Ilankai Tamil Sangam

Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

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Federalism and Peace

Tamil Studies and Human Rights Trust (Inc.)
8/115 Blockhouse Bay Road
Avondale, New Zealand
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Press Release
November 12, 2005

Mr.Navin Dissanayake M.P is on record as having said at a propaganda meeting in Ginigatenni, Sri Lanka, in support of Ranil Wickramasinghe for presidency, that the architect of the Karuna defection on an anti-Jaffna sentiment is Ranil Wickramasinghe.

This is a serious blow to Ranil Wickramasinghe because, if Navin is correct, Ranil has only tried to weaken the Tamils, not attempted to restore the rights of the Tamils. This will tarnish his international image, as this is NOT the work of a lover of peace and democratic rights, rather it is the work of a cunning, dishonest politician. This exposure makes him forfeit that trust repost in him by some Tamils.

The recent suspension of T. Maheswaran, M.P from the UNP because he advocated the Tamil cause does not augur well for the UNP. In fact, in January 1956 S. Natesan, Minister of Post and Information resigned his portfolio in protest against the UNPs Kelaniya convention resolution adopting Sinhala as the one official language of the island. Tamils with conscience cannot compromise with Sinhala hypocrisy.

Navin Dissanayake has further said that, if the LTTE resorts to war, the Sri Lankan forces need not fight because Ranil Wickramasinghe has arranged for Indian and American forces to fight.

It is now generally acknowledged that it was the militant movement that made possible the openings for compromise and peace. However, should the new president fail to resolve Tamil grievances within a meaningful federal structure, the Tamils have no other option than separation. For a long time, over three decades, the Tamil moderates and the militants have repeatedly reiterated that they will consider any meaningful alternative to separation, if the Sinhala leadership offers one. Now, both Tamil moderate and militants have agreed to consider a meaningful federal structure. There can be no room for Sinhala hegemony or primacy for Sinhala and Buddhism or discrimination in investment and development under a meaningful federal structure.

The international community and the UN are earnestly supporting the Norwegian facilitated peace efforts in a generally even-handed fashion. Only the EU has taken an ill-advised counter productive stand.

The LTTE/Tamils cannot be expected to agree to a namesake federalism in which Sinhala hegemony prevails, putting Tamil rights at the mercy of the Sinhalese.

We have repeatedly warned that the GoSL, with no credible track record and zero credibility, is moving towards war. In fact, if not for Tsunami Sri Lanka would have been engulfed in a bitter war by now.

Are India and USA going to play a mercenary role to help stabilise Sinhala-Buddhist overlordship and suppress Tamils rights?

Will India and USA please clarify your stance? This is a burning issue for the island and for those concerned with peace between the Sinhalese and the Tamils.

Yours Sincerely,
R.Selvarajah, General Secretary
A.Theva Rajan, Coordinator