Ilankai Tamil Sangam
Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA
The Views of Thamilchelvan that the JVP has to Take into Consideration
Thinakural editorial, September 16, 2004
The political powers in Southern SriLanka who are against the peace efforts,are carrying out propaganda about the ISGA proposals put forward by the LTTE. This propaganda has by and large resulted in a wrong impression among the Sinhalese masses about the fundamental objectives of the ISGA proposals. The mass of people have the mistaken belief that "The LTTE is intransient about the ISGA proposals and not prepared to be flexible and the LTTE's rigidity or stubbornness is the stumbling block for restarting the peace talks."
We believe that the interview given by S.P. Thamilchelvan, the political leader of LTTE, to an English daily in Colombo on Tuesday ( 14/09/04), should be able to help to expose the unfounded nature of such mischievous propaganda.
According to S.P.Thamilchelvan, the ISGA proposals are not rigid or final. Analysis and discussion about the ISGA proposals should be made at the negotiating table. There is no need at all for the Sri Lankan government to propose alternatives to the ISGA before negotiations begin. S.P.Thamilchelvan further emphasised that the peace talks should commence with the ISGA as the basis. He drew attention to the fact that the Tamil people were fighting for a separate state, but now have agreed to negotiate on the basis of the ISGA proposals. T.P. Thamilchelvan has requested the government to act/come with a clear stand, a clear mindset and with one voice, in order to take forward the peace process.
At a time when the special envoy from Norway is in Sri Lanka, the LTTE's political wing leader has come out with the above-said views in his interview with the newspaper, for the benefit of the Sinhala people's notice. S.P.Thamilchelvan has mentioned that, though the LTTE would like to go to the south to explain their clear stand on the ISGA issues, they are unable to do so because of the current situation.
It is healthy that the LTTE has realised the necessity of making clear to the ordinary Sinhala people the problems the Tamil people face and their political aspirations. We are happy indeed for the emergence of a clear stand in this regard by the LTTE. For decades it has been a political shortcoming from the Tamil side.
It is an unfortunate situation that there are no political powers in the south who are courageous enough to reflect the LTTE's interests in this matter and which can create an environment suitable for the exchange of these ideas and opinions with the Sinhala people. Even if there were such progressive political powers in the South, it is sad to note that such forces/powers/parties do not have the ability and structural means to go into action in a pragmatic way.
We would like to ask the JVP, the party that is reflecting the mindset of a substantial section of the Sinhala people, why cannot they commence direct exchanges with the LTTE to make clear what the JVP's stand is on the issue of the ISGA? The JVP has changed their decades-old stand on political affairs, economic policies and their approach to the national question. The JVP leaders' earlier stand was that there should not be any peace talks with the LTTE. But now they have come down from their stand and are saying the government should have talks with the LTTE, just not on the basis of the ISGA proposals.
JVP leaders, who described the World Bank, and International Monetary Fund as front organisations of Imperialism in the past, are now negotiating with the IMF on economic matters, after becoming partners of the government. The JVP leaders had talks with the IMF country representative Jeremy Carter in their party headquarters last Monday and revealed their interests. Neither Carter nor the JVP agreed or disagreed on all the matters they discussed. If two parties having opposing views exchange their views in a conducive environment, the result will always be positive.
Along these lines, we appeal to the JVP to come forward for talks with the LTTE by taking into consideration the LTTE's interest in explaining to the Sinhala people the political aspirations of the Tamils.
We strongly believe that it would be appropriate to recall one of Nelson Mandela's views when he was suffering in prison. Mandela's view was, 'Though having opposing stands in politics, in the interest of the country, it is necessary to talk to one's political opponents.'
In the mid 1960's, when they were talking about the state of affairs in Robin Island Prison, Nelson Mandela told General J.C.Stain, the commissioner of the prison who is a white, the following :
Translation by M. Thiru
Posted September 22, 2004