The Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF) led by Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam says it stands for a solution based on ‘Two-Nations in One Country’ in order to resolve the issues faced by the Tamils.
In a statement with regards to the position of the TNPF on the political solution and on accountability, Ponnambalam said the TNPF stands for a solution where Sri Lanka is recognized as a country which comprises of the numerically larger Sinhala nation and the numerically smaller Tamil nation and other Peoples – a model quite well known to scholars and practitioners of pluri-national/ multi-national constitutional ordering across the world.
He said the TNPF reject the notion of a Sri Lankan nation-state (one nation-one country) for the reason that the numerical strength of the Sinhala Buddhist people, being a permanent majority, would make Sri Lanka in practical terms a Sinhala-Buddhist state.
“Accordingly, we insist that the recognition of Tamil Nationhood, its right to self-determination and the recognition of the North-East of the island as its territorial unit – its traditional homeland – in line with the Thimpu Principles of 1985 is quintessential to any solution. We accept that self-determination and nationhood need not be necessarily manifested through the institutional settings of a separate state (country) but that a multi national state (country) can also recognize the plurality of nations and the self-determination of its constituent units. We are hence committed to exploring a political solution within an united state (country) despite the history of failed negotiations between the Tamils and successive Sri Lankan Governments. We have made this very clear in the party manifesto that was release for the purposes of contesting the 17 August 2015 Parliamentary General Elections,” he said.
The TNPF has also been quite unequivocal in its demand for accountability and justice for crimes committed during the 30 year long war and before. Ponnambalam said given that the Sri Lankan Army is seen as protectors of the Sinhala Buddhist order and the Army and the Police are the primary accused parties regarding the grave crimes, including the crime of Genocide, committed against the Tamil people, the TNPF is of the firm view that no internal / domestic mechanism or inquiry can result in genuine prosecutions against the Sri Lankan Army, Police and members of its political class.
He said that to hold an internal / domestic accountability process will be tantamount to “victor’s justice” and hence TNPF insists on an international criminal justice process as part of a wider programme for accountability, truth seeking and justice.
The TNPF has also warned the Tamils consistently about attempts to use the Tamil people’s struggle as leverage for geo-political contestations. (Colombo Gazette)