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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 75

Tiger organizations abroad function according to our agenda and instructions -- Tamilselvan

Singapore, 07 March, ( In an interview with Tamil Murasu, a daily Tamil newspaper published in Singapore, S. P. Tamilselvan, Head of the Political Division of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, dismissed the need to find a replacement for Anton Balasingham because Tigers organizations of the Tamil Diaspora are carrying out their tasks in all the countries according to the Tiger agenda.S.P.Tamilselvan: "Sri Lanka Government has for the last three decades taken action militarily to subjugate the liberation struggle of the Tamils, to enslave them and taken measures to occupy areas belonging to the Tamil’s homeland".S.P.Tamilselvan: "Sri Lanka Government has for the last three decades taken action militarily to subjugate the liberation struggle of the Tamils, to enslave them and taken measures to occupy areas belonging to the Tamil’s homeland".

He told Tamil Murasu:: “There are people responsible for those organizations. Organizations are being formed and are functioning in all the countries according to our political agenda and according to our directions. Therefore we think at present there is no need for any such individual or group abroad. If in case a necessity arises then we believe our leadership would make decision for any such requirements.”

Here is a translation of the full interview:

Question: At the end of five years after the signing the Ceasefire Agreement do you propose to continue with the Ceasefire Agreement or abrogate it?

Tamilselvan: It was the Government of Sri Lanka which violated the Ceasefire Agreement and invalidated it. As far as Liberation Tigers and the Tamil people, this agreement remained as a document reflecting great expectations and hopes. But Sri Lanka Government has violated all the clauses in the Agreement and invalidated it. I am of the opinion that it is best that this question be addressed to the Government of Sri Lanka.

Question: Norway has said that because both side violated the clauses in the CFA, is said to be the cause for the upsurge violence. Norway has indicated that if both sides show interest in peace, then it is ready to take forward the peace process. What sort of a reply you intend giving to Norway?

Tamilselvan: It is true that both sides have violated the Ceasefire Agreement. But Liberation Tigers always acted with dedication by bringing the violations under control and implementing fully the Ceasefire Agreement. However it is the Sri Lanka Government that has shattered all the basic clauses in the Ceasefire Agreement, letting loose violence and genocide against our people and with the intention of completely shattering the CFA. Sri Lanka armed force has let the free flow of violence in the areas under our control. Hence killing thousands of people and making several lakhs of people internally displaced by uprooting them from their usual habitats and thus they have created a great human catastrophe. This is the reason why the Ceasefire Agreement became invalid. I trust that Norway would be able to comprehend this background situation.

Question: When the government attacked Vaharai your outfit did not came up with any resistance. Now everyone says that Army has an upper hand. President Rajapakse too has said that it was mistake for Sri Lanka to have entered into an agreement in which a vast extent of territory was handed over to the Tigers. This is because militarily and the Government has an upper hand. What are your comments?

Tamilselvan: Sri Lanka Government has for the last three decades taken action militarily to subjugate the liberation struggle of the Tamils, to enslave them and taken measures to occupy areas belonging to the Tamil’s homeland. But none of their attempts have succeeded. As years goes by, it appears that the strength of the Army improved a lot, but in the end it was the justifiable liberation struggle of the Tamils have emerged victorious.

Similarly on all occasions, they have made use of the final stages of the peace process to launch military actions. For example, after occupying the Jaffna peninsula, and they were bend on a propaganda that they have an upper hand as they were victorious in a large land area after the their ‘Jayasikuru’ military campaign. In the end you may see the outcome from the past history. In the similar pattern Rajapakse too has began functioning. He has made use of the Ceasefire Agreement and the peace process and by criticizing it as an opportunity that brings everything to a grinding halt. You will come to know about this when the Tamil people and the Liberation Tigers respond to this fittingly.

Question: Not only in the east and north, even in the south the subjugation against the Tamils is on the rise. Lives of the Tamils in Sri Lanka have turned out to be a big question mark. At this point of time, you are maintaining tacit silence. There is doubt looming in midst of many whether there is a Tigers outfit in existence presently? You are maintaining silence as Mahinda Rajapakse states that the Ceasefire Agreement with the Tigers was a mistake. Such a comment was never made by any other heads of state of the Sri Lanka Government. What is your strategy?

Tamilselvam: We always believe more in action than in idle talks. Only actions would be the real factor to bring to an end anything. Today Mahinda Rajapakse’s action on the Ceasefire Agreement resembles the measures adopted by the past Sinhala leaders. They are prejudiced not only against the Tamils of the island of Sri Lanka who reside in their homeland in the North and east, but also against the entire Tamil community. Their racial genocidal activities are let loose in all segments. From North to South that is what that is happening. Based on this situation, we believe that by liberating the homeland region of the Tamils is the best solution for a permanent solution to the issues the Tamils are facing in this island of Sri Lanka.

Question: It seems that regarding humanitarian aspects, almost all the countries are hesitating to raise a strong voice on behalf of the Tamils. As it is a proscribed organization it has been clearly stamped as a terrorist organization, the voice of the Tigers has been muzzled in the world. Why hasn’t a group consisting of intellectuals been set up in this situation to put forward the conditions and the precarious plight of the Tamils to end the atrocities committed against the Tamils. Why the Tigers have failed to do this?

Tamilselvan: As far as Tamil people are concerned, they are today fighting to win back their rights. Today those facilities and the opportunities that are available for others in the world are not available for those organizations or people fighting for their liberation and freedom. If the people wanted to bring their position similar to that of the people in the world, then people should take speedy actions and take forward their liberation war and obtain the approval and support of the developed countries. Always countries in the world establish relationships with other countries keeping in mind their own agenda and interests.

Due to such tendencies, it is far too difficult to take forward our side of the argument despite the amount of justifications we have in our struggle. However our Diaspora, intelligentsia, academicians and experts are trying their best to justify our freedom struggle. This is being now done continuously.

Question : Who is your next advisor or else whom you are going to appoint as the ambassador responsible for the whole world. According to conditions prevailing today, political observers are of the view that such a person or a strong voice is very important for the outfit. What is your response?

Tamilselvan: Our Advisor Anton Balasingham was earlier discharging his tasks by being in our homeland. In the latter days as his health conditions deteriorated, for the purpose getting medical treatment, he went to Europe and he was compelled to stay over there and he was to continue his international political activities from there.

As far as we are concerned, our Head Office is in our homeland. We have the ability to take forward our activities by being here. Organizations of our Diaspora are carrying out their tasks in all the countries. There are people responsible for those organizations. Organizations are being formed and are functioning in all the countries, according to our political agenda and according to our directions. Therefore we think at present there is no need for any such individual or group abroad. If in case a necessity arises then we believe our leadership would make decision for any such requirements.

Question: News is emerging as the Sri Lankan Army is being mobilized in great numbers in the North. If Chavakachcheri is attacked how would be your retaliations? Similar to that of Vaharai?

Tamilselvan: We never say anything in advance either about our military activities or how we would proposed defeat any challenge. We have contrived to bring about a turn through our daily actions undertaken by us. Therefore I am of the opinion it is not appropriate for me to point out our military resolutions.

Question: What is the necessity for America to say if there are changes in the approach of Tigers then their policies may change? What is your response for this?

Tamilselvan: We are unable to comprehend in what basis changes are expected from our position. We have come forward to struggle for our people’s basic rights, honor and rights of our people. Therefore, it would be appropriate for us to hold on to their policies steadfastly and advance until such time our peoples’ honor, rights, their security and democracy are guaranteed. Therefore we are not aware under what circumstance they have made that statement and it is not appropriate, I think, for me to express my opinion also.

Question: Indian Government is inviting separately Sri Lanka Government, Opposition, Tamil National Alliance and listening to their positions. Actually what is happening in India? Are they going to have any fresh Agreement instead of the one had with Norway in the year 2002? If such an agreement is reached, then what would be the position of the Tigers? What will be the position of the international donor countries?

Tamilselvan: Even earlier, an agreement between the Government of India and the Government Sri Lanka became inactive. The Sinhalese chauvinists and the Government did not give any support to that agreement. They have acted unilaterally and killed the agreement. They have even got rid of the north – east merger which was a part of that agreement.

As in that case, an agreement between India and Sri Lanka will not provide any solutions to our problems. As an affected party, and as a party that had struggled for the people, it is appropriate to come to terms with the fullest contribution of someone who knows fully well their desires and aspirations.

We believe that India has realized this position. They may like to come to terms with the conditions prevailing over here. If they can realize the position and make a final decision, then it would be possible for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to put forward their position.

Question: Why suddenly startling news about the Tiger outfit is emerging in Tamil Nadu? There is news about sudden arrests of those linked to Tigers and their boats -- do they in fact belong to the Tiger organization? Is it true whether explosive materials needed for you are smuggled from Tamil Nadu? Is there any truth in these news items? What is in fact the background to these stories?

Tamilselvan Sri Lanka Government has placed economic embargo. As fuel, medicine, and similar essential items are embargoed, some individuals may be involved in the smuggling of some of these items. We do not accept blame for such activities.

There is no necessity for us to smuggle arms and explosive materials either from India or from any other countries.

We are fighting the army that has occupied our land and we adopt the practice of acquiring huge amount of arms and military hardware from them. Therefore we do not experience serious scarcity of explosives or arms. This is a calculated propaganda ploy intended to stop the emotional wave that has emerged in the length and breadth of Tamil Nadu - in the midst of our kith and kin. This is how we view this distorted propaganda campaign unleashed against us.

Question: What is your opinion about America’s suggestion that amendments can be made to the 2002 Ceasefire Agreement. If any changes are effected, will you agree to such changes?

Tamilselvan: The ceasefire Agreement was brought out to have a temporary respite to the war that raged well over a period of 20 years or more. At a time when all the other agreements became a dead letter and inactive, this Ceasefire Agreement was put forward by Norway with overwhelming support coming from the whole world.

This is something that has been accepted by the Tamil people. Tamil people will not accept effecting any changes or amendments to this CFA. Britain has said that they are prepared to take forward d the peace process and talk with the Tigers. I am of the opinion by adhering to the existing agreement and implementing it fully then it would bring about a solution to peace.

Question: Britain said, as we have solved the Ireland issue, we are will to bring about a solution to Sri Lanka problem. Britain says that we will take forward the peace process and we are ready to talk with the Tigers. If such a situation arises and if Britain take over the role presently played by Norway, then will you be able to accept such a position?

Tamilselvan: Norway appears to be a country with good reputation in the international arena. It has already involved in solving the ethnic conflicts in many countries, by adhering to practical and impartial approach. Sri Lanka government has made it inactive by disregarding the efforts of that country - Norway. We have lingering suspicion how far they will accept another country’s role. On that basis everyone is presently expressing opinions encouraging such idea. Whatever efforts they take, it will not be anyway fruitful until Sri Lanka Government is made to understand their position. We continue to indicate the same thing. After they manage to take the Sri Lanka down this path of peace, then it will be possible to assess how far the Tamil people would accept Britain’s efforts to undertake any peace process.

Question: In what are the ways Karuna and the army are involved in violating human rights?

Tamilselvan: Army and Karuna group are today involved wholly almost in all activities in violating the clauses in the Ceasefire Agreement. They have unleashed on the Tamils almost all acts violence, such as abductions, genocides, military occupations, burglary, abducting children, sexual harassments etc.

Question: UN has alleged that Tigers have not stopped the recruitment of the underage children, what is your response to this allegation?

Tamilselvan: We took several measures to stop the recruitment of the underage children to our military wing during the peace period. But once the war has been thrust on us and as children, women even all others are targeted, children have begun coming to us for their and are surrendering with us. By surrendering, they are ensuring their protection and safety. Regarding this issue we have forwarded to the UN with data and true facts with a detail real picture of what was happening. This year in our Tamil Eelam national law, we have enacted and also activated the Child Protection Law. We say with finality that children would not be anymore recruited in our armed group.

Question: Everybody alleges that it was you people who killed the Hindu priest in Batticaloa. Is it necessary for you people to be involved in such type of killings, when today Tiger organization has transformed into a peoples organization from its earlier position of being a military organization. If you people have not committed this murder, then who could have done this? Can you prove it?

Tamilselvan: In Batticoloa the Sri Lanka Army forcefully took this priest to Vaharai and the incident of garlanding Mahinda Rajapakse took place. According to our investigation the priest had on several occasion dissented with the army.

Therefore this killing must have been done either by the Karuna group or by the Army. They have committed the murder to take revenge and they have laid the blame on the Tigers to disgrace the Tigers in the international arena. From the secret information we received, we have learnt that Government and the Karuna group have well planned, committed the killing and blamed the Tigers to disgrace us.

Question: What is the reply you want to give to those who say that your Leader is leaving for another country?

Tamilselvan: As far as the Tamil Eelam National Leader is concerned, he has, from the very beginning he started this liberation organization and developing it, he only believed in his homeland and the on our people. He did not start this organization and continue to run it believing or depending in either in any other country’s assistance or for the world support.

Completely believing in himself and in his people only he had managed to develop this liberation organization to this height. At any given situation either our Leader or our cadres are not going leave our people and our Motherland. It will be real strength for us to be in the midst of our people, as it is the ocean for the fishes and jungles to the animals. No forces can out beat the strength of ours. I think this is a wrong question.

(Unofficial translation)

- Asian Tribune -

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