Vavuniya Tamils decry Indian objections to ISGA
[TamilNet, Saturday, 13 December 2003, 06:27 GMT]
Criticizing the comments made by the former Indian foreign secretary, Mr. M.K. Rasgotra, at a conference in Colombo on December 4, saying that India could not accept the Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA) proposals submitted by the Liberation Tigers, the Federation of Vavuniya Cattle breeders unions said in a statement Friday that the Tamil people would totally reject the opinion of Mr. Rasgotra.
The statement also said, “As we fight for our rights, it is unjust for India to think in terms destroying our lives repeatedly. India should change its foreign policy and help the Tamil people secure their rights.”
The full text of the statement follows:
“After nearly 50 years of a meandering struggle, today, there is some hope of peace and in this environment, the LTTE is attempting to find a permanent solution to the ethnic conflict. Several rounds of talks have taken place, but with no real benefit, the talks were suspended and the LTTE, which has been accepted by the people as their sole representatives, has presented a set of draft proposals to the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL). The Tigers have also said that they are ready to talk to the GOSL on these proposals.
“But immediately after the submission of the ISGA proposals, there were drastic changes in the southern political situation in the south and the Norwegian facilitators also have left the scene temporarily. Even as the people were worried about how the political crisis in the south would affect the next stage of the peace process and the ceasefire, the Indian statements that India would reject the ISGA are tantamount to adding fuel to the fire.
“The Indian government that remained silent when thousands of Tamil people died and lakhs of them became displaced and underwent untold suffering, has thought it fit to comment when the Tamil people express their aspirations. What is its purpose? The people of Tamil Eelam never wanted to antagonize India. In the past, when the Indian forces committed atrocities against the Tamil people, Tamils had to resist it. But India should stop thinking of Tamils as enemies over such past incidents.
“We need India’s support to find a solution to the conflict. The LTTE started its peace talks with the recognition of India’s importance and they even asked for India’s cooperation in finding a venue for the talks in India. After India denied that request, the Tigers had to visit several Western nations to continue the talks. After all this, we reject the statements emanating from India that seek to block the progress in peace talks. It is preposterous for some in India to suggest that the legitimate struggle of the Tamil people for their rights would impact India’s geopolitical interests.
“As we fight for our rights, it is unjust for India to think in terms destroying our lives repeatedly.
India should change its foreign policy and help the Tamil people secure their rights.”