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"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 

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Home > Struggle for Tamil Eelam > Sri Lanka's Broken Pacts & Evasive Proposals > Chandrika - LTTE Talks: 1994/95 > Statement by International Secretariat of LTTE, 26 May 1995

Chandrika - LTTE Talks: 1994/95 

Text of a Statement by International Secretariat of LTTE
Why these double standards ? 

26 May 1995

Sri Lanka government propaganda has seen to it that the truth behind the disruption of the peace process has been effectively concealed from the world . Firstly, a government that keeps on affirming that the Tamil people were equal citizens of the country, carried on a policy that means by implication:- 

That the Tamils living in the north were an exception. 

That supplying their basic human needs like food and medicine, and fuel and kerosene, fertiliser and urea, torch and radio batteries depending on many factors:- 

a) Their good behaviour
b) The good behaviour of the Tigers
c) The military implications to the government in permitting 
such items
d) The given mood at given times of the military minions who
man the checkpoints at Vavuniya

In short, caring for the daily living needs of a section of what the government claims its own people was for the Sri Lanka government a matter for bargaining! The very fact that the Chandrika government treats basic human rights of the Tamil people as "Concessions", is in itself a throwback to the Sinhala - Buddhist hegemonic approach that the Tamils have been resisting for the Past 40 years. That makes her government no different from that of her father who made Sinhala the sole official language of the country in 1956, and her mother who gave pride of place to Buddhism in the 1972 constitution, and both of whom sent a Sinhala army to the northeast in 1958 and 1961 to crush an unarmed defenceless people. One cannot expect western governments or even the Sinhalese people to be conscious of those 40 year scars of history that the Tamils alone carry in their psyches. 
If one were to talk of concessions, the only meaningful concession that came, was from the side of the Tigers. Having come down from their declared goal of a separate Tamil Eelam they were prepared to consider political accommodation on a Federal basis that would ensure a measure of self-rule for the Tamils in the north-east. This they did from a position of growing military strength. But what has been the response of the Chandrika government until now? 

In a recent interview given to India Today, this question was asked from President Kurnaratunga: "The Tigers have complete control of the place. All they need is foreign recognition but you can't help them with that. So what can you offer them as a bargain? " 

President Kumaratunga's reply is very revealing. She says:- 

"The first thing is that they can live peacefully. Without getting bombarded from the air and sea and shot at from the ground. And I think that this is a strong, very strong point in favour of peace " 

Strange, but there it is in her own words. The only quid pro quo that the President could think of, was not a political alternative, but the stopping of actual bombardments and shelling from the sea and land! 

The fact is, that the government is up to now keeping the whole country in the dark as to the political package that it has in mind. Why this hesitancy? Why this procrastination over a period of six months? Why cannot the international community ask the Sri Lankan government to spell out the details of the autonomy that it keeps saying it is prepared to offer the Tamil people? 

Among the many reasons that made the LTTE lose faith in President Kumaratunga was the wide gulf between her promises and actions. A concrete example is the one where in her last letter to the LTTE leader, she referred to the lifting of the embargo on all, except eight items. 

After enumerating the eight items, she said:- "All other goods can be freely transported to the north. The announcement of this decision will be made on the 13th April and thereafter a gazette will be immediately issued containing the list of 8 items on the embargo list." 

The announcement was made, as she stated, but apparently for public and international consumption, but no gazetting was done. But when the LTTE withdrew from the peace process on the expiry of the second deadline of April 19, the government was quick to gazette the re-imposition of the full economic embargo on April 21. If that was not an act of deception, what else was it? 

The international community is quick to condemn the LTTE from withdrawing from a fraudulent "peace process", but why cannot it condemn such deception on the part of the government? 

Why was there no condemnation from various governments when Tamil fishermen were killed, arbitrarily arrested, and robbed of their boats and catch? 

Why was there no condemnation of the government's action in reimposing the economic embargo and the starving of one million Tamils in the North? 

Why was there no international reaction when hundreds of lorries carrying essentials were detained by the armed forces South of Vavunia from proceeding to North for over several weeks and two of them were robbed of the belongings and the lorries themselves bombed and destroyed in sheer spite? 

Why is there no condemnation of aerial bombing of civilian areas in the North? 

Violation of human rights in the Eastern province have been standard behaviour on the part of the Sri Lanka armed forces ever since the L'ITE withdrew from the cessation of hostilities. When the LTTE attacks military -targets, innocent civilians are made to pay the price. 

Four innocent youths were pulled out from their homes by the police and when a mother pleaded: "Shoot me, don't shoot my son", the woman was shot dead point blank. Later the four dead bodies of the youths were found under the palmyra trees near the police station. 

Such instances are made public even in the Colombo press. Why is there no international publicity or Condemnation of such gruesome acts? 

When over 2000 Tamils in Colombo and elsewhere are rounded up on mere suspicion, and when some of them disappear thereafter, why is there no murmur even from international quarters? 

Why do various governments look the other way when a fellow government indulges in state terrorism? Are Tamil lives cheaper than other lives? 

Unless the violations of human rights are judged even-handedly, unless governments base their judgements on empirical data instead of relying on a fellow government's Press handouts to international news agencies, it would be futile to expect the very Peace to which they pay lip service to prevail anywhere. With their blessings the oppressor will continue to oppress. The arms dealers will continue to prosper. Ultimately Truth, Peace and human lives will be the casualties.



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