Mahinda Rajapaksa is none other than the man who, as the leader of the Sinhala State, was overseeing the genocidal assault by that State on the Tamil people for a decade, which has left in their collective memory the pain and blood stains of the Mullivaaikaal Genocide. The Tamil people ensured his defeat in the Presidential elections by purposefully exercising their opportunity to vote. Such a decisive vote also sends out the loud signal that the Tamil people would never be prepared to forgive or forget the perpetrators of such international crimes.
We do not consider that Mr. Sirisena’s ascent to the position of President of Sri Lanka will bring any change to the status of the Tamils. We believe that it is the Sinhala-Buddhist chauvinist structure that is the basis of the Tamil national crisis. In our view, the election has enabled only a face change such that the very same chauvinist structure could reassert itself further.
It is hard for the Tamils to brush away the thought that that the new President, Maithripala Sirisena, too has stains of Tamil blood in his hands. He carries the burden of responsibility for the Genocide of Tamils by virtue of having been the Deputy Minister of Defence in the final days of the war in Mullivaaikkal, when Mahinda Rajapaksa was overseas. He was in fact given credit for this during the election campaign. We could very well ask, therefore, why he too could not be summoned for an inquiry on his alleged role in the Genocide of Tamils perpetrated by the Sinhala armed forces.
With all that as background, it is the bitter reality of the Tamil people that they could not confer any faith in any one of the Sinhala leaders.
We would, therefore, like to bring to the attention of the Tamil leadership in our homeland, and indeed the international community, a set of pre-conditions that we consider as essential for the protection of the rights and identity of the Tamil Nation.
- The Genocide being perpetrated on the Tamil people by the Sri Lankan State demands an international investigation on Sri Lanka. While welcoming the demand made by the British Prime Minister, Hon David Cameron, on the new government of Sri Lanka that it should extend its full cooperation for the international investigation, we call upon the UN Human Rights Commissioner to go to Sri Lanka now and complete the investigations there.
- We cannot accept the idea that the 13th Amendment, which is built on a unitary Constitution centralizing all powers, including the power over land and the police, as the one that would pave the way for the resolution of the Tamil National Question. Instead, the first steps towards a viable political solution should be taken on the basis of an Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA) that was on the table when the Ranil Wickremesinghe Government and the LTTE were negotiating.
- The Tamils feel that they are under military occupation as long as the Sinhala armed forces are present in their traditional areas. Therefore, as a prelude to creating civic space in the Tamil homeland, we call upon the Sri Lankan army to be withdrawn forthwith from the Tamil areas.
- All forms of land appropriation by the Sinhala regime in the Tamil homeland should be stopped immediately.
- All political prisoners detained because of their involvement in the Tamil liberation struggle should be released immediately and unconditionally.
- All information pertaining to Tamil political leaders in the struggle such as Balakumar, Puthuvai Rathnathurai, Yogi and Thilakar, and other cadres who were taken in during the last stages of the war in Mullivaaikkal, should be released immediately.
- A mechanism for the participation of Diaspora Tamils without any fear in the various development activities in the war affected homeland should be developed in cooperation with the international community.
- The 6th Amendment to the Constitution that denies the rights of the Tamil people to speak, discuss and express their political future should be repealed, followed by efforts to arrive at the permanent resolution to the Tamil National Question.
It is only when the Government of Sri Lanka moves forward to acknowledge the above as a set of just and democratic demands that the Tamil people will be convinced that the search for a permanent political resolution based on their democratic rights to the Tamil National Question would become a reality.
*Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran – the Prime Minister of the transnational Government of Tamil Eelam