Tamil aspirations not fulfilled - TULF MP
[TamilNet, Sunday, 09 July 2000, 17:39 GMT]
Agreements reached between the People's Alliance (PA), and the opposition United National Party (UNP), on constitutional reforms aimed at solving the ethnic conflict of the island do not fulfil aspirations of Tamil people, and therefore, the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) will not accept the new constitution, said Joseph Pararajasingham, Member of Parliament for Batticaloa district and Leader of the TULF Parliamentary Committee.
"As far as the TULF is concerned we want to ensure that the following three principles are embodied in any agreement concerning the future of Tamils:
o the acceptance that Tamil people constitute a distinct nationality
o the acceptance of the right to self-determination of the Tamil people, and
o the Tamils homelands of North and Eastern Provinces should remain permanently merged.
These are also important components of the Thimpu principles," the TULF MP further said.
"TULF will not accept any proposal that does not contain provisions that allow implementation of the above three principles," he said.
"The 1995 devolution proposals have been watered down to accommodate the demands of the UNP and to safeguard the interests of the majority community. The proposals fail to address the national aspirations of the Tamil people. Under no circumstances the TULF will be able to accept these proposals.
"We will explain these matters and our views to the President when we meet her soon.
"In the last 45 years of political history of this island, when the Tamils fought for their political rights for 25 years with peaceful democratic forms of struggle which later transformed into 20 years of armed struggle, the majority community has continued to impose its will on the minorities. The situation remains the same in the recent agreements between the PA and the UNP.
"Any permanent solution to the conflict will embody the acceptance of the three principles: Tamils constitute a distinct nationality, Tamils historic homeland, and the right to self-determination of Tamils, enshrined in the Thimpu declaration. In addition, the Liberation Tigers have to be essential and important participants in any agreement concerning the future of Tamil people. Agreements and implementation plans without the participation of the Liberation Tigers are destined to fail. It will fall like a tree that cannot set its root in the soil. This is our position," the TULF parliamentarian said.