As the need for democratic political organisation unfolds afresh, Tamils have to take up the thread directly from the Vaddukkoaddai Resolution.
Mullivaaykkaal was not the real defeat. The defeat comes only when Tamils are made to politically denounce their heart-felt aspirations.
The diaspora needs to peruse and correct course of any proposal that stops just at self-determination. In UN charter and in international law it is just an empty phrase that doesn’t protect nations or ethnicities.
The Vaddukkoaddai Resolution of 1976, calling for independent, sovereign, Tamil Eelam in the North and East of the
The Thimphu principles, diluted to facilitate negotiation with
The Indo-Sri Lanka agreement of 1987 imposed on Tamils touched only the point of homeland, that too temporarily, and it was recently breached by
The ISGA of 2003, which has reference to Vaddukkoaddai but not to
Even after considerably diluting the freely mandated aspirations of Vaddukkoaddai Resolution to suit their geopolitical agenda,
Had they succeeded, there would have been a different course of events and they would have had a standing in telling the Tamil mind to consider experimenting within a united
Eelam Tamils are now left with the option of politically organising themselves afresh.
In the emerging scenario of democratic organisation of Eelam Tamil politics there need to be no place for Thimphu,
If there is democracy then nothing should prevent the democratic stream to get back to what was last mandated by people and what has become the heart-felt need of Eelam Tamils more than ever now, and to begin the political process and negotiation from that point.
However, the very forces that have inflicted military defeat on Tamils are now all out to defeat them politically by capturing, hijacking or deviating the democratic politics of Tamils.
The powers have carefully studied the non nation-centred ‘virtue’ of sections of Tamil elite or rather weakness of the Eelam Tamil nationalism, cultivated since colonial times to always orientate their politics in terms of the interests of others - British colonial interests, Colombo-centric interests, Indian interests, Western interests and there was a time when some were orientating it to the interests of Russia and China.
The elite politics of Eelam Tamils - except for the rare occasion of Vaddukkoaddai Resolution, and that too is said to be a result of youth pressure - was always hiding its mind fearing for others and was thinking in terms of others.
Influenced and discouraged by calculated power machinations, campaigns and Karunanidhis, the murmur heard in some elite circles now is that if a powerful armed struggle has failed, what could be achieved through democratic politics and claiming for what the heart aspires is only bravado.
They fail to see that it is more legitimate and more workable in democratic organisation to come out boldly with what you feel righteously deserving, register the claim and then to fight for it or negotiate until acceptable results are achieved.
This is possible only when we have the guts to independently evolve our politics firmly by ourselves first and then only to relate it to others. Of course this is not possible when we start looking at ourselves through the eyes of others. This mindset is the biggest impediment to our political organisation.
Mu’l’livaaykkaal was not the real defeat.
Powers have created a desperate situation for Eelam Tamils hoping their will power would wither even politically. But one should not fail to see that if not for Tamils, for the sake of their own interests, the powers have to find out solutions very soon in the island. Tamils have to be ready with their own politics to face the situation.
In the past, the failure of democratic Tamil politicians in adhering to people’s emotional needs with firmness and their inability to resist undue power interests, paved way for the rise and acceptance of militancy.
Tamils should take care that their political organisation now needs to be truly representative of their aspirations and needs to be firm in negotiation if they want to uphold democracy and avoid another rise of militancy. No need to say the powers should respect this reality, as they too share the fear.
It is now an acid test for the emerging democratic politics of Eelam Tamil nationalism.
The move in the diaspora for transnational government of Tamil Eelam is not only for negotiating the liberation and emancipation of Tamils in the
Self-determination, as it is understood in contemporary times is a vague term when applied to people or ethnicities. According to UN charter 1(2), self-determination is interpreted as existing only in state-to-state relationship. Legally, it protects only states.
“Self-determination does not entail the right to be independent, or even to vote for independence” (Geoffrey Robertson, Penguin 2008, p165).
“International law provides no right of secession in the name of self-determination” (Rosalyn Higgins, Peoples and Minorities in International Law, 1995, p33).
“At best, the people’s right to self-determination connotes the right of all citizens to participate in the political process, but this gives power to majorities and not to minorities (Robertson, ibid).
The diaspora needs to seriously peruse and correct the course of any proposal that stops just at self-determination.
The Tamil National Alliance in the island, operating under constraints of Colombo and India, should not on its own, denounce the independence and sovereignty of Eelam Tamils and should not agree for experimenting anything other than a confederation with the right to secede, is an opinion strongly felt in the diaspora.
Emerging Tamil politics needs to act with far sight. The present scenario of geopolitics is not going to remain the same. The national aspiration for independence and sovereignty, which is a hard reality for Eelam Tamils today, may also get re-defined. In any future possibility of shared sovereignty, either regionally or globally, the Eelam Tamils should be able to find their niche smoothly without again facing the tragedy they have undergone for ages.
It is with sadness most of the Eelam Tamils look at a few Marxists among them, especially of the former ‘Peking Wing’, who denounce separate nationalism for Eelam Tamils. The Marxist Communist Party of India also has adopted a similar line.
It is hard to understand that if national liberation of Eelam Tamils oppressed on ethnic grounds and ‘Eelam’ as a political unit is not acceptable to them, in what way the united Sri Lankan nationalism and
Ironically, many Sinhala Marxists see justice and recognise the Tamil national struggle in the island.
The Marxists contributed immensely to the social progress of Eelam Tamils in the past. They have a duty in structuring and strengthening the Tamil nation further, through achieving social equality. The democratisation of politics is an atmosphere conducive for them, but they should not deprive Tamils getting their contribution by keeping Tamil national liberation as an untouchable topic, by not participating in it and by not recognising that their goals can be better achieved by accepting Tamil nationalism as a unit to apply their progressive ideas and shaping it at home and in transnational governance.