Jayalalithaa recognises Eelam Tamils Right to Self-Determination

[TamilNet, Thursday, 09 October 2008, 18:33 GMT]
Ms. Jayalalithaa, former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and leader of the state's major opposition party, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), said in a press release, clarifying AIDMK stand Thursday that her party fully recognized Eelam Tamils right to Self-Determination. She also said that her party accepted the demand for Tamil homeland with self-governance within a united framework of a Sri Lankan constitution.

The AIDMK supported the prolonged struggle of the Eelam Tamils for their right to self determination, declared Ms. Jayalalitha. At the same time, she denounced terrorist activities that caused internal strife among the Eelam Tamils and disturbed the rule of Law within India.

Ms. Jayalalithaa was very careful in not allowing her statement to be interpreted as extending support to the LTTE, analysts in Chennai said, but described the move by the Oppostion Leader as a landmark declaration as it recognised two important principles of the Eezham struggle: Tamils Right to Self-Determination and a solution based on Self-Governance in their traditional homeland.

Ms. Jayalalithaa has sought to clarify her stand and the stand of her party and specified AIDMK's policy on Eelam Tamils in four points:

  1. Not Secondary Citizens: Eelam Tamils have equal rights as all other citizens of Sri Lanka. They are not secondary to anybody.

  2. Equal Rights: We completely support the prolonged struggle of the Sri Lankan Tamils seeking equality before law and equal opportunities in education and employment.

  3. Right to Self-Determination: We totally recognize their righteous struggle seeking the Right of Self-Determination.

  4. Self-Governance within United Sri Lanka: We understand and accept the demand of the Tamils that they shall create a Tamil Homeland where they have the power of self-governance, under the framework of a Sri Lankan Constitution.


Last Saturday, Ms. Jayalalithaa had condemned New Delhi for supplying arms, radar and military training to the Sri Lankan government. Questioning why special commanders of the Indian military were engaged in providing secret training to around one-hundred Sri Lankan military personnel in the state of Haryana, Jayalalithaa asked why India was again involving in the Sri Lankan war contradicting its earlier conclusion that the war in Sri Lanka was to be regarded as an internal affair of that island.

She said that the war being waged by the Sri Lankan government was not only against the LTTE. The war was against the Tamil people, she said and went on challenging the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister to withdraw his support to the ruling UPA government of India.

On Monday, Mr. Karunanidhi indirectly declared that his government would no longer tolerate New Delhi aiding Colombo against the Eezham Tamils, even if it supported Colombo "unwittingly".

However, Ms. Jayalithaa, in her policy statement issued on Thursday charged that the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister who was earlier arms-twisting the offices of the Central Government to get "lucrative positions for his relatives and trusted followers," he was merely paying "lip-service" and stopped with issuing statements from Chennai when it came to the issue of the Indian fishermen being targeted by the Sri Lankan Navy; and Eezham Tamils being killed by the Sri Lankan forces.

The affected Tamils would not benefit in any manner if people send telegrams to New Delhi, or if the Sri Lankan diplomats serving in low rank in the high commission were given warnings, she said urging Mr. Karunanidhi to come forward to put pressure on his allies in the Centre.

Jayalalithaa urged the Centre and Mr. Karunanidhi to take measures to address the needs of the thousands of civilians who are languishing without food, shelter and medicine. Even the women and children have become victims of the indiscriminate attacks by the Sri Lankan forces, she said.

 

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