Tokyo Co-chairs' stand fails in fundamentals - TNA

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 04 February 2009, 14:35 GMT]
The Tamil National Alliance, responding to the controversial statement by the Tokyo Co-chairs, which called on the Tamil Tigers to lay down their arms and surrender to the Sri Lankan government, said it has been the firm and consistent position of the Tamil people that the island of Sri Lanka is inhabited by the Tamil nation and the Sinhala nation. "It is on the basis of recognising this reality and by the respective authentic representatives of these two nations, namely the LTTE and the Sri Lanka State, engaging in negotiations on how these two nations shall associate with each other for the future security and mutual benefit of both nations, can a just and sustainable solution to the Tamil National Question be found."

Noting that it was the need to resist the physical/military subjugation of the Tamil people by the Sri Lanka State that led to the advent of Tamil armed resistance, the TNA expressed disappointment regarding the joint statement of Norway, Japan, the US and the EU.

Full text of TNA's press statement follows:

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has taken note of the joint statement issued by Norway, Japan, the US and the EU dated the 3rd of February 2009. The TNA appreciates the concerns the said statement has expressed regarding the suffering undergoing by the Tamil people. In this regard the TNA wishes to state the following:-
  1. It has been the consistent position of the Tamil people in the island of Sri Lanka that the conflict between the Tamil nation and the Sinhala nation is fundamentally political in nature and needs a political solution.
  2. It has been the firm and consistent position of the Tamil people that the island of Sri Lanka is inhabited by the Tamil nation and the Sinhala nation. It is on the basis of recognising this reality and by the respective authentic representatives of these two nations, namely the LTTE and the Sri Lanka State, engaging in negotiations on how these two nations shall associate with each other for the future security and mutual benefit of both nations, can a just and sustainable solution to the Tamil National Question be found.
  3. The Sri Lanka State today whilst proclaiming itself to be one that projects an inclusive and plural “Sri Lankan” civic identity, is in fact a State that is entrenched in practicing Sinhala Buddhist ethno nationalism. This ideology insists that the entire island of Sri Lanka belongs only to the Sinhala people. It is for these reasons that all peaceful efforts by the Tamil people to negotiate political arrangements to live with the Sinhalese as equals, have consistently failed.
  4. It is this Sinhala Buddhist ethno nationalism that is unwilling to recognise the existence of an equal Tamil nation that compels the Sri Lankan State to pursue a military solution with genocidal intent. The intent behind the Sri Lanka State waging war against the Tamil people is to dismantle the realities of the existence of the Tamil nation through its genocide.
It is in this context that the TNA expresses its disappointment regarding the joint statement of Norway, Japan, the US and the EU. These countries whilst calling on both parties to respect international humanitarian law (IHL) know full well that it is the Sri Lanka State that is deliberately targeting Tamil civilians and thereby is in gross violation of such laws. Even the Defence Secretary of the Sri Lanka State in a recent interview has declared that “No hospital should operate outside the Safety Zone...everything beyond the safety is a legitimate target". This policy that is being pursued by the Sri Lanka State is a crime against humanity.

The pursuit of this policy by the Sri Lanka State in the space of this week alone has resulted in hundreds of Tamil civilian killings and thousands being gravely wounded. This humanitarian tragedy is exacerbated by the Sri Lanka State imposing a total embargo on humanitarian assistance reaching the people.

It is unfortunate that the international community, particularly India and the signatories to the statement in question, whilst being fully aware of these facts, instead of collectively using their immense leverage on the Sri Lanka State to compel it to adhere to IHL, are in fact providing military and economic support to the Sri Lanka State.

It should be noted that it is the need to resist the physical/military subjugation of the Tamil people by the Sri Lanka State that led to the advent of Tamil armed resistance. It is only the LTTE that is resisting the aforementioned genocidal designs of the Sri Lanka State.

FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE
TAMIL NATIONAL ALLIANCE


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