No separate state, engage the government – Des Browne tells Tamil diaspora
Posted on November 10th, 2009

Our Canberra Correspondent

tdisporaDes Browne with the British High Commissioner (r) and some representatives of the Tamil diaspora at Westminster House, Canberra. 

 Des Browne, the British Envoy to Sri Lanka, told the Tamil diaspora in Australia that, after the comprehensive military victory, the only option available is to engage the government in working out a solution for the Tamils.

 In the open dialogue with the Tamil representatives he dismissed outright any possibility of the international community supporting a separate state. He told the Tamil diaspora that big powers like Russia and China will be sympathetic to Sri Lanka as they have their own separatist problems.

 This blunt message from Britain has dealt a hard blow at the current moves of the radical section of the Tamil diaspora to set up a Tamil Transnational government in exile.

 He met the representatives of the Tamil diaspora at Westminster House, the residence of the British High Commissioner to Australia in Canberra on Saturday morning.

 Browne emphasized that the only leverage available to the West is the GSP+ but even that economic leverage should be handled with care. He added that he preferred to use it as a threat rather than enforcing it as it would affect the Sri Lankan people.

 The discussions centred on three main issues:

1) Humanitarian assistance: The pro-Tiger wing complained that the government is not treating the IDPs properly. They said that the IDPs re-settled in their new homes were not provided proper facilities to recover.

Browne suggested they have been demanding and early release and the latest information to him was that nearly 100,000 have been re-settled with the relatives and carers. After that is done by the Sri Lankan government it is rather difficult to press for better conditions for the IDPs in their new homes.

2) Political process: Browne indicated that the West was keen on getting a reasonable response from the Tamil diaspora for the way forward. He said that he was prepared to be the facilitator to negotiate with the Sri Lankan government on the reasonable formula of the Tamil diaspora. He emphasized that a separate state is not on the cards.

3) Dealing with the past: Browne ruled out any possibility of going down the track of pursuing action on issues of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. The pro-LTTE group raised the issue of dealing with these issues by an international court as in Kosovo. Browne argued that external intervention in Kosovo has not solved the problem. It has to be done internally and they favour the internal mechanism to an external intervention.

 The Tamil diaspora representatives consisted of two wings:1) the pro-LTTE activists which were in the majority, and 2) the moderate wing which seeks to engage the Sri Lankan government in working out a formula for the future of the Tamils.

 The pro-LTTE wing emphasized that the Tamils will not get a fair deal now that the government has defeated the LTTE. Browne’s response was that they have to come down to the middle as they cannot expect to get all what they wanted under the present circumstances.

 Dr. Noel Nadesan, the Editor of The Uthayam, the leading Tamil community newspaper in Australia, representing the moderate wing, said that the Tamils are responsible for their present plight. It is the failure of the Tamil leadership that has driven the Tamils to this dead-end.

 He added that Sri Lanka, with all its imperfections, is a functioning democracy and, after the three insurrections in the north and the south, Sri Lanka has emerged as the best state that faced challenges to its nationhood. It still retains its democratic foundations and the only option available for the Tamils is to engage with the Sri Lankan government. The problem, however, is that there is no credible leadership left among the Tamils “”…” thanks to the LTTE — to negotiate with the government.

 Dr. Nadesan then told Browne: “The friend of the West is Ranil. Why don’t’ you ask him to take part in the APRC and get involved in a bi-partisan approach to get the best deal for the Tamils? The history of the Tamils indicates that the Sinhala leadership too has played politics whenever one party tried to solve the problem.”

 The consensus of the moderate wing was that Ranil has to take the responsibility of rising above party politics and approach the problem in a non-partisan manner to develop a common solution to bring about a durable peace.

5 Responses to “No separate state, engage the government – Des Browne tells Tamil diaspora”

  1. Raj Says:

    Dr Nadesan is a sensible man. I hope all intelligent Tamil diaspora support him. Dr Nadesan should voice his views in the open media.


    Dr Nadesan or whoever must specify their problems with evidence to Sri Lankan government and the rest of the world as to how Sri Lankan Tamils are being discriminated at the moment not in the past. The evidence must be analysed in Sri Lankan context not in the context of UK, Australia, Canada, Europe or USA. Simply because that the North and East were Tamil dominant areas for, lets say 600 years, it does not give them any reason to have self determination or a similar right. Tamils are simply stubborn strong headed racist people who do not want to share our meagre resources to its best. They do not want to pay pack what they have got from Sri Lanka. They are a proud race who would say that they are better and cleverer than Sinhalese and they can do better given self-rule. If they want that they must go to India and fight for a separate state in Tamil Nadu, that is where they have their homeland. What is assured for them is equal opportunity and equal rights, so that a future Tamil President may be a clear possibility.

  3. Priyantha Abeywickrama Says:


    What is wrong with the Tamil Civilisation? They can never be satisfied and truly reflect the original Sinhala meaning of the word “Tamil”. This Diaspora has no place in Lanka and is wasting their time. Even if they are given the Tamil Eelam (means Tamil Sinhala Land in absolute terms – (Ee)ila+m is the Tamilised pronunciation of the word Sinhala created by cutting off the demanding manoeuvres of the tongue, one of the oldest words that has a profound meaning), they are not going to abandon their new homelands. The word “Homeland” is created within American English colony to identify itself that broke its own tradition. They call theirs as fatherland in Europe and US is never their fatherland, but belongs to natives. In fact it should have been called Occupied Land to give some meaning.

    Killer rage is an animal instinct that we inherited while living in the wild. This activates when someone tries to grab something holy belonging to a person such as food, a part of land demarcated by scent, spouse and the like situations in the wild. Unfortunately it is one of our core values and it may come out uncontrollably to anyone. This happens to me when I hear the Tamil claim to the northern part of Lanka (Lanka was formed by mutation of the word Sinhale’ to (Ee)ila+m and then to Hindu as La+m(n)+ka, a feminine word, going with the concept of motherland (in feminine sense). Sinhala words have a very sound and innovative origin and are logically based according to its fundamental set of rules governing the language, something not found to the same extent though others may have borrowed parts of its constituent knowledge. I said I get killer rage and am willing to admit that I have distanced myself from Tamils to the extent reflected by day and night. Why did I do that? It is because the word Jaffna, the main city on the North. The original word was Ya-paa-pa-tu-na. The word pa-tu-na is a logical compositon of words patu-thana (~narrow- place or plane land. Tha-na is also called tha-n-na). The text Ya- stands for ya-vuni (~joined or connected – the right pronunciation is vunu, not unu). What is meant by paa? It means pa-yi-n yanna puluvan (~ walkable – suggests from the main land side). So Tamils claim a land that has such a beautiful original Sinhala name as theirs. That is just one of thousand reasons that brings up my animal killer rage. Other words that are left out speak volumes of Sinhala ownership. Then Ya-paa-pa-tu-na became Ya-pa-na-ya, a clear style available only in Sinhala language according to its logical practices used for simplifying for common use, which differs from the intellectual use. This word became Ya-p-na and later Ja-ff-na (Ya~J in pronunciation) due to crocodiles who came from the west. They also coined the word Ceylon by their crocodile way of pronouncing the word “Sinhalayo”. All other ethnic groups have the difficulty to read words made of an array of letters ending with “a” sound among many other shortcomings. Only Sinhala words have it in plenty, the first important sound in all languages.

    Then they call it Tamil Eelam, adding the word Tamil to the word Eelam (Sinhala Land). This is a clear sign of usurping another’s land. My point is not that. They call the part of Tamil occupied land in the subcontinent as Tamil Nadu. Is this Nadu originally belonged to someone else? Did Tamils usurp that land too? Yes it is true. I do not want to talk more except saying that the words Tamil (Thamil) and Hindu (Hindi) are original Sinhala words that have the same strength in meaning as Jaffna. I have to stop there for now. When it becomes a habit to grab things belong to others, there comes a day that you will end up with nothing. Anyone has any thoughts.

  4. hela puwath Says:

    Priyantha Abeywickrema’s “MY KILLER RAGE IS JUSTIFIED” write up is very interesting and informative. He should write up a more elaborate article about the subject. May be he can explainaway the Tamilisation of all the place names is Lanka.

  5. Priyantha Abeywickrama Says:

    Dear hele puwath, thank you for your interest in my comment. What I said is just the tip of the iceberg. I am just testing many of you with academic achievements associated with Lankaweb who have the same capacity hidden within you, judged by their/your articles. Why don’t you try by yourself to find out the place called “Iranapola” and try to explain what it really stands for and its significance during ancient times going back to pre-Buddhist era? As well, why someone else does not try to find out why we hear the identity of northern part of the country as “Rajarata”. I am waiting for anyone to explain what the word “Sinhala” means. Yes, the meaning of this word is at the tip of our tongues and we behave ourselves with the same spirit of the meaning due to its place in our conscience. But it is not within the normally used area of our memory, as we never bothered about it in our ordinary lives. There is a misinterpretation by Sinhalised aliens that it is to do with Sinha (Lion), a mere half-truth told by the misunderstood, missing the best part of the meaning by miles. If I explain it now, I know that you will be very glad. But there will be a time to share my research with people like you though it is not yet the right time. You know that English is the worst language to do it as it may look like trying to put a size 12 foot inside a size 6 shoe (based on alphabetical strength, but on probabilistic strength it is like trying to compare a size infinity shoe with a size 6 shoe). Since I said Sinhalised aliens, a set of words with a strange meaning, I like you to study the differences in conduct between English of English heritage and English of Non-English background privy to you to build a kind of generic concept to give meaning to this set of words.

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