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TGTE inaugurated in transnational way, Ramsey Clark stresses importance of history

The Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam held its 3 day inaugural meeting on May 17, 18 and 19 across three global locations.



87 of 115 representatives of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) already declared elected from 11 countries met in the US city of Philadelphia, in London and in Geneva.


The Tamil Eelam flag was hoisted and a representative from each country addressed the public stating that the goal of the TGTE should be the formation of independent and sovereign state of Tamil Eelam in the North and East of the island of Sri Lanka.


The elected representatives resolved to draft the constitution of the TGTE within 3 months and set up an Interim Executive Committee (IEC) constituting 8 members.


Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran from USA was appointed as the Interim Chief Executive of the IEC.


Gerard Francis, Janarthanan Pulendran, Mahinthan Sivasubramanium, Rudrakumaran Visuvanathan, Sam Sangarasivam, Sasithar Maheswaran, Selva Selvanathan and Vithya Jeyashanker were named as the members of the IEC.


Pon. Balarajan from Canada was unanimously elected as the Speaker of the Assembly.


47 TGTE members (including 24 from Canada and 10 from US) attended the session in Philadelphia, 14 in London, 12 in Geneva and others joined from their constituencies.


The TGTE members have discussed about setting up sub committees for Drafting Constitution, Education, Health, Sports and Culture in homeland, Economic Development in homeland, International Relations, War crimes and Human Rights in homeland, Women, Children and Elders in homeland, Business Development, Heroes' Families, Prisoners of War, Resource Protection in homeland and Youth Participation.


The exact composition of the sub-committees are yet to be finalised, reports said.


Reports said a conducive atmosphere was created in the 3-day session, despite earlier problems and allegations of disputes.


William Ramsey Clark, a former US Attorney General, was one of the keynote speakers of the inaugural event. He characterized the move to form the transnational government a "brave initiative to find the wisdom and the courage to achieve - as it was for many centuries - a free and independent Tamil Eelam."


82-year-old Clark, who was a prominent figure in the anti-Vietnam War movement, was the Election Commissioner of the TGTE elections held in the USA.


"I need to tell you that your challenge is enormous […] Freedom is possible. But you have to work awfully hard at it. And you have to be right. You have to convince other people that you are right. […] You need to know your history. You need to persist your history and need to have your history understood that you were a uniquely different people than the Sinhalese on the same island," Clark said.


"Resolve your differences together openly and frankly wherever it occurs outright and quickly, and abide by the agreement that you reach," Mr. Clark said elaborating how the American nation was made possible with unity as an unprecedented force to achieve independence. "To divide and conquer a dispersed people is an easy thing to do," he warned.


Francis Boyle, a professor of international law, Domach Wal Ruach, the secretary general of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) USA and Janani Jananayagam, a British Tamil activist engaged in awareness campaign on Tamil genocide were the other speakers in the inauguration ceremony.


Congratulating the members of TGTE, Domach Wal Ruach of the SPLM-USA said: "Although results are not seen overnight, I think what you have done now is a step towards right direction. We have been there and we are getting close to it now. The struggle is not easy. There are setbacks. But, you have to be steadfast. You owe it to the young generation. If you don't do it now, no-one else would do it and the entire generations would be lost."


"I want to tell you that, through collective work, diaspora is one of the component. Our leader commanded the largest single rebel groups ever. And yet, we were not able to win, militarily," he said and added: "The most important organic guarantee that you could always have, is your diaspora."


Explaining the history of the Sudanese struggle and how the SPLM organized the diapora in grass-root level, he claimed that the USA had done magnificent help to Sudanese. "I don't think we could have done this without the United States of America," he told the TGTE members who were gathered at the Philadelphia National Constitution Centre (NCC). "They helped us so much. I want to thank them again once more. The peace agreement is still unimplemented, but we are hopeful that in January next year, we will be an independent state," he said. "That [the independence] has cost us 2.5 millions of peoples lives, dead."


Ms. Karen Parker, a Humanitarian Law attorney and an Advisory Committee member, addressed the Constitutional Assembly on its functions.


Professor N. Sriskandajarah from Sweden, a member of the advisory panel, who had set the agenda for the inaugural session in advance and facilitated the sessions, proposed to have the Advisory Panel functioning till the Constitution Assembly completes the drafting of the constitution.


The agenda for the three days, announced in advance, was: "The elected body will be transformed into a Constituent Assembly, an Interim Chief Executive and a small executive committee to manage this process elected, important themes for the Constituent Assembly discussed, agreed on and teams created, and a number of working groups for important and immediate tasks also elected."


Meanwhile, elections were held in NSW, Australia, and 4 members elected to the TGTE on 22 May. All other Australian representatives were elected unopposed. The Australia representatives are Sanchayan Kulasegaram (NSW), Seran Sribalan (NSW), Dharshan Gunasingam (NSW), Prabhakaran Balasingham (NSW), Janani Balachandran (Victoria), Dominic Savio Santhiapillai (Victoria), Shanmuganathakumar Thuraisingam (Victoria), Selvanathan Eliyathamby (Queensland), Apiramy Visuvanathan (ACT/Tasmania) and Kanagadram Manickavasagar (WA/SA/NT).

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