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Do not trust TNA: ITAK endorsed Vaddukoddai Resolution on ‘Separatism’ in 2008

The Maha Sangha has rejected the new constitution in toto. It is a blow to the TNA and the Government that has made assurances to bring a new constitution to those that brought them to power. The Sri Lankan populace inclusive of the Tamil polity need to be aware that so long as TNA/ITAK politically exist, they will never allow the 2 communities to live in peace. The reason for this is that the racism and alienation grafted into a psyche of political will in the form of the 1976 Vaddukoddai Resolution was endorsed by the ITAK in 2008 thus fermenting very clearly that it sought far more than an already ‘federal’ system and was developing the legal argument to plead such influencing the international channels.

A case was filed in 2014 challenging ITAK to produce the English translation of its Constitution.

SC/SPL/03/2014. The Court was compelled to order ITAK to produce the English translation of its constitution giving ITAK’s aims & objectives. The Government Translator was tasked to translate the ITAK constitution into English.

www.lankaweb.com
(Dharshan Weerasekera)

Its importance comes in the results of that English translation. The ITAK constitution filed in the Elections Commission is in Tamil (ideally the Election Commissioner must demand parties to translate their constitutions into all 3 languages)

ITAK was formed in 1949 by SJV Chelvanayagam. In Tamil it was called Illangai Tamil Arasu Kadchi (direct translation of the 4 Tamil words meant Tamil State Party while it called itself the Federal Party in English.

ITAK amended its original constitution in 2008 (after the LTTE was defeated in the East by SL Military and before the defeat of the LTTE in the North)

Two important factors have emerged from that translation.

1.If the 1949 ITAK constitution envisaged a federal solution the Tamil word used was ‘Shamasthi’. If so, why did ITAK replace ‘Shamasthi’ with ‘innaipatchchi’ in 2008? If Shamasthi meant federal what does Innaipatchchi mean? We can conclude that innaipatchchi does not mean federal but confederal and that explains why ITAK/TNA leaders inclusive of the NPC Chief Minister are making demands that align with a confederal system. www.onlanka.com

2.The next important aspect is that in 2008 ITAK not only amended its constitution but ITAK included a clause that completely endorse the 1976 Vaddukoddai Resolution. In so doing, ITAK & TNA virtually officially puts to paper that its aims & objectives are for a separate state and nothing less. This is why no one should entertain TNA or ITAK for any consultations or compromise because its goal and objective is very clear. Anyone going for discussions with TNA / ITAK will only be agreeing to compromise their stand while ITAK/TNA principle will remain the same and unchanged!.

Clause 17 (D) of the 1949 ITAK Constitution amended in 2008 declares:

“ The General Committee of the Illangai Tamil Arasu Kadchi decided on 24.04.2008 and 03.08.2008 to approve all resolutions and actions taken by the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) and the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi from 14th May 1976”.

To understand the ramifications of this endorsement by ITAK it is crucial to know the contents of the 1976 Vaddukoddai Resolution and place it in context of what ITAK endorsed via its amended constitution in 2008.

The 1976 Vaddukoddai Resolution www.sangam.org

‘This convention resolves that restoration and reconstitution of the Free, Sovereign, Secular, Socialist State of TAMIL EELAM based on the right of self-determination inherent to every nation has become inevitable in order to safeguard the very existence of the Tamil nation in this Country….And this convention calls upon the Tamil Nation in general and the Tamil youth in particular to come forward to throw themselves fully into the sacred fight for freedom and to flinch not till the goal of a sovereign socialist state of TAMIL EELAM is reached’

Following the demise of the LTTE ground force, LTTE diaspora quickly converged and held referendums. These were
all based on the Vaddukoddai Resolution.

“Starting the process of writing the Constitution of Tamil Eelam, based on the principles enunciated in 1976 Vaddukottai Resolution,Interim Self-Governing Proposal (ISGA), and the Tamil Eelam Freedom Charter and involving Tamils all around the world” – TGTE Dec 2015

The endorsement is important as it came at a time when the LTTE’s political wing the TNA knew that it could no longer depend on the military arm to illegally gain territory. What ITAK probably next decided upon was to internationalize the demand to separatism through the amended aims & objectives of the constitution.

By endorsing 1976 Vaddukoddai Resolution through ITAK’s amended Constitution of 2008, ITAK is reconfirming its separatist objectives. The aim of Vaddukoddai Resolution was to establish a “free, sovereign, secular, socialist state of Tamil Eelam”. ITAK unanimously upheld this in 2008. This nullifies all TNA’s verbal claims of wanting to live in a ‘united’ Sri Lanka. ‘

When Vaddukoddai Resolution declares that Tamil Eelam State is to consist of people living in the North & East provinces, and given equal citizenship in the said State to all Tamil speaking people living in other parts of the island and other parts of the world – by endorsement ITAK/TNA is echoing the same demands.   “recognition of the right of self determination of the Tamil nation” – LTTE demand at Thimpu Talks in 1985 / “recognition of the Tamils of Ceylon as a nation” – LTTE demand at Thimpu Talks 1985

When Vaddukoddai Resolution declares that the Tamil Eelam constitution is to be a secular state – by endorsement ITAK/TNA is echoing the same demands in the new constitution too.

When Vaddukoddai Resolution declares that Tamil will be the language of N & E provinces in their ‘Tamil Eelam’ and Sinhalese minorities living in Tamil Eelam can study in Sinhalese – – by endorsement ITAK/TNA is echoing the same demands but questions on what grounds the TNA currently is demanding equal language status when under their autonomous rule only Tamil language will be State language!

This Government is committing hara kiri by allowing TNA/ITAK that has officially endorsed separatism to dictate what should be included into the new constitution. The irony is that Sambanthan is the Leader of the Opposition!

The TNA alliance was formed by LTTE in 2001. Its election manifestos of 2001, 2004, 2010 and 2013 openly and unashamedly declared LTTE as the sole representative of the Tamils. Even Anandasangaree in a letter to PM Modi in 2014 confirmed TNA as a LTTE proxy. www.mfa.gov.lk

Furthermore, “Tamil organizations got together and resolved on May 14, 1976 to establish a sovereign independent Tamil Eelam based on our inalienable right to selfdetermination.” – TNA manifesto 2004

“Tamil People are entitled to the right of self determination” – TNA manifesto 2010

“ITAK and the other Tamil parties came together under a banner called Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), and in 1976 passed a resolution calling for a restoration of our lost sovereignty in the background of the continued denial of the right of the Tamil People to self determination” – TNA manifesto 2010

‘Our expectation for a solution to the ethnic problem of the sovereignty of the Tamil people is based on a political structure OUTSIDE that of a UNITARY GOVERNMENT, in a UNITED SRI LANKA in which Tamil people have all the powers of government needed to live withnself-respect and self sufficiency’ – Sambanthan at ITAK convention 2014

‘Tamil United Liberation Front, of which our party was a member took the historical decision to establish the separate government of Tamil Eelam in 1976’ – Sambanthan at ITAK convention 2014

‘meaningful devolution should go beyond the 13th Amendment to the Constitution passed in 1987’ – Sambanthan ITAK Convention 2014

In 2014 ITAK Resolution put forward 15 demands - www.colombotelegraph.com

“our right to determine our destiny to ensure self-government in the Tamil Speaking North-East of the country within a united and undivided Sri Lanka.” – TNA manifesto 2015

“Devolution of power on the basis of shared sovereignty shall be over land, law and order, enforcement of the law so as to ensure the safety and security of the Tamil People, socio-economic development including inter-alia health, education, higher and vocational education, agriculture, fisheries, industries, livestock development, cultural affairs, mustering of resources, both domestic and foreign and fiscal powers.” – TNA manifesto 2015 (basically means running a separate state)

What is important is that Tamils did not ask a separate state in 1948. They did so on December 18, 1949 when S. J. V. Chelvanayakam launched his Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kachci at the GCSU Hall in Maradana (not even in Jaffna)

Chelvanayagam married daughter of AJ Wilson who drafted the 1978 Constitution.

The Vaddukoddai Resolution urged youth to take up arms, it put to paper the political goals of a handful of elite and high caste Tamil leaders and worst of all it created a cult of hate among Tamils against non-Tamils. If any peace to be achieved at all the entirety of the Vaddukoddai Resolution should be annulled and Tamils must shun all individuals and groups connected to LTTE/TNA/ITAK separatism.

We cannot stop or waste time nullifying TNA/ITAK stories and myths craftily generated to establish their lies but what the international community must remember and be mindful is that when Sinhalese claim right to the entirety of every inch of land throughout the island of Sri Lanka, the international community and in particular international law DOES NOT give any right to decide who should be given claim to the land right!

TNA is planning to visit the Maha Sangha in a quest to strike a deal but the Maha Sangha should remind TNA that the Maha Sangha has already delivered its verdict to the Government and the TNA should sort out issues with the Government and not the Maha Sangha. The Maha Sangha does not have to afford any explanation or excuses for their decision to the TNA nor does the Maha Sangha need to listen to or make compromises to the TNA/ITAK.

Shenali D. Waduge

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