February 3, 2013
A delegation of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is presently in South Africa. This is consequent to an initiative by the Government of South Africa and the African National Congress to share their own experiences in Conflict Resolution and Truth and Reconciliation.
The South African initiative commenced in the year 2011 when a delegation led by their Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs visited Sri Lanka and made this offer to the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) and the TNA. The TNA has accepted this offer.
2011 was the year in which the GOSL commenced a bilateral discussion with the TNA in the month of January to resolve the 60 year old national issue in Sri Lanka. Although the TNA acted honestly and sincerely and placed on the table their comprehensive proposals for a political solution by March 2011, the GOSL defaulted in making even their response known for 5 months and 7 meetings, which forced the TNA to refuse to agree to the next date of meeting. Thereafter the President met with the leader of the TNA and the bilateral discussions recommenced on the 16th of September 2011 on the following agreements: 1. Five previous proposals to be brought to the negotiations in lieu of the GOSL’s response; and 2. Once consensus is reached between the TNA and the GOSL on certain substantive issues, the TNA would join the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC).
However, in violation of the above agreements, the GOSL walked out of the talks in January 2012. Two attempts at breaking the deadlock failed solely on account of the GOSL refusing the compromises offered. This stalemate has continued to date. And while the talks are deadlocked, the GOSL aggressively continues with its agenda of militarily subjugating the Tamil People and materially altering the demography of the North East of Sri Lanka.
It was in this background that a resolution was adopted by the UNHRC in March 2012, which has largely not been implemented by the GOSL. In the 22nd sessions due to commence on the 25th of February 2013, this failure of the GOSL will come under focus and we hope stern action will be taken to promote justice, accountability and reconciliation.
In this context we are acutely aware that the GOSL will seek to show the world that some progress has been made, by pointing to the current visit by the TNA to South Africa. Therefore, we wish to make it clear that our engagement with the South African initiative is NOT a process that we have commenced with the GOSL and that appropriate action at the UNHRC is absolutely necessary to persuade the GOSL to comply with the said resolution and to discontinue with its harmful agenda against the Tamil People of Sri Lanka.
Tamil National Alliance
3rd February 2013