Feature Article

Edifying Tamil leadership to face South Africa succeeding Norway in deception

[TamilNet, Saturday, 06 June 2015, 00:57 GMT]
The UK-based British Tamil Forum (BTF) and the so-called Global Tamil Forum (GTF), which are locked in a sectarian conflict with each other, have dragged almost all the Eezham Tamil diaspora outfits from the USA, Canada, Australia and several European countries into a two-pronged South Africa based discourse which the new Sri Lankan regime wants to exploit to its advantage to counter the internationalisation of the national question of Eezham Tamils, informed Tamil diaspora activists told TamilNet supplying documentary evidences of the interactions that have taken place in May and June 2015. It is historic duty of the Tamil diaspora to produce an appropriate leadership to advance the Tamil cause without diluting the fundamentals and falling prey to the ultimate culprits, the activists told TamilNet.

The Tamil diaspora groups are easily trapped into deceptive engagements as they were fooled into the Geneva discourse that systematically deviated from the demand of international investigations into the genocide.

The people should be prepared to create a new wave of capable activists to advance the democratic aspirations of the Eezham Tamil nation, concerned activists told TamilNet.

The people should be aware of the real intentions of the ultimate culprits and should not be easily misguided by the deviators of BTF, GTF, ICET, TGTE, US-TPAC, CTC, ATC & co. , the activists further said.

As most of the documentary evidences, including the voice recordings, are subject to confidentiality, TamilNet avoids publishing them.

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Former SL President Mahinda Rajapaksa had requested South Africa to assist his regime in a so-called reconciliation project. The intention was to counter the internationalisation of the Tamil national cause and to trap the Tamil side into a domestic process along the LLRC narrative, which is viewed as a blueprint for completion of structural genocide against the nation of Eezham Tamils.

Rajapaksa's invitation to South Africa came during the controversial 23rd Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Colombo in November 2013.

Cyril Ramaphosa
South African Special Envoy to Sri Lanka and South Sudan, Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, is also the Deputy President of South Africa
Following the request by Mahinda Rajapaksa, South Africa's President Jacob Zuma appointed Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa as Special Envoy for Sri Lanka and South Sudan on 13 February 2014.

South Africa's Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Ms Nomaindia Mfeketo accompanied Cyril Ramaphosa to the island between 07 and 09th of July 2014.

Following the initial fact finding mission undertaken by the South African government, the process had come to a standstill.

However, in February 2015, a fresh invitation was extended to South Africa, by the new regime in Colombo.

Following this ‘new’ invitation, South Africa sent an ‘Advance and Technical Team’ to the island between 23-27 February 2015. Ms Nomaindia Mfeketo led this team. She had met with the members of the Colombo-based political parties as well as the resident diplomatic corps in Colombo.

Following her return, she was tasked by Cyril Ramaphosa to engage with the international ‘Sri Lankan’ Tamil Diaspora and South African Tamil Diaspora as cornerstones of South Africa's engagement.

On 18 May, she extended an invitation to the BTF grouping to come for a ‘closed, confidential meeting’ on 25 May at the South African High Commission in the UK. No electronic devices including mobile phones, laptop computers, tablets or cameras would be allowed in the meeting, the BTF was told.

International Council of Eezham Tamils, which claims itself an umbrella body of several country councils in Europe and Canada, the United States Tamil Political Action Council (USTPAC) and a representative of the TGTE formation of V. Rudrakumaran accompanied the BTF to the meeting with the South African delegation led by Ms Nomandiya C Mfeketo.

In the meantime, the GTF grouping was also invited to a separate session at London on the same day. The Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC) and a representative of the Norwegian Council of Eelam Tamils (NCET) were present in the GTF session, the sources further said.

The NCET was the only group to have its representatives present at both the groupings.

However, both the groupings were explaining to the South African delegation that an international investigation into the genocide against Eezham Tamils should be a first step in any reconciliation project.

Prior to the meeting, both the groupings were being coerced into a deviatory line, which sought to engage the Tamil diaspora with the new Sri Lankan regime. The ICET group was even composing a ‘wish-list’ of pre-conditions that the Sri Lankan State should fulfil.

Prior to the meetings, both the formations were couched into a deviatory line through certain Tamil ‘handlers’ from South Africa.

The GTF grouping was opting for the deviatory line of Sumanthiran-Sampanthan polity, as a TNA-faction-linked representative of the GTF was talking about ‘devolution’.

The other group was busy discussing a draft policy document in written form.

A draft document was produced by the BTF. But, the BTF draft didn't gain acceptance even among the deviators of the ICET group.

An experienced attorney, who was present as adviser, saved the ICET deviators by proposing that even a so-called ‘wish list’ should be treated as a pre-condition to bring normalcy in the island, prior to talking about the modalities of engagement with the SL regime.

The South African delegation had revealed that the ‘initiative’ comes at the request of the Sri Lankan Government and that India was being kept informed of the move.

The third group to meet with the South African foreign ministry delegation was a group claiming to be the TNA branch in the UK.

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In parallel to the official South African process, a Western funded NGO has been interacting with a section of Tamil diaspora and those behind the agenda of the ‘regime change’ in the island.

This NGO, known as “In Transformation Initiative” (ITI) was behind the so-called ‘Singapore Principles’ process as exposed in detail by TamilNet in January 2015.

Erik Solheim
Former Norwegian Special Envoy to Sri Lanka Mr Erik Solheim
The GTF outfit was part of this ITI-facilitated and Switzerland-funded process to which Norway was kept informed.

A Switzerland-based official and the failed peace broker from Norway, Mr Erik Solheim, have taken a ‘keen’ interest in the NGO-line of the discourse.

It is said that the ITI was also keeping the South African Foreign Ministry informed on all the moves it was taking.

Informed sources said that the SL Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera is tasked with engaging the South African NGO line, which also seeks to accommodate the failed peace broker Erik Solheim, who never lost his ‘appetite’ for serving the agenda of Powers.

The engagement through the NGO and the initiatives through South Africa are linked to each other, informed sources in Pretoria said.

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In the meantime, former Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, Albie Sachs, and former Commissioner of the Truth Commission in Peru, Eduardo Gonzalez, are scheduled to address a round table discussion in Jaffna on 09th June with the objective of contributing to a ‘relevant process of truth, justice and reconciliation in Sri Lanka’.

The SL Governor of Northern Province, H.M G.S. Palihakkara, known as ‘LLRC’ Palihakkara will be delivering the welcome address at the meeting organised by Colombo-based International Centre For Ethnic Studies (ICES).


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