Tamil convention demands immediate withdrawal of SL military

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 27 July 2005, 14:45 GMT]
Proclaiming that an environment must be created to enable Tamils to decide their political destiny, the Tamil National Resurgence Convention held in Vavuniya, demanded that the occupying Sinhala forces must vacate the land and seas of the NorthEast with immediate effect. The proclamation concluded urging the International Community to recognise the "basic rights and life of freedom with peace on the basis of our traditional homeland, our nationhood and self rule and struggle for sovereignty."

Tamil National Convention in Vavuniya
A section of the religious dignitaries participating in the national convention
Tamil National Convention in Vavuniya
Traditional Oil Lamp being lit at the beginning of the ceremony


Full text of the proclamation follows:

THE PROCLAMATION OF TAMIL NATIONAL UPRISING

Tamil National Resurgence Convention
Tamil National Resurgence Convention
Sinhala Buddhist chauvinism is creating mayhem in Southern Sri Lanka today. This has completely closed the door to a just and fair settlement to the Tamil National question.

In this context, we, the Tamil speaking people inhabiting the traditional Tamil homeland, place our perilous plight before the international community and seek urgent attention and justice.

We, the Tamils have inhabited this land as an independent nation for centuries. Tamil and Sinhala nations were amalgamated in 1883 when the British introduced a unitary structure resulting in the loss of our sovereignty. In 1948 the British left Tamil sovereignty in the hands of the Sinhala majority.

After the inappropriate acquisition of sovereignty, parliamentary majority was used to oppress our people. Citizenship legislations were enacted to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of plantation Tamils. With the Sinhala only legislation Tamils were deprived of rights to their Language and employment. Prevention of Terrorism and Emergency Acts further legalized complete denial of human rights for Tamils. Through systematic Sinhala colonisation, our traditional lands were forcibly acquired devastating our demographic distribution and right to life.

Sri Lankan Constitution was designed systematically used as an instrument of oppression. Section 29 of the Constitution to safeguard the minority rights introduced by the Solbury Commission was removed in 1972 through the Socialist Democratic Republic Constitution without Tamil participation. Buddhism was made the official religion in the amended constitution paving the way for racial and religious discrimination. The constitutional changes in 1978 reinforced this. Thus, the Constitution that should serve justice became the embodiment of injustice.

Against racial oppression the Tamil leadership of yester years protested with peaceful non-violent political campaigns. The Sinhala rulers encountered such protests with political agreements only to be later abrogated. The 1957 Banda-Chelva agreement and 1965 Dudley-Chelva agreement are testimony to this. Peaceful protests were reciprocated with violence and genocide.

In response to oppression, in the early 1970s the Tamils took up arms for their self protection and freedom.

Tamil National Convention in Vavuniya
(L-R) Parliamentarian and Leader of Upcountry Peoples Front (UPF), Mr Periyasamy Chandrasekaran and Mr.R.Sampanthan, Tamil National Alliance ( TNA ) parliamentary group leader and Trincomalee district parliamentarian.


Vaddukkoddai Resolution on 14 May 1976, which advocated secession, was the result of Tamils' collective leadership realising the futility of achieving political settlement with non violent means. In 1977 Sri Lanka parliamentary elections they received the mandate from the Tamil people through the ballot box for secession.

Forced to pursue an armed struggle, Tamils rose under the guidance of a national leader who adored our land and our people and built a determined army capable of conventional warfare. We rose to enunciate the reality that we were a separate nation of people in the Island of Sri Lanka.

During the time of conflict, the just proposals for political settlement made by Tamil parties, at various peace talks were dismissed. Land seizures and genocidal killings continued unabated. Indiscriminate aerial bombardment and shelling of schools, places of worship and heavily populated civilian areas killed children and the elderly.

Sri Lanka's military offensives displaced Tamil people from their ancestral homes and made them refugees in their own land. The Sinhala Buddhist chauvinists justified such state terrorism under the façade of a 'state'. However, our struggle for liberation progressed steadily. Our people rose in strength as the force behind this struggle for liberation.

Tamil National Convention in Vavuniya
Delegates being invited by the organising committee


Administrative structures that promote good governance in Tamil homelands now provides civil administration, law and order, and social services to Tamil people.

Sri Lankan government realised the futility of pursuing amilitary victory over our national liberation struggle. At the same time, the international community approached our national leadership seeking an opportunity for a peaceful resolution of the conflict. Our leadership came forward to unilaterally declare a ceasefire.

Sri Lankan government was forced enter a ceasefire agreement with LTTE, the sole representatives of the Tamil people. On 22.2.2002 with the facilitation of the Government of Norway, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe and the Tamil National Leader V Prabahakaran signed a Cease fire Agreement.

Following the agreement, six rounds of peace talks were conducted and as an interim measure, proposals were formulated for an interim administration.

The Tamil expectations for the return to normalcy for the past three years have failed to materialise. Our fertile fields and rich seas have been declared as high security zones by the Sri Lanka military depriving us our livelihoods.

Even after tsunami Sinhala the Sinhala polity failed to allow hunmanitarian and reconstruction effort in the NorthEast by derailing the Joint mechanism. The world is now a witness to the extremism exhibited by Buddhist Chauvinism.

Sinhala leaders are entangled in a struggle for power. The government is again strengthening its military and entering defence pacts with other countries with a view to crushing the Tamil struggle. We stress that these move continue while the international community is engaged in peace efforts.

We are convinced that the Sri Lankan rulers will not initiate any just solution for the Tamil speaking people. We believe that the international community too would have come to the same conclusion during period of the cease fire agreement.

We are now forced by Sinhala Buddhist chauvinism to take definitive decisions.

Therefore,

we demand through this proclamation that the occupying Sinhala forces must vacate our land and seas with immediate effect.

We proclaim that an environment must be created to enable us to decide our destiny and our people are continuing to rise as a force to procure the goal of a sacred and higher life of freedom.

We seek recognition by the international community of our basic rights and life of freedom with peace on the basis of our traditional homeland, our nationhood and self rule and struggle for sovereignty.


Related Articles:
13.03.04   TNA's 2004 Election Manifesto
14.01.04   Cease Fire Agreement (CFA)
21.06.03   Negotiating Tamil sovereignty
08.06.97   Vaddukkoaddai Resolution

 

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