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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2395

Anandasangaree presents his case for a federal solution

Colombo, 13 May, (Asiantribune.com): In a letter addressed to Mahinda Rajapakse, President of Sri Lanka, V. Anandasangaree, Leader of the Tamil United Liberation Front has pointed out that no one, including the European Union as well as the international community “would accept any solution under a unitary system as a reasonable one,” as put forward by the Sri Lanka President.

In his letter he has urged the Sri Lanka President to prepare a draft of a solution to the ethnic problem of the country based on a federal proposal without delay and have it ready for presentation at the next round of talks with the LTTE. If for any reasons, no further talks take place, he advised the President to “refer it to the people for a decision without any delay, but before doing so please consult at least the co-chairs.”

He has in his letter and expressed his fervent hope, “I am not unaware of the MOU you have signed with the JVP and the JHU. Both these parties are very patriotic. They do not want to see the citizens of this country dying everyday and with no hopes of stopping it. Therefore they will agree with you to change their stance, if they are convinced that by offering an acceptable solution to the Tamils and if the International Community is satisfied with the solution offered, even if the LTTE rejects it they can pressurize the LTTE to accept it.”

He further emphasized, “We can’t expect the European Union to accept any solution under a unitary system as a reasonable one. The International Community is committed under the Oslo Agreement to find a solution based on Federalism and for the satisfaction of all those opposed to a division of the country, under a United Sri Lanka. This is why I am insisting on the Indian Model, which is neither Unitary nor Federal and satisfies the requirements of the anti-Federal and anti unitary forces. “

Anandasangaree underlined in his letter that Federal solution to the ethnic problem in the country appears to be acceptable to a large majority of the people whether they are Sinhalese, Tamils or Muslims.

He further cited that the opposition United National Party as well as Sri Lanka Freedom Party are both in favor of a federal solution to solve the problem facing the country.

Anandasangaree further pinpointed that the Buddhist clergy too is only opposed to a division but agreeable for a solution of this nature.

Given below is the full text of the letter V.Anandasangaree addressed to Mahinda Rajapakse, President of Sri Lanka:

His Excellency Mahinda Rajapakse,
07-05-2006
President of Sri Lanka,
Temple Trees,
Colombo

Your Excellency,

While appreciating all the efforts you are taking to find a solution for the ethnic problem, the way things are moving I have my serious doubts of the Peace Process taking off the ground. Since the TNA Members of Parliament do not bother about the people whom they are supposed to represent and only speak on behalf of the LTTE. I have to take the responsibility to speak for the Tamils, having been their representative in Parliament for several years, representing the Kilinochchi Electorate and the Jaffna Electoral District, for 14 and four years respectively.

The International Community that had thrown its full weight to find a solution to our ethnic problems is gradually getting disgusted with the whole thing and it may not be a surprise if they give up their efforts totally. Each country has its own problem to bother about. The very frequent visits, of the Japanese Special envoy His Excellency Yasushi Akashi and the Swiss Government’s offer, without any hesitation to host the Peace talks in Geneva and many other good gestures displayed by various countries, clearly show that every country is prepared to do anything to make the talks successes. It is the LTTE’s ignorance that prevents the LTTE to grab the golden opportunity made available to them. They should realize that the attitude of the International Community, the European Union in particular, will not remain the same through out. They should therefore give up making unreasonable demands, with the deliberate intention of dragging on the talks. The LTTE’s demand to have their cadre air-lifted by the Sri Lankan Helicopters is ridiculous and as silly as asking the Sri Lankan Air force to help them to fight the Sri Lankan Army.

The European Union has in one way shown its resentment to the LTTE by imposing a travel ban on them and thereby given a signal that they are not going to tolerate their activities for ever. It was equally a signal to the Government, that unless the Government comes forward with a proposal, reasonable enough in their assessment, as one that could be recommended by them to the Tamil People or the LTTE, is not going to be hard on the LTTE.

We can’t expect the European Union to accept any solution under a Unitary system as a reasonable one. The International Community is committed under the Oslo Agreement to find a solution based on Federalism and for the satisfaction of all those opposed to a division of the country, under a United Sri Lanka. This is why I am insisting on the Indian Model, which is neither Unitary nor Federal and satisfies the requirements of the anti-Federal and anti Unitary forces.

Further more it appears to be acceptable to a large majority of the people whether they are Sinhalese, Tamils or Muslims. The Budhist clergy too is only opposed to a division but agreeable for a solution of this nature.I recollect your saying after your victory at the Presidential Poll that all votes cast for the UNP cannot be considered as votes cast against you. True enough! The 49.7 % of the votes the UNP candidate obtained were votes cast for a Federal solution. The leftist parties had been supportive of a Federal Solution. Above all the at the annual convention of your party the Sri Lanka Freedom Party last year supported by your predecessor in office Mrs. Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumarathunga and you as the then Prime Minister, unanimously resolved to offer Federalism as a solution to the Ethnic problem.

I am not unaware of the MOU you have signed with the JVP and the JHU. Both these parties are very patriotic. They do not want to see the citizens of this country dying everyday and with no hopes of stopping it. Therefore they will agree with you to change their stance, if they are convinced that by offering an acceptable solution to the Tamils and if the International Community is satisfied with the solution offered, even if the LTTE rejects it they can pressurise the LTTE to accept it. The European Union cannot be expected to do it unless they are satisfied that the solution proposed will be based at least on the Indian Model and within a United Sri Lanka. In any case, I am confident that if referred to the people at a referendum they will reaffirm the mandate given to you at the Presidential and Local Elections to solve the Ethnic problem.

Hence my request to you at this juncture is that you must without delay prepare a draft and have it ready for presentation at the next round of talks with the LTTE. If for any reasons, no further talks take place, refer it to the people for a decision without any delay, but before doing so please consult at least the co-chairs.

The Indian Government now has a roll to play. It is true that the Indian Government that burnt its fingers earlier is reluctant to come into the scene. It cannot certainly forget the humiliation and insult it, suffered when the Government of Sri Lanka gave all support to the LTTE to fight the Peace Keeping Force. In spite of all these, in view of the serious situation the country is facing today, India’s participation at this stage is indispensable.

It is generally believed that the numerical strength of the Members of Parliament of Tamil Nadu and Pondicheri, who are the alliance partners of the Congress Government in Delhi, deters the Congress Government from taking a firm stand on Sri Lanka. But today with the brake away of the MDMK of Mr. Vaiko, the Tamil Members of Parliament in India will be too happy to see the Indian Government intervening to solve the Ethnic problem based on the Indian Model. Certainly the Tamil Nadu Members of Parliament cannot expect the Sri Lankan Tamils to enjoy more powers than what they enjoy in their own country.

I am personally of the view that seeking Indian assistance at this juncture will be very beneficial to all concerned, the Indian Government, the Tamil Nadu Members of Parliament and also Sri Lankan Government and its people. The Tamil Nadu Members will have the satisfaction of having made their contribution to solve the long standing Ethnic problem. The Indian Government will have the satisfaction of having done its duty. You will have the satisfaction of having solved the problem during your Presidentship and the International Community can claim the credit for the role they played in finding a solution, which is fifty years old.

I am making this appeal to you, having done a lot of spade work in this connection. I have had several rounds of talkes with leaders of almost all Political parties except the TNA. I had discussions with many members of the Maha Sangha and the Mahanayakes. Above all I met a number of expatriate Sri Lankans, Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims in many countries in Europe Scandinavia and also in Canada and the USA. I have done my best for my country and my people with very limited resources I had at my disposal. It is now left to you to take it further and make Sri Lanka belong to the Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Malays, Burgers and other small groups who claim Sri Lanka as their land of birth. Make Sri Lanka a country where the Democratic and Fundamental Rights of the People are preserved and their Human Rights not violated.

Thanking You,

Your’s Sincerely

V. Anandasangaree
President, Tamil United Liberation Front

- Asian Tribune -

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