Feature Article
2ND LEAD (Adds Hansard record of Sampanthan's speech)

Sampanthan indirectly implicates India, US, EU, UK, Japan, Norway for Tamil predicament post-2009

[TamilNet, Friday, 10 January 2020, 23:10 GMT]
Despite all the valid criticisms against the revisionist TNA hierarchy, which has misled the occupied nation of Eezham Tamils by deviating from the fundamentals of the democratically mandated aspiration after 2009, one should appreciate TNA Parliamentary Group Leader R. Sampanthan for strait-forwardly reiterating, especially in recent times, the names of the regional and international formations ultimately responsible to crush the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The countries and the alliances mentioned by Mr Sampanthan include India, USA, Japan, Norway and the European Union with the UK. Sampanthan refers to the block of countries excluding India as the “international community”, and these countries were formally represented by identifiable individuals who served the formation of Tokyo Co-Chair Donors. A troika of diplomats was representing India at the height of the war.

Sampanthan has also named two of the Indian trio by name, “Mr M.K. Narayanan, the then National Security Adviser of India, Mr Shivshankar Menon, the then Foreign Secretary and India’s Defence Secretary.” The third person Mr Sampanthan didn't mention was India's Defence Secretary at that time, Mr Vijay Singh.

“The military defeat of the LTTE was seen as a precursor to a reasonable political solution,” by Sri Lanka and India, Mr Sampanthan said.

Colombo government under the leadership of Mahinda Rajapaksa had made commitments to “India and other members of the international community, including the Co-Chairs, in regard to a political solution,” Mr Sampanthan told the SL Parliament on Wednesday.

The Island paper carried the text of the speech made by Mr R. Sampanthan at the SL Parliament on Wednesday. The statement is yet to appear in the online Hansard.

“The military defeat of the LTTE is also substantially attributable to the assistance of both India and the international community to achieve that objective,” Sampanthan said.

“The said commitments need to be honoured. They cannot be reneged upon. If the commitments made to the international community are not implemented – these are all a matter of record that cannot be disputed – it would mean that the international community was used to obtain the necessary assistance to defeat the LTTE militarily, but the commitments made to the international community are now being reneged upon,” Mr Sampanthan added.

Mr Sampanthan was wisely putting the names of the countries, formations and even some Indian individuals that pulled strings on behalf of the outside Establishments at a time when the peace process was formally in force.

The Rajapaksa siblings have also revealed the same facts in the past.

The role of the external powers during the peace process was partly assessed by the 2011 evaluation of the Norwegian peace process conducted by two academic institutions in Norway and the UK.

The evaluation of the Norwegian-led peace process concluded that Norway was not only facilitating, but it was playing the role of a mediator in practice. Since the mediator failed to withdraw from the process by 2006, it could be held responsible for the consequences of the discourse, hinted the evaluation.

The Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal (PPT) in Dublin in 2010 and Bremen in 2013 has dealt with the issue in more detail. The judges of the PPT noted that the USA’s military-to-military relationship with Sri Lanka enhanced the capacity of the latter to commit genocide. However, the Tribunal wished to postpone deliberations on India's role in the genocide pending submission of potential evidence.

The US role was exposed through WikiLeaks and Hillary Clinton emails released to the public domain in 2015. One email has revealed the role of diplomats associated with the IMF and the World Bank.

Also, the UN was abetting the genocide. The UN Secretary-General was watering down the criticism through instructing a review of the process in 2012. The assessment was known as Petrie Report and paved the way for the Human Rights up Front (HRUF) which was created based on the UN failure on its Responsibility to Protect and for the subsequent launch of 2014 OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL).

At the same time, the powers that abetted Colombo's genocidal war were waging war on Tamil diaspora as well as coercing sections of Tamil diaspora and the TNA through the so-called Singapore Principles roadmap in 2013.

However, the octogenarian TNA leader addressing the SL Parliament on Wednesday was reiterating his “commitment” to a “united, undivided, indivisible Sri Lanka”. In doing so, he was violating the principles of Tamils Right of Self-Determination.

Mr Sampanthan said that the Tamil people had decided “at every election held since 1988 that they will work for sharing of powers of governance within the framework of a united, undivided, indivisible Sri Lanka”.

The above statement is total fallacy. The last ever democratic election where Tamils had the freedom to articulate their aspiration without any prohibition was in 1977. In that election, the majority of Tamil speaking peoples gave their democratic mandate for Vaddukkoaddai Resolution. In 1983, the SL State unilaterally imposed the 6th Amendment to the SL Constitution which said “[n]o person shall, directly or indirectly, in or outside Sri Lanka, support, espouse, promote, finance, encourage or advocate the establishment of a separate State within the territory of Sri Lanka.” Tamil parliamentarians elected on 1977 mandate could not take the oath imposed under the Sixth Amendment, and they were forced to drop out of the SL Parliament en masse.

Since then there was no freedom of expression to articulate the real Tamil aspiration in the election manifesto of any party and the ‘new mandate’ that Mr Sampanthan talks about is illogical and has nothing to do with the Tamil aspiration.

Another problem with Mr Sampanthan's speech was his inability to accuse or pass the responsibility to the external actors to whom he was listening from the run-up to the genocidal onslaught in 2009 and after, especially since the 2013 Singapore principles.

However, Sampanthan was right when he observed the following:

“The Constitution of a country is the primary and supreme law of the country. In many instances in many countries which are pluralistic in character, Constitutions have been framed on the basis of a consensus amongst the different peoples to accommodate such pluralism. Such accommodation has united distinct peoples with distinct identities, who, while preserving their distinct identities, have constituted a single nation within one country. The Policy Statement enunciated by the President envisages the adoption of a new Constitution. No Constitution has thus far been framed in this country on the basis of such national consensus.”

The TNA hierarchy committed a big blunder when it went for the “united, undivided and indivisible” Sri Lanka, before such a constitution was made possible. The unwarranted act amounts to the self-denial of the Right of Self-Determination.

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