TULF urges main parties to be "realistic"

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 28 August 2001, 00:25 GMT]
Mr.R.Sampanthan, Secretary General of the Tamil United Liberation Front in a statement issued Monday reminded the two main political parties-ruling People's Alliance and main opposition United National Party that it would be "unrealistic" to think of "partial constitutional reforms in certain areas to ensure political, economic and social stability of the country until a just and durable solution is found to the Tamil national question."

The full text of the statement issued by the Secretary General of TULF follows:

"The political, economic and social instability seriously afflicting Sri Lanka today, is the end result of a cancer, which has for long eaten into the vitals of the country's body politics. The origin of the cancer lies in the failure to evolve a just solution to the Tamil national question. Commencing from prior to independence, and particularly during the past fifty years, this conflict has continued to fester and has now assumed grave proportions. The non-resolution of the Tamil national question, and its consequences, has had an injurious impact on every aspect of life in the country, and has resulted in the erosion of core values, which must constitute the bedrock of a just society.

"Lust for power has been the bane of politics in the country. The inability of the two major political parties to adopt a bipartisan approach to resolve national question has brought the country to its present pathetic state. The only occasions when the two major parties have co-operated were to take some action adverse to the interests of Tamil people.

" The Executive Presidency, the setting up of independent commissions in respect of Elections, the Judiciary, the Police and Public Services and the Media, Electoral reform etc. –-all these proposals, however justifiable, will not address the Tamil national question, and the right of the Tamil people to an equal status in the country. It is indisputable that it is primarily the non-resolution of the Tamil national question, and the consequent civil war that has brought the country to its present parlous state. If the two major parties arrive at a consensus in respect of constitutional reform in regard to the other aforesaid matters without addressing the Tamil national question, which has remained unresolved for more than fifty years, it is inevitable that the cancer which has eaten into the country's body politic will continue, and make the country interminably sick.

" It is therefore imperative that in the event of the two major political parties agreeing to work towards a consensus on constitutional reform, the Tamil national question should be given the utmost priority on the agenda agreed upon by the two major political parties. Any other approach will only be self-serving and will not serve the interests of the country.

" The current inactivity in the matter of negotiations with the LTTE should end. It would be futile to think that there can be a military solution even through the acquisition of new weapons of whatever type. Past experiences clearly demonstrate that such a policy could only escalate and intensify the military conflict. "The Norwegian initiative should be reactivated with sincerity. The two major political parties should jointly take the necessary steps that would enable the commencement of negotiations with the LTTE. The two major political parties should adopt a consensual approach at such negotiations with the LTTE that would bring out a just and durable settlement.

"It would be unrealistic to think that partial constitutional reform in certain areas, however desirable, would restore democracy, uphold human rights and bring about peace, so vital for economic and social stability, unless there is just and durable solution to the myopic not to realise even at this late stage, that the country cannot make progress in any sphere, unless there is a just and durable solution to the Tamil national question.

"The TULF therefore appeals to the two major political parties to come to grip with this reality and not shirk this responsibility. The TULF also solicits the co-operation of all other political forces.

" Actual progress in negotiations with the LTTE can be assessed only after negotiations have commenced, and for the first time this would be with the active involvement of an independent third party acceptable to both sides.

"Reference to failed negotiations in the past- and the Tamil people more than any others have been the victims of such failed negotiations-and pronouncements of pessimism by prophets of doom, who largely are persons opposed to a just negotiated settlement, should not retard the commencement of serious negotiations.

"The Tamil people who do not have a legitimate participation in Governance, and who are suppressed and subjugated in numerous ways, because they are Tamils, with no hope of redemption, look up to the International Community, particularly India, America and the European countries to play an active role and extend their fullest support to bring about an honourable peace. It is the firm belief of the Tamil people that peace cannot be achieved in Sri Lanka without the fullest involvement and support of the International Community.

"The TULF strongly urges that it is as much the duty of the International Community which castigates separatism, to ensure that there is just and durable solution to the Tamil nation question which will usher in an honourable peace."


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