Tamil Eelam
Struggle for Freedom
The International Frame
- Some Aspects
A Presentation by
3 September 2007
Struggle for Tamil Eelam
is a National Question…
… and it is therefore
an Inter – National Question
The Struggle of Tamil Eelam
for freedom is lawful & just
"Throughout the ages the Sinhalese and Tamils in the country lived
as distinct sovereign people till they were brought under foreign
domination.. We have for the last 25 years made every effort to
secure our political rights on the basis of equality with the Sinhalese
in a united Ceylon. It is a regrettable fact that successive Sinhalese
governments have used the(ir) power …to deny us our fundamental
rights and reduce us to the position of a subject people…I wish to
announce to my people and to the country that I consider the
verdict at this election as a mandate that the Tamil Eelam nation
should exercise the sovereignty already vested in the Tamil people
and become free." - Statement by Gandhian Tamil Leader
S.J.V.Chelvanayagam Q.C. M.P. 7 February 1975
The Struggle of Tamil Eelam
for freedom is lawful & just
…because democracy means the rule of
the people, by the people, for the people
and therefore, no one people may rule
another; and
…because the struggle of the people of
Tamil Eelam is about securing freedom
from alien Sinhala rule…
Sinhala rule is alien rule …
… because the Sinhala people speak a
different language to that of the Tamil
people; because they trace their history
to origins different from that of the Tamil
people; and because their cultural
heritage is different to that of the Tamil
…it is alien Sinhala rule
… because the political consciousness of
the Sinhala people and the way
they exercise their vote, is clearly
determined by their separate language, by
their separate history and by their
separate cultural heritage - in short by
their own separate Sinhala national
…it is alien Sinhala rule
… because no Tamil has ever been elected to an
electorate which had a majority of Sinhala voters
and no Sinhalese has ever been elected to an
electorate which had a majority of Tamil voters;
…because a Sinhala Buddhist ethno nation
masquerading as a civic ' multi ethnic Sri Lankan
nation', will always have a Sinhala Buddhist as
the executive head of government.
it is alien Sinhala rule …
 …because
the record proves and
proves beyond any reasonable
doubt that the practise of
democracy within the confines of
a single state has resulted in
genocidal rule by a permanent
Sinhala majority…
the charge is genocide – the
struggle is for freedom …
“…Communal riots in which Tamils are
killed, maimed, robbed and rendered
homeless are no longer isolated episodes;
they are beginning to become a pernicious
habit." Paul Sieghart , International
Commission of Jurists and British Section,
Justice, March 1984 [see 1956, 1958,
1961, 1974,1977, 1983]
“Secession/partition of the two communities
is the best outcome overall” …
"...The problem in nationally divided societies is that the
different groups have different political identities, and, in
cases where the identities are mutually exclusive (not
nested), these groups see themselves as forming distinct
political communities. .. if the minority group seeks to be
self-governing, or to secede from the larger state,
increased representation at the centre will not be
satisfactory. The problem in this case is that the group
does not identify with the centre, or want to be
part of that political community...One conclusion
that can be drawn is that… secession/partition of the
two communities, where that option is available, is the
best outcome overall. .." Normative Justifications for
Liberal Nationalism - Margaret Moore,2001
Inviolability of borders against outside
invasion must be separated from right to
statehood of a people within a state's
“… the principle of territorial integrity protects a state
only against invasion of its borders and not against
internal rebellion... Lord Robert Cecil once justly
observed that the main cause of recurrence of wars was
precisely the permanent freezing of state frontiers. In a
recent New York Times article, human rights activist
Yelena Bonner (widow of Andrei Sakharov) writes that
"the inviolability of a country's borders against
invasion from the outside must be clearly
separated from the right to statehood of any
people within a state's borders." Visuvanathan
Rudrakumaran in The Tamils' Quest for Statehood
Restrictions on self-determination
threaten democracy…
“... Restrictions on self-determination threaten
not only democracy itself but the state which
seeks its legitimation in democracy...Let us
accept the fact that states have lifecycles similar
to those of human beings who created them. …
hardly any Member State of the United Nations
has existed within its present borders for longer
than five generations. The attempt to freeze
human evolution has in the past been a futile
undertaking…" Self Determination & the Future
of Democracy - Prince Hans-Adam II of
Liechtenstein, 2001
Legal scholars and non-governmental organizations
have been vocal in their support for the right to self
determination of the people of Tamil Eelam…
"We request that the delegates to the 49th Session of the
Commission on Human Rights.. accord open recognition to the
existence of the Tamil homeland in the North and East of the Island;
and recognise that the Tamil population in the North and East of the
island constitute a 'people' with the right to self determination'‘ Joint
Statement by 15 NGOs consisting of the International Organisation
for the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination,
International Educational Development, Centre Europe Ties Monde,
International Indian Treaty Council, Fedefam, Association paur la
Liberte Religiose, Codehuca, World Christian Community, Pax
Christie International, International League for the Rights and
Liberation of Peoples, Movement contra le Racisme, International
Association of Educadores for World Peace, International Association
against Torture, World Confederation of Labour, and International
Movement for Fraternal Union among Races and Peoples. at United
Nations Commission on Human Rights, Geneva 8 February 1993
…in sum, the Struggle of Tamil Eelam
for freedom is lawful & just
…because it is about the democratic right
of the people of Tamil Eelam to govern
themselves in their homeland… and
because it is about reversion of
sovereignty - a sovereignty that the Tamil
people enjoyed before the British unified
the administration of the island of Sri
Lanka in 1833.
but… the world is not rotating
on the axis of law & justice…
“The world is not rotating
on the axis of justice…It is
economic and trade
interests that determine
the order of the present
world, not the moral law
of justice nor the rights of
people… International
relations and diplomacy
between countries are
determined by such
interests..”– Velupillai
Pirabakaran, Leader of
Tamil Eelam, November
…and inter-state relations are not
governed by the logic of morality
"Inter-state relations are not governed by the logic
of morality. They were and they remain an amoral
phenomenon.." Jyotindra Nath Dixit Indian Foreign
Secretary in 1991/94 and National Security Adviser to
the Prime Minister of India 2004/05, speaking in
Switzerland, February 1998
"We have no eternal allies and we have no perpetual
enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and
those interests it is our duty to follow." British Foreign
Secretary, Lord Palmerston (1784-1865) - 150 years ago
…inter-state relations
are governed by realpolitik…
'‘…When governments pretend not to notice suffering, to
whom can peoples.. turn for help? The United Nations?
Alas, the deeper you delve, the redder the faces. The
cynicism of realpolitik extends even to the UN
Commission on Human Rights... When Amnesty
attended the Commission in Geneva last month to urge
action on Indonesia and East Timor, we met only
embarrassment. The governments to which we spoke
repeated what they have been promising us for thirty
years: they will pursue a policy of 'quiet
diplomacy''' Amnesty in a full page advertisement in
the London based Guardian on 12 March 1994 quoted in
Cynicism of Real Politick, Nadesan Satyendra, March
…the cynicism of real politik which
led US to declare in May 2000…
“…As I have said in both India and
Pakistan, the U.S. does not envision or
support the establishment of another
independent state on this island, nor do
we believe other members of the
international community would support it.”
US Under Secretary of State, Thomas R.
Pickering Press Conference, Colombo, Sri
Lanka, 29 May 2000
…a cynicism which led the Massachusetts
House of Representatives to resolve in June
“..Resolved, that the Massachusetts House of
Representatives hereby urges the President and
the Congress of the United States to support the
Struggle for Freedom by the Tamil Nation for the
Restoration and Reconstitution of the separate
sovereign state of Tamil Eelam and to recognise
publicly the right of self determination by the
Tamil people of Tamil Eelam" House of
Representatives Resolution, the Commonwealth
of Massachusetts, USA, 18 June 1981
…a cynicism which led India to train Tamil
militants in the 1980s…
"...Most Tamil separatists from Sri Lanka had accepted
the Indian offer (to provide arms and training) at its face
value, thinking that New Delhi was reaching out to them
out of genuine concern for their condition. However, an
extraordinary revelation began to unfold as the training
started. Many guerrillas realized that the training was
just a subterfuge for a larger strategic game that India
was attempting to play, a game in which the Tamil rebels
may end up being just expendable pawns…” Narayan
Swamy, M.R. - Inside an Elusive Mind Prabhakaran Published by Literate World, Inc, USA,
… a cynicism which seeks cover as
‘disinterested’ good Samaritans…
The ‘international community’ are not
“disinterested” good Samaritans concerned
primarily with securing justice for the Tamil
people and bringing peace to a troubled
island.… The actions of the Trilaterals (US, EU,
Japan) on the one hand and India & China on
the other hand, are directed to stabilise Sri
Lanka in such a way so as to advance each of
their own (conflicting) strategic interests in
relation to the uneasy balance of power that
prevails in the Indian Ocean Region.
…the prevailing uneasy Balance of Power in
the Indian Ocean Region…
“The dynamics of the
region .. call for a
balance of power
approach rather than
a straight alliance. ..”
Adam Wolfe, Yevgeny
Bendersky, Dr.
Federico Bordonaro India's Project
Seabird and Indian
Ocean's Balance of
Power, PINR, 20 July
… the uneasy balance of power in the Indian
Ocean region has impacted on the Tamil
Eelam Struggle for Freedom…
Here, two frames may be usefully looked
One… the Strategic Significance of the
Indian Ocean Region, and
Two… the Strategic Significance of Sri
Lanka in the Indian Ocean Region
Let us examine each in turn…
One… the Strategic Significance
of the Indian Ocean Region
The Indian Ocean is
nearly 6,000 miles wide
at the southern tips of
Africa and Australia and
its area is 2.8
million square miles,
about 5.5 times the size
of the US. The Indian
peninsula projects 1240
miles into the Indian
Ocean. 50% of the
Indian Ocean basin lies
within a 1,000 mile
radius of India. 47
countries have the
Indian Ocean on their
… a Strategic Significance which
Germany recognised in World War II
" ...Next to nothing has been written about the Uboat war in the Indian Ocean… The battle began
in August 1943, when a German submarine
arrived in the Malaysian harbour of Georgetown.
In total, nearly fourty U-boats were assigned to
penetrate the Indian Ocean, serving alongside
troops of the occupying Imperial Japanese
forces..." Lawrence Paterson - Hitler's Grey
Wolves: U-Boats in the Indian Ocean
…German U Boats Operating in the
Indian Ocean in World War II
Today… the Indian Ocean
remains a Critical Waterway
The Indian Ocean is a critical waterway for
global trade and commerce… thro’ which
passes half of the world’s containerized
cargo, one third of its bulk cargo and two
third of its oil shipment. Its waters carry
heavy traffic of petroleum and petroleum
products from the oilfields of the Persian
Gulf and Indonesia, and contain an
estimated 40% of the world's offshore oil
The Sea Lanes of the Indian Ocean
… in the 21st Century the destiny of the
world will be decided in these waters…
“…Whoever controls the Indian Ocean
dominates Asia. This ocean is the key to
the seven seas in the twenty-first century,
the destiny of the world will be decided in
these waters." US Rear Admiral Alfred
Thayer Mahan quoted by Cdr. P K Ghosh
in Maritime Security Challenges in South
Asia and the Indian Ocean, 18 January
Critical Choke Points
of the Indian Ocean
“… The Ocean features four critically important
access waterways facilitating international
maritime trade - the Suez Canal in Egypt, Babel-Mandeb (bordering Djibouti and Yemen),
Straits of Hormuz (bordering Iran and Oman),
and Straits of Malacca (bordering Indonesia and
Malaysia). These “chokepoints” or narrow
channels are critical to world oil trade as
huge amounts of oil pass through them.
The role of the Indian Ocean in Facilitating
Global Maritime Trade, Nazery Khalid, June 2005
80% of Japan’s & 60% of China’s Oil
shipped through Malacca Straits
Oil-tanker traffic through
the narrow strait, which
already carries most of
North Asia's oil imports, is
projected to grow from
10 million barrels a day in
2002 to 20 million barrels
a day in 2020 - much of
that oil will be destined
for the fast-growing
market of China.
“ 80% of Japan’s oil
supplies and 60% of
China’s oil supplies are
shipped through the
Straits of Malacca. US$
70 billion worth of oil
passes through the straits
each year.”
India, the Indian Ocean
and Geo-politics Posted
on 06.12.06 by Jaffna in
the Indian National
US, India & China: Strategic Interest
in Malacca Straits & Andaman Sea…
In recent years, in addition to
the US, whose navy has long
had a presence in the Indian
Ocean and has been stealthily
sailing the waters of the Bay of
Bengal, China has also shown
a considerable interest in
utilizing the Andaman Sea as
an outlet to the Indian Ocean
in the near future. India bids
to rule the waves, Ramtanu
Maitra, 19 October 2005, Asia
China & India scrambling for
advantage in the Indian Ocean Region
“… Let this be clear: the two major powers of
the region, China and India, are scrambling for
advantage around the Indian Ocean's rim. China
is building military and naval links with
Bangladesh and Myanmar. The cooperation
between China and African countries is now
getting more and more visible, particularly after
the China-Africa summit in Beijing in November
2006... Reports available indicate that both
India and the United States are studying
intensely this rise in Chinese activity. Atul
Dev on The Indian Ocean: Current Security
Environment, 25 May 2007
Indian Ocean Strategic Landscape is
being transformed…
"…the emergence of new powers like China and
India is expected to transform the regional
strategic landscape in a fashion that could be as
dramatic as the rise of Germany in the 19th
century and the United States in the 20th
century" Barry Desker, Director IDSS,
Singapore in Maritime Balance of Power in the
Asia-Pacific - Report of a Conference Organised
by the Institute of Defence and Strategic
Studies, Singapore, 8th – 9th March 2005
Indian Ocean Region has become
Strategic Heartland of 21st Century…
"…The Indian ocean region has become the
strategic heartland of the 21st century,
dislodging Europe and North East Asia which
adorned this position in the 20th century.. the
developments in the Indian Ocean region are
contributing to the advent of a less Western
centric and a more multi-polar world..." Donald
L. Berlin, Asia Pacific Centre for Security Studies,
Hawaii , 13 December 2006
Setting the Stage for a New Cold War
"..China, which has been a net oil importer since
1993, is the world's number two oil consumer
after the U.S. and has accounted for 40 percent
of the world's crude oil demand growth since
2000…China is stepping up efforts to secure sea
lanes and transport routes that are vital for oil
shipments .."Setting the Stage for a New Cold
War: China's Quest for Energy Security - PINR,
25 February 2005
US Strategic Interests in the Indian
Ocean Region…
“US strategic interests in Sri Lanka are intertwined with
its military objectives in South Asia and Asia … Central to
the US strategic objective in Asia is the desire to
“preclude the rise of a regional or continental hegemon.”
The US believes that no nation in Asia poses such a
threat to it at the moment. But it believes that China,
India and Iran have the potential to develop into
continental hegemons either on their own or as partners
of regional coalitions including Russia that could threaten
US interests in Asia and, in the long run, in the world.”
US Strategic Interests in Sri Lanka - Dharmaretnam
Sivaram, 30 July 2005
Indian Ocean – US & Diego Garcia
“ The (US) base improvements
will allow its new class of
SSGN nuclear submarines to
operate from Diego Garcia..
the SSGNs.. carry up to 154
Tactical Tomahawks, robot
kamikaze jets which can be
remotely piloted to strike
locations a thousand miles
inland..." US Navy builds
Stingray-esque base in Indian
Ocean - Frogmen, mini-subs to
operate from nuke
motherships - Lewis Page, 7
April 2007
Indian Ocean – US & Diego Garcia
US – India: a Strategic Partnership
At the last meeting of the Indo-US Defence Joint
Working Group held in New Delhi (on 10 April 2007),
China's 'growing naval expansion in the Indian
Ocean' was noted with concern. The meeting also
noted: ''China is rapidly increasing military and maritime
links with countries such as Myanmar, Bangladesh, Sri
Lanka, Maldives, Seychelles, Mauritius and Madagascar…
The 200 years of the Anglo-Saxon presence in the region
has now been replaced by the US-China presence to
further and protect their interests. Isn’t it time for the
‘owners’ of the Indian Ocean to get together to
protect their own interests? " Atul Dev in the
Mauritius Times, 25 May 2007
or… an evolving entente… or…
"...Last April, at a two-day workshop at the Indian
Defense Studies Analysis (IDSA), a New Delhi-based
think tank, discussions took place on emerging U.S.Indian strategic relations. One Indian analyst pointed out
that although Indians are eager to obtain U.S.
technology… Indians worry that at a crucial time
they might not be supplied with replacement
parts if the relationship goes bad again.... A senior
Indian military official delivering a luncheon address to
the conference cautioned that Indo-U.S. relations .. can
be better described as an "evolving entente," and
argued that given its size, location, and ambitions, India
will always march to the beat of its own
drummer..."Geostrategic Import of the Coming Bay of
Bengal Naval Exercise - Ramtanu Maitra, Executive
Intelligence Review, 27 July 2007
or… will India always try to march to
the beat of its own drummer
"...In the current international landscape, there is only one country
which has a truly global agenda and also a global reach, which is
the United States. However, there is also a cluster of major powers
with strong regional profiles but increasingly global impact. These
include the E.U., Russia, China, Japan, India, Brazil and South
Africa. While U.S. pre-eminence is unlikely to be reversed in the
foreseeable future, the relative importance of the other major
powers is likely to increase. We are already in a world of what I
would call "asymmetric multipolarity" with the asymmetry
progressively diminishing over a period of time. India has an
instinctive preference for multipolarity… this is a trend which is
positive from India’s standpoint as an emerging power…” Shyam
Saran, Special Envoy to Indian Prime Minister, Indian Foreign
Secretary 2004 – 2006, Address at the Institute for South Asian
Studies, Singapore, 30 August 2007
India in Madagascar
“India is reportedly planning to
set up a high-tech monitoring
station in northern Madagascar
… It would be the first such
facility New Delhi has opened
in another country.. India will
pay US$2.5 million to lease the
station, because it apprehends
threats to its strategic naval
assets and its political,
economic and military interests
in Africa..” Delhi all ears in the
Indian Ocean - Sudha
Ramachandran in Asia Times,
3 March 2006
China in Gawdor, Pakistan
"Four months after the U.S.
ordered its troops into
Afghanistan to remove the
Taliban regime, China and
Pakistan joined hands to break
ground in building a Deep Sea
Port in Gwador on the Arabian
Sea… Gwadar is nautically
bounded by the Persian Gulf in
the west and the Gulf of Oman
in the southwest “China's
Naval Outpost on the Indian
Ocean, Tarique Niazi, The
Jamestown Foundation, 28
February 2005
Japan’s Indian Ocean Deployment
"By most standards, Japan is now the world’s number
two naval power....the primary reason for dispatching
the Kongo-class Aegis ships (to the Indian Ocean)
...was... undoubtedly...to do with the prodigious areawide surveillance and tracking capacities of the Aegis air
defense system operated by the Kongo-class ships .
These would have enabled the MSDF ships to
cooperate with both US and UK navy and air units
operating not only in the Indian Ocean, but
possibly over Afghanistan itself..." Japan’s Indian
Ocean Naval Deployment: Blue water militarization in a
“normal country” - Richard Tanter in Japan Focus, 21
March 2006
Stirling in Australia – de facto US Base
in the Indian Ocean
“… In late 2002 the Australian government
agreed to allow the US military to use the HMAS
Stirling naval base in Cockburn Sound on the
west coast of Australia to trial its new “seaswap” program. The plan is aimed at boosting
US naval firepower in the Indian Ocean and
Persian Gulf. Critics charge that the Australian
Federal and State Governments are
working to make Cockburn Sound a
defacto base for the US navy.” Stirling
Naval Base at Global Security
China calls for exclusion of outside
powers from the Indian Ocean…
At the UN Ad Hoc Committee on Indian Ocean,
451st Meeting (PM) on 26 July 2005 the
representative of China "called for common
efforts for countries inside and outside the
region to maintain peace and stability in the
region and to establish the Zone of Peace at an
early date. To that end, the major Powers
outside the region should eliminate their
military presence in the Indian Ocean
region." Declaration of the Indian Ocean as a
Zone of Peace
China’s Geo Political Strategy:
“String of Pearls”
“The geopolitical strategy dubbed the “String of
Pearls” is arising as foreign oil becomes a center
of gravity critical to China’s energy needs.
China’s rising maritime power is encountering
American maritime power along the sea lines of
communication (SLOCs) that connect China to
vital energy resources in the Middle East and
Africa.” String of Pearls:Meeting the Challenge of
China’s Rising Power Across the Asian Littoral Lt.Col. Christopher J. Pehrson, July, 2006
China’s String of Pearls
“Each “pearl” in the “String of Pearls” is a nexus of
Chinese geopolitical influence or military presence.
Hainan Island, with recently upgraded military facilities,
is a “pearl.” An upgraded airstrip on Woody Island,
located in the Paracel archipelago 300 nautical miles east
of Vietnam, is a “pearl.” A container shipping facility in
Chittagong, Bangladesh, is a “pearl.” Construction of a
deep water port in Sittwe, Myanmar, is a “pearl,” as is
the construction of a navy base in Gwadar, Pakistan. …
China is building strategic relationships and developing a
capability to establish a forward presence along the sea
lines of communication (SLOCs) that connect China to
the Middle East” String of Pearls:Meeting the Challenge
of China’s Rising Power Across the Asian Littoral - Lt.Col.
Christopher J. Pehrson, July, 2006
And now, let us turn to Sri Lanka’s
Strategic Importance …
(1) Sri Lanka is strategically
situated in the Indian Ocean
(2) It is ideally situated to be a
major communication center,
(3) It has Trincomalee, described
by the British Admiral Horatio
Nelson as “the finest harbour in
the world”. Ramesh
Somasundaram of Deakin
University quoted by P.K.
Balachandran in Hindustan
Times, 30 May 2005
Sri Lanka’s Strategic Importance
was recognised by UK in 1948
1948 Defence agreement
with UK, essential
prerequisite to
independence - “United
Kingdom may base such naval
and air forces and maintain
such land forces in Ceylon [as
may be required for the
security of their territories, for
defence against external
aggression], and as may be
mutually agreed.” Ceylon -
United Kingdom Defence
Agreement, 1948
Sri Lanka’s Strategic Importance
was recognised by India in 1987
“Trincomalee or any other ports in Sri Lanka will not be
made available for military use by any country in a
manner prejudicial to India's interests. The work of
restoring and operating the Trincomalee Oil Tank will be
undertaken as a joint operation between India and Sri
Lanka. Sri Lanka's agreement with foreign broadcasting
organisations will be reviewed to ensure that any
facilities set up by them in Sri Lanka are used solely as
public broadcasting facilities and not for any military or
intelligence purposes.” Exchange of Letters between
India & Sri Lanka immediately preceding the signing
Indo - Sri Lanka Accord, 29 July 1987
… the Significance of Trincomalee…
“Trincomalee has immense significance in
this age of nuclear weaponry and nuclear
submarine-based missile systems …
Given the depth of the harbour, nuclear
submarines are able to dive low within the
inner harbour to effectively avoid radar
and sonar detection” Ramesh
Somasundaram of Deakin University
quoted by P.K. Balachandran
in Hindustan Times, 30 May 2005
US Presence in Sri Lanka – a politicostrategic pressure point against India in
1980s & today…
“The rise of Tamil militancy in Sri Lanka and the Jayawardene
government's serious apprehensions about this development were
utilised by the US and Pakistan to create a politico-strategic
pressure point against India, in the island's strategically
sensitive coast off the Peninsula of India. Jayawardene…established
substantive defensive and intelligence contacts with US, Pakistan
and Israel… Tamil militancy received support both from Tamil Nadu
and from the Central Government … also as a response to
Jayawardene's concrete and expanded military and intelligence
cooperation with the United States, Israel and Pakistan. The
assessment was that these presences would pose a
strategic threat to India..” Jyotindra Nath Dixit Indian Foreign
Secretary in 1991/94 and National Security Adviser to the Prime
Minister of India 2004/05, speaking in Switzerland, February 1998
Sri Lanka: Another US Base in the
Indian Ocean?
“The ten year Acquisition and Cross-Servicing
Agreement (ACSA) signed by the United States
and Sri Lanka on March 5, which provides for
among other things logistics supplies and refuelling facilities, has major ramifications for the
region, particularly India. For all the sophistry
and spin by the Americans, the ACSA is a
military deal and, on the face of it, is
loaded in Washington's favour “ B.
Muralidhar Reddy in Acquisition and CrossServicing Agreement & the Indo Sri Lanka
Accord 9 March 2007
But… former US Ambassador Lunstead says
that US has no interests in military bases in
Sri Lanka…
“..With the end of the Cold War, U.S. interest in Sri
Lanka waned. As recently as 2000, the United States
Agency for International Development (USAID) was
planning for significantly reduced development
assistance levels. The enhanced engagement that
commenced in 2001 occurred despite the absence of
significant U.S. strategic interests in Sri Lanka.
Political-military interests are not high, and the
U.S. has no interest in military bases in Sri Lanka.
From an economic and commercial standpoint, Sri Lanka
is unlikely to be a major U.S. trading partner in the near
future. There is not a large enough Sri Lankan-origin
community in the U.S. to have an impact on U.S.
domestic politics. “United States Role in Sri Lanka Peace
Process 2002-2006, Jeffrey Lunstead, 15 May 2007
The Cynicism of Real Politick…
 Ambassadors
are honest men
sent abroad to lie for their
Like humans, countries also lie…
 Because
they want to cover up
the real reasons for their actions
 Because the real reasons will not
stand up to public scrutiny, and
governments risk losing the
support of their own voters within
their own country…
Therefore, in Iraq the lie was
‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’…
America, America, American War Paar
Ada! - Audio Video Presentation
… and in Sri Lanka the lie is
“..The main U.S. strategic interest in Sri
Lanka is in ensuring that a terrorist
organization does not obtain its goals
through the use of terror…” United States
Role in Sri Lanka Peace Process 20022006, Jeffrey Lunstead, 15 May 2007
But what is Terrorism?
"'When I use a word,' Humpty
Dumpty said in a rather
scornful tone, 'it means just
what I choose it to mean,
neither more nor less'. 'The
question is,' said Alice,
'whether you can make words
mean so many different
things'. 'The question is,' said
Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to
be master - that's all'." Alice in
Wonderland, Lewis Carrol Through the Looking Glass,
c.vi quoted in What is
International failure to agree on a
definition of terrorism…
“…The most problematic issue relating to terrorism and
armed conflict is distinguishing terrorists from lawful
combatants… in terms of combatants in legitimate
struggles for self-determination … States that do not
recognize a claim to self-determination will claim that
those using force against the State’s military forces are
necessarily terrorists…The controversy over the exact
meaning, content, extent and beneficiaries of, as well as
the means and methods utilized to enforce the right to
self-determination has been the major obstacle to the
development of both a comprehensive definition of
terrorism and a comprehensive treaty on terrorism…”
Terrorism and Human Rights Final Report of the Special
Rapporteur, Kalliopi K. Koufa, 25 June 2004
Are there any circumstances in which a people ruled
by an alien people may lawfully resort to arms to
liberate themselves?...
"...Do we not deliberately obfuscate when we conflate
the two words 'terrorism' and 'violence'? ...The
war against Hitler was violent but it was not terrorism...
What are the circumstances in which a people ruled by
an alien people may lawfully resort to arms to resist that
alien rule and secure freedom? Or is it that there are no
circumstances in which a people ruled by an alien people
may lawfully resort to arms to liberate themselves? And
if all resort to violence to secure political ends is not
terrorism then, by all means let us address the
question: what is terrorism? Domestic law cannot
define terrorism by ignoring international law
concerning the right a people have, as a last
resort, to take up arms to free themselves from
oppressive alien rule…” On Terrorism & Liberation ,
Nadesan Satyendra, 23 September 2006
Is the charge of terrorism in Sri Lanka like
the allegation of WMDs in Iraq - a cover up
for advancing national strategic interests?
“…As the country that benefits most from global
economic integration, we have the responsibility
of making sure that this new system is
sustainable.. The hidden hand of the market
will never work without a hidden fist McDonald's cannot flourish without McDonnellDouglas, the designer of the F-15. And the
hidden fist that keeps the world safe for
Silicon Valley's technologies is called the
US Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine
Corps.... " Thomas Friedman, "A Manifesto for
the Fast World", New York Times Magazine,
March 28, 1999
… a cover up for strategic interests
that may be denied but cannot be
“..US Marines will conduct exercises with the Sri
Lanka Navy later this month, deploying more
than 1,000 personnel and support ships for
amphibious and counter-insurgency manoeuvres
with the aim of 'containing' growing Chinese
presence in the region and to test its latest
theories on 'littoral battle' without putting
American soldiers at risk…” US - India - China -
Sri Lanka - Pakistan: Matrix - Rahul Bedi, 25
October 2006
China: Sri Lanka’s Benign Friend
'China, a benign and sincere friend of Sri
Lanka' - Sri Lanka Foreign Minister
Lakshman Kadirgamar, 9 April 2005
China – Sri Lanka – India: Matrix
"China is all set to drop anchor at India's
southern doorstep. An agreement has been
finalized between Sri Lanka and China under
which the latter will participate in the
development of a port project at Hambantota on
the island's south coast.” China moves into
India's back yard Sudha Ramachandran in Asia
Times, 13 March 2007
Hambantota – a Pearl
in China’s String of Pearls
“…Chinese role in the Hambantota project is not just
about influence in Sri Lanka. .. The Hambantota port
project is the latest in a series of steps that China has
taken in recent years to consolidate its access to the
Indian Ocean and to secure sea lanes through which its
energy supplies are transported. It has adopted what
analysts describe as a "string of pearls" strategy, building
strategic relationships with countries along sea lanes
from the Middle East to the South China Sea. “ China
moves into India's back yard..” Sudha Ramachandran in
Asia Times, 13 March 2007
…international frame of the struggle of
Tamil Eelam for freedom - the harsh
“ the harsh political reality is that, on the one hand, the US is
mindful that it was after all President Jayawardene's 'growing
togetherness' with the US which led to New Delhi's support of the
Tamil militant movement in the early 1980s. At that time the US
kept its oars in Tamil waters with efforts such as hoisting the Eelam
flag in the State of Massachusetts. Today, the same US continues to
speak of the 'legitimate aspirations' of the Tamil people.
On the other hand, New Delhi has no desire to lose its ability to
play the 'Tamil card' to keep Sri Lanka in line in the years to come even after the successful annihilation of Velupillai Pirabakaran and
the weakening of the LTTE. And so New Delhi too proclaims ad
nauseam that they are concerned to secure the 'legitimate
aspirations' of the Tamil people. Additionally it builds its own
network amongst dissident Tamils both in Sri Lanka and abroad to
propagate its interests.” Black Pebbles & White Pebbles
but…what ‘should’ be the ‘legitimate’
aspirations of the people of Tamil Eelam?...
“ And to those in the international community who
continue to speak of their willingness to recognise the
'legitimate aspirations' of the Tamil people… the time has
come to reiterate that which Gandhian leader
S.J.V.Chelvanayagam declared 32 years ago and say that
it is the legitimate aspiration of the Tamil people to be
free from alien Sinhala rule. Does the international
community agree that the aspiration of the Tamil people
to be free from alien Sinhala rule is a 'legitimate'
aspiration? … If it does not, has not the time come for
the international community to explain to the people of
Tamil Eelam its reasons for insisting that the Tamil people
be ruled by a permanent Sinhala majority within the
confines of a single state - with a Sinhala army occupying
the Tamil homeland? “The Charge is Genocide, the
Struggle is for Freedom, Nadesan Satyendra, 14 August
…the refusal to recognise the justice of
the Tamil Eelam struggle for freedom…
exposes the harsh reality of the impact of
the uneasy balance of power in the Indian
Ocean… “… US and India may find
common cause in annihilating the Tamil
Eelam Struggle for freedom … but they
seek to do it in such a way that thereafter
each of them may successfully jockey
(against each other) for position and
influence in the Indian Ocean region…”
Black Pebbles & White Pebbles, 2006
It is true that geography plays a silent and
important role in the affairs of nations…
… but any foreign force can have its way in a
Tamil Eelam only if its people are divided &
politically obfuscated…
“…Today it is clear beyond all reasonable doubt
that India and the US-UK-Japan Bloc are trying to
influence and manage Sri Lanka's peace process
to promote and consolidate their respective
strategic and economic interests... We already hear
fools (and there are many of the educated variety
among Tamils) declaring that we should swallow our
pride and yield to the dictates of the world's sole super
power, that the US would bomb the Vanni back to the
stone age if the LTTE does not toe the line. Any foreign
force can have its way in a country only if its people are
divided, politically obfuscated and are irredeemably sunk
in political stupor…” D.Sivaram in The Folly of Eelam
Punditry , May 2003
… The creeping intellectual/political
barrenness (amongst Tamils) should be
stopped without further delay…
"The creeping intellectual/political barrenness (amongst
Tamils) should be stopped without further delay. LTTE
officials too should stop making pedestrian, boringly
predictable utterances on public forums and, instead,
make every endeavour to stir the people's reason,
intellectual curiosity, their sense of community, their
imagination and their intellectual fervour. This is the
only way forward to decisively break the vicious
circle of political obfuscation by which our people
are deeply but blissfully afflicted today. "D.Sivaram
in The Folly of Eelam Punditry , May 2003
… the strength of an aspiration towards
liberty, cannot be estimated in terms of so
many guns, such and such laws…
 "..A feeling or a thought ...the aspiration
towards liberty, cannot be estimated in the
terms of concrete power, in so many fighting
men, so many armed police, so many guns, so
many prisons, such and such laws, ukases, and
executive powers. But such feelings and
thoughts are more powerful than fighting men
and guns and prisons and laws and ukases.
Their beginnings are feeble, their end is mighty.
But of despotic repression the beginnings are
mighty, the end is feeble...". Sri Aurobindo in
Bande Mataram, 1907
…and the demand for national self
determination is a struggle for democracy
"...Demands for 'national selfdetermination' are
in one sense, a struggle for a higher form of
democracy...It must then be recognised that
'post-colonial liberation movements', far from
being inherently 'undemocratic', 'subversive',
'terrorist' ad infinitum, are often the most
effective medium for democratic assertion by
social groups who have been deprived of equal
citizenship rights, who have been subjected to
denial and state oppression..." Sumantra Bose in
Reconceptualising State, Nation and Sovereignty,
The Tamil Eelam Struggle for
Freedom is just – and it is lawful…
"...The Tamil struggle for freedom is just because it
arose in response to decades of ever widening and
deepening oppressive alien Sinhala rule. It is lawful
because every people have the right to freely choose
their political status - and no people may seek to rule
another. It is lawful because Tamil sovereignty which had
lain dormant during the period of successive British and
Sinhala rule, was resuscitated with the break in legal
continuity in 1972. The Tamil struggle for freedom is
principled because the Tamil people do not deny the
existence of the Sinhala nation but seek to associate
with it freely and on equal terms. .. ”Nadesan Satyendra
in Power and Principle, 1994
Velupillai Pirabaharan,
Leader of Tamil Eelam, 1992…
"...It is the Sri Lanka government which has failed to
learn the lessons from the emergence of the struggles
for self determination in several parts of the globe and
the innovative structural changes that have taken
place... We are not chauvinists. Neither are we lovers of
violence enchanted with war. We do not regard the
Sinhala people as our opponents or as our enemies. We
recognise the Sinhala nation. We accord a place of
dignity for the culture and heritage of the Sinhala
people. We have no desire to interfere in any way with
the national life of the Sinhala people or with their
freedom and independence. We, the Tamil people, desire
to live in our own historic homeland as an independent
nation, in peace, in freedom and with dignity.."
But, it is a vain dream to
"..It is a vain dream to
suppose that what other
nations have won by struggle
and battle, by suffering and
tears of blood, we shall be
allowed to accomplish easily,
without terrible sacrifices,
merely by spending the ink of
the journalist and petition
framer and the breath of the
orator..." Sri Aurobindo in
Bande Mataram, 1907 quoted
in The Charge is Genocide, the
Struggle is for Freedom,
Nadesan Satyendra, 14 August
“இலட்சியத்தால் ஒன்றுபட்ட, எழுச்சி
க ாண்ட, மக் ளை எந்த ஒரு
சக்தியாலும் ஒடுக் ிவிட முடியாது” Velupillai Pirabaharan, Leader of Tamil Eelam
Further Reading at
International Frame of the Tamil Eelam Struggle for Freedom
Indian Ocean Region http://www.tamilnation.org/intframe/indian_ocean/index.htm
Australia http://www.tamilnation.org/intframe/australia/index.htm
Canada http://www.tamilnation.org/intframe/canada/index.htm
China http://www.tamilnation.org/intframe/china/index.htm
Commonwealth http://www.tamilnation.org/intframe/chogm/index.htm
European Union http://www.tamilnation.org/intframe/eu/index.htm
India http://www.tamilnation.org/intframe/india/index.htm
Japan http://www.tamilnation.org/intframe/jp/index.htm
South Africa http://www.tamilnation.org/diaspora/southafrica.htm
Switzerland http://www.tamilnation.org/intframe/switzerland/index.htm
United Kingdom http://www.tamilnation.org/intframe/uk/index.htm
United States http://www.tamilnation.org/intframe/us/index.htm
International Relations in an Emerging Multi Lateral World

Tamil Liberation Struggle