are gathered here in hope and expectation, in
circumstances never before experienced since Sri Lanka
is said to have gained independence, 60 years ago.
are gathered here as the single most recognized
political organization both here and abroad, which
embodies the political aspirations of the Tamil people.
We remember upto hundred thousand of our people who have
been killed, merely for demanding the fundamental rights
that belonged to them, and for the legitimate rights of
self determination and governance.
remember the Tamil youth who sacrificed their lives in
armed struggle, which they resorted to on the failure of
their peaceful struggle for the political rights and
freedoms of their people. We gather here following our
victory in the passage of the recent Resolution at the
UN Human Rights Council, a condemnation against the Sri
Lankan government by the international community, which
has recognized that the Sri Lankan government has
committed the crime of extermination against our people,
and that it continues to deny them their political
Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi was created by S.J.V.
Chelvanayagam, the father of Tamil Nation, for the
purpose of establishing self determination of the Tamil
people on this island. This objective is evident in both
the name of the party and in the manner in which it
operates. This objective is also based on the history of
Tamil people do not only have distinct social and
cultural norms, but, in times past, were even
economically self sufficient.
500 years ago, the Tamil people established their own
governments, and governed themselves. Our party
symbolizes a time in history, until the entire country
was, for administrative convenience, ruled as one Nation
by colonial powers, during which our people had their
own sovereign Tamil governments.
symbol of our party chosen for us by our founder the
House also symbolizes this. This House is the Home of
our community; our communitys historical habitat; our
communitys sovereignty. Our fundamental objective is to
regain our communitys Home, its historical habitat and
its sovereignty. The symbol of the House symbolizes this
the same way that, 6 decades ago, history saw the
political origins of our party, 10 years ago history saw
the emergence of a political vessel appropriate to the
freedom struggle of our people during that time. This is
the vessel that has assumed leadership of Tamil
political parties that have, based on their common
values, united under the umbrella of the Tamil National
Alliance. This vessel of leadership has been shaped by
our partys unique history and tradition. It is the
Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi that is the leader of this
new Alliance, and that is how it will always be seen in
Following the end of the armed conflict today, it is
those of us in the Tamil National Alliance, led by the
Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi, who primarily represent the
Tamil people. We are the single largest party elected by
the Tamil people with certainty, courage, and strength,
in an environment of absolute militarization, under the
rule of the Sri Lankan government, in the midst of
we are now the legitimate representatives of the Tamil
Further, it is to the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi, which
does not have any history of armed struggle, which has
always rejected such struggle, which has a longtime
democratic tradition, which has always put forward
realistic proposals, that the international community
has given the most recognition. This recognition has now
grown to include the Tamil National Alliance as well.
struggle for the political rights of the Tamil nation
has now entered an entirely new chapter. It is our
responsibility as leaders of the party, leading this
struggle in this new era, to explain to you, our
supporters, and to the Tamil people, who have elected us
as their representatives, the policy of our party.
30 years following Sri Lankas independence in 1958
were, for the Tamil people, filled with betrayal and
humiliation. Agreements with the Tamil people and
promises made to the Tamil people were broken.
Constitutional amendments were brought in, rejecting the
right of Tamil people to live as equals in Sri Lanka.
The peaceful struggle of the Tamil people seeking
justice was brutally quenched by armed violence.
clearly emerged during this time of degradation of the
Tamil people was that the Tamil community lacked a
source of power both from within and outside it.
Following this history of humiliation and betrayal, a
position emerged that the only solution to this problem
was the establishment of a separate government for the
was on this basis that the Tamil United Liberation
Front, of which our party was a member, took the
historical decision to establish the separate government
of Tamil Eelam in 1976. Based on this decision of our
party, and the need to place ourselves in a position of
strength, Tamil youth decided to oppose violence with
violence and began to rise up as armed rebel groups.
Historically, it was the violence against the Tamil
people that drove them to take up violence themselves.
When peaceful struggle was consistently and brutally
quenched by violent means, Tamil youth were forced to
resort to violence.
Frustrated by the inability to achieve anything by
peaceful means, Tamil youth were driven to resort to
30 years of violent political struggle starting from the
1980s is a deep-rooted chapter in the history of the
Tamil people. This chapter of blood, tears, courage,
despair and great destruction achieved two things:
was the rapid growth of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil
Eelam, which became a great force within the Tamil
community. The other was the intervention of India,
which, together with all its weaknesses, was a potential
source of power from outside the Tamil community.
intervention of India was an inevitable chapter in the
history of our political struggle. The intervention of
India has clearly taught us the lesson that whatever our
aspirations may be, India will never welcome a political
solution in Sri Lanka that does not accord with the
interests of India. However, using the intervention of
India to our benefit, together with its assistance and
blessing, we grasped an opportunity to arrive at a
political solution that would enable us to live with
dignity within a united Sri Lanka.
Looking beyond our opinions concerning the matter, the
intervention of India was historically inevitable. The
political and diplomatic means of using this opportunity
for either our benefit or our detriment lay in our
hands. Despite the great force within our people,
achieving Tamil Eelam was becoming an increasingly
unrealistic goal. Thus, instead of sacrificing more
lives to this cause, our party, with the help of India,
began supporting a solution that allowed the Tamil
people to live within a united Sri Lanka without
compromising their fundamental rights.
The struggle of our people for the past 60 years, by
both peaceful and violent means, has taught us many
lessons. It has brought us closer together as a
community. The price we have paid for these lessons may
be high, however, they will prove to be foundation
stones for the next steps of our journey towards a
bright political future for our community. A most
important lesson we have learnt from the past 60 years
particularly from the past 30 years of violent conflict
is that we should act strategically, with the
awareness that global powers will act based on their
rise and fall of the LTTE taught us that regardless of
how strong such a movement may be, or how just its
demands may be, it is not realistic for the Tamil people
to resort to violent political struggle. Further, a
struggle that runs counter to the values of the
international community, built only on military might,
will not prevail. It is for this reason, that in the new
environment created by various global influences, we
have, together with the support and assistance of the
international community, found new ways of continuing
with our struggle.
is no need for fear that the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi
has strayed from the objectives and aspirations of its
forefathers, or that it will lead the Tamil National
Alliance down the wrong path. With the destruction of
their bargaining might, the Tamil people stood
destitute, unable any longer to effectively engage in
negotiations toward a political solution, and faced with
a dark future. Today, the only hope it has is the
interest and involvement of the international community
in the reasonable demands on which our struggle is
this that stands as a force for us, from outside our
community, today. We must not forget the lesson history
taught us, of the difference of opinion we had with
India that not only caused it to distance itself from us
for the past 20 years, but even caused it to work
against us. We want to ensure that we do not act such a
manner again, and thus alienate ourselves from the
softening of our stance concerning certain issues, and
the compromise we show in other issues, are diplomatic
strategies to ensure that we do not alienate the
international community. They are not indications that
we have abandoned our fundamental objectives.
expectation for a solution to the ethnic problem of the
sovereignty of the Tamil people is based on a political
structure outside that of a unitary government, in a
united Sri Lanka in which Tamil people have all the
powers of government needed to live with self respect
and self sufficiency. We believe that only within such a
structure of government can the Tamil people truly enjoy
the right to internal self-determination that is their
position that the North and East of Sri Lanka are the
areas of historical habitation of the Tamil speaking
people cannot be compromised in this structure of
government. We must have unrestricted authority to
govern our own land, protect our own people, and develop
our own economy, culture and tradition.
Powers must be allocated under this structure based on
the understanding that meaningful devolution should go
beyond the 13th Amendment to the Constitution passed in
1987. This position has been accepted by our party. Our
acceptance of this position does not mean that we
consider the 13th Amendment to be an acceptable
solution, nor that, in the event our right to internal
self determination is continuously denied, we will not
claim our right under international law to external self
determination. It only means that this is the only
realistic solution today.
above solution is also one that is likely to be
acceptable to members of the international community
including India and the United States, whose support and
assistance is necessary in order for us to succeed in
our struggle for political autonomy today.
Further, since the thinking today is that whatever
political solution that is arrived at must be one within
a united Sri Lanka, the above solution is one that those
in Sri Lanka cannot oppose as unreasonable.
solution to the ethnic problem concerning the
sovereignty of the Tamil people must also be acceptable
to the Muslim community in Sri Lanka. The structure of
government in Sri Lanka must also allow the Muslim
community to fulfill their social, economic and
leaders of this country must wholeheartedly come forward
to arrive at a solution that will enable the Tamil
speaking peoples of Sri Lanka to achieve their civil,
political, economic, social and cultural aspirations.
This solution should constitutionally entrench the legal
right of the Tamil speaking peoples of this country to
take democratic decisions relating to their political
greatly respected friends,
is the time to be patient.
world has recognized that the Tamil people have faced
continuous political persecution, and that this
persecution has begun to manifest itself in new ways in
recent times. The world has recognized that great
destruction took place during the final phase of the
war. The international community that supported the
government diplomatically and militarily during the war,
has now begun to exert pressure on the Sri Lankan
government to fulfill the promises it made to them. This
includes the promise to arrive at a political solution
acceptable to the Tamil people on the conclusion of the
war. Exasperated by the failure of the Sri Lankan
government to fulfill its promises three years after the
conclusion of the war, the international community has
begun to exert diplomatic pressure on the government.
is the time to be patient.
During this time, in which the international community
is greatly involved in the ethnic problem involving the
Tamil people, we must work in co-operation with them; we
must consider their advice to us, and we must give
advice to them.
behave in a manner that results in the international
community getting embroiled in problems or controversy
it is our community that will face the consequences. Our
priority now is to expose the Sri Lankan government that
for so many years in the past attempted to describe the
ethnic problem and a terrorist problem. We must
clearly prove to the international community that the
Sri Lankan government, which has delayed for so long in
giving the Tamil people their rights, has never made any
genuine effort to do so. In other words we must prove
to the international community that we will never be
able to realize our rights within a united Sri Lanka. We
must be patient until the international community
realizes for itself that the effort we are involved in
is doomed to fail. To put it more strongly, the
international community must realize through its own
experience, without us having to tell them, that the
racist Sri Lankan government will never come forward and
give political power to the Tamil people in a united Sri
then, we must be patient.
world does not revolve around the axis of justice. The
freedom struggles of persecuted communities are not
measured on the scales of justice. Global powers that
preach of Democracy and Human Rights are themselves not
the epitome of justice. We do not expect governments
around the world and international organizations that
support them to take pity on us, sacrifice their
interests, and ensure that our rights are given to us.
However, it is true that in recent times we have seen
that the global community has not always been silent
concerning serious human rights violations. Thus, if we
can place ourselves at the point of convergence between
the national interests and human rights convictions of
members of the international community, our rights too
may be protected. We must continue to preserve a
suitable environment for this to take place. We must act
with caution and be careful not to do anything to
disturb conditions favourable to us or to put the
international community into a difficult position
concerning this issue.
this, we must be patient.
international practice prevalent during the mid
eighties, when the intervention of India occurred, has
now changed. Although the issue at hand is the same, the
prevailing conditions are different. The struggle is the
same, but the approaches we employ are different. Our
aim is the same, but our strategies are different. The
players are the same, but the alliances are different.
That is the nature of the Tamil people. Although we
still have the same aim, the methods we use are now
different. In the past the United States and India stood
against us. However in the favourable circumstances that
have now come about, the United States and India are to
a great extent supporting our position. The Sri Lankan
government continues to maintain friendships with those
standing against them. Indias vote in support of the
Resolution presented by the United States at the UN
Human Rights Council was a astonishing international
development in our favour. This can only be seen as
indication of future developments.
respected friends. The current practices of the
international community may give us an opportunity to
achieve, without the loss of life, the soaring
aspirations we were unable to achieve by armed force.
Because of this, we must be patient.
strength of those of us in the Tamil National Alliance,
led by the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi, is that we have
been democratically elected. Our people elected us as
their representatives in elections that were conducted
legally, in a fair manner. We are a great political
organization, that has received an immense source of
support that of the people. It is for this reason that
the international community too respects our political
actions, and gives us the recognition that is our due.
However, if the world begins to perceive us to be
extremist, or too rigid, or if they believe that we have
a hidden agenda to reignite violence, we will soon be
ostracized from the diplomatic exercises in progress. We
must show great care in our words and actions.
so we must be patient.
true that the 30 year long war greatly crippled the
development of livelihoods in our community. It is also
true that this war pushed our economic development back
several decades. It is even true that the merciless war
forced our people into a position where their daily
existence has become a struggle.
true that a duty lies with us all to rescue ourselves,
our community and our people from this agony, to uplift
them an acceptable standard of living. But, my dear
friends, we must not for this reason fall into the trap
of the so called development being brought about by the
Sri Lankan government. It is a devious trap to undermine
the very existence of the Tamil people as a community.
It is a death trap.
Sri Lankan government is averse to our involvement in
the rehabilitation of our people. It has not examined
our proposals concerning our involvement in the
reconstruction activities for our people. The Sri Lankan
government has denied us our right to participate in
schemes for the development of livelihoods of the very
people we represent. This government is attempting to
change the demographic composition of the traditional
Tamil homeland, as part of its deceitful scheme to
undermine the existence of the Tamil Nation.
for this reason that we must take care not to, in our
eagerness and haste to rescue our people from their
suffering, fall into this trap. We must act with wisdom
However, an environment in which we may fulfill our
duties is slowly coming into existence. The intervention
of the international community and the pressure being
exerted upon the Sri Lankan government will oblige the
government to include us in the efforts being made to
assist our people. Inevitably, the Sri Lankan government
will eventually be forced to include our participation
in schemes being implemented for the economic
development of our people.
However, until then, we must be patient.
patience however, will not be everlasting. Our patience
too, has its limits. Once we have reached that limit, we
will move onto the stage of our effort. We will not
hesitate to gather our people together and with the
support of progressive forces in our country, and the
international community, even engage in a non-violent
struggle. We will decide on specific deadlines and when
the time comes for such action, we will act.
However, before we implement this plan of action, as we
wholeheartedly attempt to arrive at a political
solution, we must give adequate time to all the powers
involved in the ethnic crisis to arrive at an acceptable
solution. To allow this to take place, we must be
patient is in itself, a powerful diplomatic strategy.
behalf of those of us, the legitimate representative of
the Tamil people, gathered here, I wish to clearly
explain our position to the Sinhala people, the
Rajapakse government, and the international community.
political aspiration to acquire the rights due to us,
and the right to govern our civil, political, economic,
social and cultural affairs ourselves is a reasonable
demand. It is a just aspiration; an aspiration that has
its roots in history; it is even a fundamental right of
our people. The solution we propose for the achievement
of our political aspiration will not undermine the
sovereignty of another people. It does not hide a
devious agenda seeking to divide the country. It does
not seek to damage the interests of another country.
appeal to you to understand the fundamental issue which
is that just as you live in this country, in your
traditional homeland, using the authority due to you, we
too want to live in this country, in our traditional
homeland with the authority due to us. You must thus
reject policies that instigate ethnic division and
hatred for the sake of personal political gain,
understand and recognize the reasonable political
aspirations of the Tamil people, embrace them as
brothers, and come forth to live in harmony in a united
However, the present Sri Lankan government does not have
the political will to arrive at a concrete solution for
the problems of the Tamil people. To the contrary, they
are resorting to cunning plots to delay, avoid, and
altogether abandon efforts to arrive at such a solution.
actions of the Rajapakse regime are all dishonest,
immature and obtuse, and will only further entrench
ethnic divisions. If this government continues to
stubbornly cling onto this corrupt stance, it only means
that it will result in degeneration the like of which
this country has never seen before. I state clearly that
unless this government makes the proper use of this
final opportunity to arrive at a solution for the
problems of the Tamil people, and wholeheartedly unites
with us, this country will have to face one of the worst
declines in its history.
have clearly asked for a solution within a united Sri
Lanka, and we are committed to the achievement of such a
goal. This solution must be reasonable, acceptable,
realistic, and permanent. We are prepared to offer our
cooperation and service to those committed to the
achievement of such a solution.
think it is appropriate to deliver this message to the
Sinhala people in this gathering, on behalf of all of us
who are representatives of the Tamil people.
Although we are deeply disappointed that the report of
the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission
appointed by the President places no emphasis on
accountability relating to the manner in which the war
was conducted, we feel that this report does contain
some concrete recommendations. They are a guide to the
achievement of true reconciliation and harmony. The
Commission made several recommendations for the
achievement of ethnic harmony, including specifically,
the need to reduce military presence in civilian areas,
to return to people the lands that belong to them,
investigations into human rights violations, the release
of those being kept in detention and most importantly,
promptly arriving at a political solution that includes
maximum devolution of power. We ask that the government
implement these recommendations made by the Commission
that it appointed itself. The government must, instead
of always merely making promises, begin to act in a
speedy and transparent manner.
30 year war uprooted hundreds of thousands of people
from their homes. While some of them left this country,
today, 3 years after the war many thousands are still
displaced, living as refugees in this country. The
government should take immediate steps to resettle these
people back in their homes. Speedy action must be of
taken to resettle the people of Valikamam, Jaffna and
Sampur, Trincomalee. The Sri Lankan government should
accept and respect the fundamental right of people to
live in their own homes, and act with responsibility in
this regard. The international community should pay more
attention to this issue, and facilitate processes for
the government to better fulfill their responsibility in
Tamil youth are in Sri Lankan prisons, with no hope for
their future. While there are those who, three years
after the war, have not been released and are still in
detention, there are many who were captured and
imprisoned after the war. These include those were
captured by the military forces and those who
surrendered themselves to the forces. Some have been
charged, but as their cases have not yet been concluded
they remain in detention for indefinite periods of time.
There is no clear information regarding large numbers of
those captured and those who surrendered themselves
secrecy surrounds their detention.
parents and families of these youth suffer great agony
over their plight. The Tamil people themselves share in
this agony. The treatment of these youth reopens old
wounds, instead of attempting to heal them.
have repeatedly raised this issue with the government,
but have received no concrete response. Not one promise
that has been made to us in this regard has been
fulfilled. The government must take speedy action with
regard to this issue. It must reveal the truth regarding
those arrested to their relatives; It must release
detainees; it must understand that arriving at a
concrete solution in this regard is essential for true
reconciliation. We thus strongly urge the Sri Lankan
government to act sincerely in this regard and take
steps to release all Tamil political prisoners.
would also like to place frank emphasis on certain
things that the global community must understand.
Including all those killed during the war, upto those
killed during the final battle in 2009, several tens of
thousands of innocent Tamils have been killed as a
result of the war. It is thought that the way in which
the war was conducted, and other incidents relating to
the war, violated both International Human Rights law
and International Humanitarian law. It has now been
accepted internationally that a transparent, independent
and proper investigations must take place to determine
the truth of the manner in which the war was conducted.
Panel of Experts appointed by the UN Secretary General
also recommended such an investigation. Further, the
Resolution passed at the recent UN Human Rights Council
also emphasized on the governments responsibility in
this regard. Our position too, is that an inquiry should
be conducted into the violations of International Human
Rights law and International Humanitarian law during the
war that is now over, in accordance with standards of
International Human Rights law and International
Humanitarian law. This is because we believe that an
independent, transparent, legitimate investigation that
is capable of determining the truth of what took place,
which is acceptable to all parties involved and which
holds the respective parties responsible, is
indispensable not only for the Rule of law in this
country, but also for peace, harmony and reconciliation.
is the final opportunity to bring lasting peace to this
Countries that believe that lasting peace in Sri Lanka
is in their local and international interests, must use
this final opportunity that is now within their reach.
History has taught us lessons through our non violent
struggles for reasonable political demands that were all
quenched by violence. The long history of violent
suppression in 1956, 58, 61, 77, 81 and 83 made way for
the war, which continued until 2009. Once again the
Tamil people fear that as we again begin our non violent
struggle for our political rights, an environment is
being created for such struggle to be quelled by violent
means. All the warning signs indicate that this is so.
such violence is used against us again, it will not only
spell grave danger for the country, but will also result
in great destruction for the Tamil people. It is thus
the responsibility of the international community to
prevent such violence being unleashed against the Tamil
people may have suffered loss and destruction and become
weary and jaded from the long armed struggle; but the
world must clearly understand that events after the war
only cause anger, rage, and frustration in our people.
Plainly militarized surroundings; life that is under
continuous military surveillance; the rigid control of
the defence forces over civil administration; the
longtime delay in creating opportunities for employment;
the systematic corruption of economic, social and
cultural lives of Tamil women and youth; Sinhalization
that takes place both secretly and openly;
systematically excluding representatives of the Tamil
people from reconstruction and economic development
schemes; deliberate steps being taken to change the
demographic composition of the Tamil homeland; removing
ethnic, religious, historical and cultural symbols of
the Tamil speaking peoples from areas traditionally
inhabited by the Tamil people and constructing Buddhist
temples and religious symbols in their place with the
intention of destroying all traces of the Tamil people
in those areas; none of these are signs of
reconciliation. None of these are signs that the Tamil
people are being treated as equals. None of these are
signs that bring peace or hope to the Tamil people.
These are all foundation stones for the destruction of
the Tamil people, the like of which has never been seen
the international community, which preaches the doctrine
of humanity and the principles for the advancement of
the human race, be aware that here, on this island, a
national ethnic group that has lived here for several
tens of thousands of years, is now on the cusp of
extermination. The global community must understand that
the future of a great people with their own distinct
standards of humanity is now in great danger. We must
all come together to change this. This is our last
opportunity to do this. The international community must
must build up the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi so that it
may prove to be a strong source of leadership to Sri
Lankas Tamils. Built up from the grassroots, it must
become a great movement of the people.
peoples movement built from within the people, by the
people, for the people, must not only be a great
political force, but must also a positive impact on the
social, cultural and economic life of the people. Our
blueprint for the future of our party must thus be
accurate and far sighted, able to facilitate the future
development of the party in multiple ways. Our future
plans must centre around women and youth, the pillars of
the future and important members of our society. The 30
long years of conflict gave us no opportunity to build
up our party in a proper manner. We must thus see the
present environment, in which we have the great love and
support of our people, and the assistance of the
international community, as an important opportunity for
the service of our people, and use it wisely.
are the backbone of any society. A society will either
stand straight and tall or bent and bowed depending on
the manner in which the women in that society live.
Historically, the Tamil woman has suffered indescribable
pain and agony. Improving the social and economic lives
of our women must be a foremost priority of our party.
are the pillars of a society. The future leaders of a
community, they are an indication of the future of the
community itself. Our party must also begin today the
task of strengthening the pillars of tomorrow with
lessons of confidence, good behavior and the
indispensable importance of knowledge.
Tamil National Alliance provides strong leadership to
considering issues of development and deterioration of
the Tamil people there can be no division of the Muslim,
Hindu or Christian communities. In Sri Lankas new
political environment in which the phrases majority
community and minority community figure prominently,
a most intelligent approach is for all Tamil speaking
peoples to come together as one people. Thus, bringing
together Tamil speaking peoples of the Hindu, Muslim and
Christian communities to join in our journey to freedom
must be a priority.
service must also reach areas outside the traditional
homelands of the Tamil people, to the hill country and
the South. We must make appropriate plans for our work
in those areas as well, and include the Tamil speaking
peoples of those areas in our movement.
only way for minority ethnic groups in this country to
preserve their ethnic, religious and cultural symbols
and traditions is to join under the umbrella of Tamil
would also like to use this opportunity to appeal to the
political parties that are a part of the Sri Lankan
government, representing some of Sri Lankas Tamil
reason for the delay in arriving at a solution for the
problems of the Tamil speaking peoples is the insincere,
dishonest, harmful intention of the government. There
may be personal and other reasons for parties
representing some of Sri Lankas Tamil speaking peoples
to offer their unconditional support to this government.
However, these parties must not, in effect, assist this
government in deliberately delaying arriving at a
solution for the problem concerning the political rights
of Tamil speaking peoples. These parties must not give
the government an opportunity to fulfill its cunning
plan to reduce the effectiveness of the solution that is
arrived at, by claiming that it has the support of Tamil
parties to arrive at a solution within a unitary state
structure. These parties must come forward to act beyond
personal and party interests and act in the in the
interests of the people they represent. As
representatives of the Tamil speaking peoples we must
put forward a strong proposal for a solution that does
not call into question the sovereignty of the peoples we
represent. I ask all parties to unite together for this
are greatly indebted to the service of Tamil people who
Despite having left their motherland, they continue to
serve it because of their great love for their country
and their people, and their devotion to their community.
As an ordinary Tamil living in this country, I greatly
gathering of those of us elected as representatives of
our people is also an appropriate one to express our
thoughts to our kin who are now abroad.
Certain groups of Tamils living abroad, are of the
opinion that the Tamil people in Sri Lanka have been
completely defeated and are unable to expose the
political situation here. This idea is not completely
accurate. Quietly, but steadfastly, the Tamil people are
talking about this situation. They are expressing
themselves concerning the establishment of the
inalienable political rights of our people.
election of the Tamil National Alliance was in itself a
strong and courageous message. In addition to the Tamil
people, we, as representatives of the Tamil people, are
also openly expressing ourselves. I thus humbly appeal
to the Tamil Diaspora, that the thinking that the Tamil
people in Sri Lanka have been completely defeated and
are unable to express themselves concerning their
political aspirations must decrease.
Wherever our people may live whether in the homeland,
or abroad those of us in the Tamil National Alliance
will represent them all equally. However those who live
abroad must think beyond their personal estimations and
ideas, and always give importance to the situation of
those living in the homeland.
Diaspora must respect the political thinking of those
must respect the courage with which they make decisions,
and their ability to determine their own political
destiny. The Diaspora must trust in these capabilities
of the Tamil people living here. The Diasporas
political initiatives, and public statements on behalf
of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka must not negatively
affect the situation here; they must not prove to be
obstacles to our efforts here. It is the efforts that
are made by the people in Sri Lanka, which are made in
accordance with the situation in Sri Lanka, and with
sensitivity to this situation, that will finally bring
about concrete results for the Tamil Nation.
must declare that it is the Tamil Diaspora all over the
world that is a source of great political and economic
strength to those living in Sri Lanka. Their presence,
movements and participation must always be promoted and
respected. During the brutal war, and in the immediate
aftermath of its violent conclusion, it is the Diaspora
that strengthened and supported the Tamil people here.
It is our heartfelt wish that their service will
continue with the same vigour and momentum.
Diaspora must be greatly involved in the improvement of
the social and economic lives of the Tamil people in Sri
Lanka. In this post war environment, they must work to
increase their standard of living. It is the Diaspora
that must create an environment that will be conducive
to our people being able to stand on their own feet.
This involvement must not be superficial but properly
planned and implemented. It is our wish that the
Diaspora create an economic structure distinctly
suitable to our local environment for the benefit of our
Although we are here at a gathering of the Ilankai
Thamil Arasu Katchi, as it is the Ilankai Thamil Arasu
Katchi that gives leadership to the Tamil National
Alliance, as the leader of both the Katchi and the
Alliance I would also like to clarify the following
natural for differences of opinion to arise within a
democratic political party. Indeed, such differences of
opinion must arise, for that is the basis of democracy.
However, such differences of opinion must be raised
within the party and resolved there. They must not be
expressed in public forums. This is not a good practice.
Such practices will not promote unity or resolve
conflicting ideas. In fact, they will only promote
conflict and encourage it to grow.
will lead to schisms within the party and will not only
impact the party negatively, but will weaken our
community. As representatives of the people, we must
never forget this. I would thus like to state with
certainty and clarity that our party will not allow or
encourage the modern political trend of publicizing
internal conflicts that arise within the party. A
defining characteristic of a democratic party is that it
opens its doors to all kinds of opinions.
party is such a party. As our aspirations are to improve
the party and benefit the people, we welcome concrete
ideas that will help in the journey towards that Sri
Lanka. I would also like to state with certainty that we
are determined in our desire to examine, select,
internalize and implement constructive ideas and move on
to the next stage of our journey.
greatly respected friends
heartfelt desire continues to be that of creating a
bright future for our people. We believe that the time
is becoming ripe for this.
Our understanding and relationship with members of the
international community including India and the United
States that has come about by slow degrees, little by
little, as a result of methodical, measured action and
thinking, is becoming a source of strength for our
community. We believe that this has the potential to
help us arrive at a concrete, permanent political
solution for the ethnic problem our community faces.
are the fountain for this hope we have.
we need from you is unity, trust, protection and
must build the genuine unity that is necessary to create
an untainted force that will lead the Tamil Nation.
must have faith that our every step is taken with great
care along an honest and straightforward path with only
one goal to achieve lasting political freedom for our
must study with care the deep significance of our every
effort, and not obstruct or discredit these efforts, but
protect and promote them.
Certain actions we take of a diplomatic nature, with
deep political significance, must not be carelessly
explained to our people, as this will only cause
confusion and perplexity among them. Instead, you must
give us your full cooperation.
remember all those who have lost their lives more than
a hundred thousand of our kin in our struggle for
freedom. It is with their blessings that we continue on
will do all we can to reach the Sri Lanka they were
unable to reach in the past, using the approach of the
past, with the contemporary approaches of todays world.
We will do this for them, and for ourselves.
this historical victory be our offering at the graves of
those who have lost their lives, and may it make
wholesome the withered lives of those who are alive