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Home > Tamil National Forum > Selected Writings - Victor Rajakulendran > An open appeal to the European Union

Selected Writings - Dr. Victor Rajakulendran

An open appeal to the European Union

7 October 2005

Honourable Leaders of,
Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia,
Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland (Republic of),
Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands,
Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom

Re: The Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the European Union condemning the actions of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam

The above declaration made on the 29th September 2005 by the EU Presidency on behalf of your Nations has been received with suspicion and apprehension by the peace loving Tamils living around the globe.

The Cease-fire Agreement of 2002 followed by the 6 rounds of negotiations between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the Sri Lankan Government (SLG), with the help of the Norwegian mediators was based on the condition, accepted by all the parties privy to the peace process, that both the LTTE and the Sri Lankan government are to be treated as equal partners in this process. From the time the US tried to undermine this condition by not inviting LTTE to the Washington meeting the peace process ran into stormy waters.

EU no doubt has become a major stakeholder, in this peace process as it has come forward to be a Co-Chair of the Tokyo Donor Conference. Until 29th of September 2005, EU has positively contributed to this peace process not only by it�s financial help but also by the neutral stand taken by it in exerting pressure on both sides to keep them on course vis-�-vis the peace process, whenever needed. Even as late as 19th of September 2005, after the Co-Chairs met in New York to discuss the situation in Sri Lanka, following the assassination of Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Kadirgamar, EU joined the other three members of the Co-Chair to caution both the parties equally. While the Co-Chairs asked the LTTE to immediately to put an end to political assassinations and to the recruitment of child soldiers the Co-Chairs underscored the responsibility of the Sri Lankan government under the cease-fire agreement to disarm or to relocate the paramilitary groups from the north and east. These statements demonstrate the fact that the LTTE�s alleged political assassinations and the failure of the government to disarm or to relocate the paramilitary groups are interrelated.

However, within a period of 10 days the EU�s shift in its neutral position to one that is supporting the SLG has only confused the Tamil people and made them to be apprehensive. There were no major allegations against the LTTE during this 10 days period for EU to shift its position from neutral to a partisan one. Therefore it is obvious that there is some other force outside the EU has played a hand for EU to change its position. Although the Sri Lankan government has been complaining that the EU is lenient with LTTE and needed to act against LTTE, EU never acceded to this request. Then who is this external force that forced the EU to change its position?

The answer to this question has come out from the horse�s mouth. A day after the declaration made by the EU Presidency, Christina Rocca, the US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs, in an interview to the Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) said �the travel ban is a concerted message from the Co-Chairs �the US, EU, Japan and Norway � which strongly felt that a wanton act of terrorism of the nature of the assassination of foreign minister Lakshman Kadirgamar should not go unpunished�. Norway has publicly declared that they have nothing to do with the EU ban and they have no change in their role in the peace process. Japan is maintaining silence on this matter. Therefore it cannot be a concerted message from the Co-Chairs as Christina Rocca has tried to fool the world. Therefore it is obvious that the US only used its influence on Briton the EU Presidency, to change the EU�s position. US having failed to achieve anything it desired by all the possible pressure it has applied on either side, have now decided to manipulate the EU to achieve its purpose.

This brings us to the question whether the member nations of the EU have surrendered their freedom of decision making to the US through their Presidency the Briton? Has the EU become subservient to the US?

Dear leaders of the European Nations, did you ask for evidence from your Presidency to prove that LTTE only assassinated the Sri Lankan foreign minister Laksman Kadirgamar as Sri Lankan government claims, before you decided to say yes for the change in EU�s position on the above matter?

Dear leaders of the European Nations, some of you may not know that Briton is the cause for the ethnic problem in Sri Lanka. The Dutch and Portuguese colonizers who occupied the island of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) did not amalgamate the two separate Kingdoms (Tamil and the Singhalese) existed at that time in Ceylon during their reign. But when Briton took over Ceylon the two Kingdoms were amalgamated for easy administration. However, when Briton gave independence to Ceylon, she failed to establish a federal government in Ceylon and left the Tamils to be ruled by the majority Singhalese. This only lead to the present situation and all the violence related to the freedom struggle going on there. But Briton now, instead of trying to help to solve the problem it created by its blunders in the past, using its current EU Presidency, is trying to throw spanners into the good works the Norwegians have achieved so far. Briton is trying to drag your countries also with it when it is trying to mess around with the Sri Lankan ethnic issue once again.

On the issue of LTTE�s alleged recruitment of child soldiers, are you aware what Mr. Ranil Wickramasinghe, the former Prime Minister and the present presidential candidate, said in parliament on 08.05.1998? "The security forces are campaigning in schools, to encourage 15 year old school children to join the army. When I comment on this, they call me a traitor. If it is so, is Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar also a traitor, who is campaigning in foreign countries saying that LTTE is recruiting children to their forces?" asked Opposition Leader Mr. Ranil Wickramasinghe. He pointed out that the Army has launched a campaign in schools to recruit school children into the army while Mr. Olara Otunnu, UN Special Representative on Children in Armed Conflict was visiting the country at that time. Did the EU impose any ban on the members of the Sri Lankan government for this at that time? Then why is this double standard now?

I have well documented 96 cases of rape and murder of Tamil youths, several of these had more than one victim, even tens of victims in some cases, committed between 1983 �2000 by the Sri Lankan security forces. Why did the EU turned a blind eye to these violent incidents while trying to control the violent activities of the LTTE as alleged by the Sri Lankan government now?

While the EU has turned a blind eye when the Sri Lankan air force bombers bombed churches full of Tamil refugees, school play grounds full of Tamil students and Tamil people were buried in mass graves like the one which was dug out at Chemmani, how come the EU is only raising its voice against LTTE that is alleged by the Sri Lankan government as conducting political assassinations?

Dear leaders, you may think that due to the EU�s pressure the LTTE may be forced to come to the negotiating table. But most probably the opposite is going to happen. By EU�s action, the Tamil people who all this time relied on the international community to find a peaceful settlement to their problem will loose faith in the international community and may walk away from the peace process.

Therefore I urge you leaders, to break your silence on this matter and re-consider lifting the travel ban that has been announced by your Presidency on the 29th of September for the peace process to continue.


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