Tamils - a Trans State Nation..

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Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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Home >Tamils: a Trans State Nation > Struggle for Tamil Eelam > Conflict Resolution: Tamil Eelam  Sri Lanka > Tokyo Co-Chairs Show Their Hand: Call  for LTTE to surrender to save Vanni civilians


Norway, US, EU & Japan  Show Their Hand:
Call for  LTTE to surrender to save Vanni civilians

TamilNet, 3 February 2009

See also

1. For whom the Co-chairs strive,� asks Tamil parliamentarian S. Gajendran

2. Co-Chairs tell Tigers to disarm -  V.Thangavelu, Toronto, Canada

2. Sinhala Sri Lanka's  Genocide of Eelam Tamils  - a Crime Against Humanity... - Nadesan Satyendra, 29 January 2009

"The question is being asked by some: why is the international community which was willing to arm Sri Lanka and to ban the LTTE, unwilling and/or unable  to prevent the genocide of Eelam Tamils?  Suffering is a great teacher and the Tamil people are being taught that for the governments of the so called IC, human rights and humanitarian law are but useful instruments to advance their political and strategic interests.  ....the international community will wait till Tamil resistance is sufficiently weakened or  annihilated before it attempts to intervene 'on humanitarian grounds' and in seeming response to 'world wide Tamil appeals'.  Meanwhile the IC will even welcome such world wide appeals by Tamils as that will pave the way (and establish useful contact points amongst the Tamil diaspora) for IC's eventual intervention with 'development aid' with the mantra of not conflict resolution but 'conflict transformation'. Give them cake when they ask for freedom from alien Sinhala rule. A conquered people should be grateful for whatever they can get - though there may not be not enough cake to go round.The Tamil people are being taught the truth of something which Subhas Chandra Bose said many years ago - Freedom is not given, it is taken..."  more

4. Tamil National Alliance Response

5.  United States and United Kingdom Joint Statement on the Humanitarian Situation in Sri Lanka, 3 February 2009

The Tokyo Co-Chairs (Norway, Japan, US and EU) today called on the Tamil Tigers to lay down their arms surrender to the Sri Lankan government if the civilians of Vanni are to be spared further death and suffering. The Co-Chairs said they would (thereafter) ensure an �inclusive dialogue� that will lead to lasting peace.

The full text of the Co-Chairs� statement follows:

The Tokyo Co-Chairs (Norway, Japan, US and EU) jointly express their great concern about the plight of thousands of internally displaced persons trapped by fighting in northern Sri Lanka. The Co-Chairs call on the LTTE and the Government of Sri Lanka not to fire out of or into the no-fire zone established by the Government or in the vicinity of the PTK hospital (or any other medical structure), where more than 500 patients are receiving care and many hundreds more have sought refuge. They also call on both sides to allow food and medical assistance to reach those trapped by fighting, cooperate with the ICRC to facilitate the evacuation of urgent medical cases, and ensure the safety of aid and medical workers. The LTTE and the Government of Sri Lanka must respect international humanitarian law.

International efforts to persuade the LTTE to allow the civilians freedom of movement have failed. There remains probably only a short period of time before the LTTE loses control of all areas in the North. The LTTE and the Government of Sri Lanka should recognize that further loss of life - of civilians and combatants - will serve no cause.

To avoid further civilian casualties and human suffering, the Co-Chairs:

call on the LTTE to discuss with the Government of Sri Lanka the modalities for ending hostilities, including the laying down of arms, renunciation of violence, acceptance of the Government of Sri Lanka's offer of amnesty; and participating as a political party in a process to achieve a just and lasting political solution; and

call on the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE to declare a temporary no-fire period to allow for evacuation of sick and wounded, and provision of aid to civilians.

The Co-Chairs will work with the Government of Sri Lanka, India, the United Nations and others to ensure:

the internally displaced people from the north are transferred to temporary camps where UN agencies, the ICRC, and humanitarian organizations will have full access and the IDPs will be treated according to international standards and resettled in their original homes as soon as possible; and

an inclusive dialogue to agree on a political settlement so that lasting peace and reconciliation can be achieved.

For whom the Co-chairs strive,� asks Tamil Parliamentarian S. Gajendran
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 03 February 2009, 21:33 GMT]

The statement of the Co-chairs released Monday is �regrettably based on wrong premises and aims at disastrous ends,� Jaffna district parliamentarian S. Gajendran told TamilNet Monday. �It sounds as though the Co-directors of the current war are at a last bid attempt to save Sri Lanka, one of the worst genocidal states of our times, before it collapses at its own burden of militarism and savagery. Their approach would have been different if they really care for the lives and dignity of civilians and have any respect for the democratic right of the national aspirations of Eezham Tamils,� he told TamilNet while issuing a statement responding to Co-chairs' stand.

Full text of the statement follows:

At a time when the civilized world is fully aware of the butchery, duplicity and injustice on the part of the Colombo government and coming out with condemnation against it ...

...  the Co-chairs calling for the submission of the victims, relinquishment of their safeguards and asking them to seek amnesty at the hands of their butchers, amounts to nothing but a mockery of human civilization.

The reactionary world authorities set a wrong inspiration to human progress and have crossed the lines of democratic decency.

First of all, the Co-chair countries base their initiative on vicious premises that LTTE could not be persuaded in allowing the movement of civilians. They know very well that the particular population of civilians demonstrated their will to stay with the LTTE, fearing worse outside. Only an unconditional ceasefire can save the situation.

Secondly, the Co-chairs are wrong in their judgment that by LTTE losing control of territory, either the war is over or the Tamils have abandoned their national liberation struggle.

Thirdly, by calling LTTE to surrender arms and seek amnesty with the genocidal Colombo, the Co-chairs have only proved themselves as the mouthpieces of Rajapaksa. They are not strangers to the commitment of the LTTE and the support it enjoys among the people of Eezham inside the island and in the diaspora for the Tamil national cause. This unrealistic demand only makes one suspect the real intentions of the present initiative of the Co-chairs.

Fourthly, the Co-chairs as usual are evasive at the fundamental issue: the nature of the political settlement, once again knowing very well that nothing can come out of the state system of Sri Lanka. Contrary to what they all were blaring out in the past, they never cared for the political option in parallel. They only abetted the military option.

In short, the Co-chairs are calling for the subjugation of Tamils.

They promise to work for the guarantee of existence and a camp-life to Tamils, but they themselves must be aware of their track record that how good they were in persuading the Colombo government to observe human rights in the past.

The hard truth about the island of Sri Lanka, knowingly ignored by the Co-chairs is that, �Tamils can find safety and dignity only under Tamil hands decided by them�.

The most regrettable aspect of the Co-chair show is the role of Norway, a country that ventured for the noble and neutral task of facilitation, joining the call aiming for the protection of genocidal Colombo and sabotage of the aspirations of the victimized Tamils.

Norway has always been claiming that their involvement in the island of Sri Lanka is on the basis of the request of both the parties of the conflict. Norway signing the present Co-chair statement calling for the surrender of one of the parties casts serious doubts on its credibility as a trustworthy international peace facilitator. Contrarily, it only paints a picture of it as a handmaid of certain powers.

Co-Chairs tell Tigers to disarm -  V.Thangavelu, Toronto, Canada
February 2009

Dear  Ambassador Robert O Blake

I really want to congratulate you for the audacious demand by the US - one of the Co-chairs - to the LTTE to disarm.  The Co-chairs like Rip Wan Winkle went to sleep for the last 3 years when thousands of Thamils were slaughtered by the armed forces of a racist government. The Co-chairs remained mum when the Sri Lankan government (GoSL) tore up the CFA which was brokered by it.  US in particular adopted a policy of no see no hear the cries of Thamils. After having helped militarily and financially a racist government under the cloak of fighting terrorism you are now asking the Thamil side to disarm. This shows the double standards and double speaks of the US government right from the beginning. US deliberately sidelined the LTTE at the meeting of the Co-chairs held in Washington to consider aid to Sri Lanka.

It looks though the change of guard at the White House has not percolated to the State Department bureaucrats and the diplomats abroad.

It may be useful to remind the Ambassador what president Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said during the presidential campaign.

Characterizing the conflict in Sri Lanka as a "vicious civil war," Senator Barack Obama, a leading Democratic contender in America's forth coming 2009 Presidential Elections, said during an interview that, "the problem of the 21st century is the problem of the other.

He described this phenomenon as the inability of people to accommodate others "who are not like us," and mentioned Sri Lanka as an example, pointing out that war rages even when "everybody there looks exactly the same."

Characterization of conflicts in the 21st century this way, Obama said is an extension to the American Civil Rights era activist W.E. Dubois' quote "The problem of the 20th century is the problem of the color line."

Obama also criticized the Bush administration's "war on terror" as the cause for suppressing civil liberties, saying: "Part of my job as next president is to break the fever of fear that has been exploited by this administration. We are told to be afraid of terrorists, immigrants, and each other. This becomes the means, by which our civil liberties are subverted, [and] our values are distorted," implying policy changes are in order.
Front which pontificates to the rest of the world about the need to resolve conflicts through negotiations and the virtue of unity has suffered a debilitating split.  

Michael Tomasky of Guardian.co.uk (October 23, 2008) asked Hillary Clinton about Iraq, the legacy of the Cold War, Mukasey and ceding executive powers. He asked

�Do you think that the terrorists hate us for our freedoms, or do you think they have specific geopolitical objectives? And Hillary replied as follows:Well, I believe that terrorism is a tool that has been utilized throughout history to achieve certain objectives. Some have been ideological, others territorial. There are personality-driven terroristic objectives. The bottom line is you can't lump all terrorists together. And I think we've got to do a much better job of clarifying what are the motivations, the raisons d'�tre of terrorists. I mean, what the Thamils Tigers are fighting for in Sri Lanka, or the Basque separatists in Spain, or the insurgents in al-Anbar province may only be connected by tactics. They may not share all that much in terms of what is the philosophical or ideological underpinning. And I think one of our mistakes has been painting with such a broad brush, which has not been particularly helpful in understanding what it is we were up against when it comes to those who pursue terrorism for whichever ends they're seeking. "

The struggle of the people of Thamil Eelam to be free from alien Sinhala rule  has nothing to do with the   LTTE.   The armed resistance of the people of Thamil Eelam arose as the inevitable response to decades of efforts by successive Sinhala governments to conquer and assimilate the Thamil people and the enactment of a series of discriminatory laws that shackled them. The 6th Amendment to the Sri Lanka constitution set the seal by criminalising all non violent means of struggle for an independent Thamils Eelam state.

To quote late Dharmaratnam Sivaram � a well known journalist - 

"America may be the mightiest nation on the earth today but that cannot detract an iota from our right to live with honour, dignity and freedom in the land of our fore bears. It cannot for a moment make us give up an inch of our lands to help India or the US Bloc stabilise the Sri Lankan state for the sole purpose of furthering their strategic and economic interests..."

Please take it from me that Thamils will not surrender or will be cow down by threats. We Thamils are made of sterner stuff. We have a history of 2,500 years and speak a language which remains as one of the oldest living language in the world.

Yours sincerely

Veluppillai Thangavelu


Tamil National Alliance Response

Foreign Relations Committee(FRC) of the Tamil National Alliance(TNA), responding to the controversial statement by the Tokyo Co-chairs, which called on the Tamil Tigers to lay down their arms and surrender to the Sri Lankan government, said it has been the firm and consistent position of the Tamil people that the island of Sri Lanka is inhabited by the Tamil nation and the Sinhala nation. "It is on the basis of recognising this reality and by the respective authentic representatives of these two nations, namely the LTTE and the Sri Lanka State, engaging in negotiations on how these two nations shall associate with each other for the future security and mutual benefit of both nations, can a just and sustainable solution to the Tamil National Question be found."

full text of the statement

4 February 2009


The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has taken note of the joint statement issued by Norway, Japan, the US and the EU dated the 3rd of February 2009. The TNA appreciates the concerns the said statement has expressed regarding the suffering undergoing by the Tamil people. In this regard the TNA wishes to state the following:-

  1. It has been the consistent position of the Tamil people in the island of Sri Lanka that the conflict between the Tamil nation and the Sinhala nation is fundamentally political in nature and needs a political solution.
  2. It has been the firm and consistent position of the Tamil people that the island of Sri Lanka is inhabited by the Tamil nation and the Sinhala nation. It is on the basis of recognising this reality and by the respective authentic representatives of these two nations, namely the LTTE and the Sri Lanka State, engaging in negotiations on how these two nations shall associate with each other for the future security and mutual benefit of both nations, can a just and sustainable solution to the Tamil National Question be found.
  3. The Sri Lanka State today whilst proclaiming itself to be one that projects an inclusive and plural �Sri Lankan� civic identity, is in fact a State that is entrenched in practicing Sinhala Buddhist ethno nationalism. This ideology insists that the entire island of Sri Lanka belongs only to the Sinhala people. It is for these reasons that all peaceful efforts by the Tamil people to negotiate political arrangements to live with the Sinhalese as equals, have consistently failed.
  4. It is this Sinhala Buddhist ethno nationalism that is unwilling to recognise the existence of an equal Tamil nation that compels the Sri Lankan State to pursue a military solution with genocidal intent. The intent behind the Sri Lanka State waging war against the Tamil people is to dismantle the realities of the existence of the Tamil nation through its genocide.

It is in this context that the TNA expresses its disappointment regarding the joint statement of Norway, Japan, the US and the EU. These countries whilst calling on both parties to respect international humanitarian law (IHL) know full well that it is the Sri Lanka State that is deliberately targeting Tamil civilians and thereby is in gross violation of such laws. Even the Defence Secretary of the Sri Lanka State in a recent interview has declared that �No hospital should operate outside the Safety Zone...everything beyond the safety is a legitimate target". This policy that is being pursued by the Sri Lanka State is a crime against humanity.

The pursuit of this policy by the Sri Lanka State in the space of this week alone has resulted in hundreds of Tamil civilian killings and thousands being gravely wounded. This humanitarian tragedy is exacerbated by the Sri Lanka State imposing a total embargo on humanitarian assistance reaching the people.

It is unfortunate that the international community, particularly India and the signatories to the statement in question, whilst being fully aware of these facts, instead of collectively using their immense leverage on the Sri Lanka State to compel it to adhere to IHL, are in fact providing military and economic support to the Sri Lanka State.

It should be noted that it is the need to resist the physical/military subjugation of the Tamil people by the Sri Lanka State that led to the advent of Tamil armed resistance. It is only the LTTE that is resisting the aforementioned genocidal designs of the Sri Lanka State.



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