Short History of Tamil’s Democratic and Arm Struggle in Sri Lanka
[Mr. Haukland] added that he was worried that the proposed talks on the 19th April 2006 may be in doubt unless the situation improves. But he hoped that they would meet, as he considered the meeting of the parties at top level extremely essential, and any postponement or delay would lead to serious consequences. Both the parties are preparing for war. However, he added that it is understandable that building up their forces is inevitable as the Talks will bear fruit if there is a balance of power.
The LTTE are freedom fighters declared none other than the Head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), Mr.Hagrup Haukland (he prefers not to use his military title – Brigadier). While Mr. Haukland was with the Defence Secretary Gothabaya Rajapaksa, he said that the LTTE Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam are a not a terrorist organisation like Al Qaeda. He stated that they are Freedom Fighters.
Mr. Haukland joined the SLMM at its inception in 2002 as Chief of Staff. From October 2004 to October 2005 he took leave from work, but rejoined the SLMM as its Head. He took over this position when Norwegian Major General Tronf Furuhofde retired.
It should be noted that this declaration was made prior to Mr. Haukland vacating his office as Head of the SLMM. Even though it cannot be construed as the official version of the Norwegian government, yet it has official significance as Mr. Haukland made this statement while he was in the office of the Defence Secretary of the SL government on 23rd March 2006. The meeting was for Mr.Haukland to introduce the retired Swedish Army officer Mr.Hansen Bauer, who is succeeding Mr. Haukland.
Obviously this statement infuriated Mr.Gothbaya Rajapaksa. He retorted sharply, “You have come here to do a job of work. If you want to do that efficiently be impartial and do not take sides.” The angered Mr.Rajapaksha added that the out going head has come to Sri Lanka to add stints to his resume and not to achieve objectives. The meeting ended after the new Head of the SLMM spoke a few words with Mr.Rakapaksa and left under the pretext of having another meeting to attend.
With the Cease Fire Agreement (CFA) of 22.02.2002, the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) and the Royal Norwegian Government concluded a Status of Mission Agreement (SOMA). The duties, privileges and immunities of the SLMM and its members are defined in that agreement. The LTTE also has in writing committed its agreement to fully implement the SOMA.
In Article 3 of the SOMA the SLMM is accorded the same privileges given to foreign diplomats under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of April 18 1961. This includes immunity from “personal arrest or detention and from legal process in respect of all acts, including words spoken or writes, performed by the in the course of their duty.”
However in Aritcle 4 it is stated “Privileges and immunities are accorded to the SLMM and its members in the interest of efficient and independent fulfilment of the Mission’s task and not for the personal benefit of the individuals concerned. Without prejudice to their privileges and immunities, the Mission and its members will take all appropriate steps to ensure respect for and compliance with the laws and regulations of Sri Lanka.”
The outgoing Head of the Truce Monitors, in an interview given to the papers, did not mince his words. Even though there is no concrete evidence to state that the armed forces of the GOSL are supporting the Paramilitary groups, he reiterated that the existence of several such groups cannot be denied.
The CFA need not be amended.
Answering a question as to whether the CFA should be amended, Mr. Haukland said, I quote:
“I don’t see the need for any amendments if the parties can live up to what they signed. The main thing is to keep the main situation safe. If there are powers or persons who want to amend it then they should come up with ways they can. There is a need however to have some technical arrangements without amending the CFA.”
He added that he was worried that the proposed talks on the 19th April 2006 may be in doubt unless the situation improves. But he hoped that they would meet, as he considered the meeting of the parties at top level extremely essential, and any postponement or delay would lead to serious consequences. Both the parties are preparing for war. However, he added that it is understandable that building up their forces is inevitable as the Talks will bear fruits if there is a balance of power. It is part of the game and there is a need for that, he said. However, he was confident that the President, the LTTE or other national leaders do not want a new war; because it will be devastating and they all know that.
When Mr. Hauklnad was asked to comment on the conditions put forward by the GOSL to the LTTE opening up political offices in the army-controlled areas, he said, I quote “It is one of the main things in the CFA that the LTTE should be able to do political work in the government controlled areas. They were about to open but postponed it because of the demands. Some of the demands are ok but some are ridiculous.”
Question: The allegation is that the CFA has provided the LTTE to train their cadres.
Answer: They are training and the army is training as well.
Question: But an army of a country has the duty to maintain security. You are talking of an elected government.
Answer: I know that but be realistic. There are those who say to disarm LTTE to talk. They are dreaming. If I have been fighting for a cause and you want me to disarm then you bloody well give me a guarantee before I hand over my weapons. I am not defending anyone.
Question: Statistically the LTTE have committed more number of violations.
Answer: It is up to every individual to hold his or her own view of the statistics. The LTTE have committed more than the government side. But it is also a question of how you read it. The majority of the violations by the LTTE is related to child recruitment. That is very serious as it is illegal. No need to say killing a person is a CFA violation and flag hoisting by the LTTE is also a violation. See the difference.
Q: Have you seen Paramilitary groups?
A: Yes. Last time we saw them was March 28, 2006 at Valaichenai and we spoke to them. They said that they were Karuna’s people. They were armed but in civil. Statements are made by those who are in charge in the south that there are no armed groups operating in their area. This is not true.
There is absolutely no confidence between the two parties. Mutual trust is very essential for progress towards peace. The parties should meet at ground levels and try to sort out the daily problems in addition to the top level Peace Talks.
“I sincerely hope and believe that eventually they will find a solution to the conflict. I have been meeting people and they sincerely want peace but not at all cost” he concluded.
by Kandiah Mylvaganam, April 7, 2006
Sri Lanka has been making empty promises about human rights for decades. This was made clear by a number of countries which questioned Sri Lanka’s lack of progress in ending human rights violations during the review
Sri Lanka’s promises on human rights should no longer be accepted by the international community, Amnesty International said as the UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on 1 November highlighted Colombo’s continued denial of the human rights crisis in the country and the need for independent investigations into new alleged human rights violations and past war crimes.
The UN examines the human rights situation in each member state every four and a half years, and Sri Lanka has yet to follow up on important commitments made during its first UPR in 2008, when the government was engaged in armed conflict with the Tamil Tigers (LTTE).
“Sri Lanka has been making empty promises about human rights for decades. This was made clear by a number of countries which questioned Sri Lanka’s lack of progress in ending human rights violations during the review,” said Yolanda Foster, Amnesty International’s expert on Sri Lanka.
“Three years after the end of the civil war, the government continues to stifle dissent through threats and harassment, and has failed to take steps to end enforced disappearances and extrajudicial executions.”
Human rights defenders have told Amnesty International about a climate a fear in Sri Lanka in which the state does nothing to protect them from threats.
Following a UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution in March 2012 calling on Sri Lanka to address violations of international law during the civil war, government officials and state-run media lashed out at human rights activists. They were called “traitors” and threatened with physical harm by the Public Relations Minister, prompting the UN to denounce the threats and call for an investigation.
The crackdown on dissent has extended to lawyers and members of the judiciary who speak out against abuses of power. A senior high court judge, Manjula Tilakaratne, was on 7 October 2012 attacked and injured by armed assailants after he had complained of attempts to interfere with the independence of the judiciary, a concern raised by some states today.
The authorities have continued to arrest and detain suspects for lengthy periods without charge or trial under the repressive Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), despite promises during its first UPR to bring this and similar legislation in line with international human rights law. No amendment has yet been made, and today Sri Lanka stressed its need to retain the PTA. Meanwhile, hundreds of people suspected of links to the LTTE continue to languish in administrative detention.
“Four years after the UN’s first review of human rights in Sri Lanka, there has been virtually no progress – as shown today – on any of the commitments the government made to end arbitrary detentions,” said Foster.
Several states today pressed Sri Lanka on its continued use of torture and other ill-treatment, despite government pledges made during the first review to address the problem. Amnesty International continues to receive reports of torture and resultant deaths in custody, enforced disappearances and extrajudicial executions.
On 26 July 2012, Sri Lanka published a National Plan of Action as a gesture to the international community that it is moving forward with addressing human rights concerns called for in the UNHRC March resolution. However, this plan is not comprehensive, particularly on issues relating to deaths of civilians, arbitrary detention and enforced disappearance. Where investigations are envisioned at all, responsibility has been given to the army and police – the very institutions implicated in these serious human rights violations in the first place.
A culture of impunity persists in Sri Lanka, as the government has not investigated, prosecuted and punished most of the perpetrators of human rights violations.
Two glaring examples of serious human rights violations where the perpetrators remain free from prosecution are the alleged extrajudicial execution of five students by the Sri Lankan Special Task Force in January 2012, and the killing of 17 Action Contre la Faim (ACF) workers in the east in 2006, one of the worst massacres of humanitarian workers in history.
The findings of a 2007 Presidential Commission of Inquiry into both cases have yet to be released.
“The persistent lack of justice in these cases is shocking and flies in the face of repeated promises by the government for the past six years that it would investigate them properly. Victims’ families won’t believe the government until some practical action is taken. As a very basic first step the 2007 commission’s findings should be made public,” said Foster.
In the lead up to this UPR, Sri Lanka’s Attorney General claimed to have directed the police to investigate the two cases.
“Why did it toke so long for the Sri Lankan authorities to order an investigation into cases this grave, and what will happen to the police inquiry when international interest sparked by the UPR dies down?,” said Foster.
After Sri Lanka’s UPR session in Geneva today, the UPR panel is set to release its full report on Monday 5 November 2012. The Human Rights Council is set to formally adopt the outcome of today’s review at its March session next year. The international community must use that to hold the Sri Lankan government to its repeated promises.
World divided on Sri Lanka’s human rights[ SMH ][ Nov 02 09:55 GMT ]
Pilloried and praised, congratulated and condemned, Sri Lanka has received a forthright, but divided, assessment of its postwar human rights record. Sri Lanka, whose 26-year-civil war ended in 2009 with the defeat of the separatist Tamil Tigers, was excoriated by a swath of countries, including the US, Britain, France and Canada, at the UN Human Rights Commissioner’s universal periodic review hearing in Geneva. Those countries detailed allegations of continuing human rights abuses, including enforced disappearances, torture and state-sanctioned murders. But the island nation stoutly defended itself, and was backed by Russia, China, Iran, Pakistan and a host of others, which said it had made solid progress since war’s end. [ full story ]
Rights groups dismiss claims of progress[ Independent ][ Nov 02 15:02 GMT ]
Sri Lanka yesterday claimed it was making progress on protecting human rights amid a barrage of sceptical questions about abductions, threats to journalists and lack of reconciliation with the Tamil community.But Tamil leaders say the government has refused to listen to demands for devolved powers. Talks between Tamil leaders and the government broke off earlier this year. “There has been no effort to reach out. It can only be described as ‘nil’, as ‘negative’,” said R Sambandan, leader of the Tamil National Alliance. [ full story ]
U.S. Statement at the UPR of Sri Lanka[ U.S. Statement ][ Nov 01 18:56 GMT ]
We remain concerned by the consolidation of executive power, including the passage of the 18th amendment, and that no agreement has been reached on political devolution. Former conflict zones remain militarized, and the military continues to encroach upon daily civilian and economic affairs. The Ministry of Defense has controlled the NGO secretariat since 2010. Serious human rights violations continue, including disappearances, torture, extra-judicial killings, and threats to freedom of expression. Opposition figures have been harassed, detained, and prosecuted. There have been no credible investigations or prosecutions for attacks on journalists and media outlets. [ full story ]
Sri Lanka: A hidden displacement crisis[ IDMC ][ Nov 01 22:50 GMT ]
More than three years after the end of the 26-year armed conflict between the Sri Lankan armed forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), nearly 470,000 people displaced during its various stages have returned to their home areas. This does not mean, however, that there is no internal displacement in the country any more. As of the end of September 2012, more than 115,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) were still living in camps, with host communities or in transit sites, or had been relocated, often against their will, to areas other than their places of origin. [ full story ]
KILINOCHCHI, 2 November 2012 (IRIN) – Standing outside her battle-scarred home in northern Sri Lanka, Thangeswary Karuppaiyah dreams of one day rebuilding it. “I hope it’s soon. That’s what we are waiting for,” said the 55-year-old grandmother.
She has been living in a “transitional shelter” a few metres from her old home for the past three years.
Made of tin sheeting, coconut leaves and tarpaulins, it was put up by her family (thanks to government and international aid) following her return in 2009, and was designed to last two years – time enough to rebuild her old house, say aid workers.
“People have been in transitional shelter for a long time, in many cases three years… With the rainy season starting, things are going to become tough for those people,” Fontini Rantsiou, head of the northern sub-office of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), told IRIN.
Thousands of former IDPs are even less fortunate than Thangeswary, have never received any assistance, and live in makeshift shacks made of plastic sheeting and anything else they can get hold of.
“This is probably the most pressing issue of all. Under Sphere standards, transitional shelter in good condition offers some semblance of protection,” an international aid worker who asked not to be identified, explained. “Unfortunately, many people still don’t even have that.”
More than three years after Sri Lanka’s decades-long war came to an end and the return of nearly 470,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) to the north, thousands of people remain in flimsy shelters, say UN sources.
There is insufficient data to illustrate the severity of the problem, as the government has never endorsed a comprehensive needs assessment suggested by aid organizations in mid-2012, said a report by the International Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) published on 31 October.
|A three-year-old transitional shelter in Jaffna. Its coconut leaf matting used for walls needing replacing|
As a result, humanitarian organizations have only managed to collect limited information.
Transitional shelter assistance
Across Sri Lanka’s former northern war zone (locally known as the Vanni), only 26 percent of IDP returnee families have received transitional shelter assistance, the report said, citing inputs from shelter agencies, including the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
Of the more than 100,000 families in need of transitional shelter assistance in four northern districts (Vavuniya, Mullaitvu, Kilinochchi, and Manner), just 26,000 received assistance, leaving an estimated theoretical gap of around 74,000, according to UNHCR October figures.
Moreover, in at least three of the villages in Mullaitivu District which opened up for returns between July and September 2012, no commitments have been made to provide any transitional shelters at all, the IDMC report said, with only half the requirement for transitional shelters being met in Kilinochchi District.
Many of those affected have no choice but to live in makeshift shelters they have constructed themselves – well below internationally accepted Sphere standards.
Meanwhile, international funding for humanitarian and development activities in Sri Lanka is drying up, largely because the World Bank now classifies the island nation as a middle-income country at peace, though government restrictions on assessments are preventing an adequate response, the IDMC report said.
A further obstacle is that many agencies and donors are reluctant to fund additional transitional shelter work given the high expectation of a commitment by donors to construct more than 75,000 permanent houses in the north – a project which could take years to complete.
According to OCHA, donors and the government are currently committed to supporting the building and repair of more than 35,000 houses (excluding Indian government plans to build 49,000 houses) against total needs in excess of 100,000.
“Our solution does not lie in the 13th Amendment but on the Tamil nationhood to be recognised. We are not a minority. From the beginning of history there have been two nations that must be recognized”
With these profound words that is sure to resonate well with the Tamil Diaspora and the Tamil heartland in the North and East of the island of Sri Lanka, the outspoken Bishop of Mannar, in characteristic fashion set the benchmarks as it were for any future dialogue for a political solution for Eelam Tamils; benchmarks that must be heeded not just by the Rajapaksa administration but by the UN, the international community and India, requiring immediate international intervention.
His Worship, the courageous and forthright spiritual leader revered by Eelam Tamils, chose a forum in Geneva where Sri Lanka’s Universal Periodic Review is set to begin any moment, to make the assertion that the “13th amendment is fundamentally flawed”, that the Tamil people have to be recognised as a nation and have a “right to rule”, reflecting in principle, the long held fundamental demand of Eelam Tamils.
He was speaking from his Mannar Diocese through video call, to an audience composed of representatives from various country missions and human rights defenders gathered at an event titled: Sri Lanka UPR 2012: Rhetoric and Reality” organized by the International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR), and co-sponsored by Amnesty International, Asian Legal Resource Centre, Franciscans International, Human Rights Watch and Lawyers Rights Watch Canada,
The Reaffirmation of Nationhood and Right to Rule
The Bishop’s reaffirmation of ‘Tamil Nationhood’ and ‘Tamil Right to Rule’ comes at a critical time when concern is running high over the intensified ‘structural genocide’ of the Tamil Nation leading to the virtual obliteration of the Tamil Nation that’s been undertaken by Sinhala administrations of the past but pursued with a vengeance by the Rajapaksa administration and gaining rapid momentum in the North and East.
The Tamil Guardian in ‘Bishop of Mannar calls for recognition of Tamil Nation’ quoted the Bishop addressing some of his concerns:
“The Sri Lankan military are here. We don’t understand why… the war is over. They run restaurants. People who earn very little are being deprived…….Land is not grabbed all over the country, but in the North-East. They are grabbing land all over the North-East; Trincomallee, Jaffna, Palali and Mullaitivu…The presence of the military is creating abnormality…There are a lot of people walking like skeletons… They have lost their mind, they need to heal… A lot of money is spent on celebrating the war but where are our people? We are not allowed in our areas, Mannar for example to grieve our dead people. The dead must be respected and justice served,” the Bishop said.
The Bishop was essentially expressing unease about the situation in the Tamil homeland with respect to Sri Lankan military presence and its involvement in businesses that deprived those who already had scarce livelihood opportunities; to land grab prevailing only in the North and East and not in the rest of the island; to the prohibition on people to grieve.
The Bishop who, in his testimony to the Lessons learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) insisted that 146,679 people are missing since after the war, lamented about the lack of response by the Rajapaksa administration to this serious concern. Despite this the Bishop has continued to be outspoken with his concerns and recommendations, the Bishop being one of the few lone voices coming from the Tamil homeland.
‘International Protection Mechanism’ to stop ‘structural genocide’
The concerns that the Bishop laid out have been time again echoed by the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) and all the leading Tamil organizations in the Diaspora. The TGTE has been in the forefront calling for an ‘International Protection Mechanism’ to be put in place to stop the destruction of the Tamil Nation which it alleges is ‘structural genocide’ instigated and orchestrated by the Rajapaksa administration to wipeout the ‘Tamil National Identity from its very base’.
TGTE which is committed to achieving the restoration of an independent, sovereign state for Eelam calls on the UN to stop this illegal practice.
The ‘International Protection Mechanism’ should be put in place not only to safeguard the Tamil people against flagrant human rights abuses but also protecting the Tamil Nation against ‘structural genocide – to halt the willful destruction of the historical habitats of the Tamil people brought about by changes in demography through the Rajapaksa inspired forced colonisation; the destruction of the Tamil national identity, the Tamil language, the Tamil culture, the Tamil people’s religious faiths; to violate the Tamil people’s human rights enshrined in the UN Charter and Declaration of Human Rights and other UN Treaties and Conventions; to rape, kill, disappear, torture, abduct and brutalise the Tamil people on a massive scale; these to the TGTE are acts of genocide as per the Genocide convention. The Rajapaksas’ end goal is to make the Tamil Nation extinct in the island.
The TGTE in its 3rd Annual Sitting in Buffalo, NY passed such a resolution calling upon the UN to create an “International Protection Mechanism’ and the former TGTE Foreign Affairs Minister and now Political Affairs Minister, Thayaparan Thanikasalam in compliance with the TGTE resolution set out the need “for a task force for implementation of an ‘International Protection Mechanism’ specifically related and dealing with the ongoing violations of international human rights laws and norms committed in the Tamil Homeland by the Sri Lankan Army of occupation and its political masters.” He cited the colonization of ancestral lands, the destruction of arable lands, extra-constitutional land registrations, violations of religious freedom, the treatment of displaced persons, deprivation of livelihood of individuals or communities, sexual violence including rape against women, abductions and assassinations, forced disappearances and arrests, detention and imprisonment after unfair trials’ as some of the major concerns of the TGTE that require international intervention.
The forcible appropriation of land of the Tamil people for the building of Sinhala army cantonments, Buddhist temples and Sinhala settlements is seen by Tamils as a clear move to further blur the demography and a way to plundering the Tamil Nation and robbing of both its natural resources and of its arable lands with no thought given to sustainable development. In addition the environmental catastrophe that these so called ill-planned and ill advised actions would bring will not be known until it’s too late. All of these pre-meditated actions are being undertaken to obliterate all traces of the existence of the Eelam Tamil Nation with the sole and deliberate intention to make way for the path to full Sinhalisation. In an article “Near site of LTTE’s last stand, a victory memorial that Tamils don’t visit” in The Hindu, Nirupama Subramanian describing Tamil areas as “Sinhalised” sees the evidence: “Already on the refurbished and carpeted A 9, the main highway from Jaffna to Vavuniya, Buddhist temples have come up. Shops and restaurants run by Sinhalese dot the road, especially near the army camps,” she writes.
Militarisation of the Tamil Nation Path to Sinhala Rule
The vast presence of the Military in the North and East of Sri Lanka shows that the Rajapaksa administration’s claim that the numbers have reduced is untrue. It is estimated that much more than 100,000 personnel have been deployed in the North and East. Tamil areas are akin to an occupied territory and the Sri Lankan army is acting as if it’s was going to war and in “operational readiness and not post-conflict repose” according to Colonel Hariharan formally of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) speaking to The Hindu. The army is interfering with every aspect of the everyday lives of the Tamil people and creating a culture of fear amongst the people.
Unelected Military Governor Speaking for the Tamil Nation
The militarisation of the Tamil Nation has led to unelected military commanders acting as governors making decisions on behalf of the people of the Northern Province. If not stopped in its tracks it would certainly impinge upon the Tamil people’s democratic rights, dealing a fatal blow on the Tamil Nation’s existence. The Rajapaksa administration’s bid to get a retired Major General, G A Chandrasiri, the Governor of the Northern Province to sign the approval on behalf of the Northern Province to comply with the Supreme Court ruling that for the so called ‘Divineguma Bill’ to become law required the approval of all the Provincial Councils, shows the extent of the democratic deficit prevailing in the North and the role of the military in the affairs of the Tamil Nation.
This move by the Rajapaksa adminstration to circumvent democracy and the question of whether an elected presidential appointee can unilaterally exercise the power of the still non-existent Northern Provincial Council and make decisions on behalf of the Tamil Nation is being challenged in the Supreme Court by the the Tamil National Alliance (TNA).
Defence Budget Highest in History
The Rajapaksas with Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the helm at the Défense Ministry is virtually ruling the land with the might of the army behind them with the biggest allocation from the 2013 Budget going to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development amounting to nearly Rs. 290 billion” showing an increase of nearly Rs. 60 billion from what was allocated to the Defence and Urban Development Ministry in 2012.
Resettlement of IDPs a charade
The Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are not being resettled in their original places of residence; instead they’re being dumped in jungle clearings with no basic facilities. This callous action of the Rajapaksa administration amounts to abandonment, cruelty and dereliction of its International Obligations. The International Community must wake-up to Sri Lanka’s lies and its attempt at ‘Window Dressing’ the statistics to make its UPR submissions look good! So that it can say the infamous ‘Manik Farm’ is closed in their submissions to the UPR. It should become the UN’s responsibility not to neglect these hapless people. The Rajapaksa administration’s actions to virtually abandon IDPs, amount to dereliction of its obligations under international humanitarian law including the whole gambit of related international customary law. Common article 3 of the four Geneva Conventions guarantees protection for IDPs who have a right to “humane treatment without discrimination.”
Tamil Nation Muzzled with No Channel of Communication to IC or UN
The muzzling of the people of the North and East and preventing them from giving their story to the international community is tantamount to silencing the voices of victims of human rights abuses as well as members of the civil society. Even three years after the war there is no international media present in the North and East; there’s absolutely no independent channel of communication for the people to tell their story to the international community, even to foreign visitors on the ground realities and the challenges they face under army occupation. What is most disconcerting is the fact that UN experts visiting the North and East are being fed the Sri Lankan administration’s version of the situation. The real people are not being given a chance to air their views and give their stories. The recent visit by OHCHR delegation in Colombo, headed Mr. Hanny Megally, Chief of Asia Pacific and Middle East and North African Branch accompanied by Mr. Oscar Solers – Human rights officer, Rule of Law and Democracy selection of OHCHR is a case in point. In fact ahead of Mr. Hanny Megally’s visit a collective of Civil Society members wrote to High Commissioner Navi Pillai of their concerns relating to the manipulation of foreign visitors by the Rajapaksas and their Sinhalisation agenda.
Still No International Human Rights Organisation or Media allowed free Access
Even as the Rajapaksa Administration through External Affairs Ministry, Secretary Amunugama is claiming that more than “40 media personnel are going to be visiting the country to see for themselves the reconciliation and development” in the North and East, up until the time of writing neither the international media nor internationally credible human rights organizations such as Amnesty International (AI), Human Rights Watch (HRW) and International Crisis Group (ICG) have been allowed into the area. The announcement by Amunugama that the North and East are being opened to members of the international media dutifully repeated by the administration’s mouth piece the ‘Daily News Paper’s ring hollow so far.
Fraudulent Eastern Provincial Council Elections Ominous of Things to Come
The fraudulent Eastern Provincial Council Elections is ominous of things to come, with TNA’s request for international observers denied, Rajapaksa’s whole government machinery and support systems including intelligence personnel were utilized to rig the elections and at least five Tamil candidates were offered cash and other material incentives to switch allegiance. The newly elected TNA Eastern Provincial Councillor A. Kalaiyarasan is condemning the “Colombo Administration’s” unequal distribution of funds towards district development apportioning less for Tamil areas in the Ampaarai District: “The SL authorities show interest in implementing development programmes by allocating more funds to Sinhalese and Muslim villages, excluding Tamil areas, Kalaiarasan says, further adding that only 9.8 percent (131.4 million rupee) of the total funds, allocated for the implementation of ‘national development programme’ in the district, has been allocated for Tamil villages in Thirukkoyil Tamil division, Aalaiyadivempu, Chaainthamaruthu, Kaaraitheevu, and Naavithanve’li.”
Withholding of Provincial Council Elections in the North a Ploy
Eelam Tamils see no point in being part of the democratic process in the island and do not believe in provincial council elections but see the arbitrary withholding of provincial council elections in the North as a sinister move by the Rajapaksa administration, a ploy to manage and manipulate the outcome of the elections to its benefit.
History Defies the Sinhala Claims
Looking closely at historical maps before the demographic changes, and since the Colebrook Cameron Commission in 1833 and later since independence in 1948, it is crystal clear that the Tamil Nation possessed a clearly defined contiguous territory comprising the Northern and Eastern Provinces of the island, had its own kingdom and was sovereign. History also has it etched the Jaffna Kingdom existed for 403 years: The Jaffna Kingdom existed with Nallur as its capital from 1215 AD to 1619 AD. Portuguese landed in Ceylon in 1505 and took 115 years to conquer the Jaffna Kingdom. Though the Jaffna Kingdom fell, the areas to the south called Vanni did not accept the rule of the Portuguese. It did not pay tribute to the Kandyan Kingdom or to any other kingdom. It functioned as an autonomous entity. Although at different times the territory of Eelam came under foreign rule, it never lost its Tamil Identity. Even its borders remained intact till 1833.
Sir Hugh Cleghorn, British Colonial Secretary’s words on June 1799 ring true that there were two different nations from a very ancient period: “Two different nations, from a very ancient period, have divided between them the possession of the island; the Sinhalese inhabiting the interior in its southern and western parts from the river Wallouwe to Chilaw, and the Malabars (Tamils) who possess the Northern and Eastern districts. These two nations differ entirely in their religion, language and manners.”
Gotabaya’s plan to Obliterate the Tamil Nation
Although denied by Mass Media and Information Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, the latest conspiracy of the Rajapaksas to avert any kind of devolution to the Tamil Nation has been issued in the form of a threat by Gotabaya Rajapaksa to repeal the even the 13th Amendment; a form of very limited autonomy, a brain child of India’s which the Eelam Tamil Nation never accepted as a satisfactory political settlement anyway, the Bishop’s declaration that it is ‘fundamentally flawed” is reflective of the Tamil position. It is for India to open its eyes to the Rajapaksas. How India will handle this latest salvo by Gotabaya is crucially important to the Tamil Nation which is looking up to India for some decisive action to stop the destruction of the Tamil Nation.
A Move to Reduce the Number of Provinces to Destroy the Tamil Nation
In another development the Rajapaksas are contemplating reducing the number of provinces in the island from 9 to 5 and possibly 3. There’s a plot being hatched by the despotic Rajapaksa Administration to reduce the 9 provinces now existing in the island of Sri Lanka into 5 provinces! The plan is to redraw the provincial boundaries where Tamils and Muslims are a majority with a view to amalgamating them to provinces where Sinhalese are a majority and surreptitiously creating 5 provinces possibly 3 with the sole intention of making sure Tamils or Muslims do not have a majority in any of the provinces. This is a follow-up to the de-merging of the North-East provinces of the island breaking the 1987 Indo-Sri Lanka Accord showing a systematic dismantling of the Tamil Nation.
Bid to Kill Off the Tamil Nation Under Guise of Integration
The existence of the Tamil Nation contiguous and sovereign demolishes Sri Lankan Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris’s view shared with Nirupama of the Hindu: “So when one talks about dispossession of lands, driven out of areas where generations have been living, one must remember this is not something exclusive to one community,” says G L Peiris expressing a typical chauvinist view of dismissing the Tamil Nation, intended to promote integration essentially to kill off the Tamil Nation, indicative of the double standards that exists, one for the Sinhalese and one for the Tamils. When Nirupama quotes a “Rajapaksa government” spokesman as saying “there were always Sinhalese and Muslims in the Tamil areas, and no area can be the exclusive preserve of any one community,” it is a sure admission of the fact that there were ‘Tamil Areas’. In a country where all communities are not treated equally and the constitution reflects this inequality the assertions made by the administration and the Minister fall flat in the face of logic and has no meaning. It is not enough to make these false claims and hollow assurances that the island of Sri Lanka is for everyone. The Rajapaksa administration won’t put its money where its mouth is. It won’t be prepared to change the constitution to guarantee equal status for all communities, meaning equal status for the Tamil language as it exists for the Sinhala language and equal status for all religious faiths, Hinduism, Christianity, Catholicism and Islam same as Buddhism, including equal rights based on self determination for all as enjoyed by the Sinhalese people and the recognition of the existence of a Tamil Nation. The equation that serves the extremist philosophy of the Rajapaksa administration can be best defined as: Reconciliation = Integration = Sinhalisation = Obliteration of Tamil Nation.
UN, IC and India Must Heed the Bishop and Rise to the Task to Stop the Destruction of the Tamil Nation
An intervention to put in place an ‘International Protection Mechanism’ to stop the destruction of the Tamil Nation is crucial. As the Rajapaksa administration moves to impeach the Chief justice, firmly establishing its dictatorship, dismantling the fundamental pillars of democracy and seeking to destroy the Tamil Nation, it is for India and the international community to save the Eelam Tamil Nation from the brink of extinction. India must lead the way and rise to the task and in the Bishop’s words first “recognize the existence of the Tamil Nation” and its “right to rule” and set in motion the realization of the benchmarks the Bishop has re-affirmed for a satisfactory political solution leading to true reconciliation.
By: Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah, Senator TGTE
UNITED NATIONS, November 2 — The day after Sri Lanka was reviewed, in speeches no longer than 72 second each, in the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review process, Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s deputy spokesman Eduardo Del Buey about the long delayed report into the UN’s own actions and inaction in Sri Lanka in 2009, and whether it will be public.
Del Buey said it is not finished; he did not answer if it will be made public, as was a similar report on the UN’s actions and inactions in Rwanda in 1994.
Pressed, Del Buey disclaimed any connection between the UPR process and the report, which was supposed to be done by Thoraya Obaid but was switched to Charles Petrie, now working in Myanmar.
Two hours later Inner City Press put the questions to Marzuki Darusman, chairman of the UN Panel of Experts on Sri Lanka.
Darusman gave a press conference about North Korea at which Inner City Press asked him about disappearances. Afterward, Inner City Press asked him about Sri Lanka and the delayed Petrie report.
“I need to check,” Darusman said, of the Petrie report. Of his two fellow Panel members he said, “We are following this very closely, the former panel members.”
Inner City Press told Darusman of Ban Ki-moon’s definition of accountability, provided to Inner City Press on October 17, 2012 by his spokesman Martin Nesirky: it means “not letting deeds go unmarked, unnoticed, sot there is no impunity, so you can move on to reconciliation.” It means “different things in different contexts.”
Darusman shook his head and said, “accountability means to explain what happened on the 40,000 deaths.” That has not been done.
UNITED NATIONS, November 1 — When Sri Lanka appeared Thursday for its Universal Periodic Review in Geneva, countries that asked to speak were given 72 seconds each.
Defenders of Sri Lanka included Belarus, North Korea, Iran and Turkey — this last on the theory that it takes toughness to fight terrorism.
But killing 40,000 civilians? That’s the figure cited by the UN, most recently by the Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary and Arbitrary Executions Christof Heyns when Inner City Press asked him last week about his action on videos depicting executions of prisoners by the Sri Lankan military.
During the speed-speeches there are contradictions and ironies everywhere. Qatar, which so loudly calls for accountability in Syria, didn’t bring it up on Sri Lanka.
Sudan said it sympathizes with Sri Lanka on armed conflict. But Sudanese president Omar al Bashir was indicted by the International Criminal Court for Darfur. The Security Council never official met on, much less about an ICC referral, about Sri Lanka.
The most vehement defense of Sri Lanka came from Belarus, which called High Commissioner Navi Pillay’s work “unbalanced.” Sri Lanka intervened to say it has invited Pillay to visit. Why has she not yet gone?
The United States, which is known to have pushed to limit Pillay to one term, then got Ban Ki-moon to cut her second term in half, had its Geneva Ambassador Eileen Donahoe cite the need for freedom of expression and judicial independence, citing the day’s move to impeach the country’s chief judge.
But Donahoe seemed to rely to the Rajapaksa’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission, under which not a single military official has been indicted, much less imprisoned.
Instead in a move that literally says it all, military official Shavendra Silva, whose division is depicted in the UN’s own report as engaged in war crimes, was sent to the UN in New York as Sri Lanka’s Deputy Permanent Representative. The US issued a letter that Silva is covered by immunity.
Then, emboldened, Sri Lanka got Shavendra Silva placed on Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s Senior Advisory Group on Peacekeeping Operations.
Despite some grumbling, he has not been removed from the SAG, and Ban’s spokespeople have refused to confirm to Inner City Press that Silva’s name will not be on the SAG report.
The Sri Lanka delegation claimed to be protecting the rights of internally displaced people. But when Inner City Press last week asked the UN system’s Special Rapporteur on IDPs, he said he had concerns and analogized Sri Lanka to Cote d’Ivoire, where IDPs have been killed.
Near the end of the speeches — the report will be prepared by India, Spain and Benin by November 5 — Switzerland called on Sri Lanka to follow up on the UN Panel of Experts recommendations.
But some say Ban Ki-moon himself has not followed up. Click here for Inner City Press’ October 16 coverage of Ban’s meeting with Sri Lankan Minister Samarasinghe.
Where, for example, is the report into the UN’s own actions and inactions during the final stages of the conflict, which was assigned to Thoraya Obaid and then quietly not done, then re-assigned to Charles Petrie who now works in Myanmar?
Inner City Press has asked, repeatedly, about the report. The UN won’t even say it will be public. Watch this site.
By Matthew Russell Lee
“he gave his life for the freedom of his people”
வாழ்ந்தவர் கோடி மறைந்தவர் கோடி, மக்களின் மனதில் நிற்பவர் யார்? – மானம் காப்போர் சரித்திரம் தனிலே நிற்கின்றார்…
S P Thamilchelven A Life of Service to Tamil Eelam…
Video :LTTE Political Wing Leader Brigadier S.P.Tamilselvan full documentary
நித்தியப் புன்னகை அழகன் இங்கே மீள்துயில் கொள்கிறான்…. இயற்றியவர்: புதுவை இரத்தினதுரை பாடியவர்: எஸ்.ஜி.சாந்தன், வெளியீடு: தமிழீழ தேசியத் தொலைக்காட்சி
Dr John Whitehall is a pediatrician, who works as the Director of Townsville Hospital’s Neonatal Unit. John has also saved the lives of children all around the world, doing humanitarian work in often violent and dangerous places. He has worked in the Tamil Homeland in the island of Sri Lanka and pays his tribute to S. P. Thamilchelvan, the political head of the Tamil people.
A Life of Service to Tamil Eelam…
தமிழுலகமே ஆழமாக நேசித்த ஒரு அரசியல் தலைவனைச் சிங்கள தேசம் இன்று சாகடித்திருக்கிறது: – வே.பிரபாகரன், 3 November 2007
தமிழீழ விடுதலைப் புலிகள்
3 – 11- 2007
எனது அன்பான மக்களே!
சமாதான வழியில் நீதியான முறையிலே எமது மக்களது தேசியப் பிரச்சினைக்கு அமைதித்தீர்வு காணுமாறு அனைத்துலகம் அடுத்தடுத்து அழைப்பு விடுத்தபோதும் சிங்கள தேசத்திலிருந்து நல்லெண்ணம் வெளிப்படவில்லை. பௌத்தத்தின் காருண்யத்தைக் காண முடியவில்லை. சிங்கள தேசம் தனது இதயக் கதவுகளைத் திறந்து சமாதானத் தூதும் அனுப்பவில்லை. மாறாக போர்க்கழுகுகளை ஏவி இராட்சதக் குண்டுகளை வீசியிருக்கிறது. எமது அமைதிப்புறாவைக் கொடூரமாக கோரமாகக் கொன்றழித்திருக்கிறது.
தமிழுலகமே ஆழமாக நேசித்த ஒரு அரசியல் தலைவனைச் சிங்கள தேசம் இன்று சாகடித்திருக்கிறது. தமிழீழ மக்களின் மனங்களை வென்ற ஒரு தன்னிகரற்ற தலைவனைச் சிங்களம் பலிகொண்டிருக்கிறது. எமது சுதந்திர இயக்கத்தின் அரசியற்றுறைப் பொறுப்பாளர் பிரிகேடியர் தமிழ்ச்செல்வனையும் ஏனைய ஐந்து போராளிகளையும் இழந்து இன்று தமிழீழ தேசம் வரலாற்றில் என்றுமில்லாத ஒரு பேரிழப்பைச் சந்தித்திருக்கிறது. இந்த மாபெரும் சோக நிகழ்வு எம்மக்களை அதிர்ச்சியிலும் ஆழ்ந்த துயரத்திலும் ஆழ்த்தியுள்ளது.
தமிழ்ச்செல்வன் எமது சுதந்திர இயக்கத்தில் இணைந்த காலத்திலிருந்தே என்னோடு ஒன்றாக நெருக்கமாக வாழ்ந்தவன். நான் அவனை ஆழமாக அறிந்து ஆழமாகவே நேசித்தேன். எனது அன்புத் தம்பியாகவே வளர்த்தேன். அவனது அழகிய சிரிப்பும் அதனுள் புதைந்த ஆயிரம் அர்த்தங்களையும் அவனுள் அடர்ந்து கிடந்த ஆற்றல்களையும் ஆளுமைகளையும் நான் ஆரம்பத்திலிருந்தே கண்டுகொண்டேன். இலட்சியப் போராளியாக தலைசிறந்த தானைத் தளபதியாக மாபெரும் அரசியல் பொறுப்பாளனாக அனைத்துலகோடும் உறவாடிய இராஜதந்திரியாக பேராற்றல் மிக்க பேச்சுவார்த்தையாளனாக அவனை வளர்த்தெடுத்தேன்.
தான் நேசித்த மண் விடுதலை பெறவேண்டும் தான் நேசித்த மக்கள் சுதந்திரமாக கௌரவமாக பாதுகாப்பாக வாழ வேண்டுமென்று சதா சிந்தித்தான். தான் நேசித்த அந்த மக்களது விடுதலைக்காக விடிவிற்காகத் தன்னையே ஊனாக உருக்கி உறுதியாக உழைத்த ஒரு இலட்சிய நெருப்பு அவன்.
நீண்ட நெருப்பு நதியாக நகரும் எமது விடுதலை வரலாற்றில் அவன் ஒரு புதிய நெருப்பாக இணைந்திருக்கிறான். இந்த இணைவிலே எமது கனத்த இதயங்களில் ஒரு பெரும் இலட்சிய நெருப்பை மூட்டியிருக்கிறான். எமது இலட்சிய உறுதிக்கு உரமேற்றியிருக்கிறான். இந்த உறுதியில் உரம்பெற்று நாம் எமது இலட்சியப் பாதையில் தொடர்ந்தும் உறுதியோடு பயணிப்போம்.
“புலிகளின் தாகம் தமிழீழத் தாயகம்”
தமிழீழ விடுதலைப் புலிகள்.
More than 25,000 people took part in the funeral procession of LTTE’s Political Head and Chief Negotiator S.P. Thamilchelvan, despite the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) Kfir bombers circling over the Ki’linochchi town. The remains of Brigadier Thamilchelvan were taken in procession from the LTTE Peace Secretariat to Ki’linochchi Cooperative Training Hall Monday morning and kept there for the public to pay their last respects till 4:45 p.m., where Liberation Tigers Intelligence Wing Chief Pottu Amman and the new Political Head, P. Nadesan, addresed the gathering. Mr. Thamilchelvan was laid to rest at Kanakapuram Heroes Cemetery at 7:45 p.m. Monday.
Thamilchelvan’s wife Sasiroaja, placing her yellow thread of marital union
on the remains of her husband.
Mr. Thamilchelvan’s funeral cortage towards Heroes cemetery started around 4:45 p.m. and reached the cemetery at 6:15 as SLAF bombers circled over the town.
Several LTTE commanders, officials, religious leaders and Tamil National Alliance parliamentarians took part in the funeral procession.
During the last three days of national mourning announced by the political division of the LTTE, the remains of Thamilchelvan were taken in procession to the twelve sectors (Koaddams) of the LTTE-administered Vanni where thousands of people had paid their last respects to the slain leader.
Meanwhile, LTTE officials in Ki’linochchi said they were receiving hundreds of condolence messages from foreign diplomats, NGO officials and other missions on Sunday and Monday through telephone and email. Thousands of Tamils all over the world were also sending in their condolences through various media outfits and email.
Pattalai Makkal Katchi Vel Murugan’s Tribute
எப்போதும் சிரித்திடும் முகம் -
எதிர்ப்புகளை எரித்திடும் நெஞ்சம்!
இளமை இளமை இதயமோ
இமயத்தின் வலிமை! வலிமை!
கிழச் சிங்கம் பாலசிங்கம் வழியில்
பழமாய் பக்குவம்பெற்ற படைத் தளபதி!
உரமாய் தன்னையும் உரிமைப் போருக்கென உதவிய
உத்தம வாலிபன் -
தமிழர் வாழும் நிலமெலாம் அவர்தம் மனையெலாம்
தன்புகழ் செதுக்கிய செல்வா -
Always a smiling face -
A heart and mind that burnt obtacles
A young, young, heart
But Himalayan strength, strength!
In the footsteps of the old singham, Balasingham
But, a ripened and seasoned army commander
An ‘Uthama Valipan’ who with stern determination,
offered himself to help in an ‘Urimai Por’ -
You are not extinguished
You have not gone brotherless
Selva, you who have carved a place for yourself
In every Tamil heart and in every Tamil home
- where have you gone?
Karunanidhi pays homage to slain LTTE leader, Saturday, 03 November 2007 – Sify
Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Saturday paid homage to a Tamil Tiger leader killed in Sri Lanka a day earlier, suggesting his death could spur the battle for “Tamil rights.” In a poem released by the state government, Karunanidhi described S P Thamilchelvan as “a general” who had a “heart that would render the Opposition to ashes.” Thamilchelvan, who headed the political wing of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and was considered close to LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran, was popularly known as ‘Selva.’ He was killed when the Sri Lankan Air Force bombed a rebel base in Kilinochchi in the island’s north early on Friday. The LTTE posthumously promoted Thamilchelvan to the rank of a “brigadier.” Five senior LTTE military cadres also died in the strike. In his poem, written in a manner as if Karunanidhi was addressing it to Thamilchelvan, the Chief Minister said by dying “(you) turned yourself into fertiliser, for the sake of the struggle for (Tamil) rights.”
A prolific writer, Karunanidhi added in his poem:
The ‘Utham Purush’ that you are,
Your life is not extinguishable nor
Would you let your brethren die
Selva, you have carved a place for yourself
In every Tamil habitat and heart
Where have you gone?
Vaiko, General Secretary of Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhakam (MDMK)
Vaiko, the leader of Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) in a communique issued Saturday, called upon the international community to strongly condemn the killing of Liberation Tigers Political Head S.P.Thamilchelvan who was slain in a targeted air attack in Ki’linochchi and condemned the Government of India for providing military assistance to Sri Lanka. An array of political leaders from Tamil Nadu, including K. Veeramani, Pandiyan, Ramdoss and Nedumaran have condemned the killing while Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Kalaignar Karunanidhi condoled the demise of Thamilchelvan, passing a subtle message that the Tamils of Sri Lanka haven’t gone brotherless.
“Whenever representatives from the various countries in the world and United Nations visited Tamil areas in Sri Lanka, it was Thamilchelvan who met them on behalf of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
“He had a special ability to analyze problems, had the talent to tactfully confront his rivals during peace talks and was always able to attract the audience towards him. He led a life of sacrifice.
“I strongly condemn the Government of India for providing military hardware to Sri Lankan government, which is engaged in killing Tamil civilians. The targeted air attack that killed Mr. Thamilchelvan is a clear indication that the government of Sri Lanka has effectively entombed the peace process.
“MDMK deeply regrets the loss of this great son of Tamil Eelam and wishes to express our deep regrets and heartfelt condolences to the LTTE and Eeelam Tamils” the communiqué concluded.
Reflecting the unprecedented grief sweeping across Tamil Nadu, a number of other political and religious groups throughout South India have expressed shock on the killing of S.P.Thamilchelvan and five of his political division members.
Dr.Ramdoss, founder president of Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) in a comunique issued Sunday said the Tamils will not forgive the killing of S.P.Thamilchelvan, the voice of Eelam Tamils.
“Late Mr.Thamilchelvan took part in all Norway-initiated peace talks, in order to find a political and peaceful solution for the ethnic crisis. His untimely death is a great loss for the global Tamils and is a great set back for the efforts in trying to find a solution through peace talks,” he said.
“India should reiterate to the Sri Lankan government that it should halt the killing of Tamils and try to provide them their reasonable political and human rights.”
P. Nedumaran, the Tamil Nationalist Movement (TNM) leader and a longtime supporter of the Eelam cause, in a communiqué issued Friday from Madurai said “a large number of youths will rise from the blood spilled by S.P.Thamilchelvan.”
“I am shocked by the untimely demise of Thamilchelvan. He represented LTTE during all the peace talks held during the regime of former Sri Lankan President Chandrika as well during each and every Norway-led talks.
“By targeting and killing him, the Sri Lankan government has indicated that it is not ready for any reconciliatory talks in the future,” Mr. Nedumaran said.
Dr.K.Veeramani, the President of Dravidar Kalagam (Tamil Nadu), in a communiqué released Saturday in Chennai expressed deep regrets and conveyed his party’s condolences to LTTE as well as to Eelam Tamils on the demise of Thamilchelvan.
“While the Eelam Tamils are struggling to continue their existence, one of their important leaders together with five of his collegues has been killed by aerial bombardment by Sri Lankan aircrafts.
“The entire world is wailing and shedding tears expressing its humanitarian nature.”
T. Pandiyan of the United Communist Party of India (Tamil Nadu Division) expressing shock and sadness on the demise of Thamilchelvan, said “Thamilchelvan fought for the rights of Eelam Tamils. The Indian government should take steps to impress upon both LTTE and the Sri Lankan government to stop indulging in war and try to find a solution through peace talks.”
Kulaththoor Mani, President of Thanthai Periyar Dravida Kazhagam expressing profound sadness on the killing of Thamilchelvan said ”both the Indian government which has been providing arms and military training to the Sri Lankan troops and the Tamil Nadu Government that had remained silent on the ethnic crisis, should urgently review their stand at this hour of need.”
Tribute by M.Thanapalasingham, Australia
- ம. தனபாலசிங்கம், அவுஸ்திரேலியா
மலர்ந்துகொண்டிருக்கும் தமிழீழத்தின் சிரிப்பு
“… இவன் இழப்பிற்கு ஈடில்லை. நாம் அழுவதை அவன் தடுக்கமாட்டான் ஆனால் தளம்பினால் அவன் சகிக்கமாட்டான். எந்த உன்னதமான இலட்சியத்திற்காக தன் உயிரையும் காதலையும் ஈய்வதற்கு அவன் என்றுமே முன்னின்றானோ அந்த இலட்சியத்திற்காக நாம் பன்மடங்கான உறுதியோடு செயல்படுவதே நாம் தமிழ்ச்செல்வனுக்கு செலுத்தக்கூடிய வீர வணக்கமாகும்…”
உண்மையின் அழகும் அழகின் உண்மையும் இரண்டறக்கலக்கும் இடத்தில் உன்னதத்தை தரிசிக்க முடியும் என்பர். தமிழ்ச்செல்வனைக் கண்டோர் உள்ளங்களில் ததும்பி வழியும் உணர்வு இதுவாகத்தான் இருக்க முடியும். இந்தக் காட்சியில் தோயும்போது தேசியத்தலைவர் குறிப்பிடும் அந்த மந்திரச்சிரிப்பின் உள்ளே புதைந்து கிடக்கும் ஆயிரம் அர்த்தங்களை தேடமுடியும்.
வீரம் செறிந்த, தியாகம் நிறைந்த, தமிழீழப் போராட்ட வரலாற்றில் , அந்தப்போராட்டத்தின் அரசியல், சமுக, பண்பாட்டுக் கோலங்களின் திரட்சியாகவும் தமிழீழ மக்களின் அன்பின் உருவமாகவும், இவை யாவற்றையும் தன்னுள்ளே வரித்துக்கொண்ட நவீன தமிழ் இராசதந்திரியாகவும் வலம் வந்த ஒரு உன்னதமான மனிதனை இழந்து தவிக்கின்றோம்.
இந்த ஒளி விளக்கை சமாதானத்தின் மேசையில் சந்தித்து அணைத்துவிட முடியாதநிலையில் சிங்களத்தின் வக்கிரம் அவன்மேல் தன் குருரத்தை காட்டியிருக்கிறது. இது தமிழ் மக்களுக்கு புதிய ஒன்றல்ல. சில வாரங்களுக்கு முன்னர்கூட இந்த வக்கிரத்தை அனுராதபுரத்தில் கண்டோம். ரோமனின் பெருஞ்சாலை (The Roman Road ) என்னும் கவிதையில் தொமஸ் ஹஷடி (Thomas Hardy) என்னும் கவிஞன் கூறிய
” நாங்கள் அந்தப் புராதன பெருஞ்சாலை ஊடாக நடந்தோம். அந்த ரோமன் பெரும்சாலை ”
” We walked that ancient throughfare, The Roman Road ”
ஆந்தப் பெருஞ்சாலைக்கு ஈடான , சிங்களத்தை ஆட்டிப்படைக்கும் மகாவம்சக் கருவூலம் என்ற அந்தப் புராதன பெருஞ்சாலையூடாக புயலை தம் மேனியாக்கி ஒரு பூகம்பத்தையே அந்தப் புராதன நகரில் ஏற்படுத்தியிருந்தனர் எங்கள் மறவர்கள். இவர்களின் புயல்மேனிகளை சிங்களம் அசிங்கப்படுத்தியிருந்தததை நாம் மறக்கமாட்டோம்.
ஆன்ரோனியா கிறாம்சி ( Antonio Gramsci ) என்னும் புகழ் பூத்த புரட்சிகர புத்திஜீவி, புத்திஜீவிகளைப் பற்றிக் கூறும்போது எல்லா மனிதருக்கும் புத்தியுண்டு. எனவே அடிப்படையில் எல்லோருமே புத்திஜீவிகள்தான். இந்தப் புத்திஜீவிகளில் தொழில்துறை சார்ந்தோர் , இலக்கியம் விஞ்ஞானம் போன்ற தளங்களில் உள்ளோர் ஒருவகை. ஆயின் சமுக செயல்பாடுகளில் மாற்றங்களை ஏற்படுத்தும் இயல்பு கொண்டோரே உண்மையான பத்திஜீவிகள். இவர்களை (organic intellectual) உள்ளார்ந்த பத்திஜீவிகள் என்று கூறுவார். தேசியத்தலைவர் எவ்வாறு தமிழ்ச்செல்வன், போரியலில், அரசியலில், இராசதந்திரத்தில் புடம்போடப்பட்டான் என்று கூறும்போது கிறாம்சியின் இலக்கணத்திற்கு தமிழ்ச்செல்வன் இலக்கியமாகின்றான் என்பதை ஊகிக்க முடிகின்றது.
உயிர் எமக்கு பெரும் செல்வம். அதைவிட உயர்வானது காதல். காதலையும்விட உயர்வானது விடுதலை. எனவே அந்த விடுதலைக்காக உயிரையும் காதலையும் நான் துறப்பேன் என ஹங்கேரிய நாட்டின் விடுதலைக் கவிஞனும் போராளியுமான சாந்தோர் பெட்டோஃபி
“உயிரொரு பெருநிதி – காதல்
உயர்வுடை யதனினும் ஆம்
சுயம் பெரு விடுதலை – காண
துறப்ப னவற்றினை நான் ”
ஏனப் பாடியுள்ளமை எம் மறவர்களைப் பொறுத்தளவில் எத்துணை உண்மை.
தமிழச்செல்வன் எடுத்த அவதாரங்களில் அவனது இராசதந்திர அவதாரம் கிருஸ்ணபகவானுக்கே சவால்விடுவதாக உள்ளது.
சொல்லின் செல்வனான இவன், இராசதந்திரமான கேள்விகளுகளுக்கு பதில் அளிக்கும் போது கையாண்ட சொல்சிக்கனம், சொல்லால் சொல்ல விரும்பாதவற்றை தன் உடம்பின் லாவண்ணியத்தால் காட்டிநின்ற பாவனைகள், கண்கள் செய்த மாயங்கள், நேர்கொண்ட பார்வை, சிரிப்பது கண்களா அல்லது அடுக்கியபற்களா எனக் கூறமுடியாத நிலை. யாவற்றிற்கும் மேலாக இவன் தாங்கிநின்ற அந்தக் கைத்தடி இருக்கிறதே, அது தடியா அல்லது வென்று பகை கெடுக்க அவன் கையில் வேலா, சமாதானப் பேச்சுவார்த்தைகளில் அந்த மேசையின் எதிரிலும் நடுவிலும் இருந்தோர் தமிழ்ச்செல்வன் என்னும் பெயரை சொல்லியபோதே அந்தப் பெயரின் சக்தி தமிழர்தரப்பில் எத்துணை மின்அலைகளைப் பாய்ச்சி வலுவூட்டியிருக்கும் என எம்மால் இப்போது எண்ணமுடிகிறது.
இவன் இழப்பிற்கு ஈடில்லை. நாம் அழுவதை அவன் தடுக்கமாட்டான் ஆனால் தளம்பினால் அவன் சகிக்கமாட்டான். எந்த உன்னதமான இலட்சியத்திற்காக தன் உயிரையும் காதலையும் ஈய்வதற்கு அவன் என்றுமே முன்னின்றானோ அந்த இலட்சியத்திற்காக நாம் பன்மடங்கான உறுதியோடு செயல்படுவதே நாம் தமிழ்ச்செல்வனுக்கு செலுத்தக்கூடிய வீர வணக்கமாகும்.
Tribute to Thamilselvan – Sachi Sri Kantha
Thamilselvan has bid us adieu unexpectedly. Many will be gloating. Many will be grieving. Some will be smiling. Some will be weeping. Those who hated his guts will gloat and smile. Those who loved his dedication to the acuse of Tamil liberation will grieve and weep.
For me, that Thamilselvan had lived and served the Eelam Tamil community for 40 full years itself is commendable. He literally faced death daily since he dedicated himself to be an LTTEer. He had served in the battlefields of Eelam and he had survived battle wounds. He could have been an easy target for any Sri Lankan crackpot, when he passed through the Katunayake entry-exit point or when he boarded the Sri Lankan government’s air-carriers. He had escaped set traps of the adversary. That on November 2nd Friday, Thamilselvan succumbed to the guile of Grim Reaper, when he was engaged in work with his five dear colleagues Anbumani (Alex), Mihuthan, Nethaji, Aadchivel and Maavaikumaran, is nothing to be ashamed of, though pain-filled.
I have not met Thamilselvan face to face, even once. So it would be presumptious for me to write about Thamilselvan, when there are thousands who have dealt with him directly and were influenced by his courage, duty, dignity and leadership. But I was pleased to talk with him on phone once. That too, only for ten minutes or so. The 6th session of the so-called ‘Peace Talks’ between LTTE and GOSL was held at Hakone, Japan, from March 18th to 21st in 2003. Somehow, he had traced my number and gave me a courtesy call, just before the LTTE delegation’s departure from Japan, with an added compliment ‘We read you’. He wanted to meet me in person and expressed such wish for ‘the next time visit’. But that ‘next time’ never came. On April 21st 2003, LTTE announced that they would no longer be a party to the sham ‘Peace Talks’, forced by the international brokers.
I was then nearing 50. I was a bit dazed, when Thamilselvan addressed me with the courteous and formal ‘Aiyah’ (reserved for elders). It was the first time, I had been called with such a prefix, by a fellow Eelam Tamil. I felt aged! I’d have expected that he would address me with an informal ‘Annai’ (elder brother). But, it also made me feel what a full life Thamilselvan had lived in the service of Eelam Tamils at the youthful age of then 36. The position he held as the designated political spokeperson of Eelam Tamils for over a decade is an honor he had earned fairly.
The heroic deaths of brothers and sisters younger than I in the service of Eelam liberation, invigorates me. Though Thamilselvan will be physically missing when I visit our homeland next time, I look forward to meeting him in spirit, in the appropriate venue. To the memory of Thamilselvan and five fellow LTTEers, I offer the following poem ‘The Martyr’ penned by Herman Melville (1819-1891) on April 15, 1865, to a fallen idol and leader Abraham Lincoln. Thamilselvan and five fellow LTTEers also fell on a Friday, like Lincoln.
Good Friday was the day
Of the prodigy and crime,
When they killed him in his pity,
When they killed him in his prime
Of clemency and calm –
When with yearning he was filled
To redeem the evil-willed,
And, though conqueror, be kind;
But they killed him in his kindness,
In their madness and their blindness,
And they killed him from behind.
There is sobbing of the strong,
And a pall upon the land;
But the People in their weeping
Bare the iron hand:
Beware the People weeping
When they bare the iron hand.
He lieth in his blood –
The father in his face;
They have killed him, the Forgiver –
The Avenger takes his place,
The Avenger wisely stern,
Who in righteousness shall do
What the heavens call him to,
And the parricides remand;
For they killed him in his kindness,
In their madness and their blindness,
And his blood is on their hand.
There is sobbing of the strong,
And a pall upon the land;
But the People in their weeping
Bare the iron hand:
Beware the People weeping
When they bare the iron hand.
International Federation of Tamils, Geneva - [also in PDF]
தமிழீழ தேசத்தினதும், தமிழீழ விடுதலைப் புலிகள் இயக்கத்தினதும் அரசியல் விவகாரங்களையும், இராஐரீக விவகாரங்களையும் ஒருங்கிணைத்து செயற்படுத்தி வந்த பிரிகேடியர் சுப.தமிழ்ச்செல்வன் அவர்களின் இழப்பு புலம்பெயர் தமிழ் சமூகத்தினிடையே ஆழ்ந்த துயரத்தினை ஏற்படுத்தியுள்ளது.
மிக நீண்ட காலம் தமிழீழ தேசிய தலைவர் வே.பிரபாகரன் அவர்களின் வழிநடத்தலில் தமிழீழ தேசிய விடுதலைப் போருக்கான அரசியல் – இராணுவ முனைகளிற் செயற்பட்டு, செழுமையுற்ற ஞானமும் – முதிர்ச்சியும் கொண்ட முதல் நிலைப் பேச்சுவார்த்தையாளராகச் செயற்பட்டு வந்த திரு.தமிழ்ச்செல்வன் அவர்களை இழந்தமை தமிழ் தேசியத்துக்கு ஏற்பட்ட மற்றுமொரு துன்பகரமான இழப்பாகும்.
நோர்வே ஏற்பாட்டில் இடம்பெற்ற சமாதான முயற்சிகளின் ஒரு பகுதியாக பல்வேறு சர்வதேச நாடுகளுக்குப் பயணம் சென்ற தமிழ்ச்செல்வன் அவர்கள் தமது அரசியல்-இராஐரீகப் பணிகளுக்கு இடையே தமது தனிப்பட்ட பண்புகளால் புலத்தமிழ் அறிஞர்கள், கல்வியாளர்கள், செயற்பாட்டாளர்கள் பலரை ஈர்த்து அவர்களுக்கு நம்பிக்கையூட்டி வந்தார். தமிழீழ விடுதலைப் புலிகளால் சமர்ப்பிக்கப்பட்ட இடைக்கால தன்னாட்சி சபை தொடர்பான வரைவினை உருவாக்குவாற்காக புலத்துத் தமிழ் அறிஞர்களையுயம் ஈடுபடுத்தி ஒன்றுபட்ட தமிழ் தேசியத்தின் வீச்சை பலப்படுத்துவதில் தமிழ்செல்வன் முன்னுதாரணமாகவும் திகழ்ந்தார்.
நமது பணிமனைக்குப் பலதடவை வருகை தந்தும், நம்மோடு தொடர்பு கொண்டும் அனைத்துத் தமிழ் கல்வியாளர்கள், சிந்தனையாளர்களை நாம் இணைத்து, தமிழ் தேசியத்தை ஒன்றுதிரண்ட சக்தியாக்கும் முயற்சியில், ஒன்றுபட்டுழைக்க வேண்டும் என அவர் அறிவுறுத்தியும், உற்சாகப்படுத்தியும் வந்தார்.
தமிழீழம் விடிவுபெறும் என்ற நம்பிக்கையினை அடித்தளமாகக் கொண்ட இராஐரீக அணுகு முறைகளைகளை பாதுகாத்தவாறு, சர்வதேச செல்நெறியினூடு உருவாகிவரும் தமிழீழத்தின் நலன்களைப் பொருத்திப் பார்த்து – சாத்தியங்களை செயற்படுத்தும் இராஐரீக பார்வையை கொண்டவராக தமிழ்செல்வன் அவர்கள் செயற்பட்டார் என்பதே அவருடனான எமது பணிசார்
தொடர்பாடல்களில் நாம் பெற்ற அனுபவமாகும்.
மேலும், சிங்கள தேசியவாத அரசின் இராணுவ நிகழ்ச்சிநிரலை அப்பட்டமாக நிரூபிக்கும் விதத்தில் இந்தப் படுகொலையை சிறீலங்கா செய்துள்ளது. சமாதானத்தினை ஆதரிப்பதாகக் கூறிக்கொள்ளும் சில தரப்புக்களின் இராணுவ ஆதரவுடன் சிறீலங்கா நடாத்தும் இத்தகைய படுகொலை மற்றும் இராணுவ நடவடிக்கைகள் இலங்கைத் தீவினதும் – தென்னாசியாவினதும் உண்மையான அமைதிக்கும், உறுதித்தன்மைக்கும் நீண்டகால பின்னிடைவுகளை ஏற்படுத்த கூடிய திசையில் பயணிக்கின்றன. ஒடுக்கப்பட்ட மக்கள் மீது திணிக்கப்படும் இராணுவ வன்முறைகள் மூலம் சமாதானமும், இணக்கமும் ஏற்படா என்பதை சமாதானத்தினை ஆதரிப்பதாகக் கூறியவாறு இராணுவ வழியில் உதவும் நாடுகள் உணர்வதே உண்மையான சமாதானத்தினை இலங்கைத்தீவில் ஏற்படுத்த வழிசமைக்கும்.
பிரிகேடியர் சுப.தமிழ்செல்வன் விட்டுச்சென்ற பணிகளை, அவர் விரும்பியது போன்றே, தமிழீழ தேசியத் தலைவரின் வழிநடத்தலில் நிறைவேற்ற, புலத்தமிழ்ச் சமூகம் உழைக்கும். சுப.தமிழ்செல்வனின் இழப்பால் துன்புறும் அவரது குடும்பத்தினர், நண்பர்கள் மற்றும் பொது மக்களின் உணர்வுகளுடன் நாமும் இணைந்து கொள்கின்றோம்.
அனைத்துலக தமிழர் கூட்டமைப்பு – ஐனீவா
Deprived of a many faceted hero... [also in PDF]
The passing away of Brigadier SP Thamilselvan has triggered a tidal wave of immense sorrow amidst the entire Tamil Diaspora. Our loss is a loss of a leader who served tirelessly, co-ordinating the political and diplomatic affairs of Tamil Ealam as well as those of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam,.
Journeying for a very long time under the guidance of the Tamil Ealam national leader V.Pirabakaran, Thamilselvan gained sophisticated maturity and wisdom at the political and military fronts of the liberation struggle, and emerged as the chief negotiator and spokesman.
It is the tragic loss of this great son of Tamil Ealam that we now mourn.
In the midst of his several trips abroad as a part of the peace process facilitated by Norway, he charmed with his unique characteristics many an expatriate Tamil intellectual, educationist and activist, inspiring them all with hope. He engaged a number of legal and political experts from among the Tamil Diaspora into drafting the ISGA (Interim Self Governing Authority) the proposal offered by the LTTE to the government of Sri Lanka and the international community. On several occasions he visited our office and maintained constant contact, encouraging us to pool together the resources of our academics and intellectuals with a view to building Tamil nationalism into a formidable force.
Tamilselvan operated with the vision of maintaining diplomatic approaches founded on the firm belief that Tamil Ealam is sure to dawn and assessing the interests of Tamil Ealam in the light of international principles and modalities. This is the impression we gained of him from our communications.
Sri Lanka has perpetrated this heinous crime, unambiguously exposing the military agenda of a Sinhala nationalistic regime. Such atrocities and military operations carried out with the military support of certain quarters that claim to be advocates of peace, are moving in the direction of causing setbacks for the genuine peace and stability of that Island and South Asia.
To establish enduring peace in Sri Lanka, those countries that support the country militarily while overtly declaring to support peace, should realize that peace and conciliation could never be achieved through violence perpetrated against an oppressed people. The Tamil diaspora will toil hard under the guidance of the national leader of Tamil Ealam, holding on to the inspirations that Tamilselvan has bequeathed to us and treading the path of his dreams.
We remain united with the bereaved family, friends and all others at this moment of sorrow and pain.
Memories of TS – N Malathy
The 2002 ceasefire agreement threw Tamilselvan truly into the international stage. For many Diaspora Tamils like me that was the first time his name became a familiar one. It was also a time when the Diaspora Tamils were attracted to Tamil Eelam. Hundreds of thousands of them came with many different goals. I came too to see if I have any role here in peacetime.
My first few hours in Tamil Eelam were to become a scene setter for me. The driver of the vehicle in which I traveled from Colombo took me to the Head Quarters of the Political Wing to meet Tamilselvan. Since nobody there knew me, I was made to wait a few hours at the PR office nearby.
There was a 16-year-old girl there, who had been brought to the PR office by her mother. Initially the mother said that the girl was recently released from the LTTE through the Transit Camp run by UNCEF as part of the 2003 Action Plan. They had come to collect some certificates, she said. But when their turn to meet the officer came, the girl suddenly revealed her real intention. She refused to go back with the mother. The PR officer was faced with the only option: advising the mother to leave her daughter at the educational training centre. The outraged mother stripped the girl of all her jewels and left, cursing everyone. To me, this was the beginning of trying to understand the “child soldier” issue within the LTTE. I had just seen an aspect of this that I had not read about. Three years later, I heard a UNICEF Head referring to this issue of child soldiers as a “sexy issue,” which in some way completed my three year process of understanding this issue.
Based on this first impression of a 16 year old at the PR office, when I met Tamilselvan a couple of hours later, I told him rather strongly that there is a need to research and report on this phenomenon and that the LTTE has failed to do this. I hardly realized at that time how weak this aspect, that of explaining “the various issues of the LTTE” to the western society, was.
Tamilselvan responded to my comment approvingly in his characteristic manner of acknowledging a Tamil person who has said something worthy. This involves some loud laughter and some characteristic Tamil phrases. Then and there, he promised me to give complete freedom to study the issue and write about it. This was in early 2004. He understood what I am about immediately.
Tamilselvan kept to his promise and gave me a vehicle to travel wherever I like to speak to badly affected children in varying situations. As I gained an insight into the picture first hand, I was outraged at the skewed representation of the “child soldier” issue in the media. I wrote a few articles and produced some documentaries. But that was to be only part of the picture.
Over the next three years, I had more in-depth dealing with this issue, first at NESOHR and later at the Child Protection Authority (CPA). It is a revealing, enlightening, deeply upsetting, complex topic. During the last year of my work at the CPA, I had my most frequent contact with Tamilselvan about the “child soldier” issue. It was a very rewarding working relationship. His grasp of issues at all levels and his ability to listen with a smile to griping comments of all sorts made him an outstanding leader to work with on such a thorny issue.
Tamilselvan’s commitment to ending the “child soldier” issue is what gave me the confidence to take a major role within the CPA. I was not disappointed. His commitment to ending under-18 recruitment was real. He felt hurt throughout 2006 when the media and international VIPs failed to recognize the strenuous efforts that were being made by the LTTE and himself in particular. He told me that he would take full responsibility to end new underage recruitment and he did.
He had handed the task of releasing those who had already joined the LTTE to Thiagaraja, another senior LTTE member. Between the three of us there have been endless discussions, complaints, communiqués on how to deal with this internally to end it and, externally, to educate the media and the international VIPs about the genuine efforts that were being made by him, the CPA and the LTTE.
However many people there were in Tamilselvan’s meetings and however many differing opinions those people held, his meetings were always harmonious. Is it because of the LTTE discipline? I think not. He had the ability to direct meetings. On a greater scale, he managed a massive sub-organization of various branches of the political division. It is something that an outsider would hardly know about. Something even I, after being here for more than three years, do not know about fully. He managed it brilliantly.
He spread a warm Tamilselvan space around him, within which everyone felt comfortable working. Both LTTE members and non-members alike kind of swam in it. All doubts were referred to him and his advice sought. That is not to say that they were always accepted like an order, but it was always good to seek his view. It was more than his intelligence and competence that helped create this aura. It was his truly selfless service.
I learnt something about the renowned LTTE member view of the world talking to Tamilselvan. It was not said directly, but he – in a very literal sense – did not fear death. He contributed to my understanding of how ready and fearless they are to die. My view is still incomplete; I am still learning. I also had my own criticisms of him. I will strive to understand some of these, too, as time goes on.
Tamilselvan treated people with the greatest of respect. Many people close to him commented after his death about his constant reprimands for not taking enough safety precautions from the incessant aerial bombardments. He inquired after the bunker facilities available to me at the places where I worked. He did that to many people. Alas, his fondness for his office/residence has made him neglect his own safety.
Most of the western media writing about Tamilselvan after his death said he was the public face of the LTTE. How well he served that role as a smiling rebel cum de-facto prime minister. That is how he will be remembered in history.
Tribute by Tamil Centre for Human Rights – TCHR
TAMIL CENTRE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS – TCHR/CTDH
CENTRE TAMOUL POUR LES DROITS DE L’HOMME
(Established in 1990)
(UN accredited NGO to the World Summit on Information Society and the Warsaw Conference)
Ref : QX027/UA/2007
November 2, 2007
Political chief negotiator killed by Sri Lanka Air Force
TCHR is shocked and saddened to hear the news that Political head, Chief negotiator, diplomat, Humanitarian co-ordinator and Brigadier, S P Thamilselvan was killed along with five others in Kilinochchi by the Sri Lankan Air Force, today Friday 2 November 2007.
Thamilselvan was engaged in many political negotiations with the various governments of Sri Lanka over several years, with the unwavering intention of bringing a negotiated political solution to the people in the North East. In the latest negotiations in Thailand, Norway, Germany and Japan he played an important role in giving the views of the people who were severely affected by decades of bloody war.
Thamilselvan was the main co-ordinator of the 2003 proposal to fulfil the political aspirations of the Tamil people – the Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA) – which was handed over to the Government of Sri Lanka on 30 October 2003. At the same time he called for a discussion with the government. However, even though this ISGA proposal was welcomed by the International community, the government of Sri Lanka rejected it without any discussion whatsoever.
When the ISGA proposal was released during a press conference in Kilinochchi, on 1 November 2003, Tamilselvan said the following :
………”We took up arms as a matter of self-defense and fight against unlawful military occupation of our natural habitat. With the advent of peace and a conducive environment for political negotiations, we are now engaged in this exercise with sincere commitment.
……..” We have asked the Royal Norwegian Government to arrange for a meeting at which we can discuss this proposal, in their presence, with the representatives of the GOSL at a mutually convenient time and venue.
“We look forward to continuing our dialogue with the GOSL and to reaching rapid agreement on the creation of an Interim Self-Governing Authority (ISGA) so as to effectively bring normalcy and economic development to the Tamil People in the NorthEast.
“We trust the creation of the ISGA will provide a conducive environment for negotiating towards a peaceful resolution of the conflict in the island.”
We hope that the international community would have taken note that the call by Thamilselvan in October 2003, fell on the deaf ears of the Sri Lankan government.
Being the political head and negotiator, Thamilselvan met many diplomats, VIPs, Ministers and others around the world.
His death is a severe blow to all who want a peaceful negotiated political settlement in the island.
We, TCHR, strongly condemn this barbaric act of the government of Sri Lanka – the killing of a tireless peace negotiator. Also we take this opportunity to express our heartfelt condolences to the families of Thamilselvan and the five other persons who were also killed in this incident.
“Patriots always talk of dying for their country, and never of killing for their country” — Bertrand Russell
Tamil Centre for Human Rights – TCHR/CTDH
9, rue des Peupliers -
95140 Garge les Gonesse – FRANCE
Contact person : S. V. Kirubaharan – General Secretary
Tel/Fax: + 33 1 42 67 54 36 -
Email: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
Tribute by Tamils in USA, 4 November 2007
Tamils all over the world are saddened by the death of Mr. S. P. Tamilselvan, Chief Negotiator and Political Head of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. He was assassinated by the Sri Lankan government air force which targeted and fired at him from the air. Such targeted assassination is yet another illegal act of the government of Sri Lanka. The Tamils all over the world are one with his family in mourning the loss of a great man. We convey our heartfelt condolences to his family and the families of Anpumani (Alex), Mihuthan, Nethagy, Adchivel, and Mavaikkumaran who were also killed in the air attack.
Mr. Tamilselvan was completely dedicated to the Tamil quest for the realization of their right to self-determination. He believed that through diplomatic means both the Sinhala nation and the Tamil nation could exercise their right to self-determination and peacefully co-exist on the island of Sri Lanka. He has worked tirelessly to shed light upon the sufferings of the Tamil people under the yoke of the permanent Sinhala domination and has articulated the moral justifications of the Tamil cause to the international community. He told the Tamil story in a persuasive and meaningful manner.
The assassination of Mr. Tamilselvan is an irreparable loss to both the Tamil nation and the peace process. With an ever smiling face coupled with confidence and firmness he worked with various international diplomats and earned their respect.
Mr. Tamilselvan firmly believed that the Tamils’ quest for self-determination is, in essence, a campaign for the right of democratic entitlement. He envisioned a democratic Tamil Eelam. The Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA) proposal [which was prepared under the able leadership of Mr. Tamilselvan] guarantees the rule of law and contains the framework for the establishment of democratic institutions with an emphasis on human-rights. He played a crucial role in the formation of the North East Secretariat of Human Rights (NESoHR) to protect and promote the human rights of the people in the de facto state of Tamil Eelam.
The Tamils all over the world strongly condemn this targeted assassination. It is illegal under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the UN Principles on Effective Prevention and Investigation of the Extra-Legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions. We call upon the international community to join us in condemning this terrorist act. We also believe that any material support provided by the international community in support of the government of Sri Lanka facilitated this terrorist act.
The Tamil National Leader Mr. Pirabaharan has called Mr. Tamilselvan the “peace dove” of the Tamil nation. We are bewildered to learn that he was on the top of the GOSL’s hit list, as targeting the Chief Negotiator would be a clear indication that the Sinhala nation still seeks to resolve the Tamil national question through military means.
By targeting the Chief Negotiator, the Sinhala racism of the GOSL is sending a clear message to the Tamil nation and the international community that it is not interested in a negotiated settlement.
We hope that the international community will charter a new course that guarantees the basic human rights of all individuals and the equality of all nations in the island of Sri Lanka. We believe that such a course would promote peace and stability in South Asia.
Association of Tamil Americans, USA
Carolina Tamil Americans
Illankai Tamil Sangam – California, USA
Illankai Tamil Sangam – Florida, USA
Illankai Tamil Sangam – USA
Ilankai Tamil Sangam –Texas, USA
Ohio Tamil Association – Ohio, USA
Tamil Refugees Rehabilitation Organization – California
Tamil Youth Organization – USA
Tamil Welfare and Human Rights Committee – District of Columbia, USA
World Tamil Women Organization – USA
World Tamil Coordinating Committee – USA
World Tamil Affairs Association, Malaysia
No 10, Jalan Changgai, 46000, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
Tel/Fax: 603-79682321. h/p: 016-6880455
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To: LTTE PEACE SECRETARIAT
Our heartfelt condolences to LTTE and the family of late S.P.Thamiselvan who died in a brutal airstrike. The world Tamils are indeed sad and shocked over this incident. We believe that Thamilselvan has contirubted to the peace efforts in Sri Lanka. His service to international peace and brotherhood shall be long remembered. We also strongly condemn the air raid by the Sri Lankan air force. We pray that the soul of Thamilselvan will rest in peace.
Brig. S P Thamilselvan killed in Sri Lanka Air Force aerial bombardment – LTTE Peace Secretariat, 2 November 2007
The LTTE Head quarters announced that the Head of the LTTE Political Division, S P Thamilselvan, was killed in a Sri Lankan Air Force aerial bombardment today at 6.00 am. The full text of the announcement made by the LTTE Head Quarters is as follows:
“With deep sorrow we announce to the people of Tamil Eelam, the Tamil people living all over the world and the international community that at 6.00am today, Friday 2nd November 2007, Head of our organization’s Political Division, Brig. S P Thamilselvan was killed by the Sri Lankan Air Force aerial bombing. With him Lt Col Anpumani (Alex), Major Mihuthan, Major Nethagy, Lt Adchgivel, and Lt Mavaikkumaran were also killed.
LTTE Head Quarters”
Thamilchelvan killed in SLAF air attack – [TamilNet, Friday, 02 November 2007]
S.P. Thamilchelvan, Liberation Tigers Political Head was killed in Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) aerial bombardment Friday morning in Ki’linochchi. The Head Quarters of the Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam (LTTE) in a press communique said it was conveying the loss of Brigadier Thamilchelvan with profound sadness to the people of Tamil Eelam, the Tamil Diaspora and the Global Community. The Sri Lanka Air Force attack has specifically targeted the residence of the members of the Political Division.
The Secretary General at the Head Quarters of the LTTE, S. Cheeran said the LTTE Political Head was killed in the SLAF bombardment that took place at 6:00 a.m. Friday along with Lt. Col. Anpumani (Alex), Major Mikuthan, Major Neathaaji, Lt. Aadchiveal and Lt. Maavaikkumaran. The LTTE has conferred its highest military rank, Brigadier, to Mr. Thamilchelvan.
Tamil National Alliance salutes Thamilchelvan’s selfless sacrifice for the Tamil Eelam struggle [TamilNet, Friday, 02 November 2007]
Sri Lanka’s largest Tamil political party, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Friday expressed its shock at the killing in a government airstrike of Mr S. P. Thamilchelvan the LTTE’s Chief Negotiator and head of its Political Wing and five other LTTE officials. The TNA said the targeted killing of the LTTE’s Chief Negotiator underlined President Mahinda Rajapakse’s insincerity towards a negotiated solution, the TNA also said.
Saluting Mr Thamilchelvan’s “selfless sacrifice for the Tamil Eelam struggle” the TNA said it joined the rest of the Tamil community in saluting him and the other LTTE officials killed by the Sri Lanka Air Force bombing.
“We salute his services to the Tamil people and selfless sacrifice for the Tamil Eelam struggle,” the brief media release said.
“Although his death is destined to create thousands of new Thamilchelvans who will doubtless serve our freedom struggle with dedication, we shudder at the repercussions for peace of this act by the Sri Lanka government,” the TNA said.
The TNA said it joined the Tamil community and activists in saluting and paying tribute to Mr. Thamilchelvan and the other LTTE officials killed in Friday’s airstrike on their residence.
Speaking to TamilNet Friday, Mr. Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam, of the TNA’s Foreign Affairs Committee said that the targeted killing of Mr. Thamilchelvan underlined the insincerity of the Rajapakse government’s peace claims.
“In our meetings with numerous representatives of the international community, the TNA repeatedly stated that the Sri Lankan state was not committed to negotiating an equitable solution,” he said. “Despite our warnings, the state was fully backed in its hard line.”
“When President Rajapakse came to power, the shift to a military track became much more pronounced. But when we protested to many members of the international community, we were told that this was only to get the LTTE to come to the negotiating table.”
“The targeted killing of the LTTE’s Chief Negotiator, in our view, means there can no longer be any illusion as to the State’s interest in negotiating a lasting solution. In this context, the Tamil community will be closely watching the actions of the international community vis-à-vis its repeatedly stated commitment to a negotiated peace.”
LTTE political leader killed with 5 others in Sri Lanka strike – AFP Report, 2 November 2007
COLOMBO (AFP) … S.P. Thamilselvan, 40, the public face of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, died with five others in an attack by the Sri Lankan air force on rebel-held territory, the Tigers reported.
He was the highest-ranking member of the LTTE to be killed by government forces in the 35-year separatist campaign.
The defence ministry said it had targeted a venue where rebel leaders were meeting and scored a direct hit, taking out the highest-ranking guerrilla to be killed in three and a half decades of fighting.
The LTTE immediately declared three days of mourning and named Thamilselvan a brigadier, the highest rank conferred posthumously to any guerrilla by elusive supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran since the group’s formation in 1972.
Thamilselvan, who led a peace-negotiating team at talks with the Sri Lankan government that were hosted by Switzerland last year, had emerged as a de facto number two in the LTTE.
The Sri Lankan air force had several times ferried him from rebel-held territory to the international airport to attend peace talks between September 2002 and October last year.
A further and last round of talks led by Thamilselvan in October 2006 ended in failure and led to more bloodshed in the fight for a Tamil homeland that has left tens of thousands dead since 1972.
Military officials said Friday they had received a report of a top-level gathering near the northern town of Kilinochchi, the political capital of the LTTE where Thamilselvan was based, and ordered the air raids.
“We had information about a high-level gathering and it was after that the jets were sent to bomb the area,” a military source here said.
“Sri Lanka air force jet fighters targeted with air strikes Thiruvaiaru, south of Kilinochchi, a venue where LTTE leaders gathered at 6:00 am today,” the defence ministry said in a statement before the LTTE announcement. Later, the ministry said “pin-point” bombing took out Thamilselvan and five others.
“The killing of Thamilselvan is a big blow to the LTTE politically,” said former Tamil militant turned political leader Dharmalingam Sithadthan. “It is also a big morale booster for the air force after their big loss last month.”
Tamil Tiger rebels staged a devastating attack against a key air base on October 22 and wiped out virtually the entire fleet of spy planes, inflicting the biggest single loss on the air force.
He had also been an active combatant who was injured while leading an offensive on an army camp in 1993 and survived a 2002 bomb attack said to have been carried out by Sri Lankan security forces.
“(The) head of our organisation’s political division, Brigadier S.P. Thamilselvan, was killed by the Sri Lankan Air Force aerial bombing,” the LTTE said in a statement.
The guerrillas named five other victims of Friday’s strike, including a senior LTTE photographer who had travelled to Europe, Thailand and Japan with Thamilselvan to attend Norwegian-brokered peace talks since 2002. Thamilselvan’s killing follows the death of former chief negotiator Anton Balasingham last December. He had been an understudy of Balasingham — the key contact for Norwegian peacebrokers — who died of cancer at his home in London.
Thamilselvan was a moderate – Hindustan Times, 2 November 2007
SP Thamilselvan, the Head of the LTTE’s political wing, who was killed in Kilinochchi on Friday in an air raid conducted by the Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF), was a political moderate, LTTE watchers say.
“Though he had been a military man for very many years since joining the LTTE in 1984, Thamilselvan could be considered a political moderate in the context of the LTTE’s overall militant orientation,” a source who had interacted with him closely told Hindustan Times.
Like many young Tamil men did in the years following the anti-Tamil pogrom in Colombo in 1983, Thamilselvan joined the then nascent armed struggle. And like others of that time, he was taken to India for training in basic military tactics, weapons handling and sabotage techniques.
When he came back, he took part in several military operations in North Sri Lanka, including the abortive bid to storm the Elephant Base base camp in 1992. He was wounded in the stomach and the leg and had to be retired from active military service.
But seeing his potential for being a political activist, LTTE chief Prabhakaran began to groom him as a successor to Thileepan who had died in a fast unto death campaign against the activities of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in the late eighties.
Thamilselvan did not speak English, nor was he an ideologue, unlike the late Dr.Anton Balasingham. Therefore, as long as Balasingham was physically fit and enjoyed the confidence of Prabhakaran, Tamilsevlan had to play second fiddle as far as the foreign media and the international community were concerned.
But Balasingham was mostly abroad. Later he became very ill with a kidney complaint and died. During this period, from the mid 1990s to mid 2000s, Thamilselvan was made to interact with the international community and the media, both Sri Lankan and non-Sri Lankan. What he said in Tamil was translated into English and Sinhala by George, a retired post master.
Except in the first round of talks with the Sri Lankan government led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in 2002-2003, Thamilselvan had participated in all the remaining five rounds. After the eclipse of Anton Balasingham, Thamilselvan led the LTTE’s delegation in its talks with the government led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa in 2006.
தமிழ் (ஈழத்தின்) செல்வன் – Sanmugam Sanesan 5 November 2007
சிறிலங்கா வான் படையின் குண்டு வீச்சுத் தாக்குதலால், தமிழீழ விடுதலைப் புலிகள் இயக்கத்தின் அரசியல் துறைப் பொறுப்பாளர் பிரிகேடியர் சு.ப. தமிழ்ச் செல்வன் அவர்களும், லெப்டினன்ட் கேணல் அன்புமணி (அலெக்ஸ்), மேஜர் மிகுதன், கப்டன் நேதாஜி, லெப்டினன்ட் ஆட்சிவேல், லெப்டினன்ட் வாகைக் குமரன் ஆகியோர் வீரச் சாவடைந்த மாபெரும் சோகச் செய்தி கேட்டுத் தமிழீழ மக்களும், உலகத் தமிழர்களும், சமாதான விரும்பிகளும் ஆற்றொண்ணாத் துயரில் மூழ்கியுள்ளார்கள்.
தமிழ் உலகமே ஆழமாக நேசித்த ஓர் அரசியல் தலைவனைச் சிங்கள தேசம் இன்று சாகடித்திருக்கின்றது. எமது சுதந்திர இயக்கத்தின் அரசியல் துறைப் பொறுப்பாளர் பிரிகேடியர் தமிழ்ச்செல்வனையும், ஏனைய ஐந்து போராளிகளையும் இழந்து, இன்று தமிழீழத் தேசம் வரலாற்றில் என்றுமில்லாத ஒரு பேரிழப்பைச் சந்தித்திருக்கின்றது.
“நான் தமிழ்ச் செல்வனை ஆழமாக அறிந்து, ஆழமாகவே நேசித்தேன். எனது அன்புத் தம்பியாகவே வளர்த்தேன். நீண்ட நெருப்பு நதியாக நகரும் எமது விடுதலை வரலாற்றில், அவன் ஒரு புதிய நெருப்பாக இணைந்திருக்கின்றான். இந்த இணைவிலே, எமது கனத்த இதயங்களில் ஒரு பெரும் இலட்சிய நெருப்பை மூட்டியிருக்கின்றான். எமது இலட்சிய உறுதிக்கு உரமேற்றியிருக்கின்றான். இந்த உறுதியில் உரம் பெற்று, நாம் எமது இலட்சியப் பாதையில் தொடர்ந்தும் உறுதியோடு பயணிப்போம்” -
என்று கனத்த இதயத்தோடு தமிழீழத் தேசியத் தலைவர் மேதகு பிரபாகரன் அவர்கள், பிரிகேடியர் சு.ப. தமிழ்ச்செல்வனுக்கும், ஏனைய ஐந்து போராளிகளுக்கும் தனது வீர வணக்கத்தைச் செலுத்தியுள்ளார்.
பிரிகேடியர் தமிழ்ச்செல்வன் அவர்கள் பன்முக ஆளுமை படைத்தவர் ஆவார். அவர் நான்காவது பயிற்சி முகாமில் பயிற்சியெடுத்த பின்பு, தேசியத் தலைவரின் மெய்ப்பாதுகாவலராகப் பணியாற்றினார். பின்னர் யாழ் தென்மராட்சிக் கோட்டப் பொறுப்பாளராகவும், யாழ் மாவட்டச் சிறப்பு இராணுவத் தளபதியாகவும் கடமையாற்றினார்.
ஆகாயக் கடல் வெளிச் சமரிலும், தவளைப் பாய்ச்சல் நடவடிக்கையிலும் அவர் விழுப்புண் பட்டார். 1993ம் ஆண்டு தமிழீழ விடுதலைப்புலிகள் இயக்கத்தின் அரசியல் துறைப் பொறுப்பாளர் பணியை ஏற்றுக் கொண்ட அவர், தன்னுடைய வீரச்சாவு வரைக்கும் அந்த மிகப் பெரிய பணியை மிகச் சிறப்பாக மேற்கொண்டு வந்தார். சந்திரிக்கா அம்மையார் அரசுடனான அமைதிப் பேச்சு வார்த்தைக் காலத்திலிருந்து அண்மைக் காலம் வரை, தமிழர் தரப்பு பேச்சு வார்த்தைக் குழுவில் பங்கேற்றும், தலைமையேற்றும் தேசப்பணியைத் தளராது ஆற்றி வந்தார்.
அவருடைய அரசியல் பணி என்பதானது ஒரு நீண்ட வரலாற்றைக் கொண்டதாகும். இங்கே ஒரு முக்கிய விடயத்தைச் சுட்டிக்காட்ட விழைகின்றோம். இந்தப் பேச்சு வார்த்தைக் காலங்களுக்கு முன்னால் -அதாவது மிகச் சிக்கலான மிக நெருக்கடியான காலப்பகுதிகளில் -பிரிகேடியர் தமிழ்ச்செல்வன் அவர்கள் ஆற்றிய அரசியல் பணி என்பது மிகவும் மகத்தானதாகும்.
யாழ்ப்பாண இடப்பெயர்வு, ஜெயசுக்குறு இராணுவ நடவடிக்கை போன்ற மிக இக்கட்டான இன்னல் மிக்க போர்க் காலங்களிலும் தமிழ்ச்செல்வன் அவர்கள்தான் அரசியல் பொறுப்பாளராக இருந்து, பெரும் பணியைச் செய்திருக்கின்றார். அதாவது மிகச் சிக்கலான காலப் பகுதியில்தான், அவருடைய அரசியல் பணி வாழ்க்கை நடைபெற்றிருக்கின்றது. சமாதானத்திற்கான காலப்பகுதியில் மட்டுமல்ல, போர்க் காலங்களிலும் அவர்தான் அரசியல்துறைக்குப் பொறுப்பாளராக இருந்து, தேசியத் தலைவருக்கு அருந்துணையாக விளங்கிப் பெரும் பணியைப் புரிந்திருக்கின்றார்.
சமாதானத்திற்கான காலத்தின்போது, எத்தனையோ வெளிநாட்டு இராஜதந்திரிகளைத் தமிழீழத்திலும், வெளிநாடுகளிலும் பிரிகேடியர் தமிழ்ச்செல்வன் சந்தித்துக் கலந்துரையாடியுள்ளார். வெளிநாட்டு இராஜதந்திரிகளின் முரண்பட்ட கருத்துக்களையெல்லாம் சிரித்த முகத்துடன் உள்வாங்கிக் கொண்டு, அதே சிரித்த முகத்துடன், தமிழர் தரப்புக் கருத்துக்களைத் தெளிவாகவும், அதே வேளை உறுதியாகவும் வலியுறுத்தியுள்ள அந்தச் சாதுரியம் பிரிகேடியர் தமிழ்ச்செல்வன் அவர்களுக்குக் கை வந்த ஒரு கலையாகும். இந்த இராஜதந்திரிகளைக் கையாண்ட முறையில் தமிழ்ச்செல்வன் அவர்கள் காட்டிய ஆளுமையானது அவரது சிறப்புத் தன்மையை வெளிக்காட்டி நிற்கின்றது.
அவருடைய பன்முக ஆளுமையின் ஒரு பகுதியாக அவர் வழங்கிய செவ்விகளைக் குறிப்பிடலாம். அரசியலுக்கு அப்பாற்பட்டுத் தேவையற்ற கருத்துக்களை வழங்காமல், சிக்கல் இல்லாமல், இயல்பான முறையில், அதே வேளை ஆழமான விதத்தில், செவ்விகளை வழங்குகின்ற நேர்த்தியைத் தமிழ்ச்செல்வன் அவர்கள் பெற்றிருந்தார்.
அவுஸ்திரேலியா உட்பட்ட எத்தனையோ மேலை நாட்டு அனுபவம் மிக்க அரசியல்வாதிகள், முன்னுக்குப் பின் முரணாகச் செவ்விகளை வழங்கி விட்டுப் பின்னர் பகிரங்கமாக மன்னிப்புக் கோருவதையும், தாங்கள் வழங்கிய செவ்விகளில் கருத்துப் பிழை அல்லது தவறான சொற்பிரயோகம் ஏற்பட்டு விட்டது என்று பின்னர் அறிக்கைகளை விடுவதையும் நாம் கண்டு வருகின்றோம். ஆனால் பிரிகேடியர் தமிழ்ச் செல்வன் அவர்கள் எத்தனை வகைப்பட்ட கேள்விகளாக இருந்தாலும் – அவை குதர்க்கமான, விதண்டாவாதமான கேள்விகளாக இருந்தாலும் – அவற்றைச் சிரித்த முகத்துடன் உள் வாங்கி மிகத் தெளிவான பதில்களை வழங்கக் கூடிய திறமைசாலியாக விளங்கினார்.
அவருடைய வெளிநாட்டுப் பயணங்கள் ஊடாகப் புலம்பெயர் வாழ் தமிழர்களிடையே மிகப் பெரிய விழிப்புணர்ச்சியையும், ஒருங்கிணைப்பையும் ஏற்படுத்தினார். புலம்பெயர் வாழ் தமிழர்களோடு அவருக்கு மிக அந்நியோன்யமான, நெருக்கமான மிக நல்ல உறவு இருந்தது. அதேபோல் பிரிகேடியர் தமிழ்ச்செல்வன் மீது மிகுந்த மரியாதையையும், அளவு கடந்த அன்பையும் புலம்பெயர் வாழ் தமிழர்கள் கொண்டிருந்தார்கள். அவரின் எதிர்பாராத இழப்பினால் இன்று புலம்பெயர் வாழ் தமிழர்கள் பரிதவித்துச் சோகமுற்று நிற்பதானது இந்த நெருக்கத்தையும், மரியாதையையும் புலப்படுத்தி நிற்கின்றது.
தமிழ்ச்செல்வன் அவர்களைக் கொன்றதன் மூலம் சிறிலங்கா அரசு ஓர் அரசியல் படுகொலையைச் செய்திருக்கின்றது. ஆம், இது ஓர் அரசியல் படுகொலையாகும்!
இந்த அரசியல் படுகொலையானது சிங்களப் பௌத்தப் பேரினவாதத்தின் சமாதான விரோதச் செயற்பாடுகளை மீண்டும் ஒருமுறை தோலுரித்துக் காட்டியுள்ளது. பிரிகேடியர் தமிழ்ச்செல்வன் அவர்களும், சக போராளிகளும் தங்களது உயரிய உயிர்களைத் தம் மக்களின் சுதந்திரத்திற்காகக் காணிக்கையாக்கியுள்ள இந்த வேளையில் சிங்கள பௌத்தப் பேரினவாதத்தின் நீண்ட காலச் செயற்பாடுகளையும், கருதுகோளையும் சுட்டிக்காட்ட வேண்டியது அவசியமாகும்!
சிங்கள அரசுகள் எப்போதுமே இரண்டு முரண் நிலைகளில் இருந்து செயற்பட்டு வருகின்றன. சமாதானத் தீர்வு குறித்துப் பேசுகின்ற சிறிலங்கா அரசுகள் அதேவேளையிலேயே சண்டைக்கான ஆயத்தங்களையும், முயற்சிகளையும் மேற்கொண்டு வந்திருக்கின்றன. ஆனால் இப்படிப்பட்ட குற்றச்சாட்டு, புலிகளின் மீதுதான் எப்போதும் வைக்கப்பட்டு வந்திருக்கின்றது.
தாங்கள் பலவீனமாக இருக்கின்ற போதெல்லாம் பேச்சு வார்த்தைகளை ஆரம்பிப்பதுவும், அதனூடே தம்மை வலுப்படுத்திக் கொண்டு சண்டையை ஆரம்பிப்பதுவுமே சிறிலங்கா அரசுகளின் வழக்கமாக இருந்து வந்துள்ளது. முன்னர் ஜே.ஆர் ஜெயவர்த்தனாவிற்கு மிகப் பெரிய நெருக்கடி வந்தபோதுதான் திம்புப் பேச்சுவார்த்தைக்கு முன் வந்தார். பிறகு இந்த நெருக்கடிகளுக்கு ஊடாக, தன்னுடைய அரசியல் இலாபத்தை இந்தியா பேசப் புறப்பட்டு, இந்திய இலங்கை ஒப்பந்தம் கைச்சாத்திடப்பட்டது. அது அன்றைய அயல்நாட்டு அழுத்தம்!
பின்னாளில் சந்திரிக்கா அம்மையார், தன்னுடைய அரசியல் தேவைகளுக்காகச் சமாதானம் பற்றிப் பேசினார். அந்த வேளையில் சிங்கள மக்கள் போரின் காரணமாக நலிவடைந்து துன்பப்பட்டுக் கொண்டிருந்தபோது, அந்தத் நேரத்துத் தேவை குறித்தும், அதனூடே தான் பதவியைக் கைப்பற்ற முடியும் என்பதைக் கருத்தில் கொண்டும்தான் சந்திரிக்கா அம்மையார் சமாதானம் குறித்துப் பேசினார். பெரிதாகச் சமாதானம் குறித்துப் பேசிய சந்திரிக்கா அம்மையார்தான், பிறகு மிகக் கடுமையான போர்களைத் தமிழ் மக்கள் மீது நடாத்தினார் என்பது கவனத்தில் எடுக்கப்பட வேண்டிய விடயமாகும்.
பின்னர் கட்டுநாயக்கா விமானப்படைத் தளத் தாக்குதலால் பாரிய வீழ்ச்சியைச் சிங்களதேசம் அடைந்தபோது, மீண்டும் சமாதானப் பேச்சு வார்த்தையைச் சிங்கள அரசு ஆரம்பித்தது. பிறகு, இன்று அநுராதபுர வான் படைத் தளம் மீது பாரிய தாக்குதல் நடாத்தப்பட்ட உடனேயே, மகிந்தவின் அரசு சமாதானம் பற்றிப் பேசியதையும் நாம் கவனத்தில் கொள்ள வேண்டும்.
பாரிய பொருளாதார நெருக்கடிகள் சிங்கள மக்களுக்கு வருகின்ற போதெல்லாம் – அதாவது சிங்களப் பேரினவாதத்திற்கு அப்பால், இந்தப் பிரச்சனைகள் பெரிதாகின்ற போது – சமாதானம் குறித்த கருத்துக்களுக்குச் சிங்கள மக்கள் எடுபடுவார்கள். பிறகு சமாதானத்தை முறித்துத் தமிழ் மக்களோடு யுத்தம் என்று சிங்கள பேரினவாதம் சொல்கின்றபோதும், சிங்கள மக்கள் அதற்கும் எடுபட்டுச் சிங்கள அரசுக்குத் துணை நிற்பார்கள்.
சிங்கள அரசுகள் சமாதானத் தீர்வு என்று எப்போதும் சொல்லிக் கொண்டு, அதே வேளை சமாதானத்திற்கான காரணிகளாக இருக்கின்ற எல்லாவற்றையும் முறியடித்துக் கொண்டு வந்துள்ளன. பேச்சு வார்த்தைகளை மறைமுகமாகவும், வெளிப்படையாகவும் குழப்புவது அல்லது போடப்பட்ட ஒப்பந்தங்களை மீறுவது என்று தொடர்ந்து சிங்கள அரசுகள் இயங்கி வந்துள்ளன.
முன்னர் இந்தியாவின் நலன் சார்ந்த, இந்தியாவின் அழுத்தம் ஒன்று சிறிலங்காவிற்கு இருந்தது. இன்று சர்வதேசத்தின் அழுத்தம் ஒன்று சிறிலங்காவிற்கு உண்டு. இந்தச் சர்வதேசத்தின் அழுத்தத்திலிருந்து வெளியில் வருவதற்கான ஒரு வழியாகத்தான், அரசியல் துறைப் பொறுப்பாளர் தமிழ்ச்செல்வனைச் சிங்கள அரசு கொலை செய்துள்ளது.
இந்தக் கருத்தைச் சற்று ஆழமாகக் கவனிக்க வேண்டும்.
இன்று சர்வதேசம் கொடுக்கின்ற அழுத்தத்தையும், தனது பொருளாதார நெருக்கடியையும் சமாளித்துத் தன்னைச் சுதாகரித்துக் கொள்வதற்காக, மகிந்தவின் சிங்கள அரசு பேச்சுவார்த்தை, சர்வகட்சிக் குழு, சமாதானத் தீர்வு என்ற நாடகங்களை அரங்கேற்றி வருகின்றது. அதே நேரத்தில் பேச்சுவார்த்தைகளில் கலந்து கொள்வதற்கு, விடுதலைப் புலிகள் முன்வர மாட்டார்கள் என்ற குற்றச்சாட்டை சிங்கள அரசு முன் வைக்க வேண்டுமென்றால் ஏதாவது ஒன்றை (குழப்பத்தை) செய்து தீர வேண்டும். அவற்றில் ஒன்றுதான் பேச்சுவார்த்தையைக் குழப்பக் கூடிய வகையில், அரசியல்துறைப் பொறுப்பாளர் தமிழ்ச் செல்வனைக் குண்டு வீசிக் கொலை செய்த, சிறிலங்காவின் நடவடிக்கையாகும்!
தமிழீழ விடுதலைப் புலிகளின் அரசியல் துறைப் பொறுப்பாளர் பிரிகேடியர் தமிழ்ச் செல்வன் அவர்களைத் தாங்கள் கொன்றதன் மூலம், விடுதலைப் புலிகள் கோபமடைந்து அரசியல் செயற்பாட்டில் இருந்து விலகிக் கொள்வார்கள் என்று சிங்கள அரசு திட்டம் போடுகின்றது. இதன் மூலம் சர்வ தேசம் கொடுக்கின்ற அழுத்தங்களில் இருந்து வெளியால் வருவதோடு மட்டுமல்லாது தாங்கள் பெரிய வெற்றியைக் கண்டு விட்டோம்| என்று தமது சிங்கள மக்களுக்குச் சொல்ல முடியும் என்றும் மகிந்தவின் அரசு எண்ணுகின்றது.
இவ்வாறு பல்வேறுபட்ட உத்திகளைக் கையாள்வதற்காகத்தான் அரசியல்துறைப் பொறுப்பாளரான தமிழ்ச் செல்வன் அவர்களைச் சிறிலங்கா அரசு படுகொலை செய்துள்ளது.
தமிழீழத் தேசியத் தலைவர் மேதகு பிரபாகரன் அவர்கள் காவல் துறைப் பொறுப்பாளர் பா.நடேசன் அவர்களை, உடனடியாக அரசியல்துறைக்கும் பொறுப்பாளராக நியமித்ததன் முக்கியத்துவத்தை நாம் இதன் மூலம் உணர்ந்து கொள்ள வேண்டும்.
இங்கே வேறு சில விடயங்களையும் நாம் பொருத்திப் பார்க்க வேண்டும்.
மகிந்தவின் அரசு தொடர்ந்து சமாதானத்தைப் பற்றிப் பேசி வருகின்றது. சமாதானத் தீர்வு ஒன்றை வழங்கப் போகின்றோம் என்று சொல்லிக்கொண்டு ஒரு குழுவையும் நியமித்துள்ளது. அதனை உலகத்திற்குக் காட்டிக் கொண்டு, அதே வேளை அந்தக் குழுவை இயங்க விடாமல் தடுத்தும் வைத்திருக்கின்றது. அநுராதபுரத் தாக்குதலுக்குப் பிறகு நாங்கள் சமாதானப் பேச்சு வார்த்தைகளுக்கு அழைத்தபோதும் விடுதலைப்புலிகள் இணங்கவில்லை| என்ற பொய்ப் பரப்புரையை மகிந்தவின் அரசு மேற்கொண்டது.
அநுராதபுரத் தாக்குதலின் காரணமாக நலிவடைந்து போயுள்ள மகிந்தவின் அரசு மீது, சமாதானத்தை நோக்கிய ஓர் அழுத்தம் உருவாகியது. இந்த அழுத்தத்தைச் சமாளிப்பதற்கு, மகிந்த அரசுக்கு ஒரு கால அவகாசம் தேவைப்பட்டது. அதற்காகச் சமாதானப் பேச்சு வார்த்தைகளுக்கான முயற்சிகளைக் குழப்பி, அந்தப் பழியைப் புலிகள் மீது போட வேண்டும். இதனைச் செய்வதற்காகத்தான் இந்தக் கேவலமான, கொடுரமான உத்தியை மகிந்தவின் அரசு கையாளுகின்றது.
“தமிழ் உலகம் ஆழமாக நேசித்த ஓர் அரசியல் தலைவன் என்றும்”, “தமிழீழ மக்களின் மனங்களை வென்ற ஒரு தன்னிகரற்ற தலைவன் என்றும்” தேசியத் தலைவர் குறிப்பிட்டது போல் பிரிகேடியர் தமிழ்ச்செல்வன் அவர்கள், தமிழீழத்தின் செல்வனும், செல்வமும் ஆவார்.
அவருடைய மறைவு ஒரு மாபெரும் இழப்பாகும். எனினும் தமிழீழ விடுதலைப்புலிகளின் நீண்ட மரபில், பிரிகேடியர் தமிழ்ச் செல்வனை மட்டுமல்லாது, பொன்னம்மான், குமரப்பா, புலேந்திரன், திலீபன், கிட்டண்ணா, சங்கர், ராஜீ என்று பல ஆளுமை மிக்க தலைவர்களை இழந்தும், தொடர்ந்து விடுதலைப் போராட்டம் தக்க வைக்க வைக்கப்பட்டு, முன் நகர்த்திக் கொண்டு செல்லப்பட்டுள்ளது என்பதை நாம் இந்த வேளையில் நினைவில் கொள்ள வேண்டும்.
ஏனென்றால் தமிழீழ விடுதலைப் போராட்டம் ஒரு மக்கள் போராட்டமாகும். இது மக்கள் போராட்டமாக இருப்பதனால், இழப்புக்கள் – அழிவுகள் ஊடாகவும், இது அடுத்த கட்டத்திற்கு நகர்ந்து செல்லும். அதுபோல், சிறிலங்கா அரசின் இந்தக் கோரக் கொலை காரணமாக, அரசியல் பேச்சுவார்த்தைகளில் ஒரு பாரிய பின்னடைவு ஏற்பட்டுள்ள போதிலும், இந்தப் பின்னடைவு ஊடாகவும், தமிழீழ விடுதலைப் போராட்டம் நகர்ந்து முன்னேறிச் செல்லும்.
சிங்கள அரசு நேர்மையாக, உண்மையாக எதையுமே செய்யாது என்பதும், பேச்சுவார்த்தை ஊடாக எதையுமே தீர்க்காது என்பதும், பேச்சு வார்த்தை பற்றிப் பேசிக்கொண்டு, அதைக் குழப்புவதற்காகத் தன்னால் எதையெல்லாம் செய்யலாமோ, அவற்றைச் செய்து வருகின்றது என்பதும், இன்று சர்வதேசத்திற்கு சிங்கள அரசாலேயே நன்றாகப் புரிய வைக்கப்பட்டுள்ளது.
இத்தகைய பாரிய இழப்புக்களும், நெருக்கடிகளும் எமது உறுதிப்பாடுகளுக்கு வருகின்ற ஒரு சோதனை என்பதைப் புலம் பெயர்வாழ் தமிழர்களாகிய நாம் புரிந்து கொள்ள வேண்டும். சோதனைகளைக் கடக்க வேண்டியதுதான் எமது பணி! எமது விடுதலைப் போராட்டத்தின்பால் நாம் தெளிவாக, உறுதியாக இருக்க வேண்டும்.
“நீண்ட நெருப்பு நதியாக நகருகின்ற எமது விடுதலை வரலாற்றில் தமிழ்ச்செல்வன் ஒரு புதிய நெருப்பாக இணைந்திருக்கின்றார்|- என்றும் இதன் மூலம் எமது கனத்த இதயங்களில் ஒரு பெரும் இலட்சிய நெருப்பை மூட்டி எமது இலட்சிய உறுதிக்கு உரமேற்றியிருக்கின்றார்”
என்றும் கூறியுள்ள தமிழீழத் தேசியத் தலைவர், இந்த உறுதியில் உரம் பெற்று நாம் எமது இலட்சியப் பாதையில் தொடர்ந்தும் உறுதியோடு பயணிப்போம்| என்று உறுதி தெரிவித்துள்ளார்.
தமிழீழத் தேசியத் தலைவருடைய கரங்களை மேலும் பலப்படுத்த வேண்டிய எமது தார்மீகக் கடமையை இந்த உத்தமர்களின் வீரச் சாவுகள் எமக்கு உணர்த்தி நிற்கின்றன.
பொறுப்பாளர் பிரிகேடியர் சு.ப.தமிழ்ச்செல்வன் வீரச்சாவு
[வெள்ளிக்கிழமை, 02 நவம்பர் 2007, 01:21 PM ஈழம்] [தாயக செய்தியாளர்]
சிறிலங்கா வான்படையின் வான்குண்டுத் தாக்குதலில் தமிழீழ அரசியல்துறைப் பொறுப்பாளர் பிரிகேடியர் சு.ப.தமிழ்ச்செல்வன் வீரச்சாவடைந்துள்ளதாக தமிழீழ விடுதலைப் புலிகள் அறிவித்துள்ளனர். இது தொடர்பாக தமிழீழ விடுதலைப் புலிகள் வெளியிட்டுள்ள அறிக்கை:
தமிழீழ விடுதலைப் புலிகள்,
பிரிகேடியர் சு.ப.தமிழ்ச்செல்வன் அவர்கள் வீரச்சாவு
இன்று காலை ஆறு மணியளவில் எமது அமைப்பின் அரசியல்துறைப் பொறுப்பாளர் பிரிகேடியர் சு.ப.தமிழ்ச்செல்வன் அவர்களும் லெப். கேணல் அன்புமணி (அலெக்ஸ்), மேஜர் மிகுதன், மேஜர் நேதாஜி, லெப். ஆட்சிவேல், லெப். மாவைக்குமரன் ஆகியோரும் சிறிலங்கா வான்படையின் குண்டுவீச்சுத் தாக்குதலில் வீரச்சாவடைந்தனர் என்பதை தமிழீழ மக்களுக்கும் உலகெங்கும் வாழும் தமிழ் மக்களுக்கும் பன்னாட்டுச் சமூகத்திற்கும் ஆழ்ந்த வருத்தத்துடன் தெரிவித்துக்கொள்கின்றோம்.
என்று அதில் தெரிவிக்கப்பட்டுள்ளது.
1984 ஆம் ஆண்டு முதல்…
தமிழீழ விடுதலைப் புலிகள் அமைப்பில் சு.ப.தமிழ்ச்செல்வன் 1984 ஆம் ஆண்டில் தன்னை இணைத்துக்கொண்டார்.
தமிழகத்தில் விடுதலைப் புலிகளின் 4 ஆவது பயிற்சி முகாமில் அவர் பயிற்சியைப்பெற்று தமிழகத்தில் தமிழீழ தேசியத் தலைவர் அவர்களின் தனிப்பட்ட இணைப்பாளராக பணியாற்றினார்.
1986 இல் தமிழீழ தேசியத் தலைவர் அவர்கள் தமிழகத்திலிருந்து தமிழீழ தாயகம் வருவதற்கு முன் தாயகத்துக்கு வந்து களநிலைமைகள் பற்றிய தகவல்களை திரட்டி மீளவும் தமிழகம் சென்று திரும்பவும் தமிழீழ தேசியத் தலைவர் அவர்களுடன் சு.ப.தமிழ்ச்செல்வன் தாயகம் திரும்பினார். அப்போது அவரின் விடுதலைப் புலிகள் அமைப்பின் பெயர் தினேஸ் என்பதாகும்.
தேசியத் தலைவர் அவர்களுடன் தாயகம் திரும்பிய அவர், 1987 மே மாதம் யாழ். தென்மராட்சி கோட்டப் பொறுப்பாளராக நியமிக்கப்பட்டார்.
1991 வரை அப்பதவியில் அவர் நீடித்தார். இந்தியப் படைகளுக்கு எதிரான போரில் தென்மராட்சியில் நின்று தாக்குதல் நடவடிக்கைகளை அவர் மேற்கொண்டார். 1991 இல் யாழ். மாவட்ட சிறப்புத் தளபதியாக செயற்பட்டார். 1993 இல் தமிழீழ அரசியல்துறைப் பொறுப்பாளர் என்ற நிலையை அவர் பெற்று கடைசிவரை அந்தப் பொறுப்பில் இருந்தார்.
1994-1995 இல் சந்திரிகா அரசுடனான அமைதிப் பேச்சுவார்த்தையில் விடுதலைப் புலிகளின் அணிக்கு தமிழ்ச்செல்வன் தலைமை தாங்கினார்.
2002 ஆம் ஆண்டு நோர்வே அனுசரணையிலான பேச்சுவார்த்தைக்குழுவில் “தேசத்தின் குரல்” அன்ரன் பாலசிங்கம் அவர்களுடன் இருந்து பின்னர் பேச்சுவார்த்தைக் குழுவின் தலைமைப்பணியை செய்து வந்தார்.
அமைதிப் பேச்சுக்களில் வெளிநாடுகளின் முதன்மைப் பிரதிநிதிகளுடன் சந்திப்புக்களை மேற்கொண்டு சிறிலங்கா அரசின் அமைதிப் பேச்சுக்களின் உண்மை முகத்தை வெளிப்படுத்தியவர் சு.ப.தமிழ்ச்செல்வன்.
படைத்துறை வழியில் அவரின் செயற்பாடுகள்
1991 இல் ஆகாய கடல்வெளி நடவடிக்கையிலும்
1992 இல் சிறிலங்கா படையினரின் “பலவேகய – 02″ எதிர்ச்சமரிலும்
மேலும் தச்சன்காடு சிறிலங்காப் படைமுகாம் மீதான தாக்குதல்
காரைநகரில் சிறிலங்காப் படையினர் மீதான தாக்குதல்
ஆகியவற்றிலும் சு.ப.தமிழ்ச்செல்வன் அவர்கள் முதன்மைப் பங்காற்றினார்.
1991 இல் மன்னார் சிலாபத்துறை சிறிலங்காப் படைத்தளம் மீதான தாக்குதலுக்கு அவர் தளபதியாக செயற்பட்டார்.
ஆகாய கடல்வெளிச் சமரில் அவர் விழுப்புண்பட்டார்.
பூநகரி சிறிலங்கா படைத்தளம் மீதான “தவளை நடவடிக்கை”யில் பங்காற்றிய அவர் தன்னுடைய காலில் விழுப்புண்பட்டார்.
“ஒயாத அலைகள் – 03″ நடவடிக்கையில் தென்மராட்சி தனங்கிளப்பு சிறிலங்கா படைத்தளம் அழிப்பு உள்ளிட்ட தென்மராட்சிப்பகுதி மீட்புத்தாக்குதலில் கட்டளைத் தளபதியாக அவர் பங்காற்றினார்.
தன்னுடைய அரசியல் பணி மூலம் அதிகம் மக்கள் மனதில் நிறைந்தவராக சு.ப.தமிழ்ச்செல்வன் விளங்கினார்.
தாயகத்திலும் புலம்பெயர் தமிழ்மக்கள் மத்தியிலும் தமிழ்நாட்டிலும் அன்பையும் மதிப்பையும் பெற்றவராக அவர் விளங்கினார்.
அமைதி நடவடிக்கையில் தமிழினத்தின் விடுதலைக் கொள்கையில் உறுதியாக நின்று எதிரிகளின் ஏமாற்று நடவடிக்கைகளை அம்பலப்படுத்தியவர் அவர்.
மேலும் பன்னாட்டு இராஜதந்திரிகள் மத்தியில் பெருமதிப்பை பெற்றிருந்தவர் சு.ப.தமிழ்ச்செல்வன்.
What the United States told Ranil about Prabhakaran in 2002
- as reported by the Sinhala owned Sri Lanka Island in 2007
23/24 April 2007
“In 2002, after the Cease Fire Agreement had come into force, the United States Pacific Command carried out a comprehensive assessment of the LTTE and the Sri Lankan Armed Forces at the request of the US Department of Defense.
The result of this study was a top secret report, which was signed by Peter W.Rodman on behalf of the International Security Affairs desk of the US Department of Defense. Copies of this report were given only to the then Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremasinghe, the Defense Minister Tilak Marapone, and the Secretary Defense Austin Fernando. The then President Chandrika Kumaratunga, and the cabinet were kept in the dark about this study. What follows are verbatim extracts from this report….
The leader and founder of the LTTE, Velupillai Prabhakaran, is often described as a megalomaniac.
Comment by tamilnation.org Megalomania (from the Greek word μεγαλομανία) is a psychopathological condition characterized by delusional fantasies of wealth, power, or omnipotence – often generally termed as delusions of grandeur. A comparison of two leaders – ‘delusion and grandeur’ -
“I have always believed that this land was placed here between the two great oceans by some divine plan. It was placed here to be found by a special kind of people – people who had a special love of freedom and who had the courage to uproot themselves and leave hearth and homeland and come to what in the beginning was the most underdeveloped wilderness possible..” US President Ronald Reagan, Remarks at the Opening Ceremonies of the Statue of Liberty Centennial Celebration in New York, New York July 3, 1986 quoted in Place: A Short Introduction – T. Cresswell 2004)
“Pirabaharan is not a small man. He is the leader, a charismatic leader of the LTTE. His life is very precious. And a very simple man. No bullshit about him. His wife lived with three saris – one she wore, one she washed and one was ready to wear. That is all. They never drank Coca-Cola. They offered us Coca-Cola, but never drank it themselves. They drank that goliwala soda… Pirabaharan spoke to me in English many a time. He appeared well-read…. they [the LTTE] were very cordial. They would take me anywhere. I had lot of time for them…” Major General Harkirat Singh, Indian Peace Keeping Force’s First Commander in Jaffna
He is practically worshipped by Tiger cadres, who have been inculcated with Tamil nationalist propaganda.
Comment by tamilnation.org “Inculcated” with Tamil nationalist propaganda…
“..We have for the last 25 years made every effort to secure our political rights on the basis of equality with the Sinhalese in a united Ceylon. It is a regrettable fact that successive Sinhalese governments have used the power that flows from independence to deny us our fundamental rights and reduce us to the position of a subject people. These governments have been able to do so only by using against the Tamils the sovereignty common to the Sinhalese and the Tamils. I wish to announce to my people and to the country that I consider the verdict at this election as a mandate that the Tamil Eelam nation should exercise the sovereignty already vested in the Tamil people and become free.” Statement by Gandhian Tamil leader S.J.V.Chelvanayakam after winning the by-election for the Kankesanturai Parliamentary seat, held belatedly on 7 February 1975, two years after he had resigned the seat to seek a mandate for Tamil Eelam
“He died like Moses himself without reaching the promised land but the vision he saw, he leaves behind as the heritage and challenge to his people.” - Rt.Rev D.J. Ambalavanar at the funeral of Gandhian Tamil Leader S.J.V.Chelvanayagam, April 1977
Prabhakaran has insisted that all LTTE soldiers wear a cyanide capsule around their necks, maintaining that it is better to commit suicide than be captured alive by the enemy.
Comment by tamilnation.org
“As far as I can tell most ordinary Tamils support the Tigers, not necessarily because they like them, but because they like the Sri Lankan – or Indian – armies less. The Tigers are ruthless and authoritarian but they are not corrupt – they don’t tolerate stealing, bribery or rape, things other armies are famous for. In fact they are perceived as being single minded in their defence of Tamils. They are so disciplined that when captured, they swallow cyanide capsules that they carry with them at all times, rather than risk revealing anything under torture.” Professor Marshall Singer before US Congress Committee on International Relations Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific Hearing on Sri Lanka November 14,1995
Though Prabhakaran is aware that the United States publicly condemns the LTTE’s terrorist campaigns, he continues his efforts to win sympathy from the United States. For this reason, the United States has some leverage with him. However, if the perception of the United States as a direct supporter of Sri Lanka’s armed forces against the LTTE persists, Prabhakaran’s susceptibility to US influence will decrease or vanish completely.
Velupillai Prabhakaran is the unchallenged dictatorial leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) terrorist organization. Prabhakaran exerts tight control and discipline over the LTTE, which fights for the establishment of an independent homeland, referred to as “Eelam,” carved out of the northern and eastern portions Lanka. He is worshipped as a cult-like figure because of successful indoctrination processes and effective political propaganda campaigns.
Comment by tamilnation.org
“.. I was left with the impression that the LTTE was the expression of popular Tamil sentiment and could not be destroyed, so long as that sentiment remained… Our unit and formation commanders too came under the mental hypnosis of the LTTE. They would graphically explain how well entrenched the LTTE was in the minds of the people, how ungrateful people were to us, how elusive the LTTE was, how perfect it was in the midst of the people and in its actions, how effective was its grip over the public and so on – virtually admitting that it was an impossible task and all our endeavours were pointless. Lieutenant General S.C. Sardesh Pande, IPKF Divisional Commander, Jaffna
Prabhakaran’s mind-set, personality, ideology, objectives, and outlook dominate and resound through the structure and organization of the LTTE. Prabhakaran’s call sign is Hotel Alpha, his location is referred to as “one-four,” and his nom de guerre is Karikalan.
Prabhakaran, born on 26 November 1954, comes from a typical middle-class Tamil family with four children, including a brother and two sisters. He and his family reside in the northern town of Valvettithurai (referred to as VVT). VVT’s inhabitants were servants (Prabhakaran’s father was one), traders, fishermen, or simply smugglers because of the winding seacoast and close proximity to India, Prabhakaran’s parents currently live in Tamil Nadu, India, and his siblings live overseas. In 1984, Prabhakaran met and subsequently married a fellow activist, Madhivathini, who was on a hunger strike protesting Sinhalese treatment of Tamils. They have two children: a son, Charles Anthony, who is named after a former LTTE leader and a daughter, Dwaraka, who is named after one of his bodyguards.
When Prabhakaran was a child, his father demanded absolute discipline from him and his siblings. Prabhakaran was a quiet boy who was devoted to his family and friends, assisting family during religious functions and dutifully running errands for neighbours and relatives. He earned average grades in school. As a teenager, Prabhakaran was shy with girls and was known to be always restless.
Prabhakaran’s introduction to politics and to the Tamil-Sinhalese conflict came from listening to his father’s oft-repeated discourses on the worsening ethnic relations in the country and laments on the fate of Tamils. Prabhakaran subsequently became fascinated with Subash Chandra Bose, the Indian nationalist who preferred to resist British rule through ‘Militancy’ rather than subscribe to Gandhi’s doctrine of nonviolence. His favourite of Bose’s slogans was “I shall fight for the freedom of my land until I shed the last drop of blood.” Prabhakaran was also intrigued with the military exploits of Napoleon, the teachings of Swami Vivekananda, the Hindu epic of the Mahabharata, Tamil history books, and Phantom comics, often imagining himself to be a legendary warrior.
Comment by tamilnation.org
“..The pocket money that my parents gave me I spent on books. I got a lot of satisfaction and pleasure in reading new books. There was a book shop in my village. It became my habit somehow or the other to buy all those valuable books there and read them. It is through books that I learnt of the heroic exploits of Alexander and Napoleon. It is through my habit of reading that I developed a deep attachment to the Indian Freedom struggle and martyrs like Subhash Chandra Bose, Bagat Singh and Balagengadhara Tilak… The Indian Freedom struggle stirred the depths of my being and roused in me a feeling of indignation against foreign oppression and domination.The racial riots which erupted in Sri Lanka in 1958 and the agonies that the Tamils had to endure as a result were the factors that impelled me to militancy…” How I became a Freedom Fighter – Velicham Interview,1994
Though Prabhakaran was quiet and was regarded as a good listener, he was easily excitable and found it difficult to contain himself when discussions arose over Tamil politics, the ancient Tamil kingdoms in India and Sri Lanka, and the possibility of an armed struggle like that of Bose. He soon became involved in student activist groups. His political activism eventually forced him to go underground in 1973 and to cut off family ties.
Prabhakaran cites Sinhalese discrimination against Tamils and the 1972 constitution (which declared Sinhala the only official language of the country and Buddhism the state religion) as factors that inspired him to become a rebel at age 18. As Tamil militancy emerged in the 1970s, Prabhakaran began to prepare himself for the battles that he perceived lay ahead. It is said that he had a natural ability with firearms and as a marksman; in any case his skills in these spheres were self-taught. As a measure of physical endurance, he would tie himself up, get into a sack, and lie under the sun the whole day. Prabhakaran also was known to insert pins into his fingernails. He and his fellow activists relied on temple offerings for food and at times would go hungry, sometimes taking sleep-inducing tablets to ward off their hunger.
Prabhakaran and his gang began robbing banks to help finance their militant quest for a Tamil homeland. Though other rebels robbed banks to amass personal wealth, Prabhakaran’s intentions were purely political. He was a meticulous planner, placing banks under surveillance for weeks and sometimes months before robbing them.
He gradually began to take the leading role in discussing operations, but shared information only on a need-to-know basis. Prabhakaran was very suspicious of new Tamil militant recruits. As a security measure, he kept his meetings with outsiders to a minimum and sometimes did not reveal his identity. Prabhakaran reportedly was very tense and nervous about operations and could not accept defeat. He developed a reputation for losing control if things did not go his way. Even when engaged in friendly physical contests, if Prabhakaran felt he was losing, he would resort to viciously biting his opponents.
Prabhakaran enjoyed skyrocketing popularity in July 1975 after he allegedly assassinated Alfred Durraiappah, the mayor of Jaffna, as the latter paid his respects to a local Hindu temple. Durraiappah was the chief organizer of the northern region, for the SLFP, the current Sri Lankan ruling party, but was regarded by many Tamils as a government stooge. Following the assassination, Prabhakaran became obsessed with his personal security. By 1976, Prabbakaran and a handful of hard-core militants formed the LTTE, a name derived from its, precursor, the Tamil New Tigers, founded a couple of years earlier.
Prabhakaran networked with other Tamil militant groups and leaders, but later eradicated them in order to promote the LTTE as the only true representative of Tamil nationalism that seeks to establish an independent homeland, referred to Eelam. This constitutes Prabhakaran’s sole ideological justification for existence.
Comment by tamilnation.org
“We launched our struggle for self determination and political independence because of the systematic oppression of our people by the Sri Lankan state… It is the Sri Lanka government which has failed to learn the lessons from the emergence of the struggles for self determination in several parts of the globe and the innovative structural changes that have taken place… We are not warmongers who love violence. We want a permanent, stable and honourable peace…. One day, when our enemy knocks at our doors for peace, we will extend the hand of friendship.” - Velupillai Pirabaharan, leader of Tamil Eelam, 1992
In the early years Prabhakaran dabbled with Marxist ideas, but he later became intent on basing the movement purely on Tamil nationalism rather than on Marxist ideology which he views as contributing to the downfall of other Tamil militant groups. Other than Tamil nationalism, no other ideology or military theory has a compelling appeal to Prabhakaran.
Although most LTTE cadres (including Prabhakaran himself) are nominally Hindu the issue of religion plays a negligible part in Prabhakaran’s ideology. Prabhakaran believes that Eelam should be a casteless society, a concept that runs counter to the Hindu perspective.
Comment by tamilnation.org
“On an occasion in London, in 1989, at a discussion with Sathasivam Krishnakumar (for whom the struggle for Tamil Eelam was his life) the conversation turned to the Gita Upadesam. Kittu, as he was affectionately known, commented: “Annai, in the Maha Bharatham, it was Karnan who truly knew his duty. He was stead fast in his commitment to his friend Duryodhana – he had no doubts about his ‘Nanri Kadan’ and in the end Karnan willingly gave away all his ‘punyam’, knowing that by doing so, he would die. Karnan knew well his dharma – he did not need a ‘Upadesam’ to clarify his doubts – and so, in the Maha Bharatham, there is no ‘Gita Upadesam’ for Karnan.” Spirituality and the Tamil Nation – Nadesan Satyendra, 10 May 1998
In addition, a number of LTTE cadres, hail from Christian backgrounds. Prabhakaran quietly worships Lord Subramania (or Lord Murugan) a prominent god in the Hindu pantheon. Nevertheless, Prabhakaran is a pragmatist and generally relies on his own will and ability.
Prabhakaran’s local propaganda and recruitment efforts are directed at children and adolescents. Prabhakaran has shown a fondness for children and often engages them in conversation.
This sincerity may encourage the younger generation to be future recruits in the LTTE. Prabhakaran believes that the second generation, of youth exposed to the war will fight better than the first. Of the second generation, he has greater faith in the northern population because it has been subjected to more LTTE indoctrination than its eastern counterparts, who are constantly exposed to Sinhalese and Muslim influences.
Tamil youths, in particular, are attracted to Prabhakaran’s image as a folk hero. A supernatural image has been created of Prabhakaran, and tales abound of the numerous instances where he narrowly escaped death. These escapades and the fact that he has never seen the inside of a jail cell continue to impress youths who stand in awe of Prabhakaran’s achievements in the Tamil struggle for independence. The mysticism surrounding Prabhakaran, reinforced with massive propaganda campaigns, has endowed him with a god-like status and a cult-like following.
Prabhakaran’s emphasis on iron discipline has contributed to the successes of the LTTE. His tight control over the organization, the severe punishments (including execution) he metes out to violators, and his indoctrination of cadres (including the use of a cyanide capsule rather than submit to capture) have made the LTTE’s organization and strategy difficult to decipher.
In terms of self-discipline, Prabhakaran sets an example that other cadres must abide by. He does not consume liquor or smoke tobacco. Tea, coffee, and carbonated drinks are also considered taboo. Sex outside marriage is forbidden and those cadres who violate this code are executed irrespective of seniority or personal loyalty. Gambling and financial dishonesty are also punishable by death. Homosexuality, interestingly, is not; however, it is dealt with by public humiliation.
Prabhakaran emphasizes rigorous training and rehearsals of operations. By the end of the training regimen, a cadre is physically and psychologically, ready for the most demanding combat. Relentless indoctrination is a powerful tool utilized by Prabhakaran to ensure that a cadre is not forced into battle, but willingly chooses to enter the fray and very likely lay down his or her life for the sake of Tamil Eelam. Prabhakaran rarely visits training bases, but studies videos to improve the curricula. Prabhakaran thoroughly examines military successes and defeats so that he may repeat the successes and develop new mechanisms for overcoming failures.
Prabhakaran does not favour democratic processes. Though there is a central committee of the LTTE on paper, Prabhakaran’s word is decisive. Prabhakaran continues to neutralize all competing Tamil groups and individuals, both moderates and militants, who pose any challenge to his leadership and to the LTTE as the sole representatives of the Tamils. When the importance of politicizing the population before taking to the gun was proposed to him, Prabhakaran commented with undisguised contempt, “You intellectuals are afraid of blood. No struggle will take place without killings.”
Comment by tamilnation.org
“..Ages ago there was a priest of Baal who thought himself commissioned by the god to kill all who did not bow the knee to him. All men, terrified by the power and ferocity of the priest, bowed down before the idol and pretended to be his servants; and the few who refused had to take refuge in hills and deserts. At last, a deliverer came and slew the priest and the world had rest. The slayer was blamed by those who placed religion in quietude and put passivity forward as the ideal ethics but the world looked on the slayer as an incarnation of God. A certain class of mind shrinks from aggressiveness as if it were a sin…Love is a sacred name, but it is easier to speak of love than to love. The Gita is the best answer to those who shrink from battle as a sin, and aggression as lowering morality…Justice and righteousness are the atmosphere of political morality, but the justice and righteousness of a fighter, not of the priest. Aggression is unjust only when unprovoked; violence, unrighteous when used wantonly or for unrighteous ends. It is a barren philosophy which applies a mechanical rule to all actions, or takes a word and tries to fit all human life into it.” Sri Aurobindo in The Morality of the Boycott, May 1908
The Liberation Tigers of Eelam (LTTE), or the Tamil Tigers as they are commonly known, is considered one of the most ruthless terrorist organizations in the world.
Comment by tamilnation.org
“The most problematic issue relating to terrorism and armed conflict is distinguishing terrorists from lawful combatants, both in terms of combatants in legitimate struggles for self-determination and those involved in civil wars or non-international armed conflicts. In the former category, States that do not recognize a claim to self-determination will claim that those using force against the State’s military forces are necessarily terrorists. In the latter, States will also claim that those fighting against the State are terrorists, and that rather than a civil war, there is a situation of “terrorism and counter-terrorism activity”….The controversy over the exact meaning, content, extent and beneficiaries of, as well as the means and methods utilized to enforce the right to self-determination has been the major obstacle to the development of both a comprehensive definition of terrorism and a comprehensive treaty on terrorism. The ideological splits and differing approaches preventing any broad consensus during the period of decolonization still persist in today’s international relations. … Terrorism and Human Rights Final Report of the Special Rapporteur, Kalliopi K. Koufa, 25 June 2004
Established in 1972, the group went underground 3 years later, after assassinating the mayor of Jaffna city. The LTTE is known for its network of contacts with various terrorist groups around the world.
The militants’ choice of the tiger as their symbol represents not only the ferocity of the animal but also a deliberate contrast with the lion, which has traditionally been a symbol of the Sinhalese people and is depicted on the Sri Lankan flag.
Comment by tamilnation.org
“The Chola bronzes are products of the Tamil creative genius during the period that the great Chola dynasty ruled Tamil Nadu during the 9th to 12th Century. The four centuries of Chola rule, is regarded by many as the age of grandeur in the history of the Tamil people. The Tiger emblem of the Cholas inspired both the name of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam as well as the LTTE flag. Renowned for their harmony of form and content, the Chola bronzes speak across centuries – in silence.” South Indian Bronzes - Chola, Pallava & Nayak Periods
The organization has an elite squad known as the Black Tigers, who conduct suicide missions against military and civilian targets. The Black Tigers have assassinated not only prominent political leaders in Sri Lanka but also the former prime minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi.
Previously, the LTTE was viewed by most Tamil civilians as the legitimate defender of the Tamil cause. Much of its funding came from Tamil expatriates as well as the Indian government. However, in recent years, the LTTE has lost much support from Tamil civilians and has resorted to tactics that instil fear in order to control the Tamil community. External support from Tamil expatriates and the Indian government has also waned and as a result, the LTTE has engaged in drug trafficking to finance its operations.
Ideologically, the LTTE has at times employed Marxist rhetoric to characterize its struggle. However, irrespective of ideology, the creation of an independent Tamil state has remained the movement’s only goal. In pursuit of this objective, the LTTE has been prone to use direct and violent action rather than to formulate principles on which the desired independent state would operate. The LTTE as a whole tends not to be susceptible to US influence, especially given the perception that the United States is actively supporting the Sri Lankan armed forces against the LTTE.
Prabhakaran has not groomed a successor. There are rumours that he is preparing his son to replace him, but there is no meaningful intelligence on his family. He deals harshly with any challenge to his leadership. He has eliminated many LTTE members who have either questioned his authority or have been perceived as a threat. He has always felt that the biggest threat to his survival comes from within the organization.
Since Prabhakaran feels that the main threat to his survival comes from within the LTTE, he is obsessed with his personal security. He is known to sleep with a revolver under his pillow. In addition, the only member of the LTTE allowed to carry a firearm in Prabhakaran’s presence is Soranam, the trusted commander of his bodyguard contingent. When Prabhakaran plans to visit a place, he ensures that extensive preparations are taken for his protection. Over a hundred bodyguard cadres (who do not interact with other cadres) are assigned to protect him. It is reported that there are three rings of 40 bodyguards each surrounding Prabhakaran upon his arrival at a particular destination.
Prabhakaran has gradually created a culture where dissent is absent. His close associates are Thamil Chelvam, head of the political branch; Pottu Amman, head of intelligence; Karuna, head of Batticaloa-Amparai commands; Balraj, military commander, Soranam, bodyguard commander, Shankar, head of Air Tigers; Soosai, head of Sea Tigers; Jeyam, special group commander; -and Kumaran Padmanathan, head of procurement. They all merely hold executive posts and carry out Prabhakaran’s dictates. Although Anton Balasingham is considered the ideologue and spokesman of the LTTE, Prabhakaran often sidelines him as well. No one is close enough to Prabhakaran to significantly influence his final decisions. Blind loyalty is the criterion for a close association with him. Prabhakaran’s authority is based on fear and respect.
Prabhakaran is an innovator, improviser, and a technophile. His macabre creativity is reflected in the human bombs, suicide boats, projectiles, and mines the LTTE has been producing over the years.
Comment by tamilnation.org
“…The concept of tiyakam, abandonment (of life), i.e. a rather specific Indian form of martyrdom, is cultivated by both male and female fighters. A martyr of the LTTE has not chosen like the Christian martyr to suffer in the mind the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. He has taken up arms against the sea of troubles trying to end them by opposing them. The concept of tiyäkam that has its roots in the last section of the Bhagavadgitä was revived in the struggle for independence of India…” On the sacrificial ideology of the Liberation Tigers – Peter Schalk, 1993
Irrespective of the cost, he orders the best equipment for himself and his men. LTTE cadres have used night vision goggles and rocket- propelled grenades (RPGs) to engage Sri Lankan troops. If the desired equipment cannot be procured, Prabhakaran will order improvisation using existing equipment for the designated purpose. He also uses satellite communications with LTTE ships and LTTE cells around the world.
Prabhakaran uses deception as an integral part of his modus operandi. In many cases, he has arranged to visit subordinates or has extended olive branches to political targets to lull them into a false sense of security just prior to their assassination. In tactical operations, Prabhakaran would conduct deception manoeuvres to draw attention away from an intended target. LTTE duplicity often factors into the organization’s public posture. Deceptive guidelines are given to LTTE cadres on how best to answer questions posed by the public and media. Carefully worded guidelines are even provided to the Tamil diaspora over the Internet on how best to respond to questions on the conflict posed by non- Sri Lankans. These guidelines are designed to portray LTTE cadres as freedom fighters pitted against a hostile and ruthless government.
Comment by tamilnation.org
“All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near. Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him. If he is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him. If your opponent is of choleric temper, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected….” Sun Tzu on the Art of War, One of the oldest Military Treatises in the World
Prabhakaran’s mind-set has always been proactive and rarely reactive. Prabhakaran realizes the advantage of seizing the initiative in battle, always exploiting the element of surprise. Retaining the initiative in battle has often favoured the LTTE, both militarily and psychologically.
Prabhakaran is masterful at executing pre-emptive strikes against his enemies. When he perceives a future threat-whether emanating from an individual or a group-Prabhakaran takes the initiative to eliminate it through assassinations, terrorist bombings, or battlefield attacks. Some analysts believe that his actions are also driven by a desire for revenge. The ordered assassination of former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi is a case in point. Most analysts feel that Prabhakaran perceived a future threat emanating from Gandhi (the redeployment of Indian troops to Sri Lanka to disarm the Tigers) and therefore had him assassinated as a pre-emptive measure. However, Prabhakaran also felt a deep sense of betrayal from Gandhi for reversing India’s policy toward the LTTE, which points to revenge as a motive.
Another example of revenge as a possible motive is the January 1998 bombing of a revered Buddhist shrine in Kandy. This LTTE action was rumoured to be Prabhakaran’s retribution for the Sri Lankan Army’s mass destruction of LTTE gravesites. Prabhakaran’s long-term goal is to break the will of the Sinhalese-led government and thus lead it to accede to his demand for a Tamil homeland. To achieve this end, any and all means are justified in his mind. Prabhakaran is likely to continue assassinating political and military leaders as well as bombing key targets in the economic infrastructure. He views the high political and economic costs his actions impose on the government as doors that lead to negotiations. Prabhakaran uses negotiations as a ploy for the LTTE to rearm and regroup, especially after a series of battlefield defeats.
Prabhakaran’s key strengths:
a) Ability to provide highly effective military training and impart discipline-both physical and psychological-to his cadres;
b) Highly successful propaganda campaigns-both local and international;
c) Image as a folk hero;
d) Meticulous (and effective) preparation for battles and campaigns;
e) Ability to innovate and make use of limited resources;
f) Compartmentalization of information within the organization; and
g) Emphasis on security.
a) Increasing alienation of moderate Tamils;
b) Negative public image as a megalomaniac extremist rather than a freedom fighter;
c) Use of tactics that increasingly instil fear among his Tamil subjects rather than earn him support and sympathy;
Comment by tamilnation.org
“… the army seems not to have studied too well the capability of their main opponent – Velupillai Pirabaharan. Pirabaharan is a ‘military genius’ and his political power has given him an advantage to combat our political and military leaders. He has often outwitted, outmanoeuvred and outclassed our military and political leaders. Why is this so? Today after 18 years of battle, most of the victories, sadly, belong to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and we are continuing to fool ourselves… the man behind the weapon is always more important than the weapon itself and that this has been repeatedly proved by the LTTE forces….Pirabaharan has virtually beaten our forces on land and sea….” Sri Lanka Major General Prasanna Dahanayake in an interview reported in the Sinhala owned Sunday Leader, 6 December 1998
d) Insecurity and lack of trust in his comrades in struggle;
e) Willingness to place innocent civilians (Tamil, Sinhalese, and foreign) in harm’s way; and
f) Intransigence toward accepting anything less than an independent homeland.
So far, Prabhakaran has been careful not to target Americans. At times, he seems favourably disposed toward Americans and has even invited the United States to act as a third party mediator in the conflict.
Though there is no evidence suggesting that Prabhakaran will change this posture, the United States should tread carefully and sceptically in any dealings with Prabhakaran. In the past, Prabhakaran has been known to extend olive branches before striking at unsuspecting targets.
If Prabhakaran views US aid to the Sri Lankan government as making a difference on the battlefield to the detriment of the LTTE, his policy toward the United States could change to one of hostility. In the event of such a policy shift, US military trainers, American diplomats, and American businessmen in Sri Lanka would be likely LTTE targets for assassination. US businesses and property would be likely LTTE targets for destruction. However, any harm to US personnel or property would further tarnish Prabhakaran’s image among western countries and moderate Tamils.
Ultimately, Prabhakaran’s raison d’ etre and legitimacy are predicated on Tamil dissatisfaction with and alienation from the government. As government-Tamil relations improve, Prabhakaran’s popularity among Tamils will fade.
Comment by tamilnation.org
“..After a kidney transplant in Oslo, Bala and Adele settled in London. From there, Bala was much freer to conduct negotiations through Norwegian mediators, and the ground was prepared for peace talks culminating in the full-blown agreement of 2002 negotiated by the new Sri Lankan prime minister, Ranil Wickremasinghe. I recall telling Bala a year before, of Wickremasinghe’s boast to me: “They want government? I’ll bog them down with government.” Barry Gardiner M.P. on Anton Balasingham: Chief negotiator for the Tamil Tigers - in the UK Guardian, 2 January 2007
As long as Prabhakaran is alive, any peace offers proposed by the LTTE will not be genuine; negotiations will be used as a short-term tactic for the LTTE to rearm and regroup as battlefield defeats increase.
Comment by tamilnation.org
” The US and India may find common cause in weakening the LTTE – but they seek to weaken it in such a way that thereafter each of them may successfully secure their own strategic interests. And herein lies the conflict – and the difficulty. New Delhi will not support a resolution of the conflict which secures US hegemony in the island. And so it will seek to create Tamil dissidents and build support among them as a way of keeping its foothold in the island. It sought to do so with TELO, it sought to do so with EPRLF and Varadarajah Perumal, it sought to do so with EROS, it sought to do so with Amirthalingam, and now it seeks to so so with Karuna and Anandasangaree. It is within the interstices of this international frame that the struggle of the people of Tamil Eelam to be free from alien Sinhala rule continues under conditions of excruciating agony and suffering . And it is this same international frame which Sinhala Sri Lanka seeks to use to continue its genocidal onslaught on the Tamil people.” Sri Lanka – Tamil Eelam: Getting to Yes – Nadesan Satyendra, 26 October 2006
If LTTE manpower and resources become severely depleted, Prabhakaran may, as a measure of last resort, publicly accept a seemingly long-term political arrangement short of secession, so long as he is able to retain some semblance of power. Again, this would be viewed by Prabhakaran as a temporary situation until he could position himself to confront the government and revert to violence for, the sake of creating an independent Tamil homeland.”
Norwegian Peace Initiative
Sri Lanka – LTTE Ceasefire Agreement
22 February 2002
Full text of the ceasefire agreement signed by the government of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam:
The overall objective of the Government of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (hereinafter referred to as the GOSL) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (hereinafter referred to as the LTTE) is to find a negotiated solution to the ongoing ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka.
The GOSL and the LTTE (hereinafter referred to as the Parties) recognize the importance of bringing an end to the hostilities and improving the living conditions for all inhabitants affected by the conflict. Bringing an end to the hostilities is also seen by the Parties as a means of establishing a positive atmosphere in which further steps towards negotiations on a lasting solution can be taken.
The Parties further recognize that groups that are not directly party to the conflict are also suffering the consequences of it. This is particularly the case as regards the Muslim population. Therefore, the provisions of this Agreement regarding the security of civilians and their property apply to all inhabitants.
With reference to the above, the Parties have agreed to enter into a ceasefire, refrain from conduct that could undermine the good intentions or violate the spirit of this Agreement and implement confidence-building measures as indicated in the articles below.
Article 1: Modalities of a ceasefire
The Parties have agreed to implement a ceasefire between their armed forces as follows:
1.1 A jointly agreed ceasefire between the GOSL and the LTTE shall enter into force on such date as is notified by the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs in accordance with Article 4.2, hereinafter referred to as D-day.
1.2 Neither Party shall engage in any offensive military operation. This requires the total cessation of all military action and includes, but is not limited to, such acts as:
a) The firing of direct and indirect weapons, armed raids, ambushes, assassinations, abductions, destruction of civilian or military property, sabotage, suicide missions and activities by deep penetration units;
b) Aerial bombardment;
c) Offensive naval operations.
1.3 The Sri Lankan armed forces shall continue to perform their legitimate task of safeguarding the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka without engaging in offensive operations against the LTTE.
Separation of forces
1.4 Where forward defence localities have been established, the GOSL’s armed forces and the LTTE’s fighting formations shall hold their ground positions, maintaining a zone of separation of a minimum of six hundred (600) metres. However, each Party reserves the right of movement within one hundred (100) metres of its own defence localities, keeping an absolute minimum distance of four hundred (400) metres between them. Where existing positions are closer than four hundred (400) metres, no such right of movement applies and the Parties agree to ensure the maximum possible distance between their personnel.
1.5 In areas where localities have not been clearly established, the status quo as regards the areas controlled by the GOSL and the LTTE, respectively, on 24 December 2001 shall continue to apply pending such demarcation as is provided in article 1.6.
1.6 The Parties shall provide information to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) regarding defence localities in all areas of contention, cf. Article 3. The monitoring mission shall assist the Parties in drawing up demarcation lines at the latest by D-day + 30.
1.7 The Parties shall not move munitions, explosives or military equipment into the area controlled by the other Party.
1.8 Tamil paramilitary groups shall be disarmed by the GOSL by D-day + 30 at the latest. The GOSL shall offer to integrate individuals in these units under the command and disciplinary structure of the GOSL armed forces for service away from the Northern and Eastern Province.
Freedom of movement
1.9 The Parties’ forces shall initially stay in the areas under their respective control, as provided in Article 1.4 and Article 1.5.
1.10 Unarmed GOSL troops shall, as of D- day + 60, be permitted unlimited passage between Jaffna and Vavunyia using the Jaffna-Kandy road (A9). The modalities are to be worked out by the Parties with the assistance of the SLMM.
1.11 The Parties agree that as of D-day individual combatants shall, on the recommendation of their area commander, be permitted, unarmed and in plain clothes, to visit family and friends residing in areas under the control of the other Party. Such visits shall be limited to six days every second month, not including the time of travel by the shortest applicable route. The LTTE shall facilitate the use of the Jaffna-Kandy road for this purpose. The Parties reserve the right to deny entry to specified military areas.
1.12 The Parties agree that as of D-day individual combatants shall, notwithstanding the two-month restriction, be permitted, unarmed and in plain clothes, to visit immediate family (i.e. spouses, children, grandparents, parents and siblings) in connection with weddings or funerals. The right to deny entry to specified military areas applies.
1.13 Fifty (50) unarmed LTTE members shall as of D-day + 30, for the purpose of political work, be permitted freedom of movement in the areas of the North and the East dominated by the GOSL. Additional 100 unarmed LTTE members shall be permitted freedom of movement as of D-day + 60. As of D-day + 90, all unarmed LTTE members shall be permitted freedom of movement in the North and the East. The LTTE members shall carry identity papers. The right of the GOSL to deny entry to specified military areas applies.
Article 2: Measures to restore normalcy
The Parties shall undertake the following confidence-building measures with the aim of restoring normalcy for all inhabitants of Sri Lanka:
2.1 The Parties shall in accordance with international law abstain from hostile acts against the civilian population, including such acts as torture, intimidation, abduction, extortion and harassment.
2.2 The Parties shall refrain from engaging in activities or propagating ideas that could offend cultural or religious sensitivities. Places of worship (temples, churches, mosques and other holy sites, etc.) currently held by the forces of either of the Parties shall be vacated by D-day + 30 and made accessible to the public. Places of worship which are situated in “high security zones” shall be vacated by all armed personnel and maintained in good order by civilian workers, even when they are not made accessible to the public.
2.3 Beginning on the date on which this Agreement enters into force, school buildings occupied by either Party shall be vacated and returned to their intended use. This activity shall be completed by D-day + 160 at the latest.
2.4 A schedule indicating the return of all other public buildings to their intended use shall be drawn up by the Parties and published at the latest by D-day + 30.
2.5 The Parties shall review the security measures and the set-up of checkpoints, particularly in densely populated cities and towns, in order to introduce systems that will prevent harassment of the civilian population. Such systems shall be in place from D-day + 60.
2.6 The Parties agree to ensure the unimpeded flow of non-military goods to and from the LTTE-dominated areas with the exception of certain items as shown in Annex A. Quantities shall be determined by market demand. The GOSL shall regularly review the matter with the aim of gradually removing any remaining restrictions on non-military goods.
2.7 In order to facilitate the flow of goods and the movement of civilians, the Parties agree to establish checkpoints on their line of control at such locations as are specified in Annex B.
2.8 The Parties shall take steps to ensure that the Trincomalee-Habarana road remains open on a 24-hour basis for passenger traffic with effect from D-day + 10.
2.9 The Parties shall facilitate the extension of the rail service on the Batticaloa-line to Welikanda. Repairs and maintenance shall be carried out by the GOSL in order to extend the service up to Batticaloa.
2.10 The Parties shall open the Kandy-Jaffna road (A9) to non-military traffic of goods and passengers. Specific modalities shall be worked out by the Parties with the assistance of the Royal Norwegian Government by D-day + 30 at the latest.
2.11 A gradual easing of the fishing restrictions shall take place starting from D-day. As of D-day + 90, all restrictions on day and night fishing shall be removed, subject to the following exceptions: (i) fishing will not be permitted on (hereinafter referred to as the SLMM).
2.12 The Parties agree that search operations and arrests under the Prevention of Terrorism Act shall not take place. Arrests shall be conducted under due process of law in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Code.
2.13 The Parties agree to provide family members of detainees access to the detainees within D-day + 30.
Article 3: The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission
The Parties have agreed to set up an international monitoring mission to enquire into any instance of violation of the terms and conditions of this Agreement. Both Parties shall fully cooperate to rectify any matter of conflict caused by their respective sides. The mission shall conduct international verification through on-site monitoring of the fulfilment of the commitments entered into in this Agreement as follows:
3.1 The name of the monitoring mission shall be the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission
3.2 Subject to acceptance by the Parties, the Royal Norwegian Government (hereinafter referred to as the RNG) shall appoint the Head of the SLMM (hereinafter referred to as the HoM), who shall be the final authority regarding interpretation of this Agreement.
3.3 The SLMM shall liaise with the Parties and report to the RNG.
3.4 The HoM shall decide the date for the commencement of the SLMM’s operations.
3.5 The SLMM shall be composed of representatives from Nordic countries.
3.6 The SLMM shall establish a headquarters in such place as the HoM finds appropriate. An office shall be established in Colombo and in Vanni in order to liaise with the GOSL and the LTTE, respectively. The SLMM will maintain a presence in the districts of Jaffna, Mannar, Vavuniya, Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Amparai.within an area of 1 nautical mile on either side along the coast and 2 nautical miles seawards from all security forces camps on the coast; (ii) fishing will not be permitted in harbours or approaches to harbours, bays and estuaries along the coast.
3.7 A local monitoring committee shall be established in Jaffna, Mannar, Vavuniya, Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Amparai. Each committee shall consist of five members, two appointed by the GOSL, two by the LTTE and one international monitor appointed by the HoM. The international monitor shall chair the committee. The GOSL and the LTTE appointees may be selected from among retired judges, public servants, religious leaders or similar leading citizens.
3.8 The committees shall serve the SLMM in an advisory capacity and discuss issues relating to the implementation of this Agreement in their respective districts, with a view to establishing a common understanding of such issues. In particular, they will seek to resolve any dispute concerning the implementation of this Agreement at the lowest possible level.
3.9 The Parties shall be responsible for the appropriate protection of and security arrangements for all SLMM members.
3.10 The Parties agree to ensure the freedom of movement of the SLMM members in performing their tasks. The members of the SLMM shall be given immediate access to areas where violations of the Agreement are alleged to have taken place. The Parties also agree to facilitate the widest possible access to such areas for the local members of the six above-mentioned committees, cf. Article 3.7.
3.11 It shall be the responsibility of the SLMM to take immediate action on any complaints made by either Party to the Agreement, and to enquire into and assist the Parties in the settlement of any dispute that might arise in connection with such complaints.
3.12 With the aim of resolving disputes at the lowest possible level, communication shall be established between commanders of the GOSL armed forces and the LTTE area leaders to enable them to resolve problems in the conflict zones.
3.13 Guidelines for the operations of the SLMM shall be established in a separate document.
Article 4: Entry into force, amendments and termination of the Agreement
4.1 Each Party shall notify its consent to be bound by this Agreement through a letter to the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs signed by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on behalf of the GOSL and by leader Velupillai Pirabaharan on behalf of the LTTE, respectively. The Agreement shall be initialled by each Party and enclosed in the above-mentioned letter.
4.2 The Agreement shall enter into force on such date as is notified by the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs.
4.3 This Agreement may be amended and modified by mutual agreement of both Parties. Such amendments shall be notified in writing to the RNG.
4.4 This Agreement shall remain in force until notice of termination is given by either Party to the RNG. Such notice shall be given fourteen (14) days in advance of the effective date of termination.