TamilWeek Mar 26, 2006
Solution to the ethnic problem is in the hands of
the JVP

by V.
Anandasangari, President, TULF

It is with mixed feeling that I read your statement released on the eve
of the Peace Talks in Geneva. I am pleased with the boldness with
which you have expressed your views relating to the Dictatorial regime
illegally established by the LTTE in parts of the Northern and Eastern
Provinces but disappointed a little with some others. I am indeed
happy about your conceding that the people who have suffered the
most in the war have been those in the North and East. I am in full
agreement with you that a large number of Tamils from these areas,
ran away due to the erosion of democratic rights and settled either in
other parts of Sri Lanka or migrated to foreign countries. To add to
your views, interference with the fundamental rights of the people and
large scale Human Rights violations can also be attributed for this
exodus. I do not deny that those who settled within Sri Lanka are living
peacefully with the other ethnic groups who have happily welcomed
them in their midst, with sympathy and affection. It is evident that the
country is gradually getting united and shunning communalism.

I too regret the mass exodus and the brain drain of Tamils and
strongly urge that everyone who loves the country and wants peace
should help to make it possible for them to return to their mother land,
by removing the impediments that stand on their way. The need for
their return is now felt more than ever before, seeing the calibre of
persons who are taking part in the negotiations and their capacity to
present their case for a negotiated settlement. It is a pity to see the
present state of the Tamil community. It was once enriched with highly
educated Scholars, Professors, Academics, Judges, lawyers and many
others who had specialized in various fields, most of whom have either
been silenced by the LTTE’s bullets or migrated to foreign countries.
The remaining few dare not open their mouths against the LTTE.

impediments

It is wrong even to assume, that the meetings in Geneva will remove
the impediments there, for all the people of Sri Lanka to enjoy all their
rights because Mr. S.P. Thamilselvan before being brought to
Colombo by a Sri Lanka Air Force helicopter had issued a statement
to say that they will discuss the proper implementation of the CFA only
and nothing else. Please note that the SLMM. a creation of the, CFA
composed of representatives of NOTdic countries has attributed to the
LTTE, over three thousand (3000) serious violations. It may not be
irrelevant to mention here that the SLMM pointed an accusing finger at
the LTTE for firing a few shots at a Sri Lankan Air Force owned
helicopter.

The time has now come for all the Political parties and the people to
forget all their political and other differences and to get together to
help to liberate the Tamils from the iron clutches of the LTTE. Let it
not appear that one ethnic group grants the rights to the other ethnic
groups. It should appear as if all ethnic groups share power and enjoy
equal rights irrespective of whatever ethnic or religious group, one
may belong to.

Ashamed

As a Tamil I am ashamed of what had happened to the Muslim and
Singhalese of the North. It is a disgrace for the Tamils, if the Sinhalese
and Muslim students are not assured of full protection by the LTTE.
The responsibility is theirs because the people will not dare to do a
thing that will not be pleasing to the LTTE cadre. No one has any right
to drive away a person from any part of the country. I am sure that you
will feel for the sorry-plight of the Tamils and Muslims whose
democratic rights had been seriously violated. No parents will be
prepared to part with their children. But the LTTE that had already
sacrificed over eighteen thousand Tamil youths in the war front, do not
utter one word about their killings of a substantial number of youths
from other groups, which will be also a few thousands. During the
period of ceasefire they had abducted one thousand seven hundred
innocent children of poor families and Tsunami orphans, depriving
them of all their rights and recruited them by force as child soldiers, to
be used as cannon fodder. Apart from this, over six hundred (600)
adults too had been abducted with their fate also not known. It is
regrettable to note that the children of the leaders are exempted from
conscription. Is there no remedy or end to these is the question often
asked by everybody from everywhere. My answer is that there is a
solution if only the Janatha Vimukthi Peremuna will show some
sympathy towards these unfortunate Tamils and Muslims. You know
the suffering of our people in minute detail. Yet I list out some for your
information.

The sufferings of the Tamils did not start with the LTTE taking over
some areas in the North and East. In the seventies with the
assassination of the Ex Mayor of Jafffia Mr. Alfred Thuraiappa, killings
started. The Government forces retaliated and due to the foolish
administrative orders a - number of Tamil youth were killed in the
seventies. Since then there were killings on both sides mostly
retaliatory killings. In July 1983 with the killings of 13 soldiers by the
LTTE’s claymore mine attack communal riots broke out. No one can
forget the black July, 1983 during which the worst of all communal riots
took place. During this periods thousands of Tamils were killed and
billions worth of property belonging to the Tamils, destroyed.

It is only after the riots of July - August, 1983 we, the 17 TULF me
members of Parliament quit office voluntarily, protesting against the
referendum, held to extend the term of Parliament. From then onwards
the militants took over the leadership of the Tamils. Things would have
been different today if the LTTE had not started killing leaders and
Members of the other groups, to gain superiority over others. Since
then there was blood shed every where in the North and the East.
Young boys and girls were killed. Youths from other Tamil Armed
groups were killed. Men, women and children were killed. Respectable
people tied to lamp posts and shot dead. Families destroyed. Houses
destroyed. Widows and orphans were created in thousands. There
were destitute persons everywhere . There was a mass exodus of
Tamils to India. Many fled to foreign countries. Railway tracks were
removed and sleepers, railings and pebbles on the track were all
removed for the construction of bunkers. Telephone wires and
electricity wires were removed to be used for making bombs and
concrete posts removed and broken to be used for the construction of
bunkers. The towns were deserted and became ghost towns. People
lost all their belongings:- jewellery, books, life time savings, furniture
etc. Houses were destroyed, window frames doors and roofs were
removed. Some areas still look like ruined cities. People are living in
refugee camps for years. Many became paupers overnight. The
Muslims of Jaffna, Killinochchi, Mullaitivu, Vavuniya and Mannar who
had to leave behind everything and go with only Rs. 500 are still in
refugee camps for several years, without privacy or any com fort. The
people know that all these sufferings are not created by one party. It is
a question of whether it is the chicken or egg that came first. The
number of people killed by, the army or police cannot be even a small
fraction of the number killed by the LTTE, which gave different
interpretations for the destruction of Human life and property by them
and by the forces. All what they did and still do help to glorify them and
any thing done in retaliation is condemned as treacherous. The net
loss to the Tamils and Muslims in the North amounts to many billions of
dollars. Human life lost according to official figures is 60 - 70
thousands . It is certainly much more, if the unaccounted killings are
also taken into account.

Simple question

I am asking you one simple question. Did the Tamils endure all these
for over 23 years only to be told to find a solution under the Unitary
system, which did not bring any relief for fifty years. I guarantee you
that the Tamils will never agree to a unitary constitution as a solution
to our problem and that is a justifiable stand. They are prepared to
give up separation as an alternative to a Federal Constitution. If the
world "Federal" is allergic to some Sinhalese and "Unitary" allergic to
some Tamils let us all agree to find a solution based on the Indian
model which is neither Federal nor Unitary in character. The Indians
take pride in saying that their constitution is based on "Unity in
diversity" which will be welcomed by most of the Sri Lankans also. I
very humbly plead with you to change your stand in the interest of our
country, to have the country united, to find a solution to the suffering
Tamils and Muslims and to free them from the LTTE’s bondage. The
whole world will acclaim you all as true patriots, if you accept my
proposal a’s the final solution to our problem. By your refusal to
accept a solution within a United Sri Lanka, you will be driving the
Tamils back into the LTTE fold. Merely because I am no more in
Parliament, the reason for which is very well known to the world,
please do not discard me and my views. If you do so, you will be
conceding the LTTE as the sole representatives of the Tamil people. I
may not live long to see the dawn of peace in our country. But if you
take my advice a solution to our problem is very near. You may recall
that I had been repeatedly saying that Peace is knocking at our door
and it is left to us whether to let it in or shut it out.

Mixed feelings

I mentioned that I read your statement with mixed feelings because
although I appreciated and agreed on many of your views I am sorry I
cannot agree with your claims that the mandate was given at the
recent Presidential Election for a Unitary State. Assuming that all the
50.3% votes obtained by H.E. Mahinda Rajapaksa was for a Unitary
State, the fact that in the North East the LTTE had prevented under
threat, 3-4 hundred thousand voters from voting, cannot be ignored.
On the other hand the UNP offered Federalism as a solution to the
ethnic problem at the Presidential Election campaign. The left parties
also during the elections openly said that they were not bound to
accept the Unitary State concept. The Jathika Hela Urumaya too
during the Election campaign indicated their support for an Indian
Model . Above all the Sri Lanka Freedom Party had at their last
convention adopted a resolution to offer "Federal Constitution" a’s a
solution to the ethnic problem. One important factor that we should not
fail to take into consideration is that, this is the first time in the history
of Sri Lanka Federalism is offered as a solution to the ethnic problem
at an important election. A massive mandate was given to H.E. the
President to solve the problem with the support of all the parties,
based on federalism.

I earnestly appeal to you to agree to my proposal to adopt the Indian
Model taking into consideration (i) That the plight of the Tamils and
the Muslims of the North and East is very pathetic and should come to
end. (ii) That the Unitary System has failed to solve the problem these
50 years and bound to go on for another 50 year. (iii) That if agreed
to by the JVP solution can be found in a very short period (iv) That the
International Community is insisting on a United Sri Lanka and will not
support separation (v) That the Indian Government too will support a
solution within a United Sri Lanka and will oppose separation (vi) That
the support of the International Community will be available to
pressurize the LTTE to accept this and a number of other advantages
too will be available.

You are well aware that without any reservations I used to confide in
you all what I think about the ethnic problem and other related matters.
Please pardon me if you find my observation unacceptable or
offending to you. But one day, after I am dead and gone not only you
all, everyone in" this country including those Tamils who blindly
support the LTTE out of fear and some for personal gains, will regret
their mistake of not heeding my advice. When the Tamil media
branded you and your party as chauvinistic, it was I who had been
defending you. I still stand by it. Your statement exonerates you from
the charge of being communal. What the Tamil media say about me I
do not bother. I have a duty by our people which I must do till I breathe
my last, inspite of the humiliation and embarrassment they cause me.

There is a new generation coming up among the Tamils thoroughly
brainwashed and communal venom injected by the LTTE. These
children should be saved from them before it is too late. The
communal venom in them should be neutralized and innocent children
redeemed during my lifetime.

I think I have the capacity and the experience to advice you on Political
matters and my advice will be beneficial to you and for your party in
the long run. I have lived with Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims and also
studied together with Sinhalese Tamils, and Muslims. I studied under
Sinhalese, Tamil, and Muslim teachers and as a teacher taught
Sinhalese Tamil and Muslim students. Therefore I know very much
about these communities.

Over fifty years in politics

In Politics my experience is certainly much more then anyone of you in
your party. Of my 73 years in this world over fifty years had been
devoted to Politics and social work. I am the most senior Tamil
Pblitician and Parliamentarian still active in Politics. Of the 14
Parliamentary elections I had contested eleven, since 1960 and won
all election after 1970 held fairly and freely. I had been in Parliament
with all Prime Ministers except the first three. Above all I had the
privilege of being in Parliament with all top leader of all Political parties
and had been associated with all Presidents of our country. I was very
close to the two well respected Tamil Leaders . G. G. Ponnambalam
QC the founder of the All Ceylon Tamil Congress and S.J.V.
Chelvanayagam. founder of the Federal Party who later founded the
Tamil United Liberation Front of which I was a founder member. I first
represented the ACTC and later the TULF in Parliament When I first
contested the Colombo Municipil Council Election, except Comrade
Sornawansa, I don’t think any one of you was born. My long
experience as a Politician and the contacts I had with top level and
reputed Political Leaders will prove to be beneficial to you and your
party and will never turn out to be detrimental to your course. Hence
you need not hesitate to take my advice. If you will give me a chance
to meet your Politburo or Central Committee I will be too glad to do so.
JVP can’t
help
solve
crisis

by A. P. S.
Galapata,
Meegoda