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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2370

LTTE to give first priority for the restoration of normalcy at the talks in Geneva

Colombo, 23 October, (Asiantribune.com): As the first and foremost arrangement, normalcy has to be restored then only Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam would come forward to talk about the core issues."We will base our talks according to aims and aspirations of the Tamil people," said S.P.Tamilselvan"We will base our talks according to aims and aspirations of the Tamil people," said S.P.Tamilselvan

"We will base our talks according to aims and aspirations of the Tamil people," said S.P.Tamilselvan, Head of the Political Division of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. He emphasized that resolution has to be found today to end the sufferings that their people undergo and for them to lead a peaceful life. He said that only after the restoration of normalcy they can think about issues connected with political solutions.

In an interview with the Tamil news daily Virakesari, Tamilselvan said "We continue our struggle by only (completely) trusting our own people and the resources available (to us) here. Therefore even though the international community exerts pressure on both sides, it is the Sri Lanka Government that is on the receiving end."

Given below Tamilselvan's interview with the weekly Sunday issue of Virakesari - a Tamil broadsheet published from Colombo.

Question: What types of issues you wish to take up in the Geneva Talks?

Tamilselvan: International community insisted that both sides should stop attacks and meet at Geneva, due to which we are meeting. We view this as the final attempt of the international community.

We also take part with the intention of respecting their expectations. The agenda for talks is not outlined so far. As for us, we would insist on issues such as state terrorism, ethnic genocide, abductions, missing persons, the atrocious economic embargo, ban on movements and matters of this nature which are responsible for the humanitarian catastrophe.

These humanitarian matters would be our important issues of concern. Further, we shall press for the implementation of the Ceasefire Agreement which is one of our main concerns.

Question: If the ceasefire agreement is properly implemented, will the Liberation Tigers go to the Jaffna peninsula for political work?

Tamilselvan: As far as we are concerned, the ceasefire implementation would mean to constitute everything (for us). Our immediate concern is the tragic human conditions prevailing there …and matters connected with humanitarian issues.

Our people are pushed into a state of terrorism. Daily livelihood is subjected to serious volatility. We are concerned of all matters connected with the solution.

Question: Is it appropriate for you to attend the talks when the Supreme Court has delivered its verdict on the de-merger of the North and East?

Tamilselvan: We did not expect that they will provide a solution. They will not be able understand our peoples' aspirations. We are not participating in the talks by a mere taking of the Government of Sri Lanka into our confidence. Instead, we accepted the invitation from the international community and are going for the talks. If we are to go as per the moves/wishes of the Sri Lanka Government, then there cannot even be a slightest opportunity for talks.

Because, it must be pointed out that the ground situation remains very volatile. When the state terrorism and ethnic genocide goes on, it is not correct for us to go to the negotiation table. We are attending this round of negotiations since the international community kept on reiterating that we should. This round of negotiations would be used by LTTE to expose to the international community of Sri Lanka Government's human right violations and the atrocities.

Question: Will both sides stop attacks whilst the talks are on? Or what else?

Tamilselvan: We are an organization struggling for freedom. Our leadership remains as an organization that cares for our people and functions according to their expectations. This is how our organization for freedom shall remain.

In such a context, whenever aggressors take whatever steps against our people, then we launch defensive measures and continue to outmaneuver them to safeguard our people.

Whether the attacks are to be stopped or not is only in the hands of the international community. If any efforts of the international community succeed, then only those measures would become feasible.

Question: In case if there is an opportunity to have talks with the Sri Lanka Government, then on what bases or aims you intend to negotiate? Is it on the aim of a Tamil Eelam or other, such as a federal basis or unitary form of government basis?

Tamilselvam: We will base our talks according to aims and aspirations of the Tamil people. A resolution has to be found today to end the sufferings that our people undergo and for them to lead a peaceful life. Normalcy has to be restored. Only after restoration of the normalcy that we will be able to talk about our people's political aims and aspirations. If the international community has undertaken to lay the necessary foundation for the same then there will be a suitable climate to talk about the core issues. Those talks would be based only on (our) people's aims and aspirations. They can be determined only on that particular period of time.

Question: The international community encourages the peace process but will it not affect the peace process when countries like, in particular USA - provides military assistances to Sri Lanka?

Tamilselvan: Whenever the military balance is disturbed…whenever determined army movements gets underway, then disturbance of (existing) military balance is unavoidable. However we are unable to comprehend as to why these countries are involved in these activities. This is also the concern in the minds of the people too. If they are doing it to disturb the military balance then the peace process would be disturbed. When the military balance is disturbed and if moves are afoot towards a military solution with Sinhala chauvinistic encouragement, then the peace process will be ruined.

Question : If peace talks take place, will you be coming up with any goodwill gestures?

Tamilselvan: The biggest goodwill gesture on the part of LTTE is that the Liberation Tigers are coming forward to participate in the forthcoming peace talks. Other than this, our liberation outfit remains as the representatives of a people whose freedom and rights are denied. In such a scenario, we the LTTE going to the negotiation table only reflects our flexible approach. This is the biggest compromise we can make. Peace would prevail in the island if a conducive climate arises to fulfill our aspirations through these talks.

Question : Who will be participating in the peace talks? Will any commanders from the Eastern province would be participating?

Tamilselvan: In these talks our usual delegation would participate. The entire Tamil Eelam representatives will participate. The delegation which went to Oslo last time including Ilanthiriayan would be participating in this forthcoming round..

Question: Will the LTTE's theoretician not participate this time?

Tamilselvan: He is trying but his physical condition is very bad. As he is unable to undertake journeys, we will only at the last moment finalize whether he will participate or not. However the usual negotiating team will go for the talks.

Question: It is said that only because of the heavy pressure by the international community the LTTE and the Government agreed to meet. Are you also going for talks due to the pressure of the international community?

Tamilselvan: To an extent it could be true.

As far as we are concerned the international pressure would not have any effects on us. It is the Sri Lanka Government that is hanging on to the international aid for survival. The pressure exerted by the international community will only affect the Government of Sri Lanka – and very badly. As far as we are concerned, our leader has not started the struggle and still continuing it without depending on any country.

We continue our struggle by only (completely) trusting our own people and the resources available (to us) here. Therefore even though the international community exerts pressure on both sides, it is the Sri Lanka Government that is on the receiving end.

Question: Is it appropriate to say that the Liberation Tigers have yet not shown its full military capability?

Tamilselvan: That is the truth.

In case this final necessity arises, then the Liberation Tigers would make use of its full capabilities. This is our leader's strategy.

When the Sinhalese forces arrive to seize our lands, that will be the day they, our aggressors, would come to realize our real military might.

- Asian Tribune -

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