Most respected Sri Lankan Tamil living outside Sri Lanka the GTF chief accepts invitation to visit Lanka

President of the proscribed Global Tamil Forum Fr. S.J. Emmauel says he has accepted the invitation by the Sri Lanka president and the foreign minister to come to Sri Lanka to assist in the process of reconciliation.
He has told Switzerland’s ‘Zeit-Fragen’ newspaper in an interview, “Some young people immediately said: You have to go. But it will take time to see how the country is developing now. In order to contribute to reconciliation I will continue to speak and to write.”
 
As a religious person – when I travel to Sri Lanka – I want to encourage all Christians towards reconciliation. I am convinced that the whole affair is a big challenge for both sides. For example, the victims, the affected people, who are complaining that their family members have still not returned home, although the war came to an end 6 years ago, and that the territory continues to remain under military control.”
 
“Sinhala politicians have the task to calm the mood in the country and to change the attitude towards the Tamils. During 60, 70 years one or the other political party has pursued their policies at the expense of the Tamils,” he said. 
 
Fifteen Tamil organizations, including the LTTE and GTF are banned by the Sri Lankan government.

Breaches of accords and pacts by Sri Lankan Governments in the past.

mahinda-and-singh4Anyone who goes into Sri Lankan history will understand that, Sri Lanka is famous for breaches of accords and pacts, it had previously agreed to. A few high lights are given below:

On 26 July 1957 an agreement known as the “Banda-Chelva” pact was signed between Bandaranayake (President Chandrika’s father) and the Tamil leader, S. J. V. Chevanayagam. This agreement was based on a quasi-federal system devolving certain powers to the Tamils in the North East provinces.

On 24 March 1965, an agreement known as “Dudley-Chelva” Pact was signed between Dudley Senanayake and the Tamil leader S. J. V. Chelvanayagam.


On the 29th July 1987
, a peace accord known as “Indo-Lanka” was signed between Sri Lanka and India. Even though this accord purported to bring an end to the island’s ethnic crisis, it was signed without any consultation with the Tamils of the North and East. This paved the way for the 13th amendment, which has never yet been implemented.

On 5 January 1995 the Government of Sri Lanka (President Chandrika) signed an agreement for cessation of hostilities with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam – LTTE. The Government announced lifting of the economic embargo but the embargo continued. Later Chandrika government argued that there was no such thing as an economic embargo in the Tamil region.

On 21 February 2002, under the facilitation of Norway, a Ceasefire Agreement “Memorandum of Understanding” was signed between the LTTE, and the then Sri Lanka Prime Minister Mr. Ranil Wickremasinghe.

Several rounds of negotiations took place in Thailand, Japan, Norway, Germany and Switzerland. The government of Sri Lanka failed to implement the agreed outcomes of peace talks.

David Miliband 2On 24 June 2005, the Post Tsunami Operational Management Structure – PTOMS was signed between the government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE. This agreement was made null and void because of a political judgement on 15 July 2005, from the Supreme Court. The PTOMS involved distribution of Tsunami aid in the North and East.

Out of all of the above, not a single agreement was respected by the political leaders or governments of the day in Sri Lanka. Therefore, ignoring or breaching the latest resolution of the UN HRC is not a difficult affair for the present government.

Of course there are a few individuals on both sides who want a peaceful political solution and demand justice for what has happened in the past but at the same time there are few who survive on playing the racist card to stay in power. Interestingly a good example is the statement of the 1st Executive President of Sri Lanka J.R. Jeyawardene  in July 1983 during the ‘Black July Killing of Tamils’ when thousands of Tamils were killed by Sinhales thugs with the support of Sinhala politicians who said that, ”I am not worried about the opinion of the Tamil people…… now we cannot think of them, not about their lives or their opinion…… the more you put pressure in the north, the happier the Sinhala people will be here….… Really if I starve the Tamils out, the Sinhala people will be happy.” ( Daily Telegraph, 11th July 1983.)