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Demand UN-monitored referendum: Mahendran, Communist Party of India

[TamilNet, Saturday, 19 May 2012, 13:00 GMT]
We should demand withdrawal of SL military and creation of an atmosphere conducive to conduct an UN-monitored referendum for Eezham Tamils to decide on their political solution, said Mr. C. Mahendran of the Communist Party of India (CPI), interviewed Friday in Oslo by Palaka’ni presenter M.Pirabukannan from Tamil Nadu. If Washington and New Delhi want to refuse our rights, let them try. This is a struggle for justice. The emancipation comes when you realise that rights cannot be won by the mercy of others. Independence is achieved through uprising of people and their resolve. The unity of Tamil Nadu, Eezham Tamils and the diaspora holds the key. The next phase is to evolve joint action based on mass struggle from the three dimensions. I am convinced about big changes taking place in Tamil Nadu. Mu’l’livaaykkaal has brought a historic task on to World Tamils, he further told Palaka'ni.

Mr Mahendran is currently visiting Europe.

Mahendran’s call for a mass struggle jointly undertaken by Tamils in Tamil Nadu, in the island and in the diaspora to make New Delhi and Washington to abide by the wishes of the concerned people, was refreshingly different from the polity of a section in the island and in the diaspora that cite the powers for desperately advocating capitulation to unjustifiable solutions, political observers said.

On Tuesday, using a platform provided by some diaspora Tamils in Norway, the former Norwegian minister and failed peace facilitator, Erik Solheim, said that there is no international support for a new separate state in Sri Lanka and his view is also that of the position of India, and influential parts of the international community in the United States and Europe.

Solheim also rejected the possibility of a referendum. He wanted the Tamils to “behave in an appropriate manner with the international community,” and “abide by the international community,” when they expect the IC to step in.

Mahendran in his interview on Friday said that nobody could say they don’t want Tamil Eelam. He wanted the matter to be decided by democratic voice of the concerned people in a referendum.

Intervention doesn't come from mercy, Mahendran said, adding, “do not have any illusion that you could win the support of the powers such as India and the USA, only by listening to their advice and by abiding them”.

Washington and New Delhi and the voices orchestrated by them, sticking to the position with which they coursed the genocidal war, fail to realize the gravity of the new dimensions that have come in especially in Tamil Nadu after the genocide, political observers comparing Solheim and Mahendran commented.

C. Mahendran
“What affected me most in my life so far is Mu'l'livaaykkaal. It has shaken me,” Mahendran who wrote the first book on Mu’l’livaaykkaal, “Veezhveanen'ru Ninaiththaayoa” (Have you thought that I would fall), told the interviewer Pirabukannan.

While writing the book only I realised that Mu’l’livaaykkaal was not a defeat but it had sawn the seeds waiting for the harvest, Mahendran said.

When Pirabukannan, who is also from Tamil Nadu and living in Norway, raised a comment that there is disbelief in sections of the diaspora about politics in Tamil Nadu taking up the cause of Eezham Tamils, Mahendran cited the changes that have taken place in the grassroots of Tamil Nadu influencing the politics there today.

Political parties are only one of the factors. You need to look at how the working class of people and the grassroots took it and responded to it, Mahendran pointed out.

Elections immediately after Mu’l’livaaykkal might not have brought in changes in the composition of the government. But the situation changed when the grassroots realised, he said, citing the self-immolation sacrifice of 16 activists, including Muthukumaran, in taking the message to the grassroots and changing the perspectives.

“I am convinced that the next big changes are going to take place in Tamil Nadu,” Mahendran said.

In the opinion of political observers, Tamil Nadu with its 70-million population making the bulk of global Tamils could play a lead role in demonstrating to Eezham Tamils and in inspiring them on the directions they should take in the international arena.

In the name of unity for political solution, currently there is a tendency to mobilise Tamil politicians in the island and activists in the diaspora separately, to make them submit to the designs of the powers. USA envisaging ‘new leadership’ to emerge from the ‘minority’ Tamils in ‘Sri Lanka’ to vest them with ‘devolved’ provincial powers, has set the lure, diaspora activists commented.

The so-called leftists among Eezham Tamils, who were up in arms in the island when the USA invaded Vietnam, are naïve today when their own homeland faces all the powers in the world. But, Mahendran rises above in seeing the question of Eezham Tamils not merely as an issue of Tamils but as a universal struggle.

C. Mahendran
Communist party leaders like Mahendran with their understanding and attachment to the issue could do a lot in mobilising a genuine mass struggle in Tamil Nadu, inspiring and coordinating it with the Eezham Tamils in the island and in the diaspora, and in making New Delhi and Washington to come down in acknowledging realities, the diaspora activists further said.


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