Shiva Pasupathy, former Attorney General of Sri Lanka, who subsequently became constitutional advisor to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), has been drafted by the Northern Province Chief Minister C V Wigneswaran to advice his outfit, the Tamil Makkal Peravai (TMP), on the Lankan constitutional reform process which is to begin on January 9.
Wigneswaran has appointed Pasupathy as his personal representative in the TMP’s sub-committee on constitutional reforms. The 87-year-old Pasupathy, who migrated to Australia after retirement, is currently in Jaffna.
The TMP’s sub-committee on constitutional reform met in Jaffna for the first time on Saturday. The panel, which has representatives from several Tamil parties, including the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK), the main constituent of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), is expected to finalise its proposals by January 30. Those proposals will be thrown open for public comment and a final set of proposals will be submitted to the Lankan “Constitutional Assembly” by March-April.
Since Pasupathy is Wigneswaran’s nominee, he is expected to take a radical line on the constitutional question stressing the need to abide by the “Thimpu Principles” put forward by Tamil militants in 1985. The most important demand of the militants then was the recognition of the Tamils’ right to self-determination. Pasupathy would also go by Wigneswaran’s theory that the Tamils have been subject to “continuous genocide” since 1948 and that radical remedial measures will have to be taken. Although the TMP is diverse in composition, its main prop, the Tamil National Peoples’ Front (TNPF) is a firm believer in self-determination.
As a member of the Political Affairs Committee of the LTTE in 2003, he drafted the outfit’s proposal to set up an Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA) in the Tamil areas of Lanka. The proposals envisaged a virtually independent “Tamil Eelam” with very tenuous links with Lankan government. (NIE)