Worldwide Tamil Diaspora Organizations Call for International Arbitration in Negotiations with Sri Lanka for a Political Solution
We, the undersigned leading Tamil diaspora organizations across the world, wish to express our views on some aspects of any future political negotiations with the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL).
We wish to record at the outset that the over 1 million Tamils of Eelam origin now living in the diaspora were forced out of Sri Lanka due to the repeated cycles of violence and genocide against Tamils in the island. We wish to assert our right to return to our homeland, and hence we are stakeholders in any negotiation and formulation of a political solution to bring lasting peace and coexistence of the multi-ethnic and multi-religious communities in Sri Lanka.
Our organizations have consistently contributed to the efforts to secure the human rights and political rights of Tamils through our advocacy with our host governments and by engagement with bilateral and multilateral policy making centres in international fora, the Global North, and the regional power India.
Considering the current regional instability in and around the island of Sri Lanka and the potentially worsening future trajectory on the island as warned by human rights bodies, we request the international community to intervene and take appropriate steps to bring about a just solution to the longstanding Tamil National Question in Sri Lanka.
To this end, we note the recent chatter about political negotiations between the Tamil side and the Government of Sri Lanka through the auspices of the United States government with active support from the Government of India. While welcoming the role of India and the United States in political negotiations with the GoSL to solve the long-standing legitimate aspirations of the Tamil people, it is also necessary to point out the fate of past direct negotiations with the GoSL, and the abysmal history of abrogated pacts by the Sinhalese leaders.
Therefore, we firmly express that any negotiations need to happen with international arbitration for their successful conclusion. We appeal to the global power, the United States, the regional power India and UK, EU, Canada where majority of the Tamils took refuge, to formulate a comprehensive strategy and lead in these processes as arbitrators in any negotiations and to guarantee the implementation of subsequent agreements. We also request our host governments in Europe, the United Kingdom, USA, Canada, Australia, and South Africa to actively support and encourage such engagement with all available political, human rights and economic instruments at their disposal. And on any outcome, we once again reiterate the rights and responsibilities of the global Tamil diaspora as appropriate stakeholders.