“Never doubt, that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world, indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead
It is a pleasure to see the Diaspora youths coming forward to express their views. These youths are simply clear in their minds what should be the solution in Sri Lanka as far as the Tamils are concerned. They had a healthy discussion of a policy document to chart the way forward after the Mullivaaykkaal Genocide. Their thinking looks very methodical, well thought out and true and genuine.
Let us have the privilege of enumerating their, “Findings towards a Formation of policy”.
1. A solution for the Eelam Tamil nation within a Sri Lankan unitary state is infeasible. It is only politically practical and ethical for representatives and activists of the Eelam Tamil nation to not accept any political solution that confers legitimacy to the unitary state of Sri Lanka.
2. Tamil sovereignty is the basis of a principled minimal demand of the Eelam Tamil nation. Tamil sovereignty is based on the recognition of Historical Sovereignty that the Eelam Tamils as a nation had in their traditional homeland, Earned Sovereignty that the LTTE de-facto state won in the course of the armed struggle, and Remedial Sovereignty to protect the Eelam Tamil nation from genocide in the post-Mullivaaikkaal period.
3. The school of thought of the Eelam Tamils’ liberation struggle is uncompromising on a solution based on a Tamil sovereign nationhood. The political outlook of V. Navaratnam, S.J.V. Chelvanayagam and V. Pirapaharan which constitutes the school of thought of the Eelam Tamils’ liberation struggle forms the general ideological framework of Eelam Tamil nationalism and calls for a solution based on the recognition of the Eelam Tamils as a nation as different from a minority community. This school of thought was the guiding principle behind the Vaddukkodai resolution mandated by the Eelam Tamils in the homeland in 1977
4. Tamils must take note of their significant role in local and global geopolitics. More than Tamils needing the West and India, these powers need the Tamils in their policy concerning the South Asian region. In terms of numbers, the Tamil Nadu Tamils and the Eelam Tamils taken together constitute a formidable bloc that forms the calculations of world powers. Taking this into account, Eelam Tamils should not be pawns of an external power’s policy but must have a very clear understanding of their policy towards the resolution of their chronic national question. The recent Tamil Nadu student uprising against the pro-LLRC US resolution in 22nd Session of the UNHRC in 2013 which compelled the Tamil Nadu state government to pass a resolution calling for a referendum among the Eelam Tamils is an example of how people’s power can effectively challenge the policy of world powers.
5. There must be a critical engagement with the International Community. It is unfortunate that some actors within the Tamil polity are willing to accept solutions thrust upon us by the International Community that have only reforming the Sri Lankan state or bringing about a regime change at mind. This sort of uncritical engagement has led to political failures among certain Tamil activists and organizations in venues like UNHRC, where-in they stand approving of resolutions recognizing the legitimacy of the unitary Sri Lankan state.
6. Strategies must be framed by measuring outcomes. Taking from the mass uprising in Tamil Nadu and the results they have produced, the Tamil diaspora must mobilize to convince their host countries of the necessity of an internationally monitored referendum among the Eelam Tamils in the homeland, the refugees in India, and the Tamil Diaspora to determine their political future.
7. Tamil organizations and activists must be held accountable to the democratic will of the people. There is a need for a greater transparency regarding the policy decisions taken by Diaspora organizations. People have a right to hold organizations accountable to their mandate and also have a responsibility to exercise that right. Likewise, activists and organizations should have a mechanism in place for constructive criticism to be made and operating procedures that lay down how to incorporate feedback in activism and political engagement.
Elackiya Rajasingam- Germany, Krisna Saravanamuttu- Canada, Luxcy Lambert- Germany, Sasithar Maheswaran- UK, Sathapalan Kanasalingam- UK, Seran Sribalan- Australia, Shanyuga Ganesan- UK and Sinega Puvaneswaran- Germany.
For the past quarter-century the Tamil Diaspora has shaped the Sri Lankan political landscape through its financial and ideological support to the military struggle for an independent Tamil state. Although the May 2009 defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has dramatically reduced the Diaspora’s influence, the majority of Tamils outside Sri Lanka continue to support a separate state, and the Diaspora’s money and influence can ensure it plays a role in the country’s future. But the nature of that role, however, depends largely on how true, determined strong and sincere are the Tamil Diaspora.
Diaspora Tamils have integrated well into host countries, and become responsible and dutiful citizens. At the same time the host countries have learned enough or come to understand and avoided using imprecise language such as ‘pro-LTTE’ and radicalization that evoked different meanings and an attempt to mislead the general public. In the recent times the phrase ‘pro-LTTE’ has been loosely used, especially by the Sri Lankan apologists, to characterize anyone who speaks of the struggle for independence of the Tamils. This expression right now has hardly any sense. Very soon this ‘pro-LTTE’ will be become a pet reference like a mother calling her little son, “Naughty boy!”
If you are among a large gathering of Eelam Tamils, they will have you convinced that Eelam Tamils are not united. If you stick around longer, you will definitely be able to gauge the mood of our people. You will be convinced that Tamils around the world, not just Eelam Tamils, are also not united. How come the situation?
A self fulfilling prophecy
I am not sure how this falsehood came to dominate the Tamil thinking. If not addressed, this has the danger of becoming a self fulfilling prophecy. A self-fulfilling prophecy is a prediction that directly or indirectly causes it to become true, by the very terms of the prophecy itself, due to positive feedback between belief and behaviour. Although examples of such prophecies can be found in literature as far back as ancient Greece and ancient India, it is Robert K Merton, a 20th-century socialist who is credited with coining the expression “self-fulfilling prophecy” and formalizing its structure and consequences gave a grand answer. In his book Social Theory and Social Structure Merton defines self-fulfilling prophecy in the following terms: e.g. when Roxanna falsely believes her marriage will fail, her fears of such failure actually cause the marriage to fail.
Eelam Tamils should be very proud of their unified struggle against a Genocidal state for so many decades. If we were not a united people, the struggle would not have lasted for three generations. And rest assured, this struggle will continue until Tamil’s safety and security are in Tamil hands and until Tamils own their economic future. Doomsayers will be proven wrong.
The international community lost all its personality, the uniqueness and distinctive character not to mention its influence among the Tamil Diaspora. India has to take the blame for dragging the UK and USA governments to this pathetic plight. They have hardly any option other than whitewash the genocidal government of Sri Lanka and waste their energy in trying to manipulating the lot of selfish, opportunistic members among the Tamil Diaspora with the only sermon that, “ it is not genocide and Eelam is not the solution”.
The Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora after the LTTE
The International Crisis Group, in its Asia Report of 23 Feb 2010 defined a moderate voice as one that never support the LTTE and not support the Tamils right to self-determination or Eelam.
All because, India, the Sonia Congress, to be exact, wanted to destroy the gallant and the proud Eelam Tamils, once and for all. It is a historical act of revenge. “ Kill all, till we finish off Prabhaharan and Pottaman, damn the UN, we got Nambiar there”, was the situation then.
Following the defeat of the military power of the LTTE, the mood in the Diaspora has been a mixture of anger, depression, and denial. The danger was that those lot became very vulnerable and week so that the perpetrators of genocide and their agents were/are able to manipulate them easily. Although some had mixed feelings about the LTTE, it was widely seen as the only group that stood up for Tamils and won them any degree of respect.
But unfortunately a large number of educated and well set Tamils have not jet realized this folly. Hopefully the stand taken by the TYO Diaspora will give these guys the urgently needed light and direction.