussia and Ukraine a millennium ago. It had to be wrested back from the Ottomans by Catherine the Great and has since been the warm water port to the Russian Navy. It was handed over to Ukraine a province of the USSR by it’s Ukrainian born leader for administrative purposes without the say so of the locals. This has now been corrected by Putin, because the latter overwhelmingly approved it, instead of living under an illegitimate regime in Kiev.

  • 1
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    It is outrageous that someone would speak of the connectivity OF Tamils of SL and TN and the connectivity of Russians IN Crimea and IN Russia on the same breath.

    Tamils of SL have a language that is common, but not lineage. (The evidences are too complex to elaborate here.)

    Our national struggle should not be compromised by such perilous comparisons even in dire desperation.

  • 2
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    Dr. Narendran – you always jump the gun! Not many months ago you audaciously claimed that the Thamils in the North are living happily; One of the places you visited is Chavakachcheri. You claimed the market was busy. You overlook the fact that the treaty incorporating Crimea with Russia was signed by Vladimor Putin and Crimean President Sergei Aksyonov and Crimea will remain an autonomous republic within the Russian Federation. It will have its own parliament, Cabinet of Ministers, judicial system, Central Bank etc. One of the redeeming features is the declaration of Russian, Ukraine and Tarter languages as official languages. The Northeast region too can sign a treaty conferring autonomous status. It shall have its own parliament, cabinet of ministers, powers over law and order etc. This way the people can continue to preserve their distinct identity. The important lesson is that Crimean people exercised their right of self-determination and Russia justified intervention under R2P, that is, the right to protect the Russian population in Crimea! Anyway, we will leave the people in our homeland to decide their own fate.

    • 2
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      Thanga,

      The Tamil people in the north made a choice at the NPC elections and it rests on one country with self-determination. So, it is not wise for people who live outside of SL to conflate the already contentious issue. We, the Tamil diasporas, need to support the Tamils’ destiny through their own democratic choices; we cannot decide for them.

    • 2
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      An analogy of sorts:

      No decent Tamil wife will go to live with the neighbourhood woman’s husband, under whatever circumstances that prevail in her home. She may argue, she may fight , she may divorce or she may commit suicide, but she will not become her neighbour’s keep. She can also go to live with her parents or siblings, or invite them to come to live with her. Unfortunately, India is not our parental home and the Tamils there are not our siblings or kin.

      Genetically, we are much closer to the Sinhalese than the Tamils in India!

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  • 0
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    Mr.Thangavelu,

    afeter a nice elaboration you have arrived at a dream as a conclusion. where will be similarities of two countries of India and Sri lanka when consider Russia and Creamia. your argument points towards the India, that one day they will call as NE a part of India ? its a dream in the making. did India give away NE of sri Lanka to south of Sri Lanka by any chance to recall it. Sri Lanka and India are two different countries not territories. all the LTTE tamil at any cost wants to achieve a separate state in Sri Lanka, but that will not happen. your main backing is comming from US and UK, how can they agree for such when they oppose Crimea.

    • 1
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      Things can change, my dear. Who knows? If the Sinhalese are wise, they will permit Tamils to enjoy a reasonable degree of autonomy thereby paving the way for both communities to live happily in ONE country. But the prevailing mentality of an overwhelming number of Sinhala Buddhists may not permit that! If such a sad situation worsens or even continues for long as at present, who knows ANYTHING can happen!

      Sengodan. M

  • 3
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    Sri Lankan state cannot handle the present situation, created by successive governments and made it worse by the present regime for their dirty political games or have the resolve to amicably settle the festering problem. Their dishonesty, delay tactics, colonization, sinhalization, militarization, discrimination, atrocities, arbitrary arrests, abductions, detentions using PTA etc.,are still going on with impunity even after five years after the genocidal, merciless killings. There is no hope of any change in the mentality of the regime of punishing the decimated, butchered, robbed and still suffering citizenry. Under the circumstances, intervention of the international community becomes inevitable and it’s the only way. One fine day, going the separate way has to happen and it should materialize before the population is totally wiped out from the face of the earth. Let it be like Kosovo, East Timor or Crimea. Let the sufferings come to an end finally by any means possible. People want freedom first.

  • 10
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    This scoundrel Thangavelu is an enemy to Tamil people’s struggle for political and democratic rights. When the struggle was kidnapped by the fascist LTTE he became their collaborator in destroying even the limited democratic freedoms the Tamil people had enjoyed until that time. He justified Prabakaran’s killing of moderate Tamils by labeling them as traitors and advocating the LTTE was the sole representative of the Tamils. He was one of the ideologues of the LTTE who promoted the establishment of a fascist Tamil state ruled by the dictator and war criminal Prapakaran.

    He actively worked to promote LTTE in the diaspora. He was the Vice-President of World Tamil Movement when it was banned by the Canadian Government in June 2008 for being a front organization of the LTTE. Canadian law enforcement agencies had found the WTM was running a complex extortion scheme that forced Tamil Canadians to donate money to the Tigers. The question uppermost in the minds of most Tamils today is what has happened to the millions of dollars collected. Who will account for all that money extorted mostly from Tamils who toiled in factories, restaurants and gas-stations in the nights?

    The website of Ministry of Public Safety Canada still lists the WTM as a banned organization.

    http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/ntnl-scrt/cntr-trrrsm/lstd-ntts/crrnt-lstd-ntts-eng.aspx

    World Tamil Movement (WTM)

    The World Tamil Movement was created in 1986 and became a known and leading front organization for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Canada. The leadership of the WTM acts at the direction of the LTTE and has been instrumental in fundraising in Canada on behalf of the LTTE. WTM representatives canvas for donations amongst the Canadian Tamil population, and have been involved in acts of intimidation and extortion to secure funds.

    Date listed
    2008-06-13

    Date reviewed
    2012-11-20

  • 9
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    Let us make this abundantly clear: the Tamil population in Sri Lanka has never had any desire to join India. Why would a small community want to lose its individuality and autonomy by joining an ocean of people in India? Annexation by India, a la Crimea, is not something Tamils support.

    SL Tamil people, whether in Sri Lanka or in the Diaspora, should speak in one voice, and say Federalism with adequate powers and guarantees of physical security within a united SL is their maximum goal. Let India help with this goal if it can, but SL Tamils have absolutely no intention of going beyond it for a separate country, nor do they have any intention of being part of India. There should be no room for ambiguity in this.

    Any claim to the contrary is just a fantasy of a tiny section of the Tamil population; it helps no one’s cause–it is not even remotely possible, and it simply inflames the passions of the Sinhalese people and leads to unnecessary conflict disrupting the lives of Tamil citizens within SL whose lives are hard enough already.
    Some Diaspora Tamils should keep their fantasies to themselves.

    • 7
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      Agnos

      I’m glad you said it. In spite of all the horrible things the Tamils say about Sri Lanka in order to get maximum political mileage, the truth of the matter is deep in their hearts they know they are better off being part of Sri Lanka because of its relative superiority over Tamil Nadu in terms of Quality of Life and cultural refinement.

  • 0
    1

    Dr. Narendran – you always jump the gun! Not many months ago you audaciously claimed that the Thamils in the North are living happily; One of the places you visited is Chavakachcheri. You claimed the market was busy. You overlook the fact that the treaty incorporating Crimea with Russia was signed by Vladimir Putin and Crimean President Sergei Aksyonov and Crimea will remain an autonomous republic within the Russian Federation. It will have its own parliament, Cabinet of Ministers, judicial system, Central Bank etc. One of the redeeming features is the declaration of Russian, Ukraine and Tarter languages as official languages. The Northeast region too can sign a treaty conferring autonomous status. It shall have its own parliament, cabinet of ministers, powers over law and order etc. This way the people can continue to preserve their distinct identity. The important lesson is that Crimean people exercised their right of self-determination and Russia justified intervention under R2P, that is, the right to protect the Russian population in Crimea! Anyway, we will leave the people in our homeland to decide their own fate.

    • 2
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      Thanga,

      I reaffirm the Tamils are happier than they were, now, compared to the decades preceding 2012. Could they be happier, absolutely unconcerned about their safety, reassured that they have equal opportunities in this country and can decide what is good for their community- YES.

      Dr.RN

      • 0
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        You contradict with TNA an elected representative of Tamils. Please dont misgude the facts.

        • 1
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          Have politicians anywhere in this world been factual? They thrive on exaggerations, distortions, understatements and sometimes outright lies, and very rarely the facts, The TNA is no exception, though they are our elected representatives. They also tend to misrepresent us often, Tamil politics cannot be the sole preserve of the Tamil politicians anymore. This would apply to the Sinhala politicians here too!

          Dr.RN

  • 1
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    Those who are barking at me should read carefully the statement issued by none other than the Foreign Ministry of Sri Lanka. That statement endorses my stance.
    The Foreign Ministry statement implicitly, if not explicitly, supports the annexation of Crimean into Russia after a referendum based on the principle of right to self-determination of Crimean people deciding their political fate. Here is the statement by Sri Lanka foreign ministry:

    “The EAM statement said: “In keeping with Sri Lanka’s consistent policy of recognising democratically elected Heads of State, the unconstitutional removal of President Viktor Yanukovych from office is regretted, and has aggravated the present political uncertainty in Ukraine. While acknowledging the justifiable concerns of the Russian Federation, Sri Lanka also welcomes attempts at de-escalating the tension……”

    What this means in practical terms is that in order to protect the interests of Thamil People India can annex the North-eastern provinces where the Thamils are in a majority using both the principle of self determination and TR2P. This scenario is justified by the statement quoted above.
    It could be argued like Russia, India too under BJP leader Modi and Thamil Nadu under Ms. Jayalalithaa could annex North-eastern part of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka like Ukraine has no grounds to oppose. That is why I said there is such a possibility in the future.

    • 2
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      Thanga,

      The comments here are in response to your hypothesis. We know how stupid this government and its External Affairs Ministry can be. They are clutching at straws to survive a torrent or in the Canadian context, go over the Niagara Falls holding onto a straw,

      Let us not mimic their stupidity.l

      Dr.RN

  • 0
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    Florence Nightingale emerged as the “lady with the Lamp” after the Crimean War (1853-1856). Any possibility of JJ emerging as a “Lady with ……..” after Indian General Election?

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    Imagine Ceylon (Sri Lanka) before independence. There was no problem of Tamils and Sinhalese living in peace and harmony and security. What happened afterwards? Starting with D.S.Senanayake, when the Sinhala leaders, for political expediency started discriminating the Tamil people in every aspect of their lives. Then and only then did Tamil resistance began and the Tamil leaders were left to only react to the situation. That escalated as both sides fanned hatred and the situation worsened, and today ended in mass killings and put Sri Lanka in disrepute. Sri Lanka is in disarray today, politically, economically, because of short sighted policies of the Sinhala majority Govts., that ruled Sri Lanka for all these years. S.W.R.D.B first proposed a federal form of Govt. and if not for the opposition shown by the opposition parties, we would be living in peace and harmony under a Federal Govt.and SL would have been a paradise in the true sense of the word. The peoples would have lived as brothers. The ordinary pious Sinhala Buddhist people were not opposed to it, in my view. But it was the power hungry leaders who exploited the racial divide to gain control of the Govt. Some of the good old Buddhist clergy lost their mission and started dabbling in politics. That too was allowed to happen for political expediency. You want to make SL an Isle of paradise? In good faith, go back to 1948, undo what ever is discriminatory to any section of the people of SL, and re-enact just-laws without any discrimination of any kind on the basis of race, language,religion or status. If that happens, peace will prevail, people will live and let live, as two nation, but one united country. That would be utopia and a blessing we all deserve. Who is that statesman who has that courage to make this happen?

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