Mangala Samaraweera | M A Sumanthiran

Everything generally gets swept under the carpet due to legal technicalities, but for us ordinary laymen it sounds rather bizarre to hear of a joint press statement issued by a UN Security Council banned LTTE front and a Member of Parliament even if entered through the backdoor on the national list! If discussions and joint statements are to be issued, what is the point in declaring organizations as banned and not just an ordinary ban, but as a terrorist front too and that too incorporating the UN Security Council Resolution 1373? Interesting aspect of the statement is that it has included the presence of the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister as well.

The TamilDiplomat described the meeting as ‘secret’
The statement is well guarded, naturally to avoid legal hiccups. Nevertheless, while politicians may play footsie with people’s lives and take issues lightly, the people have questions to ask

• What type of confidence building measures has been discussed? We want to see the minutes of these meetings to understand exactly what was discussed!

• What type of constructive engagement is being referred to? We want to know the specifics. Diaspora implies not only Tamil Diaspora, lest people have forgotten there are  more Sinhalese Diaspora than Tamils.

• Needs of displaced people – This is interesting, has anyone raised objection to why Sinhalese and Muslims are made to feel they are unwelcome in the North especially those who had been living for donkeys years in the North, and who were chased out by the LTTE giving them just 24 hours’ notice to vacate? Does the minutes of these meetings cover the relocation of Sinhalese and Muslims to return to their original habitats in the North, and for welfare measures to be allocated to them as well?

• Why are Diaspora groups (those declared LTTE fronts) so keen on releasing hard core LTTE cadres now conveniently being rechristened as political prisoners? We know that the bulk of those that surrendered underwent rehabilitation and are now reintegrated into society, but there were several hundreds who refused to be rehabilitated. Why should these terrorists be released into society instead of being charged formally for their crimes?

• On what logic of reconciliation is the argument of lifting the ban on the LTTE and Diaspora Organizations/Individuals? If the UN is conducting an investigation demanding accountability from Sri Lanka, the organizations and individuals declared LTTE fronts must all be held accountable for their crimes over three decades. Who wants reconciliation by allowing these groups to get off the hook instead of being put on trial for aiding and abetting terror?

• Discussed at the table is also a sleazy notion of allowing funds from well wishers – this again rings alarm bells and reminds us of the ISGA and PTOMS when attempts were made to enable LTTE to directly solicit funds from foreign donors instead of going through the Government. All funding must be accounted for and must go through the Central Government and not any provincial government.

• The Norwegian Council of Eelam Tamils was represented by Dr. P Kandiah which is a constituent member of banned Nediyavan’s the International Council of Eelam Tamils (ICET) ( The goal of the NCET is made clear by Dr. Kandiah himself “One of our three primary objectives as mandated by the Diaspora Eelam Tamils in Norway is enshrined in our constitution as follows:
“I quote the Section 2.c of our Constitution, which spells out it clearly:

• “Working for independence, sovereignty and development of Eelam Tamils in their homeland:
The Council shall voice for the formation of the independent and sovereign State of Tamil Eelam in the contiguous north and east of the island of Sri Lanka (North-East) on the basis that the Tamils in the island of Sri Lanka constitute a distinct nation, have a traditional homeland, have the right to self-determination and aspire for the formation of independent and sovereign state of Tamil Eelam in their homeland as mandated by the people of the North-East in the General Election of 1977 in the island, and reaffirmed by 98.95 percent of Eelam Tamils in Norway in the referendum held on May10, 2009, which is referred to as The Norwegian Tamil Mandate 2009 (NTM-2009).

The Council shall work for the recognition and acceptance of Tamil Eelam by the International Community and is determined to guard against any efforts from any quarter prevailing upon Eelam Tamils to surrender their sovereignty.”

• Also at the discussions was one Martin Sturzinger formerly of the Swiss embassy and paid to be the Advisor on Peace Building at the Embassy – obviously that job was a failure as no one has offered peace to the real victims of LTTE terror. Martin came to Sri Lanka firstly as a tourist in 1983! He came again in 1990 as a fully-fledged journalist! In 2000, he was working for Swiss Refugee Council. In 2003, he was working for the Swiss Embassy as Peace Advisor – It’s amazing how NGOs see only one side of the story and there is no one to write about the people LTTE killed over three decades!

• Ebrahim Ebrahim of a South African NGO In  Transformation Initiative was also present. He happened to be in the same group that met in Singapore to discuss the infamous ‘Singapore Principles’. Tamilnet reported thus: “Mr M.A. Sumanthiran, the non-elected national list ITAK parliamentarian and Mr V.T. Thamilmaran, the dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Colombo (name recently linked to the rape in Kayts in trying to help one of the rapists flee) were the Tamil representatives from the island while representatives of the so-called Global Tamil Forum (GTF) were representing the Diaspora Tamils at a meeting in Singapore in 2013 when Dr Jayampathy Wickramaratne came with his proposal points to agree upon a conceptual framework aimed at regime change, the removal of Executive Presidency and other arrangements targeting good governance. Dr Jayampathy Wickramaratne was an adviser to Sri Lanka’s past two presidents.

“Mangala Samaraweera came as a ‘beggar’ urging Tamil support for regime change and abolition of the executive presidency. It was 2013,” said one of the participants, reflecting on the Singapore meeting. – it shows that since 2013 the ITI and the LTTE linked diaspora groups are on a mission with vested foreign interests.

• Where are all these talks heading? The same mischief makers and people that were fanning the conflict over the years have now returned under a different slogan to play fiddle with lives of the people. From what we now understand the people of the Vanni have been convenient tools to advance the livelihoods and careers of a lot of people over the years. The plight of these low caste/class Tamils most of whom are not able to read or write and have been simply baby providers to the LTTE to abduct and transform into child soldiers/cadres are likely to be again used if decision makers do not take immediate stock of the situation. On the pretext of fund raising to help innocent Tamils, the money has never reached them ever. The submissions of Tamils in the Vanni to the UNHRC are revelations of these home truths.

• A government incorporates international laws like the UN Security Council Resolution to ban LTTE fronts and declare names of individuals not as a joke and it is after much investigation and evidence with proven facts that the 16 LTTE fronts and close to 500 individuals were named in April 2014. Global Tamil Forum with whom the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the LTTE-created TNA national list member met for discussions is banned under the UNSC Resolution 1373. It is hilarious to use ‘reconciliation’ as a battering ram to argue for banned diaspora to be lifted. The Tamils do not know who these Diaspora guys are or care about them because they hold foreign passports, none of their children have been donated for the LTTE cause and they live luxury lives pretending to be working tirelessly on behalf of the Tamils – all humbug!