Ilankai Tamil Sangam

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Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

The Struggle of the People Continues...

by Chandi Sinnathurai, TCNR, January 2, 2009

The struggle for self-determination of the Tamils will need to continue…

ALL over the world the news flash reads: "The Sri Lanka troops enter the rebel Head Quarters." It is reasonable to deduce that this move will bring about a psychological shift both among the Sinhalas and the Tamils. But one has to be tired and emotional to call this a sure victory. Far from it.

The idea of the defacto Tamil state will have to be put on the back-burner. Oslo involvement is completely out of the picture. All the Agreements and Accords, as in the past, may have to be forgotten. The Tamils realise that the Tigers are not invincible.

But the struggle for self-determination of the Tamils will need to continue…

The Tiger political chief Bala Nadesan in his interviews to the media has reminded that the Tigers essentially is a guerrilla movement. In other words, the fighting will not cease. Perhaps, the Tigers will return to the jungles. Their tactics and strategy might alter. Their fighting on the ground would be juxtaposed with the diplomatic and political work within the country and internationally. Some countries may come to the aid of the Tamils.

Now at this juncture, however, the work of the Diaspora Tamils becomes decisive and essential and important. Work on this front needs to be well thought out by organic intellectuals who are part of the struggle. The mass rallies have failed, however, to bring about desired results. It has not changed the hearts and minds of any foreign governments. There must be a more excellent way. Someone asked this writer today whether the Tigers are still in a position of strength. It depends how the Tigers view their strength. If the people are the Tigers' strength, then they are not weakened, I said. In order to wage guerrilla warfare they need the people, as fish need the sea.

Once again, the Tigers will be made a proscribed organisation in Sri Lanka. Sadly, they will not be permitted to enter into main stream politics. But if there is going to be sustainable peace, the Government will have to start re-negotiating with the Tigers at some opportune time. There is also a good chance of a referendum happening in the Tamil territories. How the referendum will be framed is a tricky question!

Let's face it, for the Tamils the Struggle is in a struggle. Now that the shadow government is in disarray, there is no need for a government in exile. What's the point? It is only right that the Tigers remain in the land of their forbearers and fight.

It is the Diaspora that must act responsibly. And vow to link the Tigers to the outer world. The quiet diplomacy and the humanitarian work must continue.

It's not over yet...