TNA appeals to international community to back Tamil self-determination

[TamilNet, Saturday, 24 February 2007, 11:09 GMT]
Sri Lanka’s ongoing military campaign leaves Tamils with no option but to seek self-determination and self-rule, the country’s largest Tamil party said Friday. In a statement to mark the fifth anniversary of the Ceasefire Agreement between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan government, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) called on the international community to recognise the Tamil struggle pointing out that in the past five years, “the Sri Lankan government has utterly failed to alleviate the sufferings of the Tamil people. Neither has it contributed meaningfully to a lasting solution to the national conflict.”

The full text of the TNA statement, signed by Mavai S. Senathirajah on behalf of the TNA Parliamentary Group, follows:

Sri Lanka’s military campaign leaves Tamils with no option but self-determination and self-rule

Five years have lapsed since the signing of the Cease fire Agreement (CFA) between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). In these five years, the Sri Lankan government has utterly failed to alleviate the sufferings of the Tamil people. Neither has it contributed meaningfully to a lasting solution to the national conflict. The SIHRN (Subcommittee on Immediate Humanitarian and Rehabilitation in the NorthEast ) formed to address the humanitarian crisis of the people in the Tamil homeland, the P-TOMS (Post-Tsunami management structure) and the two rounds of negotiations in 2006 between the LTTE and the government were rendered fiascos due to the intransigent and hardline position of the Sri Lankan state.

Today, humanitarian and human rights conditions in the Northeast are deteriorating rapidly as the Sri Lankan government puts its trust on a military solution to this political conflict. Armed with draconian anti-terrorism laws, the Sri Lanka state has launched numerous military campaigns in the Northeast, resulting in the displacement of 213,000 Tamil people. In the same period, over 1561 civilians have been killed and 635 people have disappeared. Meanwhile the Sri Lankan state justifies these atrocities committed by its armed forces in the name of protecting its sovereignty.

Although the Ceasefire Agreement came into effect with the strong support of the international community, the latter's selective engagement in the peace effort has had the effect of encouraging the Sri Lankan state in its pursuit of a military solution to the Tamil National question. The international community's unreflective insistence on 'a united Sri Lanka' and its unwillingness or failure to take concrete measures to exert pressure on the Sri Lankan state to abandon its aggression in its pursuit of the military option has contributed to rendering the CFA meaningless. The simultaneous international proscriptions of LTTE, imposed at the behest of the Sri Lankan Government, has also contributed to the resumption of the conflict.

The Sri Lankan state’s nullifying of the Northeast merger, which was part of an international treaty, the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord, seriously calls into question the trustworthiness of the Sri Lankan state in future negotiations.

In the face of the Sri Lankan state’s insistence on pursuing a military solution to the Tamil National question, the Tamil people are appealing to the international community to recognize their struggle for self determination and self-rule.


External Links:
TN: Self Determination:International Law and Practice
TN: Fourth World: Nations without a State


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