2ND LEAD (Adds correction)

Boyle: Independent Eelam will be a bulwark for India

[TamilNet, Sunday, 06 June 2010, 00:02 GMT]
Professor Francis A. Boyle, an expert in international law at the University of Illinois College of Law, said that an independent state of Tamil eelam south of the Indian border will add to India's security, and therefore, India should actively intervene in the Tamil struggle and facilitate the formation of Tamil eelam. Boyle was talking to the popular Tamil Nadu Tamil biweekly magazine Junior Vikatan in an exclusive interview given to the magazine's US correspondent Prakash M Swamy early part of May.

Text of the translation of the interview published in Vikatan follows (Note: original interview to Vikatan was in English):

Vikatan: One year has passed since the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Do you think birth of Tamil Eelam is still a possibility?

Professor Francis A. Boyle, University of Illinois College of Law
Professor Francis A. Boyle, University of Illinois
Boyle: Faith propels life; in recent times, terrorism label was stamped on those who led and supported Tamil eelam struggle. Now, since Tiger leadership has disappeared, Rajapakse is on his mission to destroy the Tamil people. Sri Lanka has no respect for any international law. India [as a regional super-power] has failed to contrain Sri Lanka's conduct. Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) will reflect the conscience of Tamil people. Counselors elected for TGTE will determine their future. Many directives will be taken at their first meeting.

Vikatan: Opponents claim that TGTE have only web presence. Can you comment?

Boyle: After the genocide, where is the space for Tamil leadership to operate or even emerge in Sri Lanka? Surviving leadership are all outside of Sri Lanka. Can these leaders visit Sri Lanka? Under these circumstances Tamils only option is the formation of Transnational Government. The counselors are elected democratically. Liberation struggle is taking its step in an entirely new direction. Let us wait to see the impact.

Vikatan: You support Palestinians, who have a state. Tamil people do not have a state.

Boyle: Not quite true. Tamil homeland is occupied by Sri Lankan state. This is sad! Tamils are enslaved in their own state. Rajapakse is supported by Israel, which is occupying Palestinian land. Wars for Palestinian independence and Tamil Eelam independence are similar. Both struggles are labelled as terrorism, illegal occupation. Currently, 127 out of 195 members of the United Nation have recognized Palestine. President Obama has recently said that an independent Palestine should be allowed to exist without security threats.

Vikatan: US, while fully engaged in Palestinian-Israel conflict refuses to play an active role in Tamil Eelam struggle. Why?

Boyle: Israel is the reason. Israel fully supports Sri Lanka. Obama supports Rajapakse administration because of China. America is concerned by the increasing Chinese influence in Sri Lanka, and that China may even be allowed to build a military base in Sri Lanka. U.S. even supported the dud committee set up by Sri Lanka to investigate the rights violations in Sri Lanka. This committee is useless, and without teeth. This committee will not dare investigate Rajapakse brothers. What is troubling is the UN ambassador to UN [and later Secretary of State Clinton] have extended their support to this committee.

Vikatan: What types configurations are possible for a future Tamil Eelam state?

Boyle: First, Tamil eelam can be an independent sovereign state – this is the wish of Tamil people. Second, Tamil eelam can be similar to that of Commonwealth of Puerto Rico – Puerto Rico is a sovereign state, at the same time, comes under America’s confederation. Third, it can be an independent province within a sovereign Sri Lankan state.

Vikatan: Could you comment on Indian government’s refusal to issue visa to Prabhakaran’s mother?

Boyle: Your central government has directed its anger against Prapakaran on his mother. Is Ms. Parvathi an extremist? Is she scheming to over throw your government? She is eighty years old; she does not even have the strength to stand on her own. This is a serious violation of human rights. India has capable lawyers. Do you have honest and independent courts? Why have not this act been challenged in a court of justice in India? In the U.S., many lawyers and rights organizations would have immediately filed challenges in US Courts. India should not have politicized a humanitarian matter. Other than India getting a fleeting satisfaction by refusing visa to Pirapaharan's mother, no other useful purpose was served by India's act. Is India trying to punish Pirapakaran who is dead and gone..?

Vikatan: What should be India's approach to dealing with Tamil Eelam struggle?

Boyle: I am not qualified to advise India. As an American who loves India, I can share some thoughts. Tamils worldwide are connected culturally and emotionally to Eelam Tamils, and therefore, to their struggle. In this context, recognize that Prapakaran era is over. Do not continue to show vengeance on Tamils and their struggle. India should change the way it views struggle for Tamil independence. In the changing geo-political structure, close alliance between china and Sri Lanka will be a danger to everyone. Independent Tamil Eelam will add security, and will be a bulwark to India's security. I am not a politician; an attorney, of Irish descent. I am not even a Tamil, but I feel their pain. India should actively intervene to facilitate the birth of Tamil Eelam.

Note: Professor Boyle extends his apology, and his congratulations to Mr Karuppan for his heroic legal action on behalf of Mr. Prabakharan’s Mother. Prof Boyle regrets that he had not read about the legal action at the time he gave this interview.

Mr Karuppan in a communication to Prof Boyle following this article noted that "Pirapaharan's mother was not refused visa. She was deported forcibly in the same plane back to the orgination Kaula Lampur. Although She had a valid visa issued by the High Commission of India in Malaysia on her valid Sri Lankan Pass port.

I had challanged the same up to the Supreme Court of India from the High Court stating that deportation without any reason is illegal, when refugees without visa were not deported. Sought directions from the High Court to ask the Govt of India to send a special plane and bring her back and continue treatment at State Expense."

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