Feature Article

UN panel report oversteps by rejecting homeland of Eezham Tamils

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 26 April 2011, 11:54 GMT]
Eezham Tamils hoodwinked by war crimes indictments that are doubtful of materialising into actions, should carefully note that the UN panel report has said nothing on the burning question of colonization of the Tamil country by Colombo in listing obstacles to ‘sustainable peace and reconciliation’. On the contrary, it advises especially the diaspora to realise that all ethnic communities in the island “share a common homeland.” Anyone could see that in the context of the island nullification of the historical homeland of Eezham Tamils amounts to dismemberment of their nation and completion of genocide. What is the mandate of the UN panel to imply a political model rejecting the territorial identity of Eezham Tamils as a ‘lasting solution’ and in the process paving way for further crisis to them, asks a Tamil politician in Jaffna.

Further observations and comments from the Tamil politician in Jaffna, who wants the diaspora to take a particular note of what the UN Secretary General’s panel has said on The Tamil Diaspora under Chapter VI, “Further Obstacles to Accountability” (page 114, sections: 417-420), follow:

UN Panel Report, Page 114
UN Panel Report, Page 114
By suggesting a ‘common homeland’ for the genocidal colonizers and the colonized, the panel recommendation in section 420 goes contrary to the spirit of even a federal solution.

The UN panel is perhaps making a worse injustice than that of the constitution makers of British Ceylon who have handed over the historical sovereignty of the nation of Eezham Tamils into the hands of the dominant Sinhalese and thus originated the mess.

What lies beneath all the seemingly balanced discussions of the report is just another side of the ‘finish to the end’ war strategy. Now it is ‘finish to the political end’. In this respect the UN panel seems to share a common ground with the Sinhala state.

The two nations in the island have long demonstrated their contention and inability to share a state. The international crisis management for a lasting solution in such a chronic context is facilitating the concerned nations to look after them separately, at least for the time being, so that their competitive energies will be channelled in positive ways for the benefit of everybody and for eventual true reconciliation.

Making them to confront round after round until both are weakened or the weaker is eliminated is not international crisis management but only facilitating those who want to devour the both.

* * *

The report says, “Significant elements of the diaspora create a further obstacle to sustainable peace when they fail to acknowledge rights violations committed by the LTTE and its role in the humanitarian disaster in the Vanni,” (417).

This is “lack of a victim-centred approach,” on the part of the panel, which the panel report itself points out to the LLRC in page 91.

What is the benefit to the diaspora as well as to the nation of Eezham Tamils in highlighting the violations of the LTTE as political means, when it doesn’t exist anymore, eliminated by foul means by forces many times worse than that and when there are no hopes in sight that ‘self-searching’ would bring in solutions to fundamental questions and pressing crisis at hand?

* * *

Another accusation brought out by the panel report is that during the last stages in the war many in the diaspora remained silent on the numerous LTTE violations and at the end parts of the diaspora appeared more concerned about preserving the political state of Tamil Eelam than about the suffering of the civilian population. (418)

It is unfortunate that the panel report fails to record that it was not just “parts of the diaspora” but the bulk of the diaspora was on the streets, primarily demanding the international community to intervene and to stop the war.

The diaspora has done its duty with its fullest energy and unprecedented mobilisation.

The UN has no moral right to accuse the diaspora when it didn’t lift even its little finger to stop the war of those who wanted ‘to finish to the end’.

When the UN was not prepared to arrange neutral facilities to receive the civilian population it has no moral right to accuse the diaspora for not telling the civilians to come out of designated ‘no fire zones.’

The panel report uses the word ‘hostages’ for the civilians in the LTTE controlled area. The UN did nothing when they came out and when they were treated inhumanly behind the barbed wires. Will the UN take responsibility for all the deaths, disappearances and human rights violations that took place when the people came out? How does the panel expect that the diaspora should have voiced in favour of their own kith and kin becoming prisoners in the hands of a genocidal enemy?

Diaspora’s concern of preserving the political state of Tamil Eelam comes from larger security concerns of its entire nation and posterity in the times to come.

Where is the UN when the absence of the de facto state now reflects in the sufferings of a larger population in the entire north and east that is in open prisons surrounded by an occupying military and face deaths, disappearances, human rights violations and structural genocide every day? All knows well that the absence of the de facto state escalated the subjugation of all the Tamils in the island.

* * *

Former front organizations for the LTTE continue to operate through private businesses and to control some of the temple incomes, the panel report says, adding that these organizations should be monitored and the funds still exist should be secured for reparations to the victims in the conflict. (419)

The panel report fails to say who has to do this and who has to decide how the funds should be spent on what.

This is a matter that should be left to the diaspora to sort it out through its democratic institutions.

Neither the UN nor the international community has so far provided any independent mechanism for the diaspora to help its kith and kin at home. On the contrary, some establishments in the West are only keen in prodding the diaspora institutions to work with known chauvinistic outfits in the south.

In addition, there are also efforts by Colombo and by certain establishments to handle the matter of funds to groom political subordinates of their choice. Nobody knows how the funds or assets confiscated so far were ‘repatriated’ to the victims of the conflict.

As it is easier for the establishments to pounce on the diaspora than to act on Colombo, the unspecified statement of the panel report is likely to put democratic political transformation of the diaspora institutions and development of independent civil society institutions into danger. Because, the worst of the crimes many of the establishments are still committing on Eezham Tamils is penalising their spirit of nationalism as an LTTE agenda.

Diaspora reserves its democratic right to decide what is development for its nation and to its kith and kin.

* * *

The panel report accuses that members of the Tamil diaspora, through their unconditional support of the LTTE and their extreme Tamil nationalism have effectively promoted divisions within the Sri Lankan Tamil community and ironically, reinforced Sinhalese nationalism. (420)

The statement only shows that the panel, very similar to Colombo and its abettors, is deliberately confusing the need felt by Eezham Tamils for their independence predating the LTTE with the struggle of the LTTE. It ignores large sections of Eezham Tamils who never gave unconditional support or any support at all to the ways of the LTTE, but felt the need for independence.

What does the panel means by ‘extreme Tamil nationalism’?

Asking for one’s independence when oppression is generations-long is not extreme nationalism. But committing genocide on another nation, dismembering another nation, occupying the territory of another nation is extreme nationalism.

But, ironically, for the biased panel, the Tamil nationalism is extreme where as the Sinhalese have only reinforced nationalism.

In writing the part on the Tamil diaspora in the panel report, bias and exasperation arising out of inability or humiliation seem to have replaced professionalism, and this part of the report smacks of a carbon copy of the position taken by the International Crisis Group and by some diplomats mishandled the war in the island.

The panel report says that the extreme Tamil nationalism of the diaspora effectively promoted divisions within the Sri Lankan Tamil community.

Rather than coming out with such an unqualified statement, why can’t the panel recommend a Sudan-model referendum among Eezham Tamils in the island, to see whether they are divided or united on the question of independence?

* * *

Perhaps one of the best observations of the panel report is that it says, “Fear and silence are the enemies of accountability.” (400)

The diaspora has to shed its fear and silence and ask to the face of the world establishments for accountability of the subservience of Eezham Tamils, dismemberment of their nation and programmed genocide against them.

The Panel report originates from The UN which is accused of allowing or even arranging the war crimes, it was handed over to those who were accused of the crimes and it is being studied for ‘appropriate’ action by those who are accused of complicity to the crimes.

Let those who deliberately abetted and allowed the war crimes now investigate them either to belatedly uphold the world order, or to settle scores among them, or to hoodwink action to achieve their ambitions in the island.

But Eezham Tamils need independence of their nation to prevent further crimes against them coming from inside as well as from outside of the island.



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