Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 23 June 2013





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Government Gazette

Tamil aspirations differ from those of LTTE cohorts abroad

It is an open secret that the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) had been a puppet of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran when his terror outfit was at its peak, inflicting nothing but misery on over 20 millions Sri Lankans.

Soldiers being transported by sea.

A group of Army Commandos
Gotabaya Rajapaksa
Doughlas Devenanda

Though the parliamentarians of the Tiger-proxy TNA have taken an oath to protect the Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and to respect sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country, most of them have conducted themselves in a manner that would foster separatism.

TNA parliamentarians did not utter a word against LTTE’s terror acts due to protect their own lives from Prabhakaran and his barbaric terrorists. Now that the Security Forces had vanquished the Tiger leadership and restored peace, the TNA had emerged from nowhere to shed crocodile tears on Tamils.

If the TNA had been sincerely interested in the well-being of the Tamils, they would have well made a strong voice against the LTTE which unleashed nothing but misery, mainly on the people in the North and the East. When the LTTE forcibly held Tamil civilians as a human shield, the TNA parliamentarians acted as if they were deaf and blind.

‘Dream separate State’

But after the LTTE was crushed militarily, the TNA seems to have taken the ‘dream separate State’ batton from Prabhakaran to satisfy the LTTE cohorts abroad. What the TNA should bear in mind is that the aspirations of the people in the North and the East are totally different from that of LTTE cohorts abroad, and even that of expatriate Tamils in countries such as the UK, France, Canada and Australia.

It is pity that the TNA, while projecting itself as a democratic political party, is spreading the deadly separatist ideology to poison peace-loving Tamils in the North and the East, who are only interested in a better tomorrow with improved living standards. But TNA is playing a dual role to achieve the goal which Prabhakaran failed. TNA is making every effort to win what Prabhakaran failed through an armed struggle through other means.

The TNA’s dual role has now come to light, showing a democratic face to woo sympathy from India while establishing close links with Tiger cohorts abroad.

A section of the Tamil diaspora, who still live in the fantasy State created by Prabhakaran, are supporting the TNA to achieve that goal.

If the TNA parliamentarians respect Sri Lanka’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, in keeping with the oath they had taken when swearing in as Members of Parliament, they should abandon their separatist ideas which poisons the minds of the Northern youth. The TNA should stop its crybaby role of running to India for the simplest of reasons.

Genuine grievances

If the TNA have problems, they should do it democratically by discussing their genuine grievances with the democratically elected leaders of Sri Lanka. As Sri Lankans, all politicians, irrespective of their race and creed, must settle their scores within the democratic framework in Sri Lanka, instead of turning to foreign mediation.

Whatever it is, the final decision on any matter has to be taken by the Government here and not through any other foreign government.

It is heartening to see India taking a firm stand and respecting Sri Lanka’s sovereignty and territorial integrity even at this stage. The TNA parliamentarians, who went to New Delhi recently to meet Indian leaders, have returned home with shattered dreams as India has refused to meddle in Sri Lanka’s internal matters. This should me an eye-opener to TNA not to make such futile attempts in future.

The Indian Opposition delegation, led by Bharathiya Janatha Party, that visited Sri Lanka recently said that India could only provide basic facilities to the North and East residents but it does not have a magic wand to find a political solution to the national issue.

The New Indian Express, quoting the six-member delegation head Ravi Shankar Prasad, reported that the BJP delegation head had said that the Sri Lankan Tamils should interact with the Government of Sri Lanka to find a political solution to their grievances.

Prasad, quite rightly, had said that the Tamils in Sri Lanka should not depend on India and the latter would not wish to damage its century old friendly ties with Sri Lanka.

The Indian delegation met politicians, civil society representatives and security forces personnel during their recent visit to the North.

They also met the Tamil National Alliance parliamentarians before meeting President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees.

Food for thought

Prasad had made these observations after a careful study, gaining first-hand experience with the people in the North. His remarks are food for thought not only for extremist politicians in Tamil Nadu but also for our own TNA leaders.

Prasad and his BJP team would have experienced the new lease of life that the people in the North and the East have got since terrorism was eradicated in May, 2009.

The Government has given preferential treatment to these two provinces ahead of the other seven provinces in the country by embarking on mega development projects to develop infrastructure facilities.

As a result, the Northern and the Eastern provinces have shown an economic growth rate of over 22 percent, well ahead of all other provinces in the country. That alone is an ample testimony to showcase the sincere efforts that the President and his Government have taken to usher a better tomorrow for the people in the North and the East who had been rescued from the clutches of the LTTE terror during the 2006-2009 humanitarian operation.

Apart from all these positive developments, the youth in these two provinces, who once had fearful chapter in their lives without knowing when the LTTE would forcibly drag them to terror activities in the battlefront, have now got ample opportunities. The Northern youth have also been given a chance to serve in the Security Forces, if they wish.


Moreover, 6,000 Northern youth have been provided State sector employment by the government after advertising the vacancies in newspapers.

Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development Minister Douglas Devananda recently presented appointment letters to these youth at Weerasingham Hall, Jaffna.

Out of the applications received, most suitable personal have been selected through interviews. Recently fresh appointments were provided to 375 minor employees by the Minister, in the health and agricultural sectors.

The Northern graduates have been provided with government sector jobs whilst making casual employers permanent. In this process over 1,000 voluntary teachers serving in the North for a long period have been reassigned as permanent staff and another 653 teachers will assign permanent shortly. The latest move is a part of Government’s long-term plan to provide employment to Northern youth.

When such creditable volume of work towards national reconciliation and the well-being of the Tamils are taking place in the two provinces, the TNA has little or no chance to woo people in these areas anymore. It is still fresh in their minds how LTTE terrorists carried out some of the most brutal bomb attacks and massacred belonging even to their own community.

The international community too should look at these creditable achievements with an open mind, rather than still rubbing on the old wounds.

The West must give up its customary agenda of talking on human rights of the terrorists killed in action and try to see the positive side of achievements since the crushing of the LTTE.

LTTE atrocities

The LTTE assassinated many moderate Tamil politicians, including TULF leader T. Amirthalingam. The fifteenth death anniversary of the Secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party branch in Gurunagar, S. A. Oswald falls tomorrow. He was shot dead by LTTE terrorists in Gurunagar, Jaffna on June 24, 1998.

When the LTTE atrocities during this part of corresponding years are spoken about, one could never forget the brutal killing of the principal of St. John’s College, Jaffna, C.E. Anandarajah who was shot dead by the LTTE terrorists in Jaffna on June 26, 1985. LTTE was not ashamed to claim responsibility, alleging that the principal was killed for organising a cricket match between the students and the Security Forces. Is that a crime to pay by his life? But TNA had never sought help of international community to stop such inhuman acts.

The international community should show equal concern on the Muslims who had been at the receiving end.

Though the LTTE claimed that its armed struggle was for minority rights, they even killed thousands of Muslims, even stormed into mosques to drag praying Muslims and had butchered them.

On June 27, 2002, LTTE cadres threw grenades and attacked a crowd guarding the Valaichenai Mosque and killed five Muslims. Three Muslim fishermen, who had been fishing in Vahaneri reservoir on June 27, 2002, were abducted and later killed by the LTTE. Several Muslim devotees were killed on the very next day when LTTE opened fire and threw grenades at worshippers at Oddaimavady Mosque.

Thanks to the untiring efforts of Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the supreme sacrifices made by the Security Forces, those experiences are now things of history.

However, we should bear in mind that the Tiger cohorts abroad are still working round the clock to resurrect Prabhakaran.

We should never allow those disgruntled forces to bounce back and jeopardise the hard-earned peace. We could never go back to that dark era again.


The most critical aspect from a domestic security viewpoint, what matters the most will be the achievement of national reconciliation and the forging of a common Sri Lankan identity.

As the Defence Secretary has pointed out, economic development is an absolute necessity in that regard.

The rise of terrorism and the resulting mayhem fostered deep insecurity among the people and it also increased the involvement of foreign powers in our internal affairs. Several North and East-based INGOs’ had links with the terrorists. Hence, the Government was forced to take precautionary measures to counter the terrorist attacks that were carried out against civilians in the rest of the country as well.

All efforts by international community for a peaceful settlement to terrorism in Sri Lanka had failed because terrorists repose faith in the bullet. Despite international presence after the 2002 Ceasefire Agreement and the UNP boasting of an ‘international safety net’, the LTTE continued to create instability in the country.

The possibility of foreign interference in Sri Lanka’s internal affairs remains a significant national security concern due to the country’s geostrategic position.

The prime responsibility of the Government since the vanquishing of the LTTE is to ensure continued national security. Without security and stability, there will be no economic development.

‘National Security must be understood within a unified, single framework that integrates the nation’s defence, law and order, foreign and economic policies.

Hence, the international community should not force on us anything at this stage and let the Government implement its own mechanism on reconciliation. In case the West has extraordinary worry on the well-being of the people in the North, they could well make a tangible contribution towards the Government’s efforts to develop the two provinces.

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