TAMIL EELAM -
Recognize the concept of the sovereignty
of the Tamil people,
and support the peace process in accordance with this principle
Statement issued by Political Wing Liberation Tigers of Tamil
to the 62nd session of the United Nations General Assembly
24 September 2007
"...We urge the international community: to
recognize the concept of the sovereignty of the Tamil
people, and support the peace process in accordance with
this principle. (and) to provide appropriate opportunities
to the Tamil people to express their aspirations, as have
been given to the people of East Timor and Kosovo..."
Workshop on Bridging
the Gap between Self-Determination and Sovereignty and
Earned Sovereignty: Bridging the Gap between Self
Determination and Sovereignty ]
The delegation led by Sri
Lanka’s President, Mahinda Rajapakse is gathered in New York,
USA, to take part in the 62nd session of the UN General
Assembly. This delegation, as in the past, will use this
opportunity at the UNGA to discredit the Tamil struggle for
self-determination as terrorism and mislead the international
community to cover up Sri Lanka’s failed records on human
rights, humanitarian issues, and peace process.
At the time when world leaders are assembling at the 62nd
session of the UNSG to discuss international issues, the
Political wing of the LTTE wants to focus attention on issues
related with the current conflict situation and the peace
process. As the LTTE and Tamil people are denied a fair chance
to interact directly with the International community (IC), we
choose to submit this statement.
(a) Sri Lanka
and the Peace Process
Since elected to office, President Mahinda
Rajapakse has been systematically weakening the IC-backed
cease-fire agreement (CFA) between the Government of Sri
Lanka (GoSL) and the LTTE.
It has blatantly ignored all the promises
that were made at the Geneva talks.
Further, the GoSL has tried to isolate the
LTTE, a party to the Cease-fire and peace talks, from the IC
and thus obstructed the Tamil people from directly
interacting with the IC on their legitimate aspirations in a
fair conflict resolution process.
GoSL has made schizophrenic public
statements that ranged from, the intention to “wipe out the
LTTE” and give a political solution to the Tamils, and to
“weakening the LTTE” in order to “force” it to come to the
The appointment of the All Party
Representative Committee (APRC) to come up with a
constitutional framework for a resolution to the conflict is
another classic example of its duplicity.
This tactic of appointing ‘APRC’s and ‘Round
Tables’ to resolve the national conflict are an established
deceptive habit of the successive Governments of Sri Lanka.
But some members of the international community had shown
confidence in this latest APRC and have been assuring
everyone that it would come up with a framework for the
resolution of the conflict. This misplaced confidence has
not brought any constructive outcome to date.
On the other hand, the leaders of the GoSL
make regular toxic comments and victory parades on the
execution of the military campaign. Cynically exploiting the
international discourse on “terrorism”, the GoSL locally
justifies a war against the Tamil nation.
The latest and most categorical evidence
came at the speech given by the Defense Secretary, Gotabhaya
Rajapakse, in the presence of his brother, President Mahinda
Rajapaksa, in Trincomalee on 14 September, which was
nationally televised. He said,
"We cannot establish permanent peace in the
country by winning only half or two third of the war against
terrorism.…….. President Rajapaksa cannot implement the
desired political solution to the north and east conflict
unless LTTE terrorism is defeated 100 percent.”
Two important facts can be gleaned from this statement that
was clearly endorsed by the President himself. Firstly, that
the GoSL intends to intensify the war in the north and
secondly that the APRC was a façade to fool the
Indeed less than a
week after making this televised statement in Sinhala, the
GoSL on the eve of its representation at the UN General
Assembly has again paid lip service to the peace talks.
Genocidal war against Tamil people
growing statistics of civilian casualties amply prove beyond
doubt that this war conducted by the Sri Lankan armed forces
is indeed a genocidal war against the Tamil people.
Oppressive laws sanctioned by a majoritarian Sinhala
Government are legitimizing its brutality. The Emergency
Regulations give cover and impunity for unlawful arrest,
torture, killing, and disposal of bodies without
Human rights and humanitarian law
violations: In the 21 months since President Rajapakse came
to power in November 2005, 1974 Tamil civilians were killed
by the Sri Lankan Armed forces and its allied paramilitaries
and 842 Tamil civilians were either arrested or abducted and
then disappeared by the same forces. Among those killed were
four popular Tamil parliamentarians, Joseph Pararajasingam,
Nadaraja Raviraj (both of whom were sitting MPs), A Chandra
Nehru (a former MP) and V Vigneswaran (an MP designate
elected to replace the assassinated Pararajasingam). Over 69
of those killed during this period were children under the
age of 16. In addition to these killing of children, more
than 150 civilians, among them many children, have sought
safety in the Jaffna Human Rights Commission in fear of
their life. Indeed the vast majority of the civilians who
have been killed and disappeared in this period are the
More than 500,000 people in the
Jaffna peninsula are cut off from land access to the outside
and are denied delivery of essential items by land and are
kept in an open prison for its own military purpose by the
GoSL. Despite repeated requests by the people of Jaffna and
at the last Geneva talks by our side, the GoSL has not
heeded to this request and has kept the A9 route closed.
Land grab: The occupation war started by the
GoSL last year has forced hundreds of thousands of Tamil
people from their land thus depriving them of livelihood.
Many civilians were killed and disappeared in the process.
The displaced were then forcefully resettled against their
wishes in certain locations. Indeed the UN High Commission
for Refugees announced that it was withdrawing from the
resettlement involvement due to this flawed process. In
Sampur and Muthur East, the GoSL confiscated lands belonging
to the people by declaring them as High Security Zones and
is implementing programs to create new Sinhala settlements
in these regions.
Media suppression: In order to obstruct
information about its war on the civilians that is causing
unimaginable hardship for the people, the GoSL is
suppressing media freedom in many aspects. Those who operate
despite such threats are murdered. Eleven journalists have
been murdered since 2005 by the GoSL operated forces. The
“Uthayan” daily from Jaffna, the voice of the most
threatened people, is continuously operating under threat.
Another journalist from the south who exposed corruption in
weapon procurements of the GoSL has also come under death
Labeling ‘terrorist’: Representatives
of the international community, who have raised their voices
on these horrendous violations of humanitarian norms, have
been repeatedly targeted by the GoSL with the most vicious
attacks. It is typical of the leaders of the GoSL to use the
brush of “ terrorist” and “LTTE sympathizer” on anyone who
raises their voice for justice and decency in this island.
Among those who have been painted thus are, UN Under
Secretary for Humanitarian Affairs, John Holmes, UN
representative for Children Affected by Armed Conflict,
Ambassador Allan Rock, and Australia’s Former Foreign
Minister and current President of International Crisis
Group, Mr. Gareth Evans. They have all been called by senior
members of the GoSL as “White Tigers”.
(b) LTTE and the peace process
We strongly believe that the international
community understands that the Tamil liberation struggle
against oppression has been taken up according to
international norms. And it cannot be compared to aimless,
intolerant causes of violence: terrorism
Further, we expect the international community recognize
that it is always the LTTE that keeps the doors wide open
for peace talks. LTTE unilaterally declared a ceasefire in
2000, after recapturing many towns in Vanni and the major
Sri Lankan military camp in Elephant Pass, thus paving the
way for the ensuing peace efforts. Yet the then regime of
President Kumaratunge did not come to the peace table until
after testing its military strength in yet another military
operation and facing further losses.
gave time and counsel to the new regime of President
Rajapakse to take forward the peace process. But his regime
ignored all the agreements reached at the table, and even
refused to heed the humanitarian needs of the people.
Whereas the LTTE continued to respect and
urge for a full implementation of the cease-fire agreement,
the Rajapaksa regime eventually embarked on its war of
occupation. It started the Mavilaru attack on the pretext of
humanitarian need despite the patience exercised by the
This military campaign of Sri Lanka has
continued ever since in the east and the north, under
variously codenamed operations, while the LTTE has continued
to restrain itself, confining only to defensive operations.
(c) Expectations of the Tamil people from the
In the context described above, we urge the
To recognize the concept of the sovereignty
of the Tamil people, and support the peace process in
accordance with this principle.
To provide appropriate opportunities to the
Tamil people to express their aspirations, as have been
given to the people of East Timor and Kosovo.
The Government of Sri Lanka must, end its
deceptions; halt its, military oppression, ethnic cleansing, and
serious human rights violations; accept the aspirations of the
Tamil people; and come forward to find a resolution that is
based on the right to self-determination of the Tamil people.
The IC must reign in on the GoSL to bring it in line.