Ilankai Tamil Sangam
Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA
...And It Is Time for Action in Colombo
by Editorial column in 'Liberation Tigers'
The Tigers have submitted their proposals for an Interim Administration, appropriately and succinctly titled, the Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA). The formulation meets the basic requirements to contain within itself the powers that are necessary to administer the Tamil homeland. Also enshrined are provisions for all the people to be represented.
Democracy, human rights and amity between communities have taken pride of place, while secularism too finds an important place in the proposal for an ISGA. These proposals usher in a welcome change to provide an effective administrative mechanism in the political history of this island. This document, in its preamble, makes passing reference to the oppression the Tamil people were subject to and also highlights the political deceptions and marginalisation that the Tamils faced.
Interim self-governing powers have been basically formulated, having in mind the bitter experience and the tragic history of the Tamil nation. Interim powers have been sought to ensure that the Tamil people are safeguarded from discriminatory governance and allowed a return to normalcy. The intended interim administration would ensure the economic uplifting, allow the gainful utilization of the funds that pour in and provide effective measures to carry out resettlement and rehabilitation of the Tamil people affected by war.
The international community has been sought, in the same way as in the cease-fire agreement, to ensure a conflict-free administration. This brings about a binding on the Colombo regime to implement what is agreed upon, unlike in the past. Above all, powers relating to use of land and sea would ensure a secure and safe livelihood for the Tamil people with dignity.
Providing for Muslim and Sinhala representation in the interim authority and their participation in governance will no doubt allay the fears of these communities.
Freedom and dignity have been assured to all the inhabitants without discriminating on the basis of race or religion. The support of the international community has been sought to make the proposals a reality.
The question that looms large in the Tamil psyche is whether Colombo will accept these proposals. The UNF government has, in its manifesto, promised handing over the interim administration to the LTTE. Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe is on record that he will consider the proposals favourably.
Whether the prime minister's assurances to resolve the Tamil national problem have sincerity of purpose, or otherwise, is yet to be seen. The time has come for the Tamil people and the international community to test the veracity of the protestations of intent.
It is the LTTE's wish that the Colombo regime accept these proposals as a foundation to resolve the Tamil national problem through peaceful political negotiations.
04 November 2003
Posted November 5, 2003