GTF to work on four pillar strategy

GTFThe Global Tamil Forum (GTF), the largest Diaspora organization in Europe, said it worked on a “four pillar strategy” to engage with Sri Lanka.

In an interview with the Daily News, GTF Strategic Initiatives Director and Spokesperson Suren Surendiran explained the Four Pillar Strategy. He said the first pillar is agreeing between Tamil representatives based in Sri Lanka and in the Diaspora, a Common Framework Agreement.

“The second is engaging the civil society, political and non-political representatives of the South without discriminating on language, religion, social status, party affiliation to communicate and engage to explain our grievances and understand from them their own grievances and why resolving the political issues including the Tamil National Question is seen or felt as a threat to them,” he said.

He added it also aims to “explain the possible mutual benefits that will be gained by all communities as peace dividends if a durable political solution could be negotiated to the Tamil National Question”.

Surendiran pointed out that these types of cross community engagements at different levels of the society and at different times can also be a way to bridge the trust deficiency that exists between communities.

Explaining the third pillar, he said: “The third is to actively lobby and create awareness within the international community, international institutions and governments regarding the injustices and alleged breaches of international laws, including international human rights and humanitarian laws that amounted to war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Lobby for international independent investigations of both sides to establish the truth and obtain justice to enable the people who lost their loved ones to be able to move on, which may allow sustainable reconciliation between communities in the future.” The fourth pillar, he said, is to work to resolve the socio-economic needs of the people in the war affected areas with international help.

He added that this policy had been made public since 2011.

Surendiran said the GTF intends to carry out the Four Pillar Strategy “with the help of the people of Sri Lanka, in the Diaspora and the international community including India.” He added that since 2011, the GTF has been progressing under this programme.

He refuted allegations that the GTF supported the LTTE during the war, pointing out that the GTF was formally inaugurated at the UK Parliament by the then Foreign Secretary of Britain after the end of the war in February 2010.

Clarifying the GTF’s position, he pointed out that the GTF proactively promotes and works for a non-violent campaign for a negotiated political solution to the Tamil National Question.

“GTF will and takes every step in-line with GTF’s Four Pillar Programme,” he said.

Surendiran added that the GTF will and has been working closely with the “elected representatives of the Tamil people, the TNA”. “GTF will also be working with elected representatives of all Tamil speaking people and like-minded people in all other political and non-political parties within all communities in Sri Lanka,” he stressed.

He emphasized that for direct physical engagement to be practical, the Government of Sri Lanka needs to de-list GTF and other groups and persons. (Daily News)

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