Ilankai Tamil Sangam

Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

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Branding the LTTE as Terrorists

by Wakeley Paul, Esq.

Has the branding of the LTTE as a terrorist organization by the U.S., the EU, Britain, and Canada done anything to advance the cause of peace in Sri Lanka? All it has demonstrated is that the leading western powers treat terrorists as they do reliable and responsible friends.

The members of the Tokyo awards want both parties to honor the terms of the Peace Agreement and the CFA. They have not freed the LTTE from their obligations by being branded as condemnable outcasts. What then is the point of this exercise? Which of these nations have given financial aid to the LTTE, which they fear to lose? Which of them have sided with the LTTE against the Sri Lankan government?

Does giving them a terrorist label create the impression, on the other hand, that 'peace-brokering' diplomats are far from impartial?

The donor nations insist that  both parties to the Peace Agreement and the CFA must abide by the obligations imposed upon them. The GOSL must reject the Unitary Constitution in favor of a Federal arrangement, whatever that may mean. The LTTE’s ISGA proposal was interpreted by the GOSL as too radical, veering away from Federalism to Independence. What, if anything, will satisfy them? Total subjugation? These proposals talked of the type of autonomy for the Tamil people Mr. Boucher seemed to envisage in his recent speech. Will he press the government to accept the terms of the ISGA, at least as a basis for negotiation?  That's not his function, he says. The Norwegians have not made it their function either.  Whose function is it to induce an agreement? The two parties that have been at loggerheads with each other from the word 'go?'

The GOSL is obligated to grant equal rights to all ethnic groups throughout the island , a concept they have ignored since being granted independence from Britain in 1948.

The GOSL is obligated to disarm and neutralize the paramilitaries. Instead of setting an example by honoring this commitment, they ignored it from the outset,  following the last talks in Geneva. When the LTTE retaliated against the armed forces of the government for their acts of State terror against Tamil civilians, diplomats like Boucher classified these retaliations as provocations. The whole diplomatic approach to the Sri Lankan problem is a one-sided farce, with the possible exception of the Norwegians. There is no substitute for having an independent group determine whether the GOSL or the LTTE are guilty of more terrorist acts, defined as politically motivated attacks on civilians, than the other. Most of the LTTE’s battles have been against the armed forces of the government, which are not terrorist acts.

The LTTE was obligated to desist from acts of violence in the Northeast, and do everything in their power to implement the Agreements. How are they supposed to react to government violations of the Agreements? Report them to the SLMM or justly retaliate?

The long and short of it is that branding the LTTE as terrorists has done zilch to advance the cause of peace. All it has done is embarrass the branders, who are scurrying around like ants trying to get terrorists to do what the government says they are not doing, and trying to get the government to do what the LTTE says it iss not doing. Both sides have to be treated with equal respect or the peace efforts will blow up and the debris will end in the drain.

It is not the LTTE,  but the huffy and puffy diplomats who look like frauds dealing with those condemned as lawless terrorists with kid gloves It does not hurt or embarrass the LTTE. It s the diplomats who look like a bunch of comical, inconsistent, illogical brokers of peace.

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