Feature Article

Vikramabahu Karunaratne invokes support among Tamils

[TamilNet, Friday, 27 November 2009, 10:17 GMT]
After supporting the federal aspiration of Eezham Tamils in the 1956 elections, now for the first time left political parties led by Sinhala leaders have come forward to field a common presidential candidate, Dr. Vikramabahu Karunaratne, with a main programme recognising Tamil Nation, its homeland in the north and east, its right to self-determination and autonomy as solution for the unity of the island. When agenda-setting powers harping on chauvinistic elements keep mum on recognising the fundamentals, and when Tamil political parties including some Tamil left leaders locked in agendas don’t have guts to spell out the fundamentals, why not voice-deprived Tamils and peace-loving Sinhalese register opinion and explore co-existence through support to the Left Front, is a topic widely discussed in the Tamil circles.

Based on nationhood, traditional homeland and right to self-determination, independent and sovereign Tamil Eelam is the goal as well as a right of Eezham Tamils, and for all what have taken place that should be the basis for their political organization. But in the several decades of their struggle they were never reluctant to the idea of exercising their self-determination to explore honest and reasonable alternatives. Genuineness is the key to the success and survival of any formula, said a Tamil human rights lawyer in Colombo.

Vickramabahu Karunaratne
Vickramabahu Karunaratne
At the height of the war in February 2009, Dr. Vikramabahu Karunaratne mooted a declaration in the International Committee of the Fourth International, signed by 50 workers’ parties all over the world, that read: "We, the undersigned leaders of workers' parties, demand that the government of Sri Lanka stop attacks that can destroy thousands of Tamils and agree to a ceasefire with the LTTE to start discussions in order to install an interim government for the Tamil homeland."

Dr. Karunaratne who uses the term Tamil homeland in his campaign and says that it is in ruins today but the war is not over, is hopeful of “national unity based on Equality, Autonomy and the Rights of Self Determination.”

Commenting on Sarath Fonseka’s complaint of Colombo government that there is no clear policy to win the hearts and minds of the Tamil people, Dr Karunaratne told Lakbimanews a few days ago, " So the General agrees that it was an uprising of an oppressed people of this country yearning for a national liberation, which he ventured to crush with much venom.”

“There was no foreign intervention except on the side of the government. If there were a policy at that time to win the hearts and minds of the Tamil people, then the Tamil uprising would have liquidated by itself,” Vikramabahu further commented.

In a campaign email he says, “Mahinda followed the agenda given by the Indian rulers backed by Global powers. He is still prompted by these masters to continue their agenda. On the other hand the terrible bankruptcy in Lankan society is used by far-right militaristic section of the global powers to put forward General Sarath.”

“We have ample reason to believe that General Fonseka is to the right of President Mahinda; a yank general to battle with Mahinda, the Hanuman of Delhi,” he told Lakbimanews.

Dr Karunaratne also points out that JVP’s four points proposal is designed to eliminate devolution and crush aspirations of Tamil speaking people but that is accepted as the common programme by General Sarath.

Meanwhile, Ceylon Communist Party (Maoist) came out with a statement supporting the candidature of Dr. Karunaratne. The communist party, which recognises political status of Tamil Nation in the north and east and recognises the nationalities of up-country Tamils, Muslims and other ethno-religious communities as equal and integral partners of State in the island foresees “This Presidential campaign is going to be a bitter and deadly fight between two equally reactionary camps of the ruling class as to who is going to feast on the blood of the Tamil nation.”

“In the context of the present and emerging political conjuncture, it is crucial that a clear line of demarcation is drawn between the militarist-chauvinist-fascist camp represented by Mahinda Rajapakse (PA) and Sarath Fonseka (UNF) and their respective political alliances - and the progressive/democratic/revolutionary forces,” the Communist Party (Maoist) said in the statement.

Born in a traditional teachers’ family in Badulla district, 66 years old Dr. Vikramabahu Karunaratne holds a Cambridge doctorate in Engineering, but he opted a leftist political career and was consistent in his views on the Tamil national question.

Earlier a member of LSSP, the oldest political party of Ceylon, he left it in 1972 when the party became a partner of SLFP and drafted the republican constitution much despised by Tamils. In 1978, he was sacked from the teaching position at Peradeniya University, because of his opposition to the present constitution by Jeyawardane. He was shot by the JVP in 1988 for defending the cause of Tamils.


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