Yet another election for the Sri Lankan parliament is scheduled for the 17 August 2015. Parliamentary Elections in the Island of Sri Lanka have been of total irrelevance to the Tamil people ever since the island’s independence in 1948.
This parliament of a Sinhala Hegemonic state, since 1948, has been systematically destroying the foundations of the Tamil Nation, behind the cloak of a “democracy”. The very parliament repeatedly orchestrated anti-Tamil pogroms in which thousands of innocent Tamil people were massacred on the streets and in their own homes, by Sinhalese mobs.
It was this parliament that sanctioned the genocidal onslaught, massacring over 70,000 Tamil people in Mullivaikkal. It executes the systematic colonisation of the Tamil Homeland with Sinhala settlers, in order to destroy the territorial integrity of Tamil people’s safe haven. This parliament perpetuates impunity and has been standing in the way of justice to the victims of these crimes, since 1948 and continues to do so to this day.
The Tamil people have been electing their MPs to represent their interest in this parliament since 1948. These MPs have been totally ineffective against a Sinhala hegemonic state structure which contemptuously disregards the voice of the Tamil people. The political history of the island is replete with broken “pacts” and “agreements” between Tamil representatives and successive Sinhala leaderships.
The Sinhala Nation which dominates this parliament does not accept the Tamil Nation’s equal status in the union. On the contrary, it is working systematically to destroy the very foundation of the Tamil Nation.
At this election the major Sinhala political parties, one of which will form the next government, have not mentioned anything in their manifestos about solving the Tamil National problem or of their policy on power sharing. This is because they fear losing Sinhala votes. This is a clear indicator of the unwillingness of the Sinhala Nation to share power with the Tamil Nation.
It is in this backdrop the Tamil people are facing yet another election to a parliament that will continue to be dominated by the Sinhala Nation. This election is keenly observed by the international community which has now begun to recognise the perils facing the Tamil people under the genocidal Sinhalese dominated Sri Lankan state.
It is time for the Tamil Nation to give the International community a clear message that the Tamil people will not stay dormant while the Sinhala Nation continues with its genocidal agenda. Let the international community know that we the Tamil people want to determine our own future, live in security, free from threat to our lives, our land and our livelihoods, by a genocidal Sinhala state.
It is imperative that the Tamil people use this opportunity to choose their representatives who stand steadfast for the protection of the Tamil Nation from a genocidal Sinhala State. The Tamil people want their representatives who will campaign in the international arena to seek justice for the crimes committed against their kith and kin. The Tamil people want their elected representatives who will champion their cause for freedom, by mobilising grass root activism instead of mere presence in an irrelevant parliament.
The Tamil people want courageous leadership that will not flinch in the face of external forces that have no regards for the existential threat faced by the Tamil people.
Elected representatives are recognised as legitimate leaders of the people, by the democratic International Community. It is for this reason that the Tamil people have to choose their elected representatives with care and scrutiny. We need to choose people who are resolute in standing up for the freedom of our people, who understand the international political dynamics and possess qualities to win over the international community.
The Tamil people’s very existence in that island is under threat from the accelerated genocidal agenda of the Sri Lankan state.
Basis for a Political Solution
We concur with successive leaders of the Tamil people that our survival in the island can only be secured through accepting the three cardinal principles.
1. Recognising the Tamil Nation.
2. Recognising the North-East as the Traditional Homeland of the Tamil people
3. Recognising the Tamil people’s right to self-determination.
On the matter of justice for the crimes committed against the Tamil people by the Sinhala state, Tamil people believe that only an International system can deliver justice to the victims. The Tamil people have no faith in a domestic investigative mechanism which will not only be a sham but will also expose potential witnesses to great danger. Tamil people therefore will reject a domestic or a hybrid mechanism.
The Tamil people have been subjected to military occupation by the Sinhala state military to an extent that is unparalleled anywhere in the world. Since the end of the war, the Sinhala military is being used to destroy the economic and social foundation of the Tamil people. The military is involved in farming, retailing, tourism and many other commercial activities while on the Sri Lankan state’s defence payroll. It illegally uses the threat of a gun barrel for negotiating deals in buying and selling. It continues to occupy our people’s land and homes while the rightful owners languish in IDP camps facing a bleak future with uncertainty. Our women folk face constant threat of sexual abuse by the military personnel stationed in our Homeland. The military is involved in drug trafficking and peddling in our Homeland as part of the Sri Lankan State strategy to destroy the social fabric of the Tamil Nation.
These matters need concerted resistance by the affected people who have to be given leadership by their elected representatives.
Tamil National Economy
The Sri Lankan state has been blocking any meaningful comprehensive needs assessment in our Homeland in terms of economic, social and health needs of our people. The Tamil elected representatives have to give leadership to address these issues and campaign to open up direct investment channels into the Tamil Homeland for rebuilding and sustaining the Tamil National Economy.
British Tamils Forum believes that the Tamil people should elect representatives who will stand firm, upholding the cardinal principles in arriving at a political solution while giving leadership to address immediate issues such as militarisation, drug menace, unemployment, Tamil national economic revival, etc.
Although we recognise that the Tamil representatives can make very little difference in the Sinhala Hegemonic parliament, we believe they have a substantial role to play in giving leadership to the people in resisting subjugation and campaigning for the Tamil people’s inalienable right to Self-Determination, at the international arena. For this reason we believe that every eligible Tamil voter should exercise their franchise in electing those who stand for the above principles.
We urge our Kith and Kin in our Homeland to exercise their voting rights to strengthen the call by the international community and the Tamil Diaspora, for justice and recognition of our right to self- determination.