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Tamil Civil Society Memo to the TNA regarding the Eastern Provincial Council Elections

Editors note: Also read A Public Memo to Members of Parliament representing the Tamil National Alliance from the Tamil Civil Society, published in December 2011.

Tamils have consistently made it clear that a unitary constitution and a provincial council system within the confines of a unitary constitution are incapable of fulfilling their political aspirations. In this regard it is notable that Tamil political parties with a Tamil Nationalist dispensation had chosen to boycott the two provincial council elections that took place in our homeland in the past (1989 and 2008). There can be no doubt that a Tamil political party with a Tamil Nationalist dispensation can never run a provincial council autonomously, something that even Tamil parties aligned with the Government could not achieve. The Chief Ministers who ran the provincial councils subsequent to the elections of 1989 and 2008 have confirmed that nothing substantive can be achieved through the provincial council system which is in the firm grip of the Governor and the Central Government.

Participating in an election is acceptable if such participation furthers our political goals. To the contrary if participating in such elections would adversely affect the attainment of our political goals, then alternative strategies should be considered. To think of such alternatives with foresight and vision in the wake of an election being forced upon us is important in pushing forward Tamil Nationalist politics in the right direction within the present context.

That the people want to use elections as a vehicle through which they could express their anger and frustration against the oppression being meted out against them is understandable. On the one hand, while elections might be an opportunity to demonstrate such opposition and anger, on the other hand it is important to also take into account the political costs of taking part in an election. It is the responsibility of all committed to Tamil Nationalist politics, to weigh the above explained phenomenan carefully, to consider the multi-dimesnional nature of the challenge and to consider the different alternatives available, in the lead up to deciding on the question of electoral participation. The Tamil people will never allow the bartering away of their political fundamentals for the sake of attaining an immediate politicial strategic objective – that of preventing a Government backed Tamil political party capturing the provincial council in the Eastern Province. However given the hard reality that the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has decided to contest the Eastern Provincial Council Elections directly, we wish to make the following suggestions as to what to include in their election manifesto for the forthcoming elections:

  1. The present unitary constitution and the provincial council system within such confines should be rejected. The 13th amendment cannot be even considered to be a starting point towards achieving a political solution.
  2. The North and East are the traditional homelands of the Tamil speaking peoples. Any political solution should recognise a merged North and East as the relevant territorial unit. The confidence of the Muslim people should be sought to make this a reality. It is important that the Muslims and Tamils realise that working together is essential to safeguard the existence of both communities.
  3. A permanent political solution can only be attained by recognising the right to self-determination of the Tamil people and by recognising Tamil Nationhood. There is no point in a political process that refuses to acknowledge the above.
  4. Despite four months since passing the Geneva resolution injustices and oppression against the Tamil people have not reduced, rather they have increased. The land grab project continuing unabatted, Tamil political prisoners continuing to linger in prison, lack of any progress in tracing missing persons, the continuos destruction of the economic and cultural fundamentals of the Tamil nation, the ever increasing role of the military in the daily lives of the Tamil people, the ever increasing interference into the independence of different sectors of life including education, higher education, health, agriculture and fisheries, the conversion of high security zones into permanent high security zones (including the Sampur High Security Zone), a significant number of Tamils continuing to live as displaced people in IDP camps, the continuous neglect of the livelihood of those resettled are examples of these injustices and oppressive practices. Further there is no progress in holding accountable those responsible for the genocide and war crimes committed against the Tamil people. The International Community has to realise that solutions to these problems cannot be found using the LLRC report as a road map. Both the report and the action plan have been designed to hoodwink the International community and to buy further time. The International Community has to realise that such time is being sort to provide space for the Government to complete its project of destroying the existence of the Tamil people.

We believe that by including the above in their election manifesto that there is a possibility that the TNA can lessen the impact of the argument that the Tamil people have accepted the Provincial Council system and a de-merged North and East by participating in these elections. It is very important that our rejection of the provincial council system and a demerged North and East is clearly communicated to the International Community.

Rt. Rev. Dr. Rayappu Joseph
Bishop of Mannar

Ms. Shantha Abimannasingham P.C
President’s Counsel, Jaffna

Prof. K. Kandasamy
Dean, Faculty of Science
University of Jaffna

Prof. S.K. Sittrampalam
Emeritus Professor of History
President, Hindu Religious Council

Prof. R. Kumaravadivel
Senior Professor of Physics
Formerly Acting Vice Chancellor,
University of Jaffna

Prof. R. Vigneswaran
Prof of Mathematics
Vice – President, Federation of University Teachers Association

Mr. V. Kamalathas
Batticaloa District Civil Society Activists Alliance

Mr. S. Arasaratnam
Retired Banker
Amparai Tamils Society

Mr. T. Rasaratnam
Rtd Chief Clerk, Natpitty Munai.

Mr. T. Rajan
Batticaloa District Civil Society Activists Alliance

Mr. T. Gurukularajah
Rtd Assistant Director of Education
Killinochchi

Prof. A.S. Soosai
Department of Geography,
University of Jaffna

Dr. (Mrs). S. Uthayakumar
Consultant Physician
Teaching Hospital, Jaffna

Dr. S. Sivansuthan
Consultant Physician
Teaching Hospital, Jaffna

Mr. S. Kanthaswamy,
Senior Attorney-at-Law, Point Pedro

Mr. A. Panchalingam
Retired Principal
Jaffna Hindu College/ Kokuvil Hindu College

Mr. K. Santhiralingam
Retired Principal
Amaprai Tamils Society

Prof. V.P Sivanathan
Dean, Faculty of Arts
University of Jaffna

Mr. T. Ramakrishnan
Secretary, Amparai Tamils Society, Kalmunai Branch

Mr. A. Rasakumaran
President, Jaffna University Teachers Association, Lecturer, ELTC.

Mr. K. Rooban
Batticaloa District Youth Activists Association.

Mr. P. Saravanapavan
Batticaloa District Youth Activists Association.

Mr. T. Kalayarasan
President, Navithanveli Pradeshiya Sabah

Mr. A. Ganeshamoorthy
Rtd Public Health Education officer, Natpittymunai

Mr. Pon. Selvanayagam
Rtd. Divisional Educational Officer, Paandirippu

Mr. K. Suriyakumaran
Representative, Jaffna District Fishermen Societies’ Federation
Representative, Vadamaraatchi North Fishermen Society

Dr. S. Raviraj
Consultant Surgeon & Senior Lecturer, University of Jaffna

Rev. Fr. C. Jeyakumar
Parish Preist, Kayts

Dr. D. Gunarajasingham
Department of Physiology
Faculty of Medicine, University of Jaffna

Dr. S. Premakrishna
Consultant Anaesthesist
Teaching Hospital, Jaffna

Dr. P. Lakshman
Consultant Cardiologist
Teaching Hospital,
Jaffna.

Dr. P. Sathiyalingam
MOH, Vavuniya

Mr. Sivasubramaniam
Representative, Northern Alliance of Fishermen, Jaffna

Rev. Fr. E. Ravichandran
Director
Director, Youth Animation Centre,
Jaffna

Dr. S. Kumaravel
Teaching Hospital, Jaffna.

Mr. S. A. Jothilingam
Attorney-at-Law, Political Analyst
School Teacher

Mr. V. Puvitharan
Senior Attorney-at-Law
Colombo

Mr. B.N. Thamboo
Attorney-at-Law, Colombo

Mr. K. Guruparan
Lecturer, Department of Law,
University of Jaffna & Attorney-at-Law
Dr. S. Kannadasan
Department of Patholgy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Jaffna.

Mr. V. Arasaratnam
Former Assistant Commissioner, Cooperatives
Amparai Tamils Society

Mr.. N. Inpanayagam,
President, Rural Workkers Association
Jaffna

Mr. K. Rajeevan,
Batticaloa District Civil Society Activists Alliance

Mr. P. Nishanthan
Batticaloa District Cilvil Society Activists Alliance

Dr. K. Sureshkumar
Consultant Obstertrician and Gynaecologist
Teaching Hospital, Jaffna.

Dr. S. Baheerathan
Teaching Hospital, Jaffna

Dr. A. Kamalanathan
Teaching Hospital, Jaffna

Dr. G. Hyrin Arc
Teaching Hospital, Jaffna

Dr. P. Nanthakumar
MOH, Tellipalai

Dr. S. Mohanakumar
Teaching Hospital, Jaffna

Mr. J.T. Simson
Teacher, Mannar
Mr. S. Jeevanayagam
President, Karaichchi Rural Development Societies Confederation, Killinochchi.

Mr.C.P. Sathiayseelan
Social Activist, Vavuniya

Mr. S. Jeyachandran
Manager, Teachers Development Centre, Vavuniya

Mr. M. Kapilnath
Human Rights Activist, Vavuniya

Mr. S. Suthareswaran,
Senior Banker, Jaffna

Mr. V. Sritharan
Senior Lecturer in Accounting, University of Jaffna

Dr. B. Nimalathasan
Senior Lecturer in Accounting,
University of Jaffna

Mr. A. Saravanapavan
Lecturer in Human Resources
University of Jaffna

Dr. S. Suthakaran
Mental Health Unit, General Hospital, Vavuniya.

Mr. S. Janarthanan
Jaffna Economists Association

Mr. S. Beeshman
Jaffna Economists Association

Dr. E. Sivashankar
RDHS, Jaffna

Mr. T. Vigneswaran,
Lecturer in Political Science
University of Jaffna

Mr. S. Thiruchenthuran
Lecturer in Political Science,
University of Jaffna

Mr. S. Raveenthiran
Lecturer in Geography,
University of Jaffna

Mr. M. Gratein,
Attorney – at – Law
Killinochchi

Mr. P. Krishanthan
Attorney at Law
Trincomalee

Mr. S. Iruthanayagam
Soosaiyappar Fishermen Society Mathagal

Dr. K. Ilangognaniyar
Teaching Hospital, Jaffna

Rev. Gerald Roosairo
Colombo (OMI Church)

Fr. S.M.P. Ananthakumar
Secretary, Jaffna Catholic Priests Association

Mr. S. Ariharan
Former President, University Students Union,
University of Jaffna

Mr. V. Pavaananthan
President, University Students Union, Jaffna

Mr. P. Tharshananth
Secretary, University Students Union,
Jaffna

Mr. K. Jenemajeyamenan
President, Arts Faculty Students Union, University of Jaffna
Mr. A. Prasanna
President, Science Faculty Students Union,
University of Jaffna

Mr. S. Sabeskumar
President, Management and Commerce Faculty Students Union
University of Jaffna

Mr. Sanjeevan
President, Agriculture Faculty Students Union
University of Jaffna

Mr. S. Janahan.
President, Medical Students Union
Jaffna

Mr. Xavier Wilfred Jeyaruban
Surveyor, Jaffna

Dr. K. Pratheepan
Teaching Hospital, Jaffna

Mr. Thiruveni Sangamam
Rtd Provincial Council Servant
Kaaraitheevu, Amparai.

Dr. M. Vasudevan
Teaching Hospital, Jaffna

Dr. S. Kunatheesan,
Teaching Hospital, Jaffna.

Mr. A. Sittrampalam
President, Maathagal Farmers Alliance

Mr. A. R. Mathilalagu
President, Maathagal Fishermen’s Society

Mrs. A.M. Jeyamany
Secretary
Maathagal West Womens Development Society

Mr. S. Christurasa
President, St Lutheur Fishermen Society

Mr. R. Johnpillai
Nanaattan

Rev Father Augustine Pushparaj
Parish Priest, Nanaattan, Mannar

Rev. Fr. S. Jeyapalan Croos
Parish Priest, Vangalai, Mannar

Dr. S. Sivathasan
Teaching Hospital, Jaffna

Rev Fr. L. Gnanthikkam
Parish Priest, Vanchiyankulam

Mr. K. Sugash
Attorney-at-Law
Jaffna

Mr. T. Archchuna
Attorney-at-Law
Jaffna

Mr. A. Santhiyapillai
Peace and Justice Division
Jaffna Catholic Commoners Society

Dr. A.Y. Thanenthiran
Teaching Hospital, Jaffna