GTF confirms meeting Mangala

The Global Tamil Forum (GTF), a London based Tamil Diaspora group seen by the government as being supportive of the LTTE, has confirmed that it met UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera recently.

In an interview with the Canada based ‘Oru’ newspaper, GTF spokesman Suren Surendiran says the meeting was however private in nature.

“Understandably, it was viewed with suspicion. Firstly, this was a meeting that wasn’t a formal GTF meeting but was private in nature. Unless we engage with people within and outside our community, we will not achieve our desired aspirations. In many conflicts around the world including ours many engagements are and were made of which some are/were disclosed and others not. Some are recognised and others were not,” he said.

Surendiran says the fact that many stakeholders (political, non-political and media) in Sri Lanka and internationally wanting to engage with the GTF inevitably proves that the strategy and approach adopted are by and large working for now.

Asked by the newspaper if he believes a regime change backed by external forces would be beneficial towards achieving the political aspirations of the Tamils, Surendiren said “We have our own experiences as Tamils over the past sixty four years since independence, with various different regimes that have been in power, including the current regime. However, the oppressive and dictatorial nature of this regime coupled with corruption in an unprecedented level, nepotism and the State sponsored human rights abuses that prevail with impunity have particularly helped the grievances of the Tamils to be focused at the international level. Again like I articulated in one of the previous answers, unless there will be international involvement and pressure brought to bear on this or any future regimes, an acceptable political solution will not be found, is our assessment”.

He also says in the interview that the TNA are the democratically elected representatives by the Tamils in the island and therefore, they have all the rights to negotiate for a solution on behalf of the Tamils. (Colombo Gazette)