Toronto, 18th June 2014
The Honourable Shree Narendra Modi
Prime Minister of India,
Dear Honouarble Shree Narendra Modi,
RE: The Eelam Tamil National Question and the Urgent Need for a Lasting Solution
We are writing to provide you with the historical basis on which a lasting solution can be found to the Eelam Tamil National Question in the island of Sri Lanka. By virtue of their collective history and archaeological evidences dating back to over three millennia, the Eelam Tamils who have lived in their geographically defined homeland with their distinct language, culture and collective consciousness, constitute a nation until the British merged their homeland with that of the Sinhalese Nation in 1833. Ever since the British left in 1948, the Eelam Tamils have had a continued history of democratically struggling to share their sovereignty with the Sinhala nation for 30 years since the independence of Ceylon. The failure of this political arrangement foisted on us by the British culminated in the historic Vaddukkodai Resolution of 1976, which demanded the establishment of our sovereignty, was endorsed by a mandate of the Eelam Tamil nation in the 1977 parliamentary general elections.
The abject failure of the non-violent and peaceful democratic struggles (1948-1983), due to state oppression and state-aided pogroms against unarmed Tamil civilians, led to another 30 years of militant struggle which culminated in Eelam Tamils earning their sovereignty in a de facto state that was tacitly recognized in an internationally-recognized Peace Accord in 2002.
The geopolitics of the international community tipped the balance against the de facto state which led to war crimes and on-going genocide. This is now indirectly acknowledged by the UN’s internal review panel report (Petrie Report) and Norway’s evaluation report of the 2002 peace process. Since May 2009, under the guise of a “post-conflict reconciliation” charade, Sri Lanka is continuing a systematic and accelerated process of genocide in the militarily occupied Tamil homeland in the North and East of the island. Women and children are the most vulnerable in the context of military occupation and an ongoing genocide. Documented evidence reveals widespread and systematic rape of Tamil women as part of the collective genocidal policy of the Sri Lankan state. The current ground realities in the Tamil homeland include heavy militarization, accelerated State-aided Sinhala colonization, and structural abuse of Eelam Tamils, all targeted to destroy the identity of the Eelam Tamil Nation and the territorial contiguity of the Tamil homeland.
Any just solution for the Eelam Tamils must be based on the recognition of Eelam Tamils as a nation and cannot be confined to the existing parameters of the Sri Lankan constitution, the 6th Amendment of which prevents anyone from freely articulating the political aspirations of the Eelam Tamils.
There needs to be an immediate and complete removal of the Sri Lankan military and security forces from the Tamil homeland, including the disarming of the paramilitaries. The United Nations has the responsibility for maintaining a local presence in assisting the Tamils of the North and East to sustain their livelihood in the face of genocide. The absence of impartial international aid organizations from the North and East makes it easier for the Sri Lankan military to forcibly acquire Tamil-owned lands.
There are very strong sentiments amongst Tamils both within and outside Tamil Nadu on a range of issues relating to India’s relations with the present regime in Sri Lanka in the aftermath of the final stages of the genocidal war in Sri Lanka. The Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly has already passed four resolutions condemning the continuing discrimination against the Tamils in Sri Lanka and violation of their human rights.
There is an immediate need for your participation, to halt the ongoing genocide of Eelam Tamils.
We humbly request you:
1. To provide the political space for Eelam Tamils to express their political aspirations through an internationally monitored referendum to be conducted among Eelam Tamils of North and East descent in the island of Sri Lanka, in the diaspora, and among the refugees in India and elsewhere, to arrive at a just political solution;
2. Acknowledge that any internal mechanism by the Sri Lankan state to address the systemic injustices meted out to the Tamils is fundamentally flawed and therefore actively call for the establishment of an independent, international, and impartial investigation into the charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes to ensure truth, accountability and justice in Sri Lanka;
3. Pursue alternative strategies such as diplomatic and economic sanctions as well as travel restrictions for Government of Sri Lanka officials.
The above actions are urgently needed to halt the ongoing genocide of Eelam Tamils and restore lasting peace and stability in the region which will also ensure the security of India in the southern front.
Thank you for the kind consideration of this request.
Professor R. Sri Ranjan, Ph.D., P.Eng.,
Co-Chair, International Council of Eelam Tamils
The International Council of Eelam Tamils (ICET) is a grassroots federation, composed of organizations from across the global Tamil Diaspora that seeks a political solution to the Tamil National Question through the right to self-determination.