Sri Lanka, One Country for All – SPUR Responds to Sampanthan’s Divisive ITAK Speech
Posted on June 24th, 2012

MEDIA RELEASE -SPURƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  (Society for Peace, Unity and Human Rights for Sri Lanka Inc)

The Society for Peace Unity and Human Rights for Sri Lanka (SPUR) views with great concern the provocative, divisive and duplicitous statements made by Mr R. Sampanthan, the Leader of the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK) at its 14th National Convention recently held in Batticaloa.

While masquerading under the English name ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Federal PartyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢, ITAK which translates to ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Ilankai Thamil Arasu KatchiƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ or ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Lanka Tamil State PartyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢, has been a chief contributor to the divisive ethnic politics that have plagued Sri Lanka for many decades.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  This is clearly illustrated by Mr SampanthanƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s own boast that the ITAK ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”was created by S.J.V. Chelvanayagam, the father of Tamil Nation, for the purpose of establishing self determination of the Tamil people on this island. This objective is evident in both the name of the party and in the manner in which it operatesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢.

Mr Sampanthan admits that the Tamil United Liberation Front, of which his party was a member, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”took the historical decision to establish the separate government of Tamil Eelam in 1976ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  However his claim that ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Based on this decision of our party, and the need to place ourselves in a position of strength, Tamil youth decided to oppose violence with violence and began to rise up as armed rebel groupsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ is utterly misleading because the infamous ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Vaddukoddai ResolutionƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ adopted in 1976 under the chairmanship of ITAK founder Chelvanayakam calls for the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Tamil Nation in general and the Tamil youth in particular to come forward to throw themselves fully into the sacred fight for freedom and to flinch not till the goal of a sovereign state of Tamil Eelam is reachedƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢.

He also speaks of an ITAK ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”which does not have any history of armed struggle, which has always rejected such struggleƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  However, the TNA / ITAK not only endorsed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) as the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”sole representatives of the Tamil PeopleƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ but directly benefitted from the violence perpetrated by the LTTE on Tamil political opponents.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  In particular, the Sri Lankan General Elections of 2004 saw unprecedented vote rigging by the LTTE in favour of TNA/ITAK candidates, a fact widely reported by international monitors and rival Tamil Parties.

The ITAK never condemned the LTTE for its terrorism, ethnic cleansing, Tamil child conscription, extortion from Tamils people and the holding Tamil civilians as ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Human ShieldsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ against the advancing Sri Lankan Security forces.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  This was left to other Tamil political parties, Human Rights Groups as well as Sinhala and Muslim communities or organisations.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Ironically, the LTTE assassinated a number ITAK Leaders, but the party remained a captive of the LTTE.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  A possible explanation lies in SampanthanƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s statement that refers to the elimination of the LTTE as ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”the destruction of their bargaining mightƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢.

Mr Sampanthan further states that the ITAK does not ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”consider the 13th Amendment to be an acceptable solutionƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ and that they have not given up their rights ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”under international law to external self determinationƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  He also says ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”The softening of our stance concerning certain issues, and the compromise we show in other issues, are diplomatic strategies to ensure that we do not alienate the international community. They are not indications that we have abandoned our fundamental objectivesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  This is a form of deception similar to the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Little Now, ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ More LaterƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ policy for separatism of S.J.V. Chelvanayagam which makes any nation building discussions with the ITAK and similar race based political parties such as the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) a totally unproductive exercise. It is also necessary to examine TNA/IATK agenda in relation to the Constitution of Sri Lanka.

Mr Sampanthan attempts to entice the Eastern Muslims into supporting the opportunistically concocted entity of a ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Tamil speaking peopleƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ with claims that the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”North and East of Sri Lanka are the areas of historical habitation of the Tamil speaking peopleƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢, ignoring the fact that the ITAK endorsed LTTE carried out brutal massacres and ethnic cleansing of Sinhala and Muslim communities in these very parts of Sri Lanka.

While Mr SampanthanƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s speech may encourage extreme elements in the Tamil community and the foreign based LTTE fronts ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ which still harbour dreams of reviving the LTTE, their plans will be strongly opposed by Sri Lankans of all ethnic and religious backgrounds who have already experienced separatist terrorism for nearly three decades.

SPUR strongly believes that economic development, reconstruction, the enshrining of individual rights, good governance and equitable opportunities for all its people, rather than subdivision into ethnic territorial units, should be the basis addressing any issues faced by Sri Lanka.

Ranjith Soysa


3 Responses to “Sri Lanka, One Country for All – SPUR Responds to Sampanthan’s Divisive ITAK Speech”

  1. sumadha Says:

    Must ban Sampanthan the monster from Sr Lanka Politics he just working for Diaspora’s $$$DOLLARS$$$, now we have number 2 PRABAKARAN, if we don’t take any action right now we will going back to a dark age again for anther 50 years,this monster never appreciate what development going on there,this people calling Reconciliation what kind of Reconciliation they want, every Tamil web sit thy you can see very racist comment against Sinhalese and Buddhist,
    we have not completely remove EELAM tree,we just chop the tree down,but roots are still there,right now we must start to digging and remove this rotten roots.

  2. Vijendra Says:

    As SPUR points out, it is a grave concern that this megalomaniac continues to sow the seeds of ethnic hatred, though the valiant soldiers liberated the country from the terror of the tigers at great risk to all Sri Lankans, Sinhalese and Tamil. It is a shame that ITAK, which wants to carve out a separate nation with help from international warmongers, is allowed to spread freely the seed of hatred and ethnic separation, when the SL constitution itself prohibits it. It is a big question as to why the law enforcement agencies in SL have not taken them to task. Hopefully the FR case due on 28th will bring some good outcome to this burning question.

  3. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentary Group leader Rajavarothiam Sampanthan said yesterday that the LTTE was a terrorist outfit which killed Tamil, Muslim and Sinhala leaders and its destruction was inevitable owing to the path it took.

    Participating in the committee stage debate on budget 2013, under the Defence Ministry heading, Rajavarothiam Sampanthan said : “The LTTE was not created by Tamils but by successive governments in the country. There were legitimate reason for the LTTE to emerge, that was why it became a terrorist organization and started killing Tamil, Muslim and Sinhalese leaders and civilians. You call us LTTE proxies. Do you call us LTTE proxies because we did not get killed by the LTTE?
    “Nobody destroyed the LTTE. They destroyed themselves by not adhering to democracy and human rights. My late colleague Lakshman Kadirgamar was largely responsible for getting international support against the LTTE. If he was alive today, he would be horrified to see what is happening in post war Sri Lanka.
    “The 30 year war is over and the Tamil people want to put it behind them and move on with their lives.
    “There is a belief that Tamils do not want the army in the North and East. It is not right. We have never said we don’t want the army in the North and East”
    “What is wrong in a Tamil mother lighting a lamp to remember her dead son. What is wrong in remembering those who died in war? The JVP commemorates their heroes day and nobody complains about it. It is a fundamental right that one can remember.”

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