Ponnambalam tells Parliament Tamil Nation must be recognised

Leader of the Tamil National Peoples’ Front (TNPF) Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam told Parliament today that the Tamil Nation must be recognised.

Speaking during the debate on the Government’s policy statement presented to Parliament yesterday by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Ponnambalam said that the mandate given by the Tamils in the North and East at the last Parliamentary election was for Tamil rights to be recognised.

“Tamil rights means that our identity has to be recognised. That there are two Nations that exist in this country,” he said.

He said that Tamils must have equal rights and equal status and constitutional amendments must be made recognising the right to self determination.

“This was unanimously expressed in the last election in the North and the East,” he said.

Ponnambalam said that the mandate given by the Tamils cannot be violated.

He also demanded accountability for alleged crimes committed during the war.

Ponnambalam said that no country can hide behind the concept of sovereignty and avoid ensuring accountability. (Colombo Gazette)

13 COMMENTS

  1. Let’s open up a can of worms and have the descendants of the Burghers, Portuguese, and Malays ( moors), also make demands for a seperate state.

    The “Ponnambalam’s” of Sri Lanka are not ‘part of the solution’, they are ‘part of the problem’.

    During the war it was readily apparent that the LTTE civil administration in areas under their control was far superior and more people centric than the ruling Sinhalese administration had ever been capable of. The only thing the Sinhalese government had ever been adept at was dismantling all the precepts of good governance.

    Would a civil administration (Tamil) of a similar caliber operating in Sri Lanka today be a boon to this nation today ? Absolutely ! Is a seperate state required to achieve it ? Absolutely not !

    • Gabriella, once again you have shown your deep ignorance of the plight of Lankan Tamils by equating it to the plight of descendants of the Burghers, Portuguese, and Malays (moors)! Is there actually a can of worms? When you don’t get the most basic of the long lingering but profound issue on hand, you are in no position to assess whether or not The “Ponnambalam’s” of Sri Lanka are not ‘part of the solution’, and that they are ‘part of the problem’.
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      This is where the rights of Tamils for self determination is important to note. The Tamils must have the right to collectively determine their destiny. The “Ponnambalam’s” can take their stance and profess it as the only solution, but it is ultimately for the Tamils to decide collectively.
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      When I read comments like yours and many more that are far worse distorting and ignorant, I begin to think separation might be the one and only solution for SL. Nonetheless, I look forward to reading more of your comments.
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      Only the recognition and acceptance of truth at its most raw can unify the peoples of this country. Good intentions can only emanate on recognizing that raw reality. Otherwise, we end up going around in circles, chasing our own tail.

      • @Sugandh T

        It is you who fail to grasp “raw reality”. The representatives of Tamil aspirations ( LTTE) lost a 30 year war. Despite the grievous harm inflicted on the nation, a victorious Sinhalese government responded to the Tamil plight with a magnanimity that defied what should have been natural human instincts of revenge and retribution.

        I saw first hand the massive capital expenditure on infrastructure development in Tamil areas. I may add this was done at the expense of Sinhalese villages at a time when the national coffers were bare.

        Mahinda Rajapaksa to his eternal credit did everything within his power to try and bridge the ethnic divide; despite existing “ground-realities”.

        The cynics may claim this was due to international pressure. But it was in reality, the genuine efforts of a man who wished to rectify the “short-comings” of the past.

        The current President with his one law-one nation policy, has also demonstrated his earnest determination to ensure the same rights for all citizens.

        The Tamils in the villages have already embraced the concept of peaceful co-existence. However, the Tamil diaspora ‘in their safe-havens in the lands of milk and honey‘ are fixated with turning this country into a battlefield again.

        The Tamil diaspora already have a solution for their “rabid” wish for a seperate state and self determination. It’s called Tamil Nadu !

        • Gabriella, if you honestly think you know the raw reality, you’re lying to yourself or just plain ignorant or deliberately presenting yourself and your favoured politicians as very reasonable human beings so you may continue to push your agenda!
          When was the last time you spoke to the Tamil villagers and in what depth?
          What infrastructure were you involved in building? Roads to make the military occupation and access swift? The multiple military camps, the war museums? Jaffna town Children’s park plastered with Mahinda Rajapaksha’s name? Ultimately, what was the benefit to the people of the North and East who survived the crimes of the state and the Tamil separatist movements? Wealth and splendour at the expense of the poor in the south who were robbed of government handouts? News for you… Poverty, crime, homelessness, whopping unemployment, and continued hardship 11 years after the war ended.
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          The 30 year war was a result of folks like you who were completely ignorant, and deliberately, defiantly, turning a blind eye and standing by all the state run atrocities which ultimately led to the birth of Tamil liberation movements. State run terror preceded the birth of any Tamil liberation movement. And you shamelessly claim magnanimity on the part of the state, the Rajapakshas? Their magnanimity is well documented.
          ————
          About one lakh Lankan Tamils still remain in refugee camps in India. You are ought to be ashamed to speak of the diaspora as a group living in the land of milk and honey, wherever they maybe, without hardship, without the psychological effects of having to fled state run terror as well as war crimes of their own folks who set out to be saviours.
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          Much of the diaspora are villagers who fled those atrocities. Are you intellectually capable of understanding the depth of culture shock and the indignity, the hardships these villagers experience abroad?
          —————
          Are you in better touch with the raw reality in the North and East than the diaspora many of whom are in constant touch with their surviving relatives, friends, and communities?
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          Gabriella, pretty clear that reality and logic long evaded you. Perhaps blinded by your deep rooted bigotry.

  2. One Island – Two States as Federal States with Equal Power will make the Country good.
    Let Tamils govern themselves and Sinhala govern Themselves..but united in a Federal Country with two States Eelam and SinhalaLanka

    • Rangan,
      Federal set-up which is rather common across this planet is irrationally treated as anti-sovereignty by SL ethnic majority. The fear of federalism in Sri Lanka points to the oppressive ways of the majoritarian politics. It’s sac religious for these folk to empower their minorities with devolved powers. Instead, the choice is to keep them down, harass them, and bully them (to say the least). Why is that?

  3. @sugandh T

    Well, you have made some progress by acknowledging war crimes were committed by your beloved separatist movement ( LTTE). May I ask, who will be accountable for them?

    If the catalyst for the ‘rising’ of a separatist movement was the disruption of a smugglers activities, then, this nation should see a plethora of separatist movements arising with the recent disruption of major drug distribution networks.

    You tug at the “heart-strings” by lamenting about the one lakh of people who remain in Indian refugee camps and the poor villagers who had to flee to Western nations.

    What you fail to mention is that many of these ‘poor suffering’ people in refugee camps, are former LTTE terrorists with very good reason not to return.

    Also your terrible sadness for the ‘poor villagers’ who fled to the ‘lands of milk and honey’ is easily debunked. Those “poor villagers” seized the fortuitous opportunity to claim refugee status and receive government benefits in countries that would have otherwise never considered letting them in with open arms. And built lives and availed themselves to opportunities and prosperity unattainable in their homeland.

    But who were the real victims of your claims of “culture shock and hardship” ? It was to a great extent the Canadians who still rue the day they allowed these cultural and social misfits into their community. As do many other nations around the globe who rewarded for their generosity with an explosion of crime, drug dealing, and unbridled lawlessness. It is always bigotry when the unpalatable truth is spoken in any forum.

    The Tamil community in Sri Lanka is an insular community, embroiled in a caste system that subjugates their own. If anything is to be achieved, there needs to be a sea change in the expression of expectations and the presentation of objectives. And above all, a better standard of representation.

    The Tamil diaspora with its continuing campaign of destabilisation and sabotage of the Sri Lankan government, is akin to a dog yapping at the ankles of a person. If patting it on the head doesn’t appease it, and the irritation continues, then the only alternative would be a swift kick in the head.

    Wake up before it is too late !!!

    • Gabriella, you yet again prove your ignorance. You ignorance and reckless assumptions of things is not in the interest of social harmony and progress.
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      I am readily able to place blame where it belongs, without prejudice. That has always been the case. International War crimes tribunal to investigate all accused parties is what I continue to standby. Many Tamil civilian lives have been touched by the atrocities of many different sides; this included the IPKF too.
      ———
      Truth is paramount in my life. I don’t play games like you do here. My experiences are real; my knowledge is first hand and attached to real events that have had direct impact.
      ———
      You make up facts as you wish. You match the current trend of revising history through falsehood and propaganda.
      ———
      Do you know anyone in the refugee camps in India? You shamelessly, recklessly, irresponsibly throw shades to undermine the plight of the Tamils.
      ———
      Those who were granted refugee status by foreign states were based on assessing the legitimacy of the claims and required by their laws to be evidence based. But that fact wouldn’t fit your deliberate attempt to demean the refugees! Also, the fact there had been deportations of refugee claimants wouldn’t fit the sordid picture you constantly attempt to paint.
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      The published reports by many governments and statements of most government leaders of the respective foreign states have been vastly and consistently on the positive side; it doesn’t take much effort to verify that. But you never are interested in facts. Facts don’t work in favour of your often camouflaged anti-Tamil rant. You unconscionably painted a very different picture of these people, contradicting your own statements; your statements only make those civilized foreign states look like their administration are poorly controlled and managed that all those ‘Tamil’ refugees have lived off tax payers money! The opposite is actually the fact. Tamil professionals in abundance, traversing the new arrivals to the first and second generations in their new homeland do pay taxes and pay more than their fair share. That’s the official analysis of these governments.
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      It is becoming rather clear it’s a futile exercise to reason with you. You just don’t care for facts. You work off your camouflaged bigoted premise. You are not fooling anyone with your cheap and desperate attempts here.

      • We know all parties in the conflict committed war crimes. We don’t need an International War crimes tribunal to confirm that.That is the nature of war. Recent war crimes by American and Australian troops in Afghanistan confirm that fact.

        What accountability will your proposed exercise in futility achieve ? Will it prevent atrocities occurring in future conflicts ? There are many instances of Sinhalese soldiers losing their lives trying to save Tamil civilians. Should there be an inquiry into that ?

        It is also indisputable that some Tamil professionals have made outstanding contributions and achievements in their adopted homelands. Perhaps the application of Hayekian principles/theory should be the focus of addressing the Tamil plight. And not continuing destabilisation of the Sri Lankan government.

        Perhaps the wealthy amongst the diaspora should invest in Tamil areas and uplift their brethren. And if history tells us anything; it is wealth that dictates the destiny and political fortunes of communities.

        The past is history! Let us look to the future. I wish you the very best. May your wounds be healed.

        • Accountability is never futile. Truth and justice matter for those affected and for generations to come. There’s constant effort to distort truth. I see you contributing to this distortion rather profusely.
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          It is of utmost importance for the state to affirm facts instead of playing political games and pushing lies. We need to establish the truth and ensure accountability and justice. Only when justice is served, reconciliation is possible.
          ———
          U.S. has conducted war crimes investigations and punished its military personnel on many occasions. Trump’s administration is an aberrant one; regardless, I foresee the American HR groups pushing for war crimes investigations against their military. On the contrary, what we see in SriLanka is shameful cowardice to face truth. The futility that you see in seeking truth, accountability, and justice is aligned with this culture of cowardice and denial condoning state’s extrajudicial activity with impunity.
          ———
          SriLanka needs to clean up it’s acts in so many levels; so much so, it seems impossible. Alleged war criminals and thieves can’t evolve the moral values of this country when they are busy protecting themselves from prosecution.
          ———
          Wealthy Tamil diaspora can’t be expected to invest in a lawless nation where they don’t feel safe to live. They support their relatives and community financially to keep them afloat but the political scenario is no way conducive to substantial investments.
          ———
          Best wishes to all Sri Lankans. May all their wounds heal and may they all have the courage and resolve to seek the truth and ensure justice is served.

  4. When Mahinda Rajapaksa asked Sambanthan gang to talk on the so called “Tamil Problems”, Sambanthan refused to talk on the matter but cried the “Foreign” powers must intervene to solve the matter.

    As a Tamil person who fled the country, dont know any “Tamil” problem. I studied in Tamil medium. I joined government service and passed the Sinhala proficiency exams in one year. Three years were given to pass those exams.

    All the Tamils cannot be employed in government services in Tamil areas but they have to go to Sinhala areas to get employments.

    Ponnamplams have no investments or properties in Jaffna but they have every thing in Colombo and suburbs. Is it the Tamil aspiration?

    Tamils have no problem at all. If they have why cannot they UNITE and submit the problems to the government? There are many Tamil parties but they have “different” problems.

    Politically the so called “Tamil Problems” are none. If Tamil people have any problem, tell me at least one!

    • Spot on My Dear Sir. The greatest hindrance to communal harmony and Tamil aspirations are those vested interests that have ‘hijacked the Tamil cause’ and purport to be their representatives.

      The recent election demonstrated to some extent that some Tamil electorates have begun to ‘see-through’ this facade. If Mahinda Rajapaksa continues with his astute policy of winning the hearts and minds of people in the North and East, it is not inconceivable that the next elected Tamil representatives will be from the SLPP !

      Ultimately, it is the Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s, the Kamal Gunaratne’s, the Moshe Dyan’s and the Ariel Sharon’s of this world who deliver the PEACE. It is said: no sane man who has seen the horrors of the battlefield has any wish to return to it.

      With President Gota, this nation has its best opportunity for lasting peace, reconciliation and prosperity. Let’s unite and seize the opportunity.

      And what a deserved slap in the face that would be for the Tamil diaspora.

    • My dear sir:
      Please read the countless news reports out there on the Tamil problems. The political solutions that had been sought by the various elected Tamil representatives of the North and East are often front page news in Srinadh, often vilified, distorted, and used as propaganda for fear mongering.
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      It is superb that you are fluent in the two official languages of SriLanka as well as the link language, English. Therefore, not only you have access to all local media reports but also to international media and institutional reports.
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      Shocked and flabbergasted that you have absolutely no idea of what the “Tamil problems” are! There’s a tonne of catching up you have to do with what has been verified, documented, and published. Also, it would greatly help talking to people of the community in SriLankan; the challenges that they continue to face, and what their “Tamil problems” are. Perhaps you can start with the plight of the over a lakh of Tamil refugees living menially in refugee camps in India, most of them for more than 20 years.
      ———
      Good that you’re proficient in technology so much so you’re able make comments here on news items. Surely, you can google away to your heart’s pleasure and you will find yourself enlightened on the “Tamil problems”; if that’s your genuine intention.
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      Also, please reference the news source for MP Sambanthan not telling what the “Tamil problems” are to Mahinda Rajapaksa. Also, please reference all the news sources for Mahinda Rajapaksa’s declaration of never knowing what the “Tamil problems” are.
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      Please and thank you.

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