Skip to Content

Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2587

Tamil and Muslim Diasporas urged Sri Lanka President to bring about a solution to ethnic issues and end the conflict

London, 12 October, (Asiantribune.com): Mrs. Mankayatkarasy Amirthalingam, the wife of late Mr. Amirthalingam (Former leader of the TULF) pleaded with Mahinda Rajapakse, President of Sri Lanka, to put an end to the war and find an immediate political solution to the Tamil ethnic question as they have suffered enough.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa on his way back to Colombo, after participating in the 61 UN General Assembly, was in London. He met the Tamil Diaspora and had discussion. They discussed about the current situation in the North and East

In one of her rare public appearances, Mrs. Mankayatkarasy Amirthalingam stressed that the Tamils’ grievances should be addressed by the President immediately as they were victims of both sides of the conflicts. She also recalled the past bitter experiences of the Tamil people under the Sri Lankan Government.

This sentiment was also reflected in the speech of Dr.Nicholoas Pillai of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) London Branch, was pointed out in a report released by the Sri Lankan Muslim information centre ( UK).

On the 24th of September 2006, the Sri Lankan President, Mr.Mahida Rajapaksa had a brief meeting with the representatives of the Tamil and Muslim Communities living in the UK, at the Sri Lankan High Commission in U.K., on his way back to Sri Lanka from New York.

However, the report released by the Sri Lankan Muslim information centre (UK),emphasized that details of the meeting have not reached the media in as much as the personalities who attended the meeting. It added that this piece of writing was indented to clarify as to what happened in the meeting.

According to the report, among those present were Mrs. Mankayatkarasy Amirthalingam, the wife of late Mr. Amirthalingam (Former leader of the TULF), Dr.Baheerathan, son of late Mr.Amirthalingam, Dr. Nicholas Pillai, (TULF London Branch), Mr.R.Jeyadevan and Vivekanandan from the Tamil Democratic Congress, Mr.Sathees kumar, UNP stalwart from Ratnapura Distric, Mr.Seyed Bazeer, (Attorney-at-Law) Director of the Sri Lankan Muslim Information Centre UK, and Dr.Bala from Tamil Peace Forum.

Members of many other socio-political organisations and peace activists in the UK were also present.

During the discussions with the Tamil Diaspora’s in London, EPDP Secretary General and Social Services and Social Welfare Minister K.N. Douglas Devananda, Minister Siripathi Sooriachari, Keethanchana Gunawarthana and Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Britain Senuka Seniviratne were also present with Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

At the discussion, Mr.R.Jeyadevan (the leader of the Tamil democratic Congress; Mrs. Amirthalingam Dr.Nicholoas pillai (TULF, Dr.Bala (TPF) and Mr.Thamba expressed their serious concerns as members of the Tamil communities and pointed out the exigency to resolve the Tamil political grievances without hesitation.

In particular Mr.R.Jeyadevan in his speech asked the Sri Lanka’s President, whether the 13th Amendment to the Sri Lanka’s 1978 Constitution could be put into effect and the North East Provincial Council could function temporarily, pending the permanent political solution.

He also requested the President to explain the actions of the Government of Sri Lanka in bringing about a permanent solution to the Tamil question.

The report released by Sri Lankan Muslim information centre UK further revealed that Mrs. Amirthalingam pleaded with the President emotionally to put an end to the war and find an immediate political solution to the Tamil ethnic questions, as they have suffered enough.

She underlined that the Tamils’ grievances should be addressed by the President immediately as they were victims of both sides of the conflicts. She also recalled the past bitter experiences of the Tamil people under the Sri Lankan Government.

Dr.Bala who spoke on behalf of the Tamil Peace Forum read out a statement, setting out the catalogue of Tamils grievances under the successive Sri Lankan governments and pointed out that unlike the other Presidents of Sri Lanka Mr.Mahida Rajapaksa, with an exception to President Premadasa, came from the ordinary Sinhalese background and could understand not only the grievances of the Tamil people, but also the other people who are subject to various discrimination and poverty.

He also expressed his hope that the President would bring about a solution to the ethnic problem and insisted that the Tamil people would like to live in dignity. He also cited some quotations from Lord Buddha about race, equality and justice and requested the President to put an end to the Tamil problem as soon as possible.

Mr.S.Bazeer, attorney-at-Law who represented the Sri Lankan Muslim Information centre (UK) expressed his concerns about the Pottuvil killings and asked the President as to how he would deal with the allegation that the STF personnel were involved in the massacre.

The President responded that it was Rauff Hakeem who rushed to take advantage of the situation for his own political mileage and his information was that the STF was not involved in it.

However, Mr.Bazeer insisted that the President had to order for an independent investigation into the killings. He also expressed his hope that the President would investigate the killings as he was the only one to be relied on heavily as the leader of the country. A copy of the Press Release of the Sri Lankan Muslim Information Centre (UK) demanding the independent investigation into the Pottuvil killings was delivered to The President through the Sri Lankan High Commissioner for the UK.

In reply to the speakers, the President assured that he would not influence the decision of the All Party conference. Nor would he interfere with them in their decision making process. He said that any decision made by the All Party Conference would be submitted to the people and their approval would be sought in a democratic way. He also reiterated that no solution could be reached without the consensus of the south. He insisted that democratic milieu is paramount in the North and East.

This meeting was not merely a meeting of some dignitaries with the President of Sri Lanka, rather a meeting of the Tamils and Muslims who were concerned about a just and fair political solution to the Sri Lankan ethnic crisis and showed their solidarity in such a negotiated settlement underlined the report released by the Sri Lankan Muslim information Cwntre in UK.

Those who participated made their points clear to the President that he can not escape for his obligation as the President of Sri Lanka in dealing with the issues like abduction and extortion in Colombo and the grievances of the internally displaced people in the North and East. Although the President looked weary after a long journey, the participants seized the opportunity to raise their concerns in an effective manner within the short time of their meetings with him.

Some of the attendees might have been unhappy to observe the uneasy body language of an aide of the President, nonetheless, it has been realised that this meeting has created an opening for the Tamil and Muslim Diaspora communities to engage in the peace process at different level with the President and forge a working relationship with the Sri Lankan government as the advocates of democracy. The meeting set an example of furthering the cause of engaging the Diaspora communities of all ethnicity to work for a solution that is agreeable to the minorities in Sri Lanka.

- Asian Tribune –

Share this


.