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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 > Peace Mask: War Face - LTTE Response, 14 August 1995

Chandrika's 'Devolution Proposals'

  Peace Mask: War Face
Press Release of International Secretariat of LTTE
14 August 1995

"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. Therefore, this package of devolution will not lead to peace or peaceful resolution of the conflict, but rather it will pave the way for a protracted armed conflict". Belligerent Face of Sinhala Buddhist Fundamentalism

This was stated by Anton Balasingham, the chief spokesman and theoretician of the LTTE, at a press conference held in Jaffna on 11 August 1995.

Characterising the peace effort of the Government as essentially to a war strategy to militarily repress the Tamil national struggle, Mr. Balasingham said that 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.

At the outset Mr. Balasingham explained that the press briefing was not intended to analyse or criticise the content of the proposals but to apprise the Tamil people of the Government's strategy of prosecuting the war under the guise of a peace package.

"The Government has not submitted the programme of devolution either for the LTTE or for Tamils of the Northeast for consideration. In these circumstances, commenting on the merits and demerits of the proposals will not serve any meaningful purpose", he said.

Addressing the press Mr. Balasingham further explained:

"If the Government of Chandrika Kumaratunga had a genuine intention of resolving the Tamil national Problem through peaceful means, it should have placed a package of proposals during the negotiations with the LTTE having amicably settled the immediate issues of the Tamils."

"But the Government did not do so. It gave primacy to military concerns and deliberately created conditions for the breakdown of talks. From the very beginning until now, the Government is firmly committed to a military solution."

"The Chandrika administration entertains a notion that if the LTTE is destroyed militarily, it could impose an adequate solution on the Tamil people."

"The Government is operating with an absurd and ridiculous scheme that proposes a political solution to Tamils and a military solution to the Tamil Tigers. This scheme is based on a misconceived fantasy that the LTTE and the Tamil people could be separated by enticing the Tamils with a devolution package. Failing to realise the concrete reality that the Tigers and the people are one and the same phenomenon, the Government falsely assumes that it could alienate the Tigers and win over the people by political deceit. "

"We are surprised that Chandrika regime has not realised that it was precisely the same historical blunder made by the former Government as well as by India. The Indian Government attempted to implement the Provincial Council scheme hoping that it could isolate and crush the LTTE by the force of the arms. The present Government seems to adopt a similar approach that the largest army in the world attempted and failed miserably."

"Having failed to realise the truth that the Tamil people are solidly behind the LTTE, the Government is embarking on a deadly project the disastrous consequences of which have to borne by the Government of Chandrika Kumaratunga."

"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."

"While the people of the South are engaged in a serious debate and discussion over the implication of the proposed package of the devolution, the people in Tamil Eelam are confronted with a different existential reality. Here, in our homeland, our people are faced with death, destruction and immense suffering brought about by economic sanctions. Instead of a devolution of power, our people are faced with a devolution of state violence and terror."

"We have to take into consideration that this proposed package of devolution does not constitute itself into a comprehensive framework, but rather it is offered as a body of proposals, for which different interpretations and elucidations are given daily some prominent ministers of the Government. These ministers have said that the North and East will not be merged but rather demarcated and redefined with the deletion of territories; that the unitary structure of the state will not be impaired and that the proposals do not confer special status or powers to the Tamils but it would only be an administrative structure for the entire land."

"They further argue that these proposals would be subjected to amendments and modifications and change at the deliberations of the Parliamentary Select Committee and has to be endorsed by the Sinhala majority Parliament. They say that finally it is the Sinhala majority which has to approve the package. I think there is lot of truth in what they say. Therefore, it will serve no purpose if we make any comments on the contents of these proposals at this stage. "

"It is the Tamil people who have decide on the nature of the solution to the Tamil national question. Self-determination means precisely that. We are not a minority group, but rather we constitute our selves into a coherent nationality. As a nation of people, we reserve the inalienable right to freely decide our own political destiny. Nobody else can decide our political fate, nor can anybody, be it any other nation, impose a political solution against our will. This package of devolution is not submitted for consideration to the Tamil people, nor to the LTTE who are their authentic representatives. Yet the Government wants to impose this set of proposals on the Tamils at the point of a gun through military violence. We will not allow such an aggressive approach."

"Without a vision of the future as to what form and structure this package could turn out to be, the Tamil groups in Colombo have welcomed these proposals in haste. Neither we, nor our people are surprised over their action. These groups, having been rejected and alienated by the Tamil people, entered Parliament through fraudulent elections. They have never shown any genuine concern for the interests and aspirations of our people."

"They are prepared to grasp any bones thrown by anybody simply to cling on their usurped positions. We are not in the least concerned about their political stand. There are a few senior elderly politicians among them have sought refuge under the umbrella of Chandrika Government after having been systematically cheated and lived in political wilderness for more than forty years. Having abandoned the struggle for the self-determination, these politicians have at one time welcomed the District Development Councils and the Provincial Councils and are now praising Chandrika's proposals as radical and revolutionary."

They are also preaching political wisdom to the Tamil Tigers. Our people are well aware of the political insight of these politicians. Deluded by the proposed devolution, they are betraying the Tamil cause again. We can forgive them, but the history of the People's struggle will never pardon them."

"Even though we are faced with a major war, we have not given up the path of peace nor have we abandoned the process of seeking a political settlement through peaceful means. We are prepared for the war and we are prepared for peace. Unlike the Government of Chandrika Kumaratunga we have not closed the door to peace.

"If the Government brings an end to the war, creates the conditions of peace and settles the immediate problems of our people, we are prepared to participate in the peace negotiations. But if Government escalates the armed conflict and attempts to continue the policy of genocide of the Tamils, we will be left with no alternative other than to close the doors to peace and continue to struggle for the establishment of an independent State. Therefore, it is the Government of Chandrika Kumaratunga which has to decide as to whether to pursue the path for a negotiated settlement or to pursue the path of war that will lead ultimately to the division of the country", Mr. Balasingham said.


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