Is Colombo ready for a paradigm shift, asks TNA MP

[TamilNet, Saturday, 28 October 2006, 01:26 GMT]
A full scale war is unavoidable if the southern polity fails to timely demonstrate that it is ready for a paradigm shift in the approach to solving the Tamil national question, said Batticaloa District Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian S. Jeyanandamoorthy, speaking to TamilNet after meeting the LTTE delegation in Geneva Thursday.

Mr. S. Jeyananthamoorthy, MP
TNA Batticaloa District MP Mr. S. Jeyananthamoorthy
"Tamils are not a minority; existing Sri Lankan unitary constitutional framework is unsuitable to address the radical reconfiguration of polity necessary to resolve the Tamil national question," Mr. Jeyanandamoorthy said.

"Before demanding the Tamil representatives to commit to a time-frame to the negotiation process, the Government of Sri Lanka needs to take bold steps to prove its sincerity," the MP said.

"A lasting solution could only be achieved if Colombo realizes that this is a conflict between two nations, the Sinhala nation and the Tamil nation," Mr. Jeyanandamoorthy said.

"Southern Sri Lankan leadership has abrogated many agreements made with Tamil leaders since the independence of the island from the British. The British made Tamils a permanent political minority by vesting powers with the Sinhala leadership when they acceded governing authority to an independent Sri Lanka. The Sinhala leaders later repealed even the basic provisions in the Lankan constitution that protected the rights of the other communities. This is the history," the MP said.

"Whenever they [Sinhalese leaders] talk about a settlement, they duplicitously mislead Tamils, Indian government and the International Community.

"We have witnessed many All Party Conferences (APCs) and Round Table Conferences proposing solutions in the form of Provincial Councils, District Development Councils and others. Colombo has thus far failed to put forward any viable proposal that has received blessings of the international community, let alone the Tamils," Jeyananthamoorthy said.

Asked about the "Indian Model," the MP responded: "In India, federalism successfully sustains the unity of polity, and simultaneously preserves and promotes the plurality of society. No single majority ethnic community dominates over the others in India. The national spirit, nutured by the equipoised and cooperative federal polity, is propelling India into a global economic power.

"Even with an overwhelming Hindu majority, India remains a secular country where the current President is a devoted Muslim and a Tamil, and the Prime Minister is a Sikh, the Batticaloa MP added.

"In Sri Lanka, the majority is unwilling to accede any power to, or to share the national wealth with, any other community," the MP says.

"The solution to the Sri Lanka problem lies in the willingness and the ability of Sinhala leaders in honoring agreements and acknowledging the existence of the Tamil nation, its homeland, and the right to self-determination of Tamils.

"The Tamil hope for a negotiated settlement diminished following the EU ban on the Tigers.

"The ban was interpreted as a victory by the Sinhala leadership in the south, and has reinforced the extreme Sinhala stand that previously led to the failure of P-TOMS, the CFA, and now nullified a core aspect of the 18-year-old Indo-Lanka agreement, the North East merger," the MP said.

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