Feature Article

Remember that powers need Tamils too: Gajendrakumar

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 08 November 2011, 12:58 GMT]
Just as Eezham Tamils need international recognition for their cause, the powers that make moves in the island for a world order also need Tamils. What the Tamil politicians should keep in mind is that there is no reason for them to compromise on the fundamentals of the cause upheld by the people, said Mr. Gajendrakumar Ponnampalam of the Tamil National Peoples Front (TNPF) in writing to Colombo-based Tamil Daily, Thinakkural, Sunday. In the changing current context, even if one of the competing powers take up the national question of Eezham Tamils as means for its leverage, the others can’t refuse it but have to follow suit. Tamil leadership shouldn’t miss the opportunity by abandoning the cause to pre-emptive tactics of any single power and thus excluding other international possibilities, he further said.

Summary of Gajendrakumar’s article translated from Tamil:

Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam
In the island and in the diaspora all over the world, severe dejection of Tamils continue over the destruction of their long struggle by forces operating from superior most planes.

When there was a need in the international community to eliminate the LTTE to facilitate its geopolitical paradigms, the SL government made use of it to destroy the armed struggle of the Tamil people.

Tamils should realise that there is a changed geopolitical reality today.

Even though the IC has supported SL in the name of ‘war against terrorism’, the actual reason was that they thought it was beneficial to their interests at that time.

Even though the Tamil people were fully behind the liberation struggle, the IC had the excuse of rejecting the LTTE, as it was not in electoral politics. In other words, when the LTTE claimed that Tamil people back nationhood, sovereignty and the right to self-determination, the IC rejected the claim citing LTTE's orientation as non-democratic.

The IC didn’t reject the fundamentals of the cause. It can never reject the freedom of expressing those fundamentals. But it can always slander a movement by saying that people don’t support the cause upheld by the movement. This is what happened to our struggle.

The hopelessness arising in many quarters is whether any democratic movement could now be successful in spearheading the cause.

But, the IC will have no excuse now if we democratically stand firm in our cause. No one could slander the cause if people vote for a polity that is true to the national cause in words and deeds.

The international orientation of our struggle has changed today. During the war the IC was projecting the Tamil side as ‘terrorists’ and the Sinhalese as victims of terrorism. But in a changed vantage the IC has now started looking at the former as victims and the latter as responsible for war crimes as well as violators of the rights of the former.

The US, India and China largely have competitive interests even though there are a few areas of consensus. All sides are keen in guiding SL government to suit their interests.

We are aware that all three of them deploy various strategies and tactics in handling SL government. Apart from economy, human rights, rule of law, media freedom, corruption-free governance etc., the ethnic question is a powerful issue to exert leverage.

The West is largely dissatisfied with Sri Lanka in the areas coming under its purview.

The competing powers may sabotage one another’s pressures in areas such as economic sanctions. But, if seriously taken up, the national question cannot find a match from the competitors.

Even if one of the competing powers take up the issue for its leverage, the others cannot find a match and they have to follow suit.

Tamils get the best of their opportunity today.

But, the danger is infirmity of Tamil polity allowing a power to pre-empt the question through wanting solutions that suits only its interests.

If one power is allowed to pre-empt the cause by a few concessions then the others will be forced to follow suit.

This is why we insist that the Tamil National Alliance should be firm and should not compromise on the fundamentals such as nation, homeland and the right to self-determination.

Tamils as a people are an important party to the international community today. It is on that basis the TNA that was elected by the Tamil people receives recognition.

Just as Tamils need international recognition to their cause, the powers engaged in the island too inevitably need Tamils. Compared to earlier situations, politically we are at our strength. This is time for us to be firm on the fundamentals of our cause. People need not feel depressed.

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