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‘We Will Become A Power Centre’ – Tehelka

[MISC, Friday, 31 July 2009 15:33 No Comment]

LTTE’s legal adviser Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran speaks to PC VINOJ KUMAR about the group’s next moves

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is trying to regroup following its military defeat by the Sri Lankan army in May 2009. Though routed militarily, the LTTE claims its international network remains intact. Selvarasa Pathmanathan, a former arms procurer for the LTTE chief, operating from an undisclosed location, has vowed to take forward the struggle for Eelam through democratic methods. By roping in various legal experts, the LTTE has formed a team under US-based Tamil legal adviser Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran to work on the formation of a provisional Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE). Rudrakumaran, the son of former Jaffna Mayor Viswanathan, has been closely involved with the LTTE and has represented the outfit in several peace talks with the Government of Sri Lanka. In an exclusive interview to TEHELKA, Rudrakumaran shared his thoughts on the transnational government that the LTTE is now trying to establish. Excerpts:

How confident are you about the success of the TGTE? How would it be different from the existing ‘governments in exile’ in various regions of the world?

We are very confident that this initiative will succeed. Even though the Government of Sri Lanka has brutally crushed the armed struggle, they cannot quell the Tamils’ thirst for dignity, equality and freedom. At present, not only is the survival of Tamils in Sri Lanka in danger, they also have no space to articulate their political aspirations. Thus, the Tamils’ political campaign can be pursued only from outside. What we are trying to establish is not a government in exile. We envisage a transnational government (TG) that does not require a host state. This government will be elected by the Tamil diaspora. There is no precedent of a TG created by an ethnic group. The TG we conceptualise will be our contribution to politics and political theory.

Will Tamil refugees living in Tamil Nadu be part of the process? Will you seek the support of state parties and the Indian government?

Definitely. We will seek their support.

Do you intend to visit Tamil Nadu to meet Chief Minister M Karunanidhi and other Tamil leaders?

We intend to meet [CM] Karunanidhi, Jayalalithaa [AIADMK chief], Nedumaran and Vaiko [both pro-Eelam leaders], Pandian [CPI state secretary] and other political leaders. We also intend to have discussions with civic leaders and intellectuals in Tamil Nadu and Delhi. India’s support is very important.

When is your realistic deadline for electing the constituent assembly of the proposed TG? What will be the method of election?

We hope to have the elections during April 2010. However, we have been asked by many people to expedite the process. What we envisage is people going to the booths and voting.

What would be your roadmap for achieving Eelam?

The TG, through its legitimacy, popularity and international support will become a power centre and create an equilibrium of power between the Sinhala nation and the Tamil nation. It will contribute towards creating a political arrangement where Sinhalese, Muslims and Tamils can live in peace.

Have you received a favourable response from any country?International support is essential for the success for this initiative. Since the TG is to be established in accordance with democratic principles, we hope democratic countries will support our initiative. We have received favourable responses from some countries.

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