Tamils - a Trans State Nation..

"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
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 

Home Whats New  Trans State Nation  One World Unfolding Consciousness Comments Search

Home >Tamils: a Trans State Nation > Struggle for Tamil Eelam > Conflict Resolution: Tamil Eelam  Sri Lanka > White House Statement on the Situation in Sri Lanka


White House Statement on the Situation in Sri Lanka

Office of the Press Secretary, White House

Friday, April 24, 2009

Comment by tamilnation.org  It appears that what we wrote on 29 January 2009 in Sinhala Sri Lanka's  Genocide of Eelam Tamils - a Crime Against Humanity, is now coming to pass -

"...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'."

 'Humanitarian intervention' to prevent the humanitarian tragedy that is taking  place in the Tamil homeland, had it been early, would have been kind. But the belated attempts that are being made today expose not the humanitarian concerns of the international actors but the strategic interests that impel the international actors to act the way they do.

The White House call that 'international aid workers should have access to all sites where internally displaced persons are being registered and sheltered' is directed to embed the physical presence of the so called 'international community' in Sri Lanka and exclude the influence of China and manage the influence of New Delhi in the Indian Ocean region.The White House call  has little to do with securing freedom for the people of Tamil Eelam from permanent alien Sinhala rule.We are reminded of the record of the Bush adminstration and the words of US Amabassador Lunstead in January 2006 -

"Through our military training and assistance programs, including efforts to help with counterterrorism initiatives and block illegal financial transactions, we are helping to shape the ability of the Sri Lankan Government to protect its people and defend its interests."

We commented then -

"Shaping the ability of the Sri Lankan government to protect the Tamil people may appear to many like shaping the ability of the fox to guard the chickens. Sri Lanka's record of torture, rape, extra judicial killings and mass graves, speaks for itself . So does the strident voice of  Sinhala Buddhist fundamentalism. But then, it may be that ambassador Lunstead did not have the Tamil people in mind." 

After all the simplest thing that the US could have done to protect the Tamil people would have been to remove the ban on the LTTE so that the capacity of the people of Tamil Eelam to resist the genocidal onslaught launched on them by Sinhala Sri Lanka may have been strengthened.

The simple and humane thing that the US could have done was not to taunt the struggles against terrorism with the label terrorism but to adopt a  principle centered approach which liberated political language and also helped to liberate a people who have taken up arms as a last resort in their struggle for freedom from oppressive alien Sinhala rule.  

The White House statement fails to recognise that in  Tamil Eelam today, though the charge is genocide,  the struggle is for freedom. It is not one or the other - it is both. It is not either or - it is and. The genocide is taking place because the people of Tamil Eelam have refused to submit to alien Sinhala rule. And Sri Lanka President Rajapaksa is following in the footsteps of  Guatemala Gen. Efrain Rios who declared in the 1980s that if it is that the guerrilla moves amongst the people as a fish swims in the sea  then 'if you cannot catch the fish, you have to drain the sea.'.

Reconciliation and peaceful coexistence between two peoples can come only on the basis of recognising  the existence of each people who inhabit the island of Sri Lanka  as a people with the inalienable right to self determination.

''..The Tamil population in the North and East of the island, who have lived from ancient times within relatively well defined geographical boundaries in the north and east of the island, share an ancient heritage, a vibrant culture, and a living language which traces its origins to more than 2500 years ago. ...Before the advent of the British ..., separate kingdoms existed for the Tamil areas and for the Sinhala areas in the island. The Tamil people and the Sinhala people were brought within the confines of one state for the first time by the British in 1833. After the departure of the British in 1948, an alien Sinhala people speaking a language different to that of the Tamils and claiming a separate and distinct heritage has persistently denied the rights and fundamental freedoms of the Tamil people. ..

It is ...our view that the Secretary General should consider invoking his good offices with the aim of contributing to the establishment of peace in the island of Sri Lanka through respect for the existence of the Tamil homeland in the NorthEast of the island of Sri Lanka and recognition for the right of the Tamil people to freely determine their political status.''

17 non governmental organisations ( International Association of Educators for World Peace, International Educational Development, International Indian Treaty Council, Consejo Indico de Sud America, Comision de Deeches Homonas de El Salavador, Commission for the Defence of Human Rights in Central America, World Council of Churches, International Movement against all Forms of Discrimination and Racism,Action des Christians Pour L'Abolition de la Torture,FIMARC, International Council of Women, American Association of Jurists, Centre Europe-Tiers Monde, Servieiv Pax Justica America Latina, Pax Romana, International League for the Rights and Liberation of Peoples, and World Christian Live Community at the UN Commission on Human Rights at its 50th Sessions in February 1994:

There is a need for  the US to recognise the enduring truth of something which Velupillai Pirabakaran said many years ago -

"We are not chauvinists. Neither are we lovers of violence enchanted with war. We do not regard the Sinhala people as our opponents or as our enemies. We recognise the Sinhala nation. We accord a place of dignity  for the culture and heritage of the Sinhala people. We have no desire to interfere in any way with the national life of the Sinhala people or with their freedom and independence. We, the Tamil people, desire to live in our own historic homeland as an independent nation, in peace, in freedom and with dignity."

It is only the independent who may become inter-dependent and associate with one another in freedom, in equality and with dignity.It appears to us that the dynamics of the uneasy balance of power in the Indian Ocean region leads the US to support the continued existence of an undivided Sri Lanka. It appears that the US is concerned that support for an independent Tamil Eelam may lead to an increased Chinese/Iranian presence in Sinhala Sri Lanka and in the Indian Ocean region. Again it appears that the US is not in the buisness of creating regional hegemons and giving a blank cheque to India.  Said that it seems that the Obama administration  also recognises that a 'post genocide'  Sinhala Sri Lanka will prove to be no different to Saddam Hussien's Iraq which the US supported in Iraq's war against Iran.

We believe that the long term strategic interests of the United States will not be furthered by steadfastly defending the inviolability of territorial boundaries of existing states, regardless of how and when they were determined.  That will not be the path to a stable world order. Time will ofcourse, tell. 

"....The political stability in-ground is much more conducive to human rights and all those aspirations that we hold sacred in the United States. And I think that we've got to get away from this idea that we need to support the central government everywhere because it's always preferable to have a unified state rather than different ones.... we need to rethink the customary support we give for unity, and blinding ourselves to the oppression, to the misery that's inflicted on minorities and creates civil warfare, if you will, as in Sri Lanka, that will persist forever, until there's finally an ability to create a separate statehood that will be able to conduct its own affairs in ways that satisfies its own domestic constituency and is harmonious with its neighbours.... Remember the wisdom of Lord Palmerston: nations don't have permanent friends and enemies; they have permanent interests. And the interests the United States regularly is in recognizing these separatists�if you want to call them separatist moments for statehood, really, because it furthers political stability..." Bruce Fein, founder of the American Freedom Agenda, served in the US Justice Department under President Reagan, adjunct scholar with the American Enterprise Institute, a resident scholar at the Heritage Foundation, lecturer at the Brookings Institute, and adjunct professor at George Washington University in Kosovo: The global significance of independence, 24 February 2008

There is a need for the US to defend the very real values that a people stand for and speak from the heart to the hearts of those people. We want to believe that these are the values which the Obama administration has pledged to uphold. 'Values are the essential principles of life without which life would be without meaning � things would fall apart, and the centre cannot hold. They are agents of social cohesion'.

 "...Movements for justice throughout the world and throughout history always begin with and are sustained by a moral statement, a value idea...Movements are sustained when there are enough people whose imagination is captivated by a vision that lifts them beyond wherever they may be and which encourages them to have a better idea of themselves and their history into what they might or could become.. Values are the essential principles of life without which life would be without meaning � things would fall apart, and the centre cannot hold. They are agents of social cohesion.... " N Barney Pityana in Liberation, Civil Rights & Democracy, The Martin Luther King, Jr Memorial Lecture, 2004

We urge the Obama administration to recognise that the United States has an opportunity to make Sri Lanka a model and help it to evolve, by negotiating, two autonomous democratic political structures within a system acceptable to both parties,

"....The United States has an opportunity to make Sri Lanka a model and help it to evolve, by negotiating, two autonomous democratic political structures within a system acceptable to both parties, where ethnic communities can coexist peacefully on the Island. The US should be firm in its message to the government and the opposition, that if negotiations are not forthcoming immediately, they should be prepared to conduct a referendum of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka. This can be done with the assistance of the United Nations similar to the referendum in East Timor. Thus, in the absence of a negotiated settlement, the Tamil people could determine whether they want a confederation or a separate state as endorsed by the Tamil people in the last democratic elections held in 1977 in the north and east of Sri Lanka...." - US Congressman Brad Sherman, 1 September 2000

White House Statement on Continuing Conflict in Sri Lanka

The United States is deeply concerned about the plight of innocent civilians caught up in the conflict between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Tamil Tigers, and the mounting death toll. We call on both sides to stop fighting immediately and allow civilians to safely leave the combat zone.

We call upon the Government of Sri Lanka to stop shelling the 'safe zone' and blocking international aid groups and media from accessing those civilians who have managed to escape. International aid workers should have access to all sites where internally displaced persons are being registered and sheltered. The United States is working with international partners to attempt to care for those civilians who can be reached.

We call on both sides to strictly adhere to their obligations under international humanitarian law. We are very concerned about reports of violations, and take these allegations very seriously.

It would compound the current tragedy if the military end of the conflict only breeds further enmity and ends hopes for reconciliation and a unified Sri Lanka in the future.


Mail Us Copyright 1998/2009 All Rights Reserved Home