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Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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Home > Struggle for Tamil Eelam > Conflict Resolution: Tamil Eelam - Sri Lanka > Broken Pacts & Evasive Proposals > Chandrika's 'Devolution' Proposals:1995/2001 > Truth & President Kumaratunga, January 2001

Chandrika's 'Devolution Proposals'

President Kumaratunga  interview. India Today on 30 April 1995:

"Q. Where do you go from here?
A. ...To defeat the LTTE you have to launch an all out attack (which would mean a lot of Tamil civilian casualties) and the place (Jaffna) will be wiped out.
Q. Is that possible? Can the Sri Lankan forces do it?
A. Ofcourse it is possible. That is what the IPKF tried to do."

Lt.General Amarjit Kalkat in an interview , 29 December 1995 ".... they (Sri Lanka) went about it (the attack on Jaffna) in a very deliberate manner ... they have... followed a strategy of a broad front... it causes a lot of destruction because you are actually steamrollering through the area. Step by step. Do a certain distance first, then clean up, converge on the next one. Any building from which resistance comes or where there is likely to be resistance, bring it down with air bombing or with tank fire. You clean up. But then as you pass -- you're leaving behind rubble as you go. So that was the other problem for which they have resorted to censorship so that this doesn't come out. ... they have made sure that there is no adverse publicity (world opinion, the press, doesn't know what is happening there, because it's all controlled)..."

Bernard Q. Nietschmann   in Fourth World Nations: Conflicts and Alternatives: "... States are the political apparatuses that unite (sometimes forcibly) different peoples and nations into one internationally recognized political and territorial entity. Nations, conversely, are made up of a self-identifying people, often united by a common language, religion and political consensus, who occupy all or part of an ancestral territory. Although they are often referred to as minorities (tribal minorities, ethnic minorities), indigenous peoples reject this label as it automatically infers membership in a state which may be the issue that is in dispute. To identify a people as a minority often sacrifices their claimed national identity..."

Truth & President Kumaratunga

 Annotated Text of Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga's Address via Satellite to the Tamil 'minority' people on  9 January 2001

Whatever may be said, who ever may say it - to
determine the truth of it, is wisdom - Thirukural

I would like to wish all of you a peaceful and happy new year. I will talk first of peace because my government has given priority during the last 7 years to bringing in peace and to do all that is necessary to ensure the people of Jaffna and North and the East provinces of this country can live normal lives in peace and prosperity...

 My government believes that one of its top priorities, one of the priority tasks that we have to address ourselves too is ending this most destructive war which has wreaked havoc and caused much sadness in the lives of all of you. We as a government have done the maximum that any government in this country or in any country has done in order to end the causes that have brought about the violence which affects your daily life and even ours. 

We have adopted a three pronged strategy in order to achieve this. Firstly, we have addressed the real problems of the Tamil people as well as the other minorities living in Sri Lanka, problems which have not been properly addressed by all governments since Independence in order that the minority people, specially the Tamil people can live with dignity with equal opportunity in this country. 

We have brought in many laws. The Peoples Alliance Government, my government has brought in many laws to ensure the human rights of the persons. About 19 laws have been brought in by our government in the last 6 years...

 Comment - "...In May 2000, the President of Sri Lanka promulgated new emergency regulations which confer powers of arrest to "any authorized person" in addition to the police and armed forces and considerably extend the powers to detain available to them...The emergency regulations which were in force up to 3 May already granted powers which considerably exceeded the limits permissible under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which Sri Lanka acceded to in 1980... The excessive powers available under emergency regulations and their contribution to human rights violations have been commented on by a number of international and local human rights bodies over the years... Far from complying with its obligations under international human rights law, however, the Sri Lankan government has instead further eroded the human rights guaranteed in international human rights treaties with the emergency regulations promulgated on 3 May 2000 and their subsequent amendments..."  Amnesty International Report, July 2000 :

We have in practice, many procedures in order to ensure the safety of person and property of all people specially the Tamil people. 

Comment: "The dreaded white vans, the hallmark of military death squads, have reappeared in Vavuniya, causing panic among the people. The Sri Lankan Human Rights Commission (HRC) received complaints that P Sureshini and K Govindaraj were abducted in mid-March by unidentified persons in white vans. T Rathika and P Sivarasa were taken away from Sastrikoolankulam refugee camp. The Army initially denied their arrest. But three of the abducted were later released from military camps. The fate of K Govindaraj remains unknown. HRC�s Vavuniya co-ordinator S Sritharan says legal requirements such as issuing receipts and informing relatives and the HRC within 48 hours of arrest, are not observed by the security forces..." British Refugee Council, Sri Lanka Monitor, March 2000

We have also taken many steps to ensure and guarantee that the Tamil people will have equal opportunities in education and in employment as far as possible we seriously mean to guarantee the rights of the minority people. We have to do so legally through the constitution. My government and I strongly believe that it is the best way of ensuring that the Tamil people, the Muslim people and all the minority people, their rights, especially the way to ensure that they will not have to face the terrible violence that was unleashed against them under the UNP government in 1983....

Comment: Violence unleashed on the Tamil people by the S.W.R.D.Bandaranaike government (President Kumaratunga's father), and by the Srimavo Bandaranaike government (President Kumaratunga's mother) long before1983...
  • Tamil Parliamentarians attacked & 150 Tamils killed - 1956 "...Some Tamil Satyagrahis were thrown into Beira Lake near the Parliament House. From that moment every Tamil seen on roads of Colombo was attacked. Tamil office employees going home from work in public transport were caught and man-handled... Sinhalese hooligans took charge of the situation and went on a rampage of arson and looting of Tamil shops and homes. The rioting and violence were instigated by the government and actively supported by the Sinhalese organisations and Bhikkus (Buddhist priests) to frighten Tamils into accepting the 'Sinhala Only' Act..." Satchi Ponnambalam: Sri Lanka - The National Question and the Tamil Liberation Struggle, Zed Books Ltd, 1983
  • Genocide '58 "... (In 1958) passing cars and trains were stopped by mobs and their (Tamil) occupants butchered, houses were burnt with people inside and there was widespread looting..." - Walter Schwarz: Tamils of Sri Lanka, Minority Rights Group Report 1983

    Tarzie Vittachi: Emergency 1958 - The Story of the Ceylon Race Riots, Andre Deutsch, London 1958: "..By a strangely inexplicable perversion of logic, (Prime Minister) Mr Bandaranaike tried to explain away a situation by substituting the effect for the cause. The relevant portion of the speech was:

    "An unfortunate situation has arisen resulting in communal tension. Certain incidents in, the. Batticaloa District where some people lost their lives, including Mr D.A. Seneviratne, a former Mayor of Nuwara Eliya, have resulted in various acts of violence and lawlessness in other areas-for example Polonnaruwa, Dambulla, Galawela, Kuliyapitiya and even Colombo."

     "...The killing of Seneviratne on May 25 (later admitted to have been the result of a private feud) was thus officially declared to be the cause of the uprising, although the communal riots had begun on May 22 with the attack on the Polonnaruwa Station and the wrecking of the Batticaloa-Colombo train and several other minor incidents. No explanation was offered by the Prime Minister for singling out (the Sinhala sounding) Seneviratne's name for particular mention from the scores of people who had lost their lives during those critical days...�Colombo was on fire. The goondas burnt fifteen shops in the Pettah and a row of kiosks in Mariakaday. Looting on a massive scale took place in Pettah, Maradana, Wellawatte Ratmalana, Kurunegala, Panadura, Kalutara, Badulla, Galle, Matara and Weligama... What are we left with (in 1958)? A nation in ruins, some grim lessons which we cannot afford to forget and a momentous question: Have the Sinhalese and Tamils reached the parting of ways?" 

  • Sinhala army attacks Tamil Satyagrahis - 1961 "This is not a question of an army man here and there, after liquor, indulging in excess (in 1961 against Tamils in Jaffna). No, there is some plan, some purpose. ... the purpose of the (Srimavo Bandaranaike) government in imposing an emergency and allowing army and navy personnel to behave in that fashion is to intimidate... the Tamil minority in this country. That is the fact. That is the purpose." - Sinhala Opposition Member of Parliament, Edmund Samarakody, Hansard, 3 May 1961

...is to bring in a new constitution guaranteeing all the rights of the minority people and also devolving political power to the regions where they live. In order to do this within one year, in less than one year of coming into power my government prepared a draft constitution including all these guarantees and devolution of power and presented it to the country. 

Comment : "The Maha Nayaka of Asgiriya, Ven.Palipane Chandananda pointedly asked whether the Prime Minister Mrs.Srima Bandaranaike had seen it (the political package). No answer was forthcoming. .... The Mahanayakas said in no uncertain terms that they cannot agree in any way to changing the unitary character of the State... In any event they said the Government must not approve any package until the war is concluded. To that the President agreed...." Sinhala owned Sri Lanka Sunday Leader,6 August 1995

 "...(President Kumaratunga) said in no way would it (the devolution package) erode the supremacy of (the central) parliament... The President said that since Policy Planning was a subject for the centre, the central government had a hold in every subject a region handled... the President said, even if a Regional Council opposes, the centre has the power to go ahead and allocate land for its purposes. The President also moved to allay fears of a North-East merger saying that the government did not have any idea of merging the North with the East." Sinhala owned Sri Lanka Sunday Times, 20 August 1995

We invited the UNP, the main opposition party and the LTTE to discuss this draft constitution with us. We were willing to discuss any amendments, changes they wanted to propose but the UNP especially the LTTE has refused stubbornly to participate in any discussion which would guarantee the rights of the Tamil people.

Comment: "...The government of Chandrika Kumaratunga, while announcing a set of political proposals for the resolution of the ethnic conflict has also declared an all-out war against the LTTE thereby closing down all avenues for the resumption of a peace process. .. The Government has decided to implement this set of proposals only after defeating or rather eliminating the LTTE. We learn such an assurance has been given to the leadership of the 'Maha Sangha' by the Government. If this is the true position of the Government we can safely conclude that this package of the devolution will never be implemented, because of the very fact that the LTTE will never be defeated or destroyed. Even in the unlikely event of the destruction of the LTTE the Government may not have the compulsion or need to implement the devolution package... the package of devolution announced by the Government was a deceptive mask to hide the ugly face of war, a peace mask to legitimise and justify the military programme." LTTE Press Release, 14 August 1995

Soon after our government coming in to power � within ten days � as President of the country, I wrote to the LTTE leader Mr. Prabhakaran inviting him to come for discussions.  

They agreed and we discussed for 8 months but the LTTE did not for one moment agree to discuss to end the war or how to solve Tamil people�s problems which led to the war. All that they did during 8 months was to keep on asking for more and more things. We gave everything they asked for except military advantages. We lifted the bans which the UNP government had put on all food items � fuel, medicine, everything, which were necessary for the people but every time we asked the LTTE when will you start, when you will agree to start discussing on our proposals to solve the Tamil people�s problems, they said �we don�t want to discuss�

Comment: "...We regret to point out that as the peace talks with the Liberation Tigers progressed during the past several months, the deeds of your government have often been at variance with your words.

Though you declared that you were removing the ban on the transport of specified essential goods to the Tamil homeland in the North, you failed to gazette the removal of the ban. The promised electricity supplies to the North did not materialise. The armed forces deliberately procrastinated and thwarted the flow of essential goods which had been ostensibly removed from the banned list. Again, though you declared that the ban on fishing had been relaxed, in fact fishing was subjected to several restrictions arbitrarily imposed by the Sri Lanka navy...

Again, though spokesmen for the Liberation Tigers had on more than one occasion stated that the LTTE would be ready to consider a genuine federal solution which recognised the existence of the Tamil homeland and the right of the Tamil people to freely choose their political status, you failed to place your proposals for a political solution..." Swiss Federation of Tamil Associations to President Chandrika Kumaratunga, 3 June 1995

This is in writing in the letters that I wrote to Mr. Prabhakaran and the replies he sent to me. The government during the discussions with the LTTE in 1994-95 gave almost everything they asked for. 

 Comment: "... giving pledges and implementing those pledges are two different things. In the past the Tamil people have been betrayed by previous Sinhala regimes. Agreements were made but not implemented. Pacts were signed and abrogated. This is our history. Chandrika's government is not an exception. ...In so far as the day to day problems of the Tamil people are concerned the Government dragged its feet for more than six months. On these issues, there were four rounds of talks and more than forty letters exchanged... If there was a genuine will on the part of the Government it would have lifted the bans and proceeded with the implementation within 24 hours. I think that if the Government had been sincere there would not have been any delays or difficulties..." LTTE Leader Velupillai Pirabaharan, BBC Interview, 27 April 1995

The LTTE did not give anything. They even lied during those discussions. They broke certain important agreements that we had and then finally they made use of another facility the government gave the people of Jaffna and East which was the right to fish in the sea that was also banned by the UNP government and the LTTE made use of this facility which we gave to the people and attacked two naval boats in the Trincomalee harbour in April 1995 and began the war again. The LTTE is solely responsible for the military operations that have been launched again under my government in reply. 

 Comment: "... After a great deal of persuasion and dialogue, which lasted for more than six months, we were able to elicit from you a positive decision with regard to the relaxation of the embargo on fuel and other items. Though a decision to this effect has been made earlier and intimated to us in your letter of 24th March 1995, we are disappointed to note that deliberate delays have been caused in the process of implementation with the aim to off-set, our deadline...Apart from partial relaxation, the prohibition on large areas of fishing zones continues to operate, though you have pledged to remove all restrictions on fishing in your letter of 24th March... The manner in which these critical issues have been side-tracked demonstrates the fact that your Government is not acting in good faith to create genuine conditions of peace and normalcy .... we are convinced beyond doubt, that your Government is making every effort to strengthen and consolidate the military capability of the armed forces under the guise of the current cessation of hostilities, violating the very terms of the agreement that insists on the maintenance of the status quo... we are left with no choice other than to take a painful decision to discontinue our participation in the negotiating process and from the cessati on of hostilities from the stipulated date as we have indicated to you earlier..."LTTE leader Velupillai Pirabaharan to President Kumaratunga, 18 April 1995

My government dislikes war. 

 National Peace Council Report,  in Asian Human Rights Commission Newsletter Human Rights Solidarity,  March/April 1998: "...There has been an economic blockade in the Northern Province in Sri Lanka ever since 1990. In 1995 since the resumption of the Eelam war, the government of Sri Lanka has forbidden non governmental organisations (NGOs) from distributing food and, with the exception of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), distributing medicine. Stringent controls have also been imposed on the ICRC in the medicines they can provide. Thus, the government took upon itself the full responsibility of the distribution of food and medicine to the war-torn districts of the Vanni (Mullaitivu, Kilinochi and Mannar). Instead of providing for its people, the government has pursued a policy of deprivation. It does not allow any outsiders to visit the area so that this information is not disseminated. It imposes severe controls on the NGOs that are allowed to work there...."

We don�t believe that war and violence can solve any problems in a durable fashion.

"....Even by official Sri Lankan government figures, over 30,000 people have "disappeared" - unofficial estimates put the figure at around 60,000...The scale of the tragedy puts the investigation and trial out of reach of the government, and must be taken on by the UN, as in the case of the Balkans war crime trials. AHRC is of the belief that the forced disappearances constitute a Crime against Humanity..." Asian Human Rights Commission Urgent Action appeal, 21 March 2000  calling for an International Tribunal on Disappearances in Sri Lanka. 

We are a democratic government. We deeply believe in democracy...

Asian Human Rights Commission, April 1999 on the Lost Dream of Free and Fair Elections: "The people of Sri Lanka can no longer hope for the peaceful exercise of their right to freely elect their representatives at national, or even local, elections...The concept of free and fair elections has become an illusion in Sri Lanka..." 

...and human rights and we see to the care of every citizen of the country whether they were Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim or any other.

Comment:   Mass graves, torture chambers, illegal detention centers, testimony from the families of thousands of missing persons, and the government's goal of removing political opposition testify to it (Sri Lanka's crimes against humanity). Furthermore, these crimes were committed on a widespread scale.

"The Sri Lankan government has estimated that there were over 26,000 victims, while unofficial estimates put the number as high as 60,000. It is also clear that these crimes were part of a systematic attack planned at the highest levels of government and implemented through the police and army. There can be no doubt that a crime against humanity has occurred..."Asian Human Rights Commission,Urgent Action appeal, 21 March 2000:

"... In terms of the number of persons killed, the Sri Lankan case is much worse than the East Timor case. It is also much worse than the case of the Chilean dictator Pinochet..." Statement  by Asian Legal Resource Centre, February 2000

That is why as soon as we came into power, I invited, I wrote to Mr. Prabhakaran inviting him to come to discuss seriously with us in order to stop the war.

Comment:  "...I have studied and acquired considerable knowledge on guerrilla warfare when I was a student in Paris, and we knew how they would behave. We conducted talks on the basis that the LTTE would not agree to any peaceful settlement and lay down arms..." President Kumaratunga  in Sinhala owned Sri Lanka Sunday Times, on 20 August 1995

Normally, a head of state of a legally elected sovereign does not write or talk to any terrorists, who belong to illegal organisations.

 Comment:  "...From the domestic perspective, indigenous combatants are seen as "rebels," terrorists," "bandits," "separatists," and "extremists." But most Fourth World nation combatants see themselves engaged in an international conflict, nation against state; and thus they may call themselves soldiers, fighters, warriors. The view of international states is that states declare war, nations declare terrorism. By treating conflicts between states and nations as but an internal matter of the state, the conflict may be masked but not understood, nor resolved..." Bernard Q. Nietschmann  University of California, Berkeley, Fourth World Conflicts & Alternatives

But I decided to write to the terrorist leader because I wanted very much as I do still, to bring peace to Jaffna and to North and East of this country.

Comment:  "...When there are many men without honor, there are always others who bear in themselves the honor of many men. These are the men who rebel with great force against those who steal the people's freedom, that is to say, against those who steal honor itself. In those men thousands more are contained, an entire people is contained, human dignity is contained ..."Fidel Castro Ruz in History will Absolve Me 

The LTTE has, from 1994 since they broke the ceasefire agreement constantly refused to end the war. My government was compelled to reply to the LTTE attacks and continued the war only because the LTTE has until now constantly refused to enter into serious negotiations.

We have invited the LTTE for the last 6 years - six and a half years - to enter in to negotiations with us. Up to date they have not agreed. 

Comment:  "..I made an announcement last year in my Martyrs� Day message that we were prepared for peace talks with the assistance of  international third party mediation...The concept of the �war for peace� as enunciated by Chandrika�s government signified a military solution. This grand military project aimed at a total invasion of the Tamil homeland and envisages the defeat of the Tamil Tiger movement and finally the eventual subjugation of the Tamil nation. Chandrika worked tirelessly for the last five years to implement her military scheme... Therefore, she did not reflect seriously about peace nor has she taken any constructive steps towards peace talks..."Velupillai Pirabaharan, Maha Veera Naal Address - November 1999:

Even during the 8 months that the LTTE came to the negotiating table with us, they refused as I said earlier, to discuss the final solutions to ending the war.

Now for the last 2 years, up to 1999 the government invited, agreed at the Norwegian government place the rule of a third party to try to first the LTTE to stop the war and begin to negotiate. They have refused up to now.

Comment:  - "Our liberation organisation is prepared to participate in negotiations to find a political solution to the ethnic conflict through peaceful means. We are not opposed to peaceful processes of resolving conflicts. Nor are we reluctant to engage in peaceful dialogue.  We are seeking a negotiated settlement that would be fair, just, and equitable and that it would satisfy the political aspirations of the Tamil peopleI explained this position very clearly when I met the Norwegian peace delegates in Wanni recently. ..." Velupillai Pirabaharan, Maha Veerar Naal Speech, 27 November 2000

Now the LTTE says when they have still not agreed to discuss or to negotiate but suddenly they have declared a ceasefire for one month.  As far as the government is concerned  we declared no fighting when we invited the LTTE for discussion in 1994 and right through, even through the Norwegians up to now. We took the initiative. We are willing to stop the war and call any ceasefire any time. But there is one condition. Even the last time in 1994-95 when we discussed with the LTTE it was I and my government that initiated the ceasefire proposal and the LTTE agreed. 

 Comment:  "We are not imposing any conditions what ever for talks. We are only pointing out that for peace talks, a peaceful climate is necessary. Where there is no ceasefire, offensive operations may continue, may they not? Is there any meaning in continuing with war on one side, and at the same time talking about peace? That is why we say that a ceasefire is necessary for peace talks..."  Velupillai Pirabaharan, BBC Interview, 13 September 1994

So, there is no need to first declare to us a ceasefire. We want to cease fire and end the war. But the conditions that we are proposing very strongly is that after the ceasefire what? 

There is no point in having a ceasefire like the ceasefires that the LTTE agreed to under the UNP government on two occasions, under a our government once in 1994-95. If it is only for the LTTE to prepare to come back and continue the war, if it is only because the LTTE is weak that they want to get some time to get stronger in order to kill some more. We are ready for a ceasefire if the LTTE is willing to agree to begin negotiations. They have up to now not agreed to this.

 We have offered much more than a ceasefire for nearly 7 years - we have offered the Tamil people and the LTTE much more than a ceasefire. 

Comment:   "...The record shows that the Sri Lanka security forces (acting on the implicit or explicit authorisation of its commander in chief, President Chandrika Kumaratunga) have with impunity committed gross violations of the international humanitarian law... The genocidal intent of the Sri Lanka government is proved by...

A ceasefire is only something temporary. We have offered permanent peace.  

Comment:  'We will seek the views of the Mahanayaka Theras on each and every paragraph, clause and line of the draft Constitution so that they could correct us, where we have gone wrong...'' Staunch Chandrika loyalist and Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake on 13 August 2000

How do we achieve that peace. The only way to achieve that peace is for the two warring sides, the two sides that are engaged in the war is to agree to end the war.

Comment: "The would be conqueror is always a lover of peace, for he would like to enter and occupy our country unopposed." - Clausewitz quoted in Philosophers of Peace and War, edited by Professor Gallie

My government and I especially am 100% sincere in our desire to end the war. 

Comment: "Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake vowed to crush Tamil rebels and pooh-poohed British attempts to replicate the Northern Ireland experience in their former colony... The state-run Daily News quoted the Premier as saying ... that experiences of other countries cannot be "planted" in Sri Lanka. "We will carry on the military option until the enemy is totally eliminated..."AFP report, 27 November 2000

I do not believe the LTTE wants to end the war. It is because the LTTE does not believe in democracy. The LTTE is not for giving human rights, democratic rights to the Tamil people. 

Comment: "..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." Velupilllai Pirabaharan, Leader of Tamil Eelam

If they are for that, why do they kill so many Tamil people? Why do they kill all the democratic good leaders of the Tamil people? They have killed hundreds of them. 

Comment: "The LTTE's emergence as the most dominant and effective politico-military force representing Tamil interests was due to the following factors: 

Velupillai PirabaharanFirst, the character and personality of its leader V Pirabaharan who is disciplined, austere and passionately committed to the cause of Sri Lankan Tamils' liberation. Whatever he may be criticised for, it cannot be denied that the man has an inner fire and dedication and he is endowed with natural military abilities, both strategic and tactical. He has also proved that he is a keen observer of the nature of competitive and critical politics. He has proved his abilities in judging political events and his adroitness in responding to them. 

Secondly, he has created a highly disciplined, and dedicated cadres, a manifestation of which is inherent in what is called the 'cyanide cult.' Each regular member of the LTTE carries a cyanide pill and is pledged to committing suicide rather than being captured by the enemy. 

The third factor is the cult and creed of honesty in the disbursement and utilisation of resources. Despite long years spent in struggle, the LTTE cadres were known for their simple living, lack of any tendency to exploit the people and their operational preparedness

The fourth factor has been the LTTE's ability to upgrade its political and military capacities including technological inputs despite the constraints imposed on it by Sri Lankan forces and later by India. 

The fifth factor is a totally amoral and deadly violent approach in dealing with those the LTTE considers as enemies. 

The sixth factor is Pirabaharan's success in gathering around him senior advisers with diverse political, administrative and technological capacities, which contributed to effective training of his cadres, optimum utilisation of the military equipment which he had, and the structuring of an efficient command and control system. .." Jyotindra Dixit, India's Foreign Secretary in Assignment in Colombo

Why do they grab your children 9, 10 year old children who should be in school and who should be looked after by their mothers and fathers and force them to become human bombs? They force them to hang a cyanide capsule round their neck and go and kill others. These children should be in their homes receiving the love and affection of their parents and going to school and receiving education.

Comment:"...I have a high regard for the LTTE for its discipline, dedication, determination, motivation and technical expertise... I was left with the impression that the LTTE was the expression of popular Tamil sentiment and could not be destroyed, so long as that sentiment remained. Lieutenant General S.C. Sardesh Pande in "Assignment Jaffna",1992

"As far as I can tell most ordinary Tamils support the Tigers, not necessarily because they like them, but because they like the Sri Lankan - or Indian - armies less. The Tigers are ruthless and authoritarian but they are not corrupt - they don't tolerate stealing, bribery or rape, things other armies are famous for. In fact they are perceived as being single minded in their defence of Tamils. They are so disciplined that when captured, they swallow cyanide capsules that they carry with them at all times, rather than risk revealing anything under torture."  Marshall R Singer, Ph. D. Professor of International and Intercultural Affairs, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs - University of Pittsburgh. - Statement before US Congress Committee on International Relations Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific Hearing on Sri Lanka November 14,1995

The LTTE only believes as they have proved through action in the last 17-18 years, they only believe in violence. They believe in dictatorship and forcing the will of a few LTTE leaders on the entire Tamil people and the entire country.

If the LTTE sincerely wants to end the war and truly believe in giving peace to the Tamil people, they have only to do one thing, they have only to accept my invitation to come to discuss ways and means of ending the war and ensuring that the Tamil people can live in Sri Lanka with full equal opportunities like the Sinhalese and other people. We have to discuss this all, they have to accept our invitation to come to the negotiating table. Then we can discuss about a ceasefire.

Comment:  "...(Sri Lanka) MiG-27 aircrafts started bombing just hours after government troops resumed a massive ground offensive against Tamil rebels... Meanwhile, 3,000 Tamil students defied a military order and held a demonstration inside Jaffna University  asking the government to halt all military operations and enter into peace talks with the Liberation Tiger of Tamil Eelam..."Sri Lanka launches offensive, rejecting LTTE ceasefire appeal - Times of India, 18 January 2001.

A ceasefire without an agreement by both sides to enter into negotiations in order to end the war is only an empty promise. My government has consistently said that we say even now we are willing to effect a ceasefire, but a ceasefire without an agreement from the LTTE to enter into serious negotiations on the serious matters that affect the Tamil people is pointless. A ceasefire without an agreement to negotiate is only a weapon used by the LTTE to continue to destroy the Tamil people.

Comment:"...We are not imposing any pre-conditions for peace talks. Yet we insist on the creation of a cordial atmosphere and conditions of normalcy conducive for peace negotiations. It is practically difficult for both the parties who have been involved in a savage and bloody war for the last two decades with mutual animosity and distrust to suddenly enter into a peace process, while continuing hostilities. It is precisely for this reason we propose a process of de-escalation of war leading to cessation of armed hostilities and the creation of a peaceful, cordial environment..."Velupillai Pirabaharan, Maha Veerar Naal Speech, 27 November 2000

I have now spoken to you about two of the prongs, on two out of the 3 aspects of the strategy employed by my government in order to solve the Tamil people�s problems and to end the war.

The two aspects if I may repeat are first the constitutional legal and political proposals in order to guarantee firmly and on a long term basis the Tamil and minority people�s rights. That has to be achieved through a new constitution legally and politically. The sincere and honest will of the government is to implement what is contained in the new constitution.

Comment: "Chandrika Kumaratunga Government, today, 8 August 2000, decided to indefinitely postpone the debate and the voting on the Constitution Bill " Hindustan Times Report, 8 August 2000

'...We will seek the views of the Mahanayaka Theras on each and every paragraph, clause and line of the draft Constitution so that they could correct us, where we have gone wrong...'' Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake,  and President Kumaratunga loyalist, 14 August 2000

My government has drafted the new constitution. We have done an immense lot of work to persuade the Sinhala majority people that this has to be done and the majority of Sinhala people have through 10 elections held in a short time of 7 years given us the approval to bring in the constitution and we have also obtained through long discussion with all the elected representatives of the people in parliament including all the four or five Tamil parties their consent. The representatives of Muslim people, Muslim parties to have expressed their agreement to bring this constitution. Only problem has been that we need 2/3 majority of MPs in parliament and for this we need the UNP support and they refuse consistently to support this.

But I can state very firmly, I can promise you that even if the UNP does not have the responsibility to agree to this in order that we may end the war and give the Tamil people their rights, we of the PA government will find a way of bringing in the new constitution and implementing it, so that we can give the Tamil their rights.

The second aspect that I mentioned earlier, of our strategy is in order to end the war to negotiate with the LTTE and come to an agreement which will be satisfactory to the Tamil people to the Sinhala people and to everybody.

But as I told you earlier the LTTE refuses to negotiate and as long as the LTTE does not agree to end the war, it is going to be very difficult for the government to end the war alone. 

Comment: "...We regret to note that the Sri Lanka government has rejected our offer of a month long cease-fire ... to our great dismay, Sri Lanka government has dismissed our proposal stating that gestures of goodwill are unnecessary...Sri Lankan government believes in the impossible; in the incredible logic that war and peace could go together and wants to engage us in peace talks while continuing the bloody war... Sri Lanka should abandon its bellicose attitude and consider our constructive proposal if it is genuinely committed to a negotiated political settlement..."LTTE Press Statement, 25 December 2000

But I believe that the Tamil people and all the people in the entire Jaffna peninsula and in the rest of the North want peace that they do not want the politics of violence of the LTTE and that the people had begun to tell the LTTE very firmly that they want the war to end. The people of the North compelled the LTTE to give up their violence to stop the war and agree to come to negotiations. My government will continue to try our maximum to bring the war to end as early as possible.

The third aspects of our strategy for peace is to give an accelerated development programme to the North which development programme to the North and the East which on one hand has been destroyed by the war and on the other even before the war has been seriously neglected by all governments.

My government has spent billions of rupees, thousands of millions of rupees to develop the North and the East. I will talk about the Jaffna peninsula and the North for example because I went to see the people of the North. We have after even while the LTTE was in control of Jaffna and the North in �95, I wrote to Mr. Prabhakaran offering a package, development package of 40 thousand million rupees for the North to develop the schools, hospitals, roads, electricity, irrigation etc. Mr. Prabhakaran wrote back to me saying I don�t want your development.  

Comment: The record of the exchange of letters in 1995, contains no such letter by Velupillai Pirabaharan or the LTTE.

But after the LTTE, the government took over the Jaffna peninsula and large areas of the North we have started development, we have spent hundreds of million of Rupees in trying to develop the schools, hospitals, roads, electricity etc. 

Comment: "The World Health Organization today warned the international community that the health situation of the civilian population in the areas of conflict in the north of Sri Lanka is under severe threat. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and M�decins sans Fronti�res (MSF), the key international agencies supplementing the government efforts to provide health care to the civilian population, are no longer functioning due to lack of supplies. Dispensaries are closing down, oxygen will be out of supply within a week, and disposable syringes are out of date and are being sterilized and reused. There are no pre anesthetic drugs or painkillers for post operative care, nor are there injectable antibiotics and anesthetics...The population in northern Sri Lanka is especially vulnerable due to the large numbers of internally displaced people (IDPs), whose access to health services was already precarious before the current escalation of conflict. Malaria is highly endemic and on the rise, which poses a serious threat to the whole island since malaria control programmes have collapsed..." World Health Organisation Press Release (WHO/32 2000)12 May  2000:

The LTTE has constantly killed or tried to kill government officers, government ministers and others and even your elected representatives such as two males about 20 Pradeshiya Sabha members elected by the people of Jaffna. They have killed in order hoping they can stop the government program to develop the areas.

The LTTE says they are liberating the Tamil people but I do not understand how they can liberate the Tamil people when they obstruct and destroy all the time the programme of the government is implementing in order to liberate the Tamil people from their poverty.

I have just returned from the aid group meeting of all the countries that gives us money to develop Sri Lanka. The aid group meeting held in France, we discussed 4 major aspects for which the government and I have asked for aid from our donor countries from our friends abroad and one of the 4 programs that we have asked money for, is the reconstruction and development of the North and the East. 

The donor countries are giving us a large sum of money billions and billions rupees, that is thousands and thousands of millions of rupees for this program for reconstruction and the development of the North and the East.

Comment: "Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga says 40 percent of  development budgets in her first term were eroded by graft and inefficiency" ABC News, Reuters, 17 November 200

Development work under this programme in your areas will begin in a few months this year itself. It is the first time a government of independent Sri Lanka had drawn up and is implementing special program of development of the North and East.

The money we spend on this development programme for you, is not free it is a loan given to us by donors and all of us and the whole country will pay 25-30 years for this programme which we are implementing for you.

And Mr. Prabhakaran and his LTTE has already begun to oppose this programme. They have begun to issue statements all over the world and through this office in London and everywhere else laughing at this aid that we have got to develop your areas and criticize the government. The UNP has also now joined the LTTE in spreading a lot of lies and laughing at the government saying that we have obtained nothing. 

Is it nothing to obtain billions of Rupees to develop the North and the East? This is also in addition to billions of rupees we have obtained for the development of the South.

I would now like to mention very briefly some of the major projects we have undertaken in the last six and a half years for the North. 

For example we have given food, medicine and fuel to hundreds of thousands of people living in Jaffna and the North because they are supposed to be affected by the war. 

Comment:"...Shortage of medicines plagues the Vanni region, where thousands of refugees continue to suffer. At a meeting in Colombo on 12 November, TULF MPs told Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake that despite approval of the Defence Ministry, Army officers have refused to allow medicines for two quarters of 2000 into the Vanni and are holding them at Vavuniya.

Medical officers in Mallavi hospital in Mullaitivu District say 95% of the medicine stock is exhausted. Vitamins, antibiotics, drugs for diabetes and heart disease, anti-rabies vaccine and dressing are not available. In mid-November, the Army introduced new restrictions on people travelling into the Vanni from Vavuniya. Henceforth, each person will be allowed to carry only two small parcels of food or any other material..." British Refugee Council, Sri Lanka Monitor, November 2000

Even the UNICEF chairman sometime ago stated that Sri Lanka was perhaps the only country in the world that is  giving food to terrorists that is killing the government and fighting against the government. But we still continue to do so even though we know that Mr. Pirabaharan takes most of the food we give to the people by force and only gives only a little to them and he keeps it for his LTTE organisation. 

 Comment: "...There are several serious allegations and significant recognitions of failures of the government of Sri Lanka and its officials, officers, and agents to provide adequate and available food to populations in northern regions, including allegations that crops have been intentionally destroyed...

There are also allegations that these failures are often deliberate: that the failure to provide adequate food is used as political tactic or weapon of war against non-combatants in the northern regions for various purposes. Such purposes allegedly include the intent to break down civilian support processes so that the civilians are forced to move to detention centres or government controlled areas; .. and the intent to keep food out of the hands of insurgent forces.

Under human rights law, there is a recognised right to adequate and available food... it would be especially unlawful and egregious to deny the right to adequate food as government tactic to control certain persons or as a weapon of war...If food is likely to be used by both the general population and enemy combatants, the destruction or denial of food, in circumstances where one can reasonably foresee that the general population will suffer, will necessarily involve the indiscriminate use of food as a weapon... "[these] denials also violate related prohibitions under the laws of war, and constitute serious war crimes... Fear of food falling into the hands of enemy combatants is not an excuse for denying food to the civilians..." Professor. Jordan J. Paust in the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law,  May 1998.

We still continue to give the food only because we want to help the civilian people of Jaffna and the North.

Comment: "The Sri Lankan government has imposed restrictions on food, medicines, fuel and other essential needs into the Vanni. The economic embargo under Emergency regulations is in force since August 1991. International agencies continue to protest, as the restrictions have little effect on the Tigers but adversely affect the health sector and undermine the local economy..." British Refugee Council, Sri Lanka Monitor, September 2000

Up to now, even at this moment we are giving food and other rations to 315,000 people in the Jaffna district alone. Even now in this new year we have sent 7500 mt. food rice, sugar, dhal and milk powder etc.

And I must specially mention here that in order to ensure the proper implementation of our programmes for the North, I have for the first time appointed a minister elected by the people of Jaffna to look after the development of the North - Hon. Douglas Devananda of the EPDP.

Comment: "...During Hitler's occupation of Norway (in World War II) a Norwegian called Quisling collaborated with the Nazis - his name has now become a part of the English vocabulary to describe a traitor. In the case of France, we had the Vichy 'government'. These agents of the alien ruler, on the one hand, dispensed favours to sections of the populace and on the other hand, helped to identify and eliminate those who resisted alien rule.

In Sri Lanka, the Sinhala authorities have recruited, from time to time, Tamils to achieve similar objectives. Some Tamils become willing channels, through whom the Sinhala ruler dispenses favours to sections of the Tamil populace, as the price for their support for alien Sinhala rule - and 'peace'..." Nadesan Satyendra in Tamil Informers, June 1998

The new minister has been able to discuss with government authorities, and private transporters and has been able to bring down the transport costs of food items, fuel etc that is being transported to Jaffna from approximately 50-60 US$ they were charging for 1mt considerably. We have reduced it to 30 US $ which is half the price. This should definitely reduce the price of food items and fuel etc. for all the people in Jaffna and the North.

We have also made arrangements in a regular manner to transport all produce of the farmers of Jaffna to Colombo so that you can get better prices.

I know also that another very big problem that people of the North have is travelling from the north to the south and back again.

The only reason for this problem is that the LTTE will not allow the government to transport people or even the private people to take lorries from the road. We requested the LTTE constantly to open up the road but they refused. When we take people by ship, they bombed the ships but we will continue with the services. They bombed the ships and the planes. They have bombed, as you know, one private plane owned by a private company which was transporting dozens of people of Jaffna to Colombo and they killed all those people � people who were transported by air. 

Recently, my government bought two ships at a very high cost which are luxury ships in order to transport passengers from the North to the South and back again. They began to operate transporting the people as well as the soldiers

The LTTE attempted to destroy the both ships about two months ago when they were anchored in the Trincomalee harbour. They destroyed one quite badly and it is under repairs and caused damaged to the other one which is also under repairs. Now we have engaged a private company. 

We have given them many facilities in order to transport passengers from Jaffna and back and that company is transporting at a very cheap rate and the government is paying them some money in order to do this at a cheap rate and we will continue to transport the passengers as much as possible. Even that is being obstructed by the LTTE.

There is also a problem for the Tamil people of Jaffna and the north to obtain permits to travel back and forth. I know there is a lot of problems in obtaining this. The main reason is once again that the LTTE misuses this permission that the government gives and sense suicide bombers, to kill people in Colombo not only us, of the government. They kill not only Sinhalese people and Muslim people, but they also kill Tamil leaders in Colombo. 

Very respected Tamil leaders such as Neelan Thruchelvam and so many others. 

Comment: "...Compromise is  attractive to the nationalist bourgeoisie, who since they are not clearly aware of the possible consequences of the rising storm, are genuinely afraid of being swept away by this huge hurricane and never stop saying to the settlers: ' we are still capable of stopping the slaughter; the masses still have confidence in us; act quickly if you do not want to put everything in jeopardy.' One step more, and the leader of the nationalist party keeps his distance with regard to that violence. He loudly proclaims that he has nothing to do with these Mau-Mau, these terrorists, these throatslitters. At best, he shuts himself off in a no-man's-land between the terrorists and the settlers and willingly offers his services as go-between; that is to say, that as the settlers cannot discuss terms with these Mau-Mau, he himself will be quite willing to begin negotiations... Thus it is that the rear-guard of the national struggle, that very party of people who have never ceased to be on the other side in the fight, find themselves somersaulted into the vanguard of negotiations and compromise - precisely because that party has taken very good care never to break contact with colonialism... " "...Compromise is  attractive to the nationalist bourgeoisie, who since they are not clearly aware of the possible consequences of the rising storm, are genuinely afraid of being swept away by this huge hurricane and never stop saying to the settlers: ' we are still capable of stopping the slaughter; the masses still have confidence in us; act quickly if you do not want to put everything in jeopardy.' One step more, and the leader of the nationalist party keeps his distance with regard to that violence. He loudly proclaims that he has nothing to do with these Mau-Mau, these terrorists, these throatslitters. At best, he shuts himself off in a no-man's-land between the terrorists and the settlers and willingly offers his services as go-between; that is to say, that as the settlers cannot discuss terms with these Mau-Mau, he himself will be quite willing to begin negotiations... Thus it is that the rear-guard of the national struggle, that very party of people who have never ceased to be on the other side in the fight, find themselves somersaulted into the vanguard of negotiations and compromise - precisely because that party has taken very good care never to break contact with colonialism... " Frantz Fannon in Concerning Violence - The Wretched of the Earth:

They have killed by sending people to Colombo making use of these permits. Therefore, I am sorry to say that the government is obliged to go in to the details of the people who are ask for permits. And this is a problem to the normal honest people. We do our best to simplify the procedures even further. But the only problem is that the LTTE also uses this, gives false information and send their suicide killers through process.

I also like to inform that the government officers military officers, and defence personnel authorities and even the civilian officers also ask for bribes in order to give permission and in order to give the permits for your people to travel. Please inform if anybody has done this, I will give you a fax no. at the end of this. I would like you to note that and inform me to this fax number the names people who ask for bribes for anything at all. If they happen to be the government servants I shall take immediate action against them.

I am also aware that you who are living in the north and specially in Jaffna peninsula, have various problems which are due to the military operations going on. For example fishermen are not allowed to fish in certain areas. Then there is another problem in certain areas of Jaffna district and other places. Specially, in Jaffna which were inhabited by people earlier are now not given permission to live in this areas. 

All these difficulties arise only because certain precautions have to be taken to protect all of you, the innocent people of Jaffna to protect your elected representatives, your ministers, your members of Parliament, members of the MC and PS from getting killed by the LTTE. We have also to protect the military persons  who are there to ensure your safety and who are compelled to be there because the LTTE will not stop to the war. 

Comment: "...Sri Lankan security forces shot dead nine children and wounded 20 others, in Batticaloa town on 17 May. .. The children, from an orphanage in Ayithiyamalai, were accompanied by Parish Priest Jeyachandra on a visit to view decorations in the town to celebrate Buddhist Vesak Day... the security forces fired at the van carrying the children, despite the plea of Rev Jeyachandra, �Please don�t shoot the children; shoot me instead�..." British Refugee Council, Sri Lanka Monitor, May 2000

I hope and I am sure we can change this whole situation. Once the LTTE agrees our proposals to come to discuss with us and we find the solutions to end the war very soon.

One of the problem I would like to mention is the problem of disappearances that existed in Jaffna before my government came into power. We have changed the situation very seriously for the better.

Comment: "Working Group wishes to stress that Sri Lanka remains the country with the second largest number of non-clarified cases of disappearances on its list.... many of the earlier recommendations of the Working Group have not been implemented... the Prevention of Terrorism Act and the Emergency Regulations...have not been abolished or brought into line with internationally accepted standards of human rights..Report of the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, March 2000 "... the

When two sides are fighting against each other, specially at time of war it is known even in the west during times of war there have been violations of human rights.  My government has done our maximum in order to stop this and I believe that it has been reduced to the minimum. Whenever some violation of human rights have happened I have ordered that the strictest action be taken against the culprits. The personnel under my government are not permitted to harass or harm civilian people.

The UNP govt. instructed and ordered their thugs, there political thugs as well as the police and the military to kill and burn the Tamil people and their properties. We stopped all this.Thousands and thousands of people suffered like this under the last government. Under my government a few hundred people may have been harmed, may be hundred or two hundred, instead of 20-30 thousands and these are the exceptions, and at every time we have held serious inquiries, proper inquiries, and we have taken action against the guilty.

Comment: "... the vast majority of outstanding cases, many involving extrajudicial killings by security forces remained unresolved, and new violations continued......Sri Lanka's pervasive climate of impunity was a source of concern for both the U.N. Working Group on Disappearances and Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions Bacre Waly Ndaiye. In March 1998, the U.N. released the report of Ndaiyes 1997 visit to Sri Lanka. The report expressed concern over the governments failure to bring to justice those responsible for the country's almost ubiquitous extrajudicial killings ... " US based Human Rights Watch report, 1999:

For example there was the recent incident in Chavakachcheri, where some people I understand about 8 of them had been found killed. We have started inquiries immediately, we have already arrested several army personnel. And we will take strictest action against them.

Until we are able to terminate the war, some of these problems may arise from time to time but I can assure you that my government, and armed forces will do our maximum to minimize the harassment and the problems caused to the civilian people.

Finally, I would like to request all of you to give us your full support in order that we can complete the development work we have begun for Jaffna and the North and the East. To give your full support to Minister Devananda and all his officials and all other Tamil leaders who are trying to help to develop your areas so that you may live better. 

 I would also like to request your full support to my government and personally to me to finally implement the constitutional process that we have begun in order to bring in the new constitution so that we can guarantee the rights of the Tamil people and minority people and so that we can end the war in order that all the people in this country can live with equal opportunity in unity with each other.

For this I believe that the people of the north specially must actively engage in persuading all those who are against the development work we have begun for, all those who are against democracy, all those who are continuing to carry on the war which creates so many problems to you in other words the people of Jaffna and the North to compel the LTTE to give up their politics of violence and to come in to the democratic process so that the Tamil people can have the rights that my government has been trying to give them for the last 7 years. 

The Politics of Violence...

"...Communal riots in which Tamils are killed, maimed, robbed and rendered homeless are no longer isolated episodes; they are beginning to become a pernicious habit." - Paul Sieghart:Report of a Mission to Sri Lanka on behalf of the InternationalCommission of Jurists and its British Section, Justice, March1984

There has never been a government like this which has committed itself even while the LTTE�s violence has tried to kill me as head of state, has killed several of my ministers, killed Tamil leaders, killed representatives elected by you, who were trying to solve your problems in the name of liberating of the Tamil people. The LTTE will have to be persuaded to agree to give up their violence and honestly join us in the process of helping the Tamil people to bring development to their areas to live in peace and dignity.

Comment: "....An armed resistance movement takes shape in the womb of oppression. Its seeds are to be found in the eternal quest for equality and freedom. But, though born of natural parents it is at birth illegitimate - because it breaches the existing legal frame, and seeks to supplant it. And that simple fact has much to do with its subsequent development and growth. An armed resistance movement acquires legitimacy and becomes 'lawful' through its growth and success - not simply because the ends it seeks to achieve are just... The metamorphosis from 'unlawful' to 'lawful' is gradual (and many layered) and is related not only to the justice of the ends it seeks to achieve and the legality of the means it employs but also to the extent to which a guerrilla movement is able to secure and maintain permanent control of territory. It is not a case of one or the other, but a case of all three..." (Nadesan Satyendra in When Pirabaharan Triumphs, 22 October 1998)

I would now like to say good bye to all of you and in the meantime until I can come safely to Jaffna to see you, which I would like to do very much. But once again the LTTE prevents us from doing so. 

 Comment: "...Martin Woollacott's comments in the Guardian in 1993, on the Bosnian conflict serve to highlight the issues that face an armed struggle for freedom in the world of real politick:

''Nobody involved in this war, in fighting it or in trying to stop it, was born yesterday. What matters most in any agreement, is territory, what matters secondly is international legitimacy, what matters thirdly are constitutional arrangements and what matters least are human rights provisions..''

The Tamils, too, were not born yesterday. They know that it is because the armed resistance of the Tamil people led by the Liberation Tigers has succeeded to the extent that they hold territory in the North-East, that Tamil rights is on the international agenda. They know that if that resistance fails, Sri Lanka will have no further use for 'mediators' - Tamil or otherwise. They know that if that resistance fails, the Tamil people will be left with the pleaders and petitioners ..., whose efforts during the past forty years and more, did little to stop the onslaught on Tamil rights and Tamil lives.

Territory, international legitimacy, constitutional provisions and human rights are, ofcourse, inter connected. Without human rights, legitimacy may be more difficult to achieve. Without legitimacy, it may be more difficult to hold territory over a period of time. But without territory, a people will cease to exist - and in the end it is this which is fundamental..." Nadesan Satyendra - Neelan Thiruchelvam & Tamil Eelam, August 1999

I would like to talk to you by means of the satellite where you can tell us your problems, and I could discuss with you the problems like I once did I think some time last year on a regular basis once in two or three months in different parts of the peninsula. I would like you to have all your problems written down so that we can discuss them when I address you through the satellite next time.

Until then I would like to request you to inform me whatever serious problems you have, not all small problems that can be solved there by the ministers and the members of parliament, but what you would like me to solve. I would like you to inform me to the following fax number with your address or even without the address if you would not like to give and we will attend to the problems.

Fax number is 437065.




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