The Global Tamil Forum (GTF) has no mandate to speak on behalf of the rest of the Diaspora, says the senate of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE)
Sending an advisory note to the TGTE parliament its senate made the remarks above on the recent London talks.
Following is a broad summary of suggestions and comments made by various members of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) Senate on the recent talks in London between the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL), Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and Global Tamil Forum (GTF), ostensibly for developing ‘confidence building measures between all communities within and outside Sri Lanka’:
1. We can’t afford to shift from our goal – which is two-fold:
a. Succeed in urging UN to refer Sri Lanka to the International Criminal Court and ensuring the perpetrators are prosecuted;
b. Succeed in achieving an UN sponsored Referendum on an Independent and Sovereign Tamil Eelam.
2.We agree that the immediate needs of the people in the North and East must be met. However, we can’t let the Government of Sri Lanka to use it as a ploy to divide us, weaken us and force us to accept whatever crumbs they throw at us.
3. The immediate needs of the people must be addressed separately and firm action must be taken to alleviate the intolerable sufferings they are going through. It can’t be tied to our fundamental right of self-determination and reclaiming the sovereignty we have lost.
4. TGTE should call for transparency in public debate on any negotiation that takes place between the GoSL and any organization (elected or otherwise) concerning the future of the people of Tamil Eelam.
a. Highlight the continued denial of justice to Tamils within Sri Lanka- whether it be rehabilitation of those who survived the genocide, political prisoners, war widows, sexual assaults on Tamil women, people whose lands and houses have been confiscated by the army, the militarization of the Tamil areas and so on.
b. Run an effective global campaign on these specific themes with data, human stories and colorful info-graphics, especially in the run up to the Human Rights Commission session in Geneva this September;
c. Contribute to the rehabilitation efforts (discussed in London)through various channels if there is any real merit in the proposals being discussed.
d. Call for the immediate admission of internationally credible Human Rights groups i.e. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and International Crisis Group into the country NOW.
e. Carry out a well-organized and well conducted boycott of Sri Lankan goods as was done with Apartheid South Africa. 6. The TGTE must raise its international profile in order to assert its point of view and also ensure it is not sidelined in any discussions on the future of Eelam Tamils, within and outside Sri Lanka.
1. The GTF has no mandate to speak on behalf of the rest of us in the Diaspora;
2. Going by public statements made, the TNA member in London taking part in the negotiations hasn’t got the full support of his own party members either;
3. No political solution was mentioned in this so called “confidence building exercise”! In the most part it was about raising funds!
4. SL governments have played these cunning and deceptive games all along and were successful in deceiving the Tamils, the Tamil politicians and the international community over and over again. They are aiming to i) by selectively inviting one or two diaspora groups cause division and weaken the diaspora, ii) blunt the call for an independent state and iii) show the international community that they are talking to the TNA and the Tamil diaspora and; iv) divert attention and try to postpone the presentation of the UNHCR investigation on war crimes in Sri Lanka due in September this year.
5. The GoSL/TNA/GTF meetings in London are only aimed at helping the Sirisena coalition domestically in the upcoming elections within Sri Lanka.
6. Those who are supposedly representing the expatriate Tamils are representing themselves and not the Tamil people.
7. If Sirisena and Wickremasinghe tell the UNHRC to take their Resolution and get lost, there is nothing that the HRC can, or will, do.
8. The Right of Self-determination for the Tamils is a Right, not a favor. As such a Referendum in the Tamil areas to assess what the Tamil people want is mandatory. This must be a proper UN conducted Referendum with the Sri Lankan Armed Forces replaced by the UN Forces.
9. The Prevention of Terrorism Act condemned by every human rights group in the world, will have to be withdrawn. The GoSL claims to have crushed the Tamil ‘terrorists’. If so, who are the terrorists to whom this Act applies? This hypocrisy must be exposed – something that is not being done.
10. A ‘domestic’ investigation into war crimes will be a farce.
11. The new Sirisena regime has so far done nothing to instill confidence that it has the will to resolve the ‘Tamil National Question’ or find a viable political solution in keeping with the legitimate aspirations of the Tamil people.
12. The TNA has neither demonstrated the will and nor the courage required to endorse in full the NPC resolution on genocide nor demanded that the Tamil Nation be recognized as a first step towards finding a solution, that’s well within the law and not in breach of the 6th amendment.
MEMBERS OF THE TGTE SENATE ARE:
1. Mr. Ramsey Clark: Former US Attorney General: USA
2. Mr. Robert Evans: Former Member of European Parliament: UK
3. Mr. Daniel Mayan: Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM): South Sudan.
4. Mr. M. Manoharan: Former Member of Parliament: Malaysia.
5. Mr. Gilles Piquois: Attorney – at – Law: France.
6. Mr. David Matas: Human Rights Attorney: Canada.
7. Mr. Roy Chetty: South Africa.
8. Mr. Satya Sivaraman: Journalist: India.
9. Dr. Brian Seneviratne: A Sinhalese Physician from Australia.
10. Mrs. Usha Sriskandarajah: Writer: Canada.
11. Mr Sathesh Muniyandy: Secretary World Tamil Congress – Malaysia.
12. Dr. Nagalingam Jeyalingam: Former President Illankai Tamil Sangam and former president World Tamil Coordinating Committee: USA.
13. Professor Mrs. Saraswathi Rajendran: India.
14. Dr. Thani Cheran: First President of World Thamil Organization & former President of the Federation of the Tamil Sangams of North America (FeTNA): USA.
15. Mr. Rajaratnam Subramaniam: Educator – Canada.