Feature Article

'Post-conflict is post-Sri Lankan'

[TamilNet, Friday, 08 May 2009, 13:31 GMT]
The Norwegian peace facilitator Erik Solheim is half a century late in calling for a federal solution to the Tamil national question in the island of Sri Lanka, said TamilNet’s political commentator in Colombo. “By naming the solution in his mind, whether Erik Solhiem is resigning from his role of peace facilitation and assumes another profile”, asked the commentator. “A federal agenda upheld at this juncture is a mockery of the spirit of federalism. A successful federal set-up comes only from spontaneous and mutual consent of peoples. Warring parties of a long legacy may make federal more miserable. The bitter war unchecked but abetted by the international community in the island leads to nothing but secession”, the commentator further said.

The Norwegian Minister and top peace facilitator Erik Solhiem in a television programme to Al Jazeera, Wednesday said: "There is broad support for Tamil self-rule within a united Sri Lanka, some sort of Tamil self-government in the Northeast, for instance a federal system within a united Sri Lanka, is broadly supported by the international community. There is hardly any support for a separate state simply because globally there is no appetite for more separate states".

Erik Solheim is coming out with a lame excuse. How does he justify the creation of East Timor and Kosovo within the last few years, asked the commentator.

Erik Solheim
Erik Solheim
The West is once again lopsided in the application of its international policies subconsciously guided by the ‘clash of civilization’ perspectives. The importance given to the Christian-Muslim discourse is not shown to the genocidal crisis of the Tamils, one of the few surviving classical identities of humanity, he said.

On Wednesday Mr. Solhiem also said: "I think in a way that the solution to the conflict is pretty simple. I mean, in 2002 – 2003, that solution lay on the table. It was a federal state. It would have been accepted by nearly all Tamils, the vast majority of Sinhalese and the Muslims, and a broad International Community. Everyone supported that agreement. I think it still stands to find some way of accommodating Tamil aspirations but within a united Sri Lanka. That is the universally accepted solution, internationally," he said.

If solution was so simple and was lying on the table, why were the people not informed of that miracle? The Tamils Sinhalese and the Muslims together would have persuaded their leaders not to miss the opportunity, said the commentator.

Further responses from the political commentator:

Many of those who speak about a federal option at this stage of the crisis are either misguided or play in the hands of the ruling elements of the Indian Establishment that are paranoid about the inevitable possibilities of secession in the island.

The people of India are never against the national aspirations of Eezham Tamils. The people of Tamil Nadu and leaders of major political parties have now started voicing specifically in favour of the creation of a separate country for Eezham Tamils in the island.

Realising the situation going out of hands, the elements of the Indian Establishment which hitherto were harping on the 13th Amendment, have now started orchestrating a campaign on various fronts to call for a federal solution just for blunting or nullifying the Tamil national struggle in the island.

What is puzzling and at the same time funny about the campaign is the question that who is going to concede them the federal solution within a ‘united Sri Lanka’.

The international community and India have left the war entirely in the hands of the Sinhala armed forces by totally tilting the military and diplomatic balance in Colombo’s favour. India is almost a war partner.

Through various facilitations the IC, India and the UN have insistently left all the Tamil people in the island in the hands of their ethnic enemies, either to get incarcerated in internment camps or to get oppressed in open prisons.

The abetters are unable even to lift a finger with Colombo and the truth is that none of them knows what to do.

The fad of present times is to coin a phrase with a ‘post’ in it such as post-modernism whenever you don’t know where you stand. So, it is ‘post-LTTE’ to Colombo and Sinhala intellectuals, ‘post-conflict’ to the West, but they don’t see or don’t want to see that it has become decisively ‘post-Sri Lankan’ to Tamil mind.

The talk of federal solution that comes now doesn’t stem from a profound understanding of the realities of the conflict, but comes from an improvised agenda to diffuse the gravity of the situation. For some it is just a bluff to escape from the brunt of the blunders committed.

The way the crisis has been handled, obviously the abetters who took a stand on the ‘unity’ of the island have to leave the political solution also entirely in the hands of Colombo.

Colombo or the Sinhala majority has no need to come out with a political solution. Everybody knows the impossibilities of state reform in the island through electoral process especially when it comes to the question of Tamils.

Will any one of the abetters venture to restructure the Sri Lankan state through non-electoral process?

Colombo is already prepared with excuses to dodge any meaningful political solution, citing continued war with the LTTE, mines clearing and rehabilitation cum resettlement needs, which will be stretched to years.

The international community that hitherto was aiming for the military vacuum of Tamils is also prepared with excuses to dodge the enactment of a political solution, not by citing its practical inability to do so, but by citing political vacuum of Tamils. Already some people in the IC have started talking about it.

Therefore the talk of federal solution is another hoodwink the Eezham Tamils are familiar with in the long history of deceit in the island.

'Federal solution' will only be understood in a different sense by the Sinhala state. In the name of federal solution or devolution or no solution at all, what the Sinhala state now aims is instituting a colony in the Tamil homeland.

The next phase of the Tamil struggle is going to be liberating Thamizh Eezham from institutionalised colonial rule of Sri Lanka.

The Eezham Tamils don't have a political vacuum. They have a clear and definite political programme laid down by the Vaddukkoaddai Declaration of 1976. It is the Sri Lankan state and the international community that face a political vacuum of what to do next.


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