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Tamilnation > Struggle for Tamil Eelam > Conflict Resolution - Tamil Eelam - Sri Lanka > Norwegian Peace Initiative > Interim Self Governing Authority & Aftermath > Time is fast running out
|Anton Balasingham in Politics of Duplicity: Re-visiting the (1995) Jaffna Talks "....The Maha Sangha and its organised clergy constitute the most powerful institutionalised structure of the Sinhala-Buddhist racist ideology. As the ideological apparatus of Sinhala Buddhist hegemony the Sangha wields unlimited power. The political system is subordinated to this religious Order which functions as a form of neo-theocracy imposing its will on the affairs of state. The Sangha as the divine guardian of the Sinhala race and religion has always championed the cause of majoritarian absolutism; the tyrannical system of the rule of the majority that does not allow any form of accommodation for the rights and liberties of other ethnic formations: particularly the Tamils. Embedded in a closed system of ethno-religious dogmatism the Buddhist monks regard the Tamil quest for national identity and homeland as intolerable heresy and any attempts to resolve these demands as treason.... The international governments who are genuinely concerned about restoring peace and ethnic harmony to the island, should not ignore the threat posed by Sinhala-Buddhist racism to the peace processes aimed at ethnic reconciliation...The tragic political history of the Tamils, that spans more than half a century, with instances of deceits double crosses and treacherous betrayals, illustrates a salient truth that Sinhala-Buddhist racism has been the real culprit behind all ill-fated attempts at resolving the Tamil ethnic conflict. more|
Justice Satchi Ponnambalam
Judge of the Supreme Court of Belize, Central America in Tamils Right to Self Determination, 1991- "...The (1968) District Councils episode and the fiasco in which it ended brings into focus the significant realities of the Tamil national question... Firstly, it epitomizes the resort of the opposition Sinhalese politicians to "false propaganda and the spreading of communal hatred", on any measure even remotely connected to or ameliorative of the enslaved and deprived of "birthright" condition of the Tamil people. Secondly, that false propaganda will accuse the proposer of any such measure as the author of a scheme "to divide the country to the detriment of the Sinhalese", in order to heighten the controversy over it so that the proposer himself would jettison it, as did Dudley Senanayake. Thirdly, the vociferous Buddhist lobby consisting of the Mahanayakes, Bhikkhus and the A.C.B.C. have become the keepers of the conscience of the Sinhalese nation and the custodians of the Sri Lanka Government's positions over the Tamil problem, which the two have created in the country..." more
|Securing Peace: An Action Strategy for Sri Lanka - A Report Prepared by Princeton University for the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), June 2004 - "For years the SLFP and the UNP have vied for control of the Government... Although both parties see peace as desirable, political opportunism has triumphed over the creation of a unified plan to peace and negotiations with the LTTE. Political leaders who are unable to separate peace from political gain plague Sri Lanka...Competition for political power in Sri Lanka has made cooperation in pursuit of peace impossible....In our view, resolution of the Sinhalese political party struggle is the top priority. This conflict—whatever the merits of the arguments—is selfish in the short-term and self defeating in the long-term. The country is ready for peace. The LTTE is ready to continue negotiations. The world cannot understand why Sri Lanka does not move ahead to peace..."|
|Professor Marshall Singer, at US Congress Committee on International Relations Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific Hearing on Sri Lanka November 14,1995 "...One of the essential elements that must be kept in mind in understanding the Sri Lankan ethnic conflict is that, since 1958 at least, every time Tamil politicians negotiated some sort of power-sharing deal with a Sinhalese government - regardless of which party was in power - the opposition Sinhalese party always claimed that the party in power had negotiated away too much. In almost every case - sometimes within days - the party in power backed down on the agreement..."|
Sinhala Journalist Tarzie Vittachi in his book Emergency'58 on the Abrogation of the BC Pact "...The Prime Minister (S.W.R.D.Bandaranaike) left the house early that morning (9 April 1957) to attend to some very important work in his office. The bhikkus came, the crowds gathered, the gates of the Bandaranaike Walawwa (home) were closed against them and armed police were hurriedly summoned to throw a barbed-wire cordon to keep the uninvited guests out... Pedlars, cool-drink carts, betel sellers and even bangle merchants pitched their stalls hard by. Dhana was brought to the bhikkus at the appointed hour for food... At 4.15 p.m. the B-C Pact was torn into pathetic shreds by its principal author who now claimed that its implementation had been rendered impossible by the activities of the Federalists. The Prime Minister had gone home that afternoon accompanied by half a dozen Ministers who stood on the leeward side of the barbed-wire barricade while Mr. Bandaranaike listened to the shrill denunciations of the monks. The Minister of Health sat on the Street facing the monks and preached a sermon, promising them redress if they would only be patient. The Prime Minister consulted his colleagues. The monks had won. The Magic Pact was no more. But the monks insisted on getting this promise in writing. The Prime Minister went into the house and the Health Minister, hardly able to suppress the look of relief on her face, brought the written pledge out to the monks. Yet another victory for Direct Action had been chalked up."
Editorial in 'Liberation Tigers' Official Organ of LTTE
21 July 2004
|"...Time is fast running out. The LTTE is prepared to wait patiently to negotiate and resolve the Tamil national question. But if the government has a hidden agenda to protract the peace process and restage a game of deception again, the Tamil people are not prepared to bear it anymore. This thinking pattern of the Tamil people, a most reasonable one at that, should be understood in the right perspective by the government and the international community..."|
"Liberation Tigers have unambiguously made known to the world,
the Political modalities necessary to make the peace process meaningful. This
step of the LTTE was based on bitter past experience and the desire to ensure
that negotiations do not get disrupted in between. This step was taken by the
LTTE painstakingly and in a reasonable manner, paying meticulous attention to
the drafting of the proposals.
The government has, however, not shown a positive response to the LTTE neither has it rejected the proposals in its totality. Instead, the government comes out with conflicting statements from time to time, a step we believe as a tactic to buy time. The president has, in a public meeting, said that the peace talks should be conducted on the basis of the 'package' she put out in 1994/95. She has further said that a consultative committee comprising of parliamentarians should be appointed to take forward the peace process.
This 'package' that the President refers to, has been already rejected by the Tamil people and packaged by them for posterity. Trying to rejuvenate it, after ten years, is not going to be of any use. It is frustrating to find that the President is trying to establish another procrastinating entity while structures already established in this context remain static and unhelpful.
Making confusion confounded is the stance of President's constituent partners in the Government, the JVP, that a referendum be held in the Sinhalese electorates. These do not augur well for the peace process and not at all conducive for the recommencement of the peace talks. On the contrary, they tend to reflect the reluctance of the government and ground reality that the government is not strong enough to take forward the peace process with sincerity and commitment.
In one meeting the President proclaims a certain view on the peace process and strange enough she refutes it in another meeting. The president's partner JVP proclaims still another view and goes at length to say that the President has accepted the JVP view. A JVP leader goes on record that the TNA legislators should be chased out of the assembly, an expression of naked racialism and supremacist thinking.
All the chauvinistic majoritarian forces working overtime, are engaged in a vicious propaganda against the ISGA proposals submitted by the LTTE. JVP takes the lead in this and the Sinhalese media too does its part in the business of racial-hatred mongering. The political landscape thus looks convoluted. The Sinhalese electorate, mostly in the rural areas, is fed with this poisonous racial-hatred by the JVP. Having rejected the LTTE stand on the peace process, the JVP has already commenced its propaganda for war. They boldly tell the people that the President has endorsed their view.
These and many similar views running contrary to the peace initiatives, circulating in the south, push the Tamil people to the fringe of frustration and compel them to conclude that their national problem cannot be resolved at all.
While procrastinating on the peace process, the government appears to be engaging itself in engineering the disintegration of Tamil nationalism utilising its military intelligence division in acts of sabotage including killings in the east.
Paradoxically, the government while lethargic in its peace initiatives and acting in bad faith when it comes to respecting the CFA, wants to portray a peace environment to the international community. For the Tamil people it is a firm NO whether it be peace, development, resettlement or rehabilitation. They are refused the right to part with their refugee status. They have no peace today neither do they have hope for tomorrow.
The Liberation Tigers do have a moral responsibility to take on board the Tamil psyche as it is today in the context of the peoples' fear and suspicion as to whether there are subtle moves on the government side to defeat Tamil national uprising by the 'peace trap', having failed to achieve same through military means.
Time is fast running out. The LTTE is prepared to wait patiently to negotiate and resolve the Tamil national question. But if the government has a hidden agenda to protract the peace process and restage a game of deception again, the Tamil people are not prepared to bear it anymore. This thinking pattern of the Tamil people, a most reasonable one at that, should be understood in the right perspective by the government and the international community.