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Prabhakaran Calls For Understanding of Tamil Issue


The called upon the international community to understand the "fair and reasonable" stand.

The annual Great Heroes' Day oration on Saturday, Prabhakaran said: " We urge the government to resume the peace negotiations without conditions, based on our proposal for an Interim Self Governing Authority. If the Government of Sri Lanka rejects our urgent appeal and adopts delaying tactics, perpetuating the suffering of our people, we have no alternative other than to advance the freedom struggle of our nation."

Sounding grim and giving a warning, the LTTE chief said: "Today we are faced with a critical and complex situation, unprecedented in the history of our liberation struggle. We are living in a political void, without war, without a stable peace, without the conditions of normalcy, without an interim or a permanent solution to the ethnic conflict.

The LTTE Supremo, Velupillai Prabhakaran, has warned that he will resume the war for an independent "Tamil Eelam" if the Sri Lankan government does not quickly begin unconditional talks on his proposal for an Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA) for the Tamil-speaking North Eastern Province (NEP).

He then called upon the international community to understand the LTTE's predicament and prevail upon the Sri Lankan government to resume peace talks based on his "fair and reasonable" stand.

Justifying the ultimatum, the Tiger chieftain said that it was clear from the contradictory statements emanating from President Chandrika Kumaratunga and her coalition partners that her government was not going to offer the Tamil people "either an interim administration or a permanent solution."

He challenged the Sinhala-majoritarian political parties in South Sri Lanka, including the opposition United National Party (considered to be relatively sympathetic to him) to come out openly with their stand on the issues of vital concern for the Tamil people, namely, the recognition of the Tamils as a separate nation and of their right to self-determination with their own Homeland in the North East of the island.

But Prabhakaran seemed to be sure that the southern Sri Lankan polity would not be able to come out with any kind of unity or clarity on these matters or any stand that would satisfy the Tamils.

"The southern political movements do not have the maturity and magnanimity or the political sagacity to understand and accept the fundamentals of the Tamil national question nor do they possess a consensus or a collective vision on the Tamil issue," he said.

The LTTE chief said that he was surprised that President Kumaratunga was showing an interest in resolving the ethnic issue when political parties aligned with her in the coalition government were advocating "incoherent and irrational policies and articulating brazen forms of racism."

Prabhakaran asserted that in the three years of a no-war situation, the Tamil people had not gained anything.

"The six sessions of negotiations held over a duration of six months turned out to be futile and meaningless.

Sub-committee that were set up for the de-escalation of the conflict; for the restoration of normalcy; for the rehabilitation and resettlement of the displaced; and for the construction of the war-damaged infrastructure, became non-functional."

"In the meantime, the Sri Lanka government, having excluded our liberation organisation, participated in the donor conference held in Washington, thereby undermining our status as equal partners in the peace process.

It was in these objective conditions that our organisation decided to show our displeasure and disappointment by temporarily suspending the talks."

However, the then UNP government led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe continued with the peace process and submitted three successive draft proposals for an Interim Administrative set up for the North Eastern Province to address the issues raised by the LTTE.

But none of these was acceptable to the LTTE. Then the LTTE consulted renowned experts across the globe and submitted its own carefully crafted proposal for an Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA).

Prabhakaran pointed out that instead of discussing the ISGA, the government wanted to discuss a "permanent settlement" .

One reason could be to satisfy the extremist racist sections in her coalition like the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP).

The second reason could be to satisfy the international community that she was genuinely interested in resolving the Tamil question.

The third reason could be prolong the peace negotiations indefinitely by opting to talk on a most intractable and complex issue like the permanent settlement.

This, he said, was unacceptable to the LTTE because for it, it was most urgent to attend to the basic needs of a people who had suffered the consequences of war over a prolonged period.

The intolerable burden of the day-to-day life problems was "suffocating" the Tamil people, he said.

The people were desperately anticipating relief and solutions to their urgent existential problems, which only a full empowered ISGA could give, he added. But if any elements of the ISGA were controversial and problematical, these could be taken up during the talks, he offered.

Prabhakaran said that the Tamils had bitter experiences of negotiating with Sri Lankan governments in the past. Agreements were torn apart and abrogated, and now, the liberation struggle was not willing to "walk the path of treachery and deception once again."

The LTTE Supremo, Velupillai Prabhakaran, has warned that he will resume the war for an independent "Tamil Eelam" if the Sri Lankan government does not quickly begin unconditional talks on his proposal for an Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA) for the Tamil-speaking North Eastern Province (NEP).


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