Pathmanathan welcomes US shift in approach

[TamilNet, Saturday, 14 March 2009, 14:51 GMT]
"We have been hoping for such a fresh approach to the longstanding but little understood problem of the Eezham Tamils in the island of Sri Lanka," said Selvaraja Pathmanathan, the newly appointed LTTE plenipotentiary for international relations, when contacted by TamilNet for his response on US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton’s statement Friday. “An immediate ceasefire can stop the killing of civilians and will pave way for other measures to take effect in a more acceptable manner to the affected people”, he further said, adding, “ grief on one side and greed on the other side have to be assessed impartially in working out a solution meeting the aspirations of all of Sri Lanka’s communities.

S. Pathmanathan
S. Pathmanathan, Head of LTTE's International Diplomatic Relations
‘Meeting the aspirations of all communities’ is a unitary-centric approach the Sri Lankan state has been historically using in the negation of Tamil national aspirations, Pathmanathan pointed out.

“Tamils have been deceived many times in the past and they have no faith in the Sinhala leadership. It is our sincere hope that US would take utmost care and adopt impartial approach in resolving the conflict”, he said.

On the issue of civilian shield, he said, he welcomes independent and direct international monitoring to assess what exactly the civilians of Vanni think on this issue.

While personally thanking Ms. Hillary Clinton for taking interest in the crisis in such a way reflecting what she said during her election campaign, Mr. Pathmanathan said US can prevent the current misery of Tamils in the hands of the Sinhala armed forces, which have been well-known for targeting Tamil civilians even before the advent of Tamil armed resistance.

Pathmanathan hinted at the stress given to the call to cease the firing at the safety zone and absence of demand for LTTE laying down arms as significant shifts in the US approach.

He also hinted at the peaceful and hard-working nature of the Tamil society rewarding any quarter coming out with an impartial approach in resolving the problem.


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