Feature Article

Locking Tamil nationalism through presidential candidature

[TamilNet, Saturday, 28 November 2009, 12:27 GMT]
A Tamil candidature in the presidential elections, proposing a political solution deviating from the goals of Tamil nationalism, is a tactic to bind and nullify the aspirations of Eezham Tamils, writes TamilNet political commentator in Colombo. In the current circumstances, Tamils naturally boiling with anger about both the main candidates are most likely to cast their votes en masse to any respectable Tamil candidate. But it is an artful move to get a mandate by stealth from the surviving people of the North and East for dropping the fundamentals of Tamil nationalism set earlier in 1977 and for locking them with political subjugation within a single state in the island. Therefore the election proposal of any potential Tamil candidate should be the removal of the 6th Amendment to the constitution and not any half-backed formula, the commentator further said.

The commentator in Colombo further writes:

The 6th Amendment enacted in 1983 that prevents expressions on secession has disenfranchised the Eezham Tamils from democratically telling what they want.

Therefore any Tamil political party that contests the elections to register Tamil rights or opinion has to first fight for the removal of this Amendment.

This is the foremost politically fundamental right that has to be achieved by any nation of self-respect in the island.

A Tamil candidate is not going to win a presidential election in the island, but the point has to be made to the people of the island and to the international community.

There is no need to politically deviate the cause of Tamil nationalism beyond retrieval, by proposals of external or internal compulsions.

Self respect of Eezham Tamil nation subjected to such a long subjugation comes only when unity is proposed with the right to secession.

Removal of the Sixth Amendment and the release of interned people as well as their liberation fighters are the issues of practical value for any meaningful reconciliation.

But it seems a leading Tamil political alliance and some diaspora groups have taken the bait of conceiving political solution only through the deviating phrase of ‘self-determination’ and then interpreting it as ‘internal self-determination.’

The deviating term ‘internal self-determination,’ its real meaning and the ‘international connections’ behind the concept are well known to those who closely watch the Eezham question.

The insertion of the phrase in Oslo meet was later revised by the LTTE in what was implied in the process of the ISGA proposal and the P-TOMS agreement.

Eezham Tamils today are not in a position to undertake such experiments, which the LTTE was able to do because of its confidence in the de facto state it created. But any such experiment at present will put Tamils into irredeemable political subjugation.

In the last ever International negotiations between the GoSL and the LTTE in Geneva in October 2006, the most crucial act of symbolic value of the Tamil delegation was that it challenged the GoSL to repeal the Sixth Amendment as a token of its commitment to democracy and pluralism.

The concluding paragraph of the introduction to the proposed solution by the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) that has been leaked to influential sections in India is reproduced here for Tamils to know what is cooking. This proposal may surface before the elections and a Tamil candidature may be used to get a no-other-option mandate from Tamils in the island:

"The Tamil people in Sri Lanka have been subjected to discrimination within the model of a unitary state where majoritarianism reigns. They have been denied the right to express their right to self-determination within an internal arrangement, such as a federal government. In such a situation the denial of the existence of the right to self-determination itself will give rise to the right to unilateral secession as an expression of that right. Therefore the recognition of the right to self-determination of the Tamil people will in no way erode state sovereignty. In point of fact, if the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka is to be preserved from claims to the right of secession, it is a sine qua non that the right to self-determination of the Tamils is recognized and the nature of the state is restructured to enable meaningful exercise of internal self-determination."

Eezham Tamils in the island and in the diaspora may now understand in better light why certain sections are vehemently opposed to re-mandating the main principle of Vaddukkoaddai Resolution, opposed to the country councils in the diaspora and opposed to base the proposed transnational government on clear principles of Eezham Tamil nationalism.

But why should they be so uneasy about free expression of Tamil aspirations in the diaspora, unless some external forces are disturbed about such democratic expressions, is a question.

The argument that such expressions will affect peace prospects in the island is not acceptable. On the contrary they will strengthen and safeguard Tamil interests in the island and in the diaspora now, as well as in the long run.

Tamil circles did not fail to notice that the Left front of Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne contesting elections in the island had not fallen into this trap of interpreting self-determination through the deviation of Indo-Western concept of 'internal self-determination', designed to nullify national questions in the world.


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