Taking part in a side-event on Tamils Right to Self-Determination, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarian Sivagnanam Shritharan on Monday called for a UN referendum among Eezham Tamils to exercise their external Self-Determination. The TNA MP was referring to 1977 democratic mandate for Tamil Eelam and the 2009-2010 referenda held in the Tamil diaspora. Mr Sritharan was braving the prohibition imposed upon him to articulate the aspiration by the 6th Amendment of genocidal Sri Lanka as he was explicitly calling for the exercise of the right to external self-determination. Mr Sritharan has smashed the taboo placed upon him by the TNA hierarchy controlled by R. Sampanthan and M.A. Sumanthiran through his explicit call for external right to self-determination at Geneva, Tamil political activists in Jaffna said welcoming the courageous move.
Tamils were seeking the support of the international community to exercise their external right to self-determination beyond the scope of internal self-determination, Mr Sritharan said in his address made in Tamil.
If the international community takes steps to investigate the genocide and comes forward to conduct a referendum, Tamils would be able to exercise their right to self-determination he said.
Mr Sritharan also took up the critical issue of demographic changes made in Trincomalee by the successive Sinhala Establishments right from the times of British colonialism to break up the territorial integrity of the Tamil homeland.
There were only 250 Sinhalese in the Trincomalee district in the 1820s. But, the chauvinistic Sinhala state, through demographic changes, has made Sinhala population one-third of the total population of the three communities in the district, he said. Already in 1954, the Sinhala state committed the massacre of 154 Tamil farmers at Allai-Kantha’laay scheme in Trincomalee district, Shritharan further observed.
The side-event in which Mr Sritharan was taking part has gained significance as Alfred-Maurice de Zayas, the Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, appointed by the Human Rights Council, was also a panellist at the side-event.
Alfred de Zayas came with sharp remarks on the right to self-determination.
The position adopted by various UN member states that one cannot tamper with the territorial integrity of a State through calling for the right of Self-Determination was an irritating and false argument, the Cuban-born legal expert from the USA said.
The right of self-determination of a people, who are subjugated by the State, could not be overruled by the concept of territorial integrity of a State, he said.
The Independent Expert also referred to the artificial demographic changes in the homeland territory of a people and said only the native people should be allowed exercise their right of self-determination in a plebiscite.
The side-event also gained significance as legal experts and activists from Tamil Nadu also joined the panel strengthening Eezham Tamils Right of Self-Determination and the call for international investigations on Tamil genocide.
Former Chennai High Court Judge Hariparanthaman Duraisamay, Secretary of Tamil Nadu High Court Advocates Association Krishnakumar Ramamoorthy and Parventhan Dhakshanamoorthy, a lawyer and an activist of the VCK and Paul Newman, a professor in the field of human rights at the University of Bangalore were articulating the Right of Self-Determination of the Eezham Tamils.
Mrs Ananthy Sasitharan, a minister of the Northern Provincial Council, also addressed the event appealing for international investigations on genocide.
The Q&A session at the end of the side-event was disturbed by Sinhala operatives believed to be SL military intelligence personnel.
The alleged SL military operatives were accusing the LTTE of committing ‘genocide’ against the Sinhalese. They blamed the act by the LTTE in 1990 evicting Muslims from North with a 48-hour notice as ‘ethnic cleansing’.
The session was ended without giving room for the escalation of a hostile environment by the moderator Fr. Jeyabalan, who is a witness to the genocidal war in Vanni.
Informed sources in Colombo told TamilNet that the SL regime was using Sinhala military intelligence to deal with the propaganda and disinformation campaign in Geneva.
Last year, the SL military intelligence was deploying a group of Muslims to wage anti-Tamil campaign in Geneva with the same argument. But, this year, they were unable to join the military operatives in the aftermath of the anti-Muslim pogrom, the sources in Colombo said.
[TamilNet, Monday, 19 March 2018, 22:25 GMT]