Feature Article

‘Peace needs a paradigm shift in international approaches’

[TamilNet, Monday, 05 November 2007, 00:18 GMT]
"A striking sentiment perceivable on stage and among the audience at the gathering in Olso to pay tribute to Thamilchelvan, was righteous indignation about the lopsided morality of International Community, in not responding effectively to the killing of an important political personality," K. Sivapalan, a senior attorney-at-law from Trincomalee, who attended the gathering in Oslo on Saturday, told TamilNet.

K. Sivapalan
K. Sivapalan
On the sidelines of the memorial gathering, one of the international academics asked whether the postmodern liberal-democracy is blind to the targeted elimination of the political leadership of an oppressed people by the forces of ethnic genocide?

He was expressing his surprise wondering at the silence of certain members of the International Community given that their diplomats often used the medium of the LTTE political leadership, including Mr Thamilchelvan when he was alive, to seek a negotiated settlement in Sri Lanka.

The Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, conceded that the attack on the residence of the members of the political division of the LTTE on Friday was a “pinpoint target“ with full knowledge.

The National Peace Council, a Colombo based peace group headed by Jehan Perera, has rightly used the word 'assassination' to describe the bombing that claimed the life of Mr. Thamilchelvan.

The academic at the meeting argued that those who dominate the present world order harp on about an arbitrary differentiation between ‘state’ and ‘non-state’ actors as an excuse to uphold establishment and justify turning a blind eye towards ethnic genocide.

“But, they do even this selectively to suit their interests. So much for the commitment of these international actors to the values they insist we must aspire to.”

Norwegian tamil pay homage
"If the defenders of democracy are not prepared to recognise political opinion from a formation of people, however small it could be, how can they expect reciprocal gestures from such a people?

"How can they demand this formation of people support the efforts of the International Community in bringing out a new World Order, ostensibly built on liberal democracy, human rights and cultural pluralism?"

These were sentiments of a research student of the Oslo University.

While there was strident criticism of Norway, a country which as a facilitator is obliged to treat both conflict parties equally, for not coming out with an official condemnation of the targeted killing of Thamilchlevan, there was also appreciation from the Tamils for the personal tributes that came from prominent Norwegian leaders and academics.

Many of the academics and political personalities of various hues who attended the gathering in Oslo agreed privately that a paradigm shift was needed in international approaches to the Sri Lankan conflict if a just and lasting peace is to come about.


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