Global Tamil Forum (GTF) endorses separate state in Sri Lanka: U.S. & U.K. behind GTF
At the conclusion of its inaugural meeting of the Global Tamil Forum, then titled “World Tamil Forum” at the Crown Plaza Hotel in London on 26 March 2009 a resolution was adopted which said “Recognizes that the Tamil people have mandated the establishment of a free, sovereign state of Tamil Eelam (in Sri Lanka) as the only enduring solution” and that this conference “Recognizes that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are the authentic representatives of the Tamil people”.
The current web site of the GTF reiterates the sentiments reflected in the March 2009 resolution as “To use all resources available to the Tamil Diaspora to establish the Tamil people’s right to self-determination and their right to re-establish their nationhood which was taken away by force from them by the succeeding colonial powers including the Sri Lankan government”.
The GTF - which is coordinating global efforts with the Provisional Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam floated end of last year by the New York-based attorney Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran, and United States Tamil Political Action Committee (USTPAC) which maintains a close rapport with State Department officials to influence policymakers of Western nations with heavy diplomatic discourse - is on the path of creating a ‘Kosovo-type psychology’ to achieve a separate, independent and sovereign state for the 12% minority Tamils in the northern and eastern provinces of Sri Lanka.
Recent demographic statistics reveal that 54% of the minority Tamils live in Sinhalese majority districts outside the north and east of the nation – two provinces the GTF and LTTE declare as Tamil homeland.
It is to this Global Tamil Forum that the top leadership of the British Government, Foreign Secretary Miliband giving the keynote address and Prime Minister Gordon Brown gracing the occasion, gave its blessings at the just concluded London summit, an obvious signal to the Sri Lankan authorities that the British government endorses the political discourse of the GTF.
In support of the GTF agenda - bifurcation of Sri Lanka - Chairman of the United States Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs Robert Casey gave his blessings sending a congratulatory letter read at the inaugural meeting 24 February (2010) which said in part "I want to thank the Global Tamil Forum for its efforts to support the democratic process in Sri Lanka, especially during this difficult time in the country’s history. I hope that the Sri Lankan people will be able to come together and focus on a common future that moves beyond war, terrorism and violence as means of political expression. I also want to applaud the work of the U.S. Tamil Political Action Council. USTPAC has raised awareness of the humanitarian crisis facing the Tamil people in Sri Lanka and has played a constructive role in educating U.S. policymakers”.
The ‘democratic process’ which GTF endeavors to give effect in Sri Lanka is the establishment of a separate nation in the northern and eastern provinces, one third of the land mass and two thirds of the maritime facility, to which the now defunct LTTE was on an adventurist path for 26 years.
The “democratic process” the GTF envisages to take is not the violent path the LTTE took but the diplomatic path to create the Kosovo-type psychology.
Is Senator Casey so ignorant about the political agenda of the GTF or does he and other senior senators like Mr. Patrick Leahy along with the officials of the State Department have a different agenda for Sri Lanka?
In the same congratulatory note to the GTF Mr. Casey did not fail to ‘solute’ the USTPAC for making him aware of the situation in Sri Lanka. The USTPAC, an umbrella organization of 16 Tamil expatriate organizations in the United States, has already convinced Mr. Robert Blake and others in the State Department that the only redress the Tamil minority could get is by achieving ‘self-determination’ of the Tamil people and self rule.
When the representatives of the US Tamil Political Action Council (USTPAC) met State Department officials on August 11 (2009) in Washington Asst Sec Blake said that the US is a strong supporter of devolution of power in Sri Lanka and a measure of autonomy for the Tamils in the areas they predominate.
Senator Casey is U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s point man for this Asian Region in the Congress maintaining frequent contacts on issues of this volatile region, and has established a close rapport with Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs Bureau Robert Blake.
Mr. Blake, Rudrakumaran, USTPAC and other members of the U.S. Tamil Diaspora who maintained close contacts with Sri Lanka’s separatist outfit the Tamil Tigers constantly exchange views on Sri Lankan issues. All of them have access to the chief of staff of Senator Patrick Leahy, the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee and Chairman of the Sub-Committee on Foreign Operations, State Department and Foreign Assistance who was responsible in suspending military aid and drastically reducing economic assistance which includes the removal of the Millennium Grant to Sri Lanka two years ago.
The Global Tamil Forum, Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran and the USTPAC were for some time have been conditioning the mind-set of influential U.S. Congressmen, policymakers and State Department officials to bring pressure on the Sri Lankan administration on many fronts.
The United States and the United Kingdom have now taken a further significant step in associating with groups whose main agenda is the bifurcation of Sri Lanka.
GTF has openly declared its intention, and Rudrakumaran and USTPAC are endeavoring to build a favorable global diplomatic atmosphere toward that end.
Are the Senators and State Department officials unaware - as the Web Portal of the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) declares - this conglomeration of LTTE activists/professionals is working toward to “Help empower Tamil people in Sri Lanka to take control of their destiny and clearly formulate and promote the benefits of freedom for all in the pursuit of sustainable growth and prosperity in the self-governing nation of Tamil Eelam.”
Is it difficult for these gentlemen to understand the similarity between what the GTF has declared and the ultimate goal of the LTTE?
Bridging the void the LTTE leader V. Prabhakaran left with his demise at the battle field in May 2009 the November 2009 ‘Maveerar Day’ (Heroes Day) message of Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran, Coordinator of the Committee for the formation of Provisional Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam, was clear about the establishment of a separate state in Sri Lanka:
(Begin Quote) Tamil Ealam National Leader Hon. Veluppillai Prabaharan, in his last Heroes’ day address, said that more than 60 years have passed in our struggle to make our right to self determination a reality. He also said that during this historic period our struggle has taken various forms and grown to maturity.
“Because of the political vacuum in Sri Lanka, and the uncivilised acts of Singhala chauvinism and lack of will to offer and implement any solution of international acceptance to solve the national problem, the struggle which commenced through parliamentary politics and as non violent means, evolved as a military struggle in accordance with the international norm.
“The military strength of the Tamil nation and the Tamil Ealam government formed as a result of it, opened new vistas in reflecting the political aspirations of the Tamils, and shaping the right to self determination and exercising self rule for them. The Heroes who devoted their lives for these objectives will be ever remembered by the Tamil people.
“Today various countries, for various reasons, joined the Singhala communal Government in destroying the Tamil Ealam Government and weakening the military strength of the Tamil nation. Under these circumstances, it becomes necessary to form a Provisional Transnational Government of Tamil Ealam outside to safeguard the basic right to live and to exercise self determination and self rule. Transnational Government attempts to take forward this political struggle. It will be a non- violent political struggle consistent with the internationally accepted laws and order. As told by our national leader at the Suthumalai conference on August 1987, even if the mode of struggle varies the aim would be the same. (End Quote)
And, The United States and United Kingdom along with some European nations openly flirt with them.
The South and Central Asian Affairs Bureau of the U.S. State Department headed by Robert Blake cannot declare ignorance to the fact as to the political line adopted by the GTF on the Tamil issue in Sri Lanka.
Anyone who has some insights to the operating style of the State Department and the conduct of its overseas diplomatic missions regarding their covert and overt monitoring of internal affairs of host countries is confident that Mr. Blake and others in the State Department and their diplomatic representative in Colombo Patricia Butenis are knowledgeable of the immediate and long-term goals of the GTF, USTPAC, Provisional Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam and V. Rudrakumaran.
State Department has the best resources in Washington and overseas to gather information, data, interpretations and access to firsthand knowledge of organizations, individuals, political formations, behind the scene maneuvering, probable developments and their effects which facilitate U.S. Government agencies and Congressional committees to formulate policies.
Despite the understanding of the scenario the State Department is flirting with groups, organizations and individuals of the Tamil Diaspora in the U.S. and other Western nations whose avowed agenda is the bifurcation of Sri Lanka.
The single conclusion that one could arrive observing and assessing their association with these global separatist movements is the State Department’s displeasure with the Rajapaksa administration in Sri Lanka which in recent years moved out of the U.S. orbit and its lecture circuit for her own national interest, and that it doesn’t mind these Western-based separatists working toward the bifurcation of Sri Lanka, another US-backed Kosovo in South Asia.
Can there be normal relations between Sri Lanka and the United States under these circumstances?
Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations sub-committee on South Asia Bob Casey at the Senate hearing on February 25, 2009 – which he chaired – expressed the following sentiments which were very clear that Prabhakaran’s Tamil Tiger outfit was fighting for the rights of the Tamil people.
Senator Bob Casey called for both sides in the conflict to come to a political settlement. "Should the war end and the broader Tamil population continue to face systemic discrimination by and inadequate representation in the Sri Lankan government, the Tamil Tigers may once again be driven underground to carry out acts of terror, perpetuating another go-around in this vicious cycle of violence. So far, there are few indications that a political deal is imminent. The government of Sri Lanka will not negotiate directly with the LTTE, but it does not appear the government has much interest in finding alternative Tamil interlocutors, nor have the Tamils presented credible alternatives to the LTTE," he said.
Do the State Department officials, some senior U.S. Senators and House Members extend moral support to these ‘global separatists’ who have a political agenda to create a Kosovo-type psychology with the aim of establishing a separate state in Sri Lanka?
Sri Lanka domestically defeated the Tamil Tiger outfit but it has a looming threat internationally with powerful forces aligning to destabilize this South Asian nation.
Genocide, human rights, rule of law, governance, war crimes are handy weapons to effect this destabilization process.
The irony is that a country which recently exonerated the culprits who were responsible for the implementation of torture, degrading treatment of prisoners, war crimes, water boarding (simulated drowning) and excessive interrogation techniques violating the Geneva Convention is sitting on judgment how Sri Lanka should handle insurrections, terrorism and national security.
- Asian Tribune -