Ilankai Tamil Sangam
Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA
The European Union and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
by Thinakural editorial, September 30, 3005
translation by M. Thiru
As a co-chair of the donor countries, such has been the position of EU in reflecting the concerns of the international community on the Sri Lankan crisis. Why is it that the EU has been insisting, from that co-chair position, that the two parties involved in the peace process must quickly create an environment that is conducive for the resumption of peace talks, yet has - all of a sudden - turned around and is now taking such drastic steps against the LTTE?
Even after the assassination of Kadirgamar, the Government of Sri Lanka came forward to resume the peace talks with the LTTE. Nevertheless, it has been going all out to campaign for the international community to put pressure on the LTTE, by making use of the death of Kadirgamar who was such a prominent figure to the outside world. The speech by President Chandrika Kumaratunge at the UN General Assembly and the Government Peace Secretariat director general Dr. Jayantha Dhanapala's campaign efforts in the international arena in recent times has revealed the Sri Lankan Government's agenda clearly. There is no doubt that Britain, the current Chair of the EU ( which is based on rotation), has exerted its strong influence in the decision of the travel ban against the LTTE.
The consequences of the EU's actions are of paramount importance in a period when the Presidential elections are going to take place. The approach that Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse is adopting is pushing the Southern polity of Sri Lanka to colder feelings regarding the ethnic crisis, that will result in a dangerous situation. What is the message the EU is sending by imposing a travel ban on the LTTE during such a time when the Sinhala Buddhist supremacist forces (who are rallying behind PM Mahinda Rajapakse) are vehemently opposing any compromise or meaningful relationship with the LTTE by the mainstream Sinhala polity and when terrorism can be used as an excuse to achieve the political agenda of the Sinhala Buddhist supremacists?
The Sinhala Buddhist supremacists have always accused the western countries of being influential and biased towards the LTTE in the peace effort facilitated by Norway with the full support by the EU. The supremacists have always demanded that the involvement of the international community in the Sri Lankan ethnic crisis must be reduced. However, one is able to see that, when the EU banned the LTTE delegations visiting member states, the same Sinhala Buddhist supremacists have welcomed that decision and are celebrating it. It is clearly evident from this that such a ban will be used by the forces that are against the peace efforts and against any reasonable political aspirations claimed by the minorities. Therefore, what is the message the European Union is trying to give to the Tamil people of Sri Lanka by such actions?
We strongly believe that the steps taken by the EU has created an unhealthy situation which will make the Government in Colombo believe that, even if it does not go forward with the peace process for a solution to the ethnic crisis, the international community will ensure that the LTTE does not go for war again. The Sinhalese polity will further believe that it can drag the time indefinitely without granting any solution to the Tamil people and can continue carrying out their political business as usual.
Posted October 8, 2005