Tamils - a Trans State Nation..

"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 > Tamil National Forum Selected Writings - Professor P Ramasamy > Tamil Eelam - a Nation State in the Making

Tamil National Forum

Selected Writings by Prof P.Ramasamy

Tamil Eelam - a Nation State in the Making

14 July 2000

[see also Tamil Eelam - Right to Self Determination and
Eelam & the Right to Secession by Professor M.Sornarajah]

Basically, there are three questions being posed about Tamil Eelam:

bullet Is Eelam a reality?
bullet What will the nature of its political governance?
bullet How is the new nation-state going to sustained economically?
bullet And what will the nature of the new society in general and the policy towards other ethnic nationalities?

up Is Eelam a reality?

Before the above questions could be addressed, it must be firmly established that creation of Eelam is not predicated on chauvinistic grounds. Eelam is basically a Tamil response to the injustices committed by the Sinhalese elite against the Tamil people for a number of years. Thus, through the creation of Eelam, Tamils hope that their pride, dignity and freedom as human beings will be safeguarded in their traditional homelands. The struggle for their realisation of this noble objective is spearheaded by none other than the LTTE.

    Of late, these questions and related ones seem to concern both friends and foes of Eelam. While there are no definite answers to these questions, some tentative clues can be provided.

In a formal sense, Eelam has not been formed. LTTE has not made any declaration to date about Eelam. But in an informal or defacto sense, LTTE is basically in control of nearly 70 percent of Tamil traditional homelands. Thus, on this basis, it can be argued that the LTTE stands an excellent chance of creating an independent homeland of Eelam in the near foreseeable future. However, for this to happen, the LTTE has yet to expel the Sri Lankan armed forces from the north and parts of the east.

In this regard, no number of devolution packages can derail the commitment and single-mindedness of the LTTE. For it there is no solution with out Eelam. In this context, it is rather ridiculous for the Sri Lankan government to expect the LTTE to endorse the devolution package-a package meant to appease the government's international clients more than anything else.

up What will the nature of its political governance?

    If Eelam is created what will be the nature of political governance? Will it come under a civilian administration or will the LTTE continue to hold on to power? It goes without saying that once Eelam is created and diplomatically recognised by the international community of nations, LTTE has no justification to hold on to power.

Since it is the political principle of the LTTE that government should be run on democratic lines, democratic form of government will have to be instituted based on the popular mandate. Freedom fighters will probably form political parties to contest in the elections, but political power will be predicated on the basis of popular participation and popular mandate. LTTE will not just disappear, but it will be transformed into a professional security apparatus of the new nation. It goes without saying, the prime minister or the new president of the country will be probably Prabhakaran; unless of course, he retires from the political arena.

up How is the new nation-state going to sustained economically?

    Will Eelam be feasible nation-state project? So many countries have gained their independence in the last few decades, and many of them are doing well. There is no reason to doubt that Eelam will not do well. Well, given the Tamil Diaspora's support for the LTTE, one would expect that funds from the Diaspora will flow into Eelam. Given the number of Tamil professionals who have made their mark in professional fields, one would expect these individuals and their organisations to contribute to the development of Eelam. Of course once Eelam is politically formalised, there are donor agencies who would be ready to provide financial assistance. Remember back in the early 1990s, Japan was quite keen to provide development assistance for Tamil areas. It was the Sinhalese government that stopped this project. In this regard, the Japanese will come to assist Eelam. So Eelam will be a completely feasible state. More than this, I believe given the widespread nature of the support from the Tamil Diaspora with their skills in hi-tech fields, Eelam has a very bright future as hi-tech state.

up And what will the nature of the new society in general and the policy towards other ethnic nationalities?

    It is beyond question that the new society of Eelam will be a transformed one. Years of struggle waged by the LTTE has given Tamils a new way of constituting their society. To a large extent ills associated with the caste system will be removed. The LTTE has always recognised this menace. The dignity and pride of women will be restored and resurrected in the new society. Their role will have to constituted under new egalitarian and democratic order. Gone will be the days in when women were subjected to all kinds of discrimination. In the new society both women and men will be expected to shoulder new responsibilities without the burden of pre-ordained sexual roles and stereotypes. There are many analysts who see the LTTE as merely a fighting machine without the understanding how it has contributed to transform the Tamil society by getting rid of customs and practices that have served to constrain the development of ordinary Tamils.

Eelam will be based on the principles of democratic secularism. There will be freedom of worship. Other ethnic groups will enjoy the same rights as Tamils. Muslims will have an important stake in Eelam. In fact there are indications that if the Muslims support Eelam, the deputy leader of Eelam will be a Muslim. In fact during the period of Kittu, Muslim community were promised a number of things in the new administration. While it is true that Sinhalese regime has created a lot of bad blood between the LTTE and some sections of the Muslim community, Muslims on the whole are not opposed to the ideals of the LTTE. In fact, the LTTE has taken great pains to obtain the support of Muslims for Eelam. There are indications that some sections of the Muslim community are beginning to realise the validity of the promises made by the LTTE. Tamils have been discriminated and persecuted by the Sinhalese majority, but in Eelam, all nationalities will enjoy equal rights.



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