The days of appeasement are all gone. There will be no more raising of the Sinhalese flags. Hopefully, no more keeping away from UNHRC meetings on the behest of India. All these changes bring pleasure to the Eelam and international Tamils. ‘Right or wrong, TNA is always right’ logic should head for the rubbish bin.
Grandiose speeches in parliament and drawing acolytes from the Tamils will not regain Tamil rights. It was these grand speeches from the time of Sir Ramanathan that led the Tamils to Mullivaaikkal in May 2009. The new generation of TNA leaders should be able to take the bull by its horns. That is exactly what Chief Minister Hon. C.V.Wigneswaran is now doing.
The Northern Provincial Council (NPC) has unanimously passed a resolution, urging President Mahinda Rajapaksa to remove Maj. Gen. G.A. Chandrasiri from the post of Northern Governor, and appoint a new Governor with no military background. The resolution was brought by former Parliamentarian and NPC Councillor, M.K. Sivajilingam, and was seconded by Councillor, K. Sarveswaran. Although the resolution was passed unanimously, the opposition members didn’t hide their inner feelings to point out that the new Governor need not be from the Tamil community. Why can’t he be a Tamil from the the north, Muslim from the east or a Tamil from Central Highlands?
Another resolution was also passed unanimously at the NPC calling for the withdrawal of the Security Forces from the North. The NPC meeting took place without the participation of NPC Opposition Leader, Kandaswamy Kamalendran, who was under arrest by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) for his alleged involvement in the killing of Delft Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman, Daniel Rexian, on 26 November. Meanwhile, NPC Chief Minister, C.V. Wigneswaran, also presented the first budget of the NPC.
On December 10, Sri Lanka’s major Tamil political party, the TNA alliance carried out a protest inside the Northern Provincial Council to win 10 demands. TNA member M.K. Sivajilingam had distributed the placards to party members before the sessions and thereafter all members had joined the protest. Some of the demands that were written in the placards are to provide justice for the victims of the genocide, disclose details of surrendered LTTE cadres, resolve High Security Zone issue, missing persons issue, reduce the Military presence, stop Human Rights violations and stop destroying temples and buildings in the HSZ and to address issues faced by displaced people in the resettlement process.
Displaced Tamils vented their anger at the leader of the Tamil National Alliance, R. Sampanthan, on 9 December, whilst he was visiting the Kattai Parichchan IDP camp near Sampoor. Calling on the their political representation to act, the people said, “We are ready to die to recover Sampoor… reclaim the places that we were born in. We are ready to starve ourselves to death in order to reclaim our taken land” Thousands of people from East Sampoor were displaced in 2006 and have been settled in IDP camps for over 3 years. Of the ones that have been settled into homes, none have been resettled back to their original places of birth and residence. The IDPs of Samboor recently staged protests during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in attempts to raise further awareness of the Sri Lankan government’s appropriation of their land.
The sharp words from the displaced Tamils to the TNA leader, echo the visible anger displayed when Sampanthan drove by Tamil protesters during the CHOGM and a wider gulf between the demands of the Tamil people, including Tamil politicians popular with the people, and the rhetoric of the TNA leadership.
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) had told Japanese visiting Special Japanese Envoy Yasushi Akashi that it had given the government three months to find a solution to the existing national issue. Akashi met with TNA delegates in Colombo on December 11 and held discussions for over two and a half hours. The TNA threatened to stage protests if the government does not comply with their deadline. The TNA had also briefed Akashi on matters of resettlement during the discussions.
Yasushi Akashi was one of those who advised Prabhakaran to settle for a negotiated settlement during the peace talks after 2002, but as time passed by he washed his hands off the Tamils and left them to their fortunes. Now he claims he had held long talks with President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the Northern Provincial Council, as if that would bring results. He also gave his golden advice to TNA not to take hasty decisions. What TNA did was right – a three month ultimatum.
From these events it is obvious to all that the Tamils are no longer scared of the government or the consequences of their actions. For them enough is enough. Now it is up to the TNA to exert itself against the government and stand by the people. The Diaspora have continuously pressurized their respective governments. Tamil Nadu, especially the students, will be exerting pressure on Delhi to change their stance. Sonia and her mafia clique are heading for their Mullivaaikkal.
The election results in the Indian state election had been a boon to the Tamils. All the four major states had fallen to BJP, indicating the the trend in the general elections in May 2014. Now the BJP is accusing the ruling Indian UPA government at the Centre of being too soft with Sri Lanka, and they are telling UPA that it should explain how it continued to train Sri Lankan armed forces despite repeated objections expressed by the people and government of Tamil Nadu.
“When Vajpayee was the Prime Minister, he had refused to give Sri Lanka any arms or training facilities even if they were paying for it. But the Manmohan Singh government continues to extend defence cooperation even though it should know better as it amounts to helping the neighbouring country commit aggression on Tamils,” senior BJP leader L Ganesan said.
Ganesan told reporters in Chennai that Union finance minister P Chidambaram, who addressed a hall meeting in Chennai recently to explain India’s policy towards Sri Lankan and what it was doing for Tamils in the island nation. He should also explain how the government was so soft on Colombo, the Times of India reported. Chidambaram was one of those who told Prabhakaran the he had no other choice but to lay down his arms and surrender. When the slaughter in Mullivaaikkal took place and those who surrendered were tortured and executed he was silent. Now he is trying to change his coat. Wish him the best of luck in 2014.
The TNA and the Tamils should look forward to the UNHRC gathering in March 2014. David Cameron has made his commitment to the Tamils. Navi Pillay has made her views clear. Indian election is drawing close. All these will change the international scenario. TNA and the Tamils will have to be firm and work for their best interest of the Tamils. However long. the Tamil battle continues until the Tamils go free. (GPSG)