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What does the Global Tamil Forum want?

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In an interview with The Sunday Leader newspaper, the Global Tamil Forum’s spokesman, Suren Surendiran, set out the organisation’s goals in Sri Lanka:

We want people to feel free to speak and feel safe to raise their children without fear. We want the people’s will and their democratic rights restored,

We want the army occupation of the north and east to end. We want the emergency rule and the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) revoked.

We want to know the names of persons held without proper legal process and for these people to have access to legal counsel, to their families and humanitarian agencies. We want these persons either be charged under the laws of the land or be released forthwith.

We want government sponsored colonisation to stop immediately. We want the people to have their lands and homes back and be resettled where they originally lived.

We want structured and well funded rehabilitation and resettlement programmes to be implemented without government interference or corruption. We want planned and well founded reconstruction programmes to be implemented in the war affected areas.

We want the disparity in development between the regions of the island to be minimised, basic priorities of all people (e.g. education, health, employment etc.) to be treated as priorities and dealt without corruption.

We want justice for all the wrongs that were done to our people in the name of war on terrorism.

We want all allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity against both parties to the armed conflict be investigated by an independent international body.

We want a credible and genuine political process to be initiated with international sponsorship, unlike the ones that the Rajapaksa regime introduces when pressure mounts (e.g. the APRC, negotiations with the TNA and now the Parliamentary Committee etc.) to seek a durable political settlement to resolve the long standing and genuine grievances of the Tamil people and all people.

We want all of the above to be a part of the process that will lay the foundations for a long lasting reconciliation process that will enable people to live side by side as friendly neighbours. Above all we do not want the Sinhala people to feel as an ‘out-class’ from the international community for the colossal mistakes and wrong doings of a few in the government.

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