An elitist group of Tamil lawyers and law academics who have become entrenched in the Colombo-centric system, are collaborating with a section of the foreign Establishments in making Tamil demands ‘non-descript’. Removing the notion of Nation, they talk about self-determination that is not self-determination. In their terminology, ‘Nation’ becomes ‘people’ or ‘nationality’; ‘traditional homeland’ becomes ‘historical habitation’; and ‘Tamil homeland’ becomes ‘contiguous and preponderantly Tamil Speaking Northern and Eastern Provinces’. In an anti-thesis to Tamil Sovereignty Cognition approach based on historical sovereignty, earned sovereignty and remedial sovereignty, they talk about ‘shared sovereignty’, writes an informed Tamil activist in Colombo.
Further observations by the activist in Colombo:
The same non-descript terminology, diluting the identity of the Tamil nation in the island, is in the consistent use of the Colombo-based deviatory group of Tamil law experts. You will find it where they describe the current political demand of the TNA.
Another feature is that they always add salt to their write-ups by citing the inappropriate ‘internal right to self-determination’ citation from the so-called Oslo Declaration of 2002.
While explaining history, they will be using the terms such as Nation. But, when it comes to what their demands are, they will talk about ‘power sharing’, ‘constitutional reforms’, ‘pragmatism’ and ‘realism’.
A ‘shared sovereignty’ based arrangement could be viewed basically as a ‘partnership’ arrangement between sovereignty-holders.
For example, in the words of Stephen D. Krasner, an international relations professor at Stanford University and a former Director of Policy Planning at the United States Department of State: “Shared sovereignty involves the creation of institutions for governing specific issue areas within a state—areas over which external and internal actors voluntarily share authority. Such structures are born of a compact between national authorities and some external entity.”
The Colombo-centric group has adopted the use of this term to ‘diplomatically’ express that they are moving away from an ethnocentric or nation-centric approach into a ‘polycentric’ approach.
Mr Sampanthan has been seen chanting the mantra of ‘shared sovereignty’ in several meetings, to justify a non-descript ‘federal’ demand.
The late Mr SJV Chelvanayakam, who had the same ‘federal’ demand prior to 1972, had concluded in the post-Ceylon context that the federal demand is non-pragmatic and unrealistic on the part of Eezham Tamils to be put forward as a solution framework. He had concluded that the Sri Lankan State would never agree to ‘shared sovereignty’ without creating conditions to enforce it.
The post-1972 Tamil politics dealt with creating conditions for such a ‘enforcement’.
The International Community, especially the powers that mediated in 1987 and in 2002, had an opportunity to come up with a ‘shared sovereignty’ model to enforce it, mainly on the SL State. Tamils were open to review and experiment, given an international third party could put forward and implement such a model.
But instead, those who came to mediate chose to pamper the unitary nature of the SL system. They not only failed, but also ended up in architecting conditions for the Sri Lankan State to wage a genocidal onslaught.
Both, the Indo-Lanka Pact, which brought the 13th Amendment, and the 2002 CFA, which brought the so-called Oslo declaration, have miserably failed already.
LTTE leader Mr Velupillai Pirapaharan, who spearheaded the struggle after Mr SJV Chelvanayakam, did not endorse both the Indo-Lanka accord and the Oslo Declaration.
In the aftermath of the 2009 war, the Sri Lankan State, which regards itself as a colonial victor over the Eezham Tamils is not at all prepared to regard the nation of Eezham Tamils as entitled to it’s own sovereignty or as a partner at all to share its war-won sovereignty. On the contrary it seeks to impose a ‘Sri Lankan’ identity on Eezham Tamils.
Without realising this ‘pragmatism’ and the ‘realism’ prevailing on the part of the Sri Lankan rulers, the Colombo-based survivalist group of deviatory law experts having a blueprint in their hands for more than 2 years now, have been chanting the same mantra of imaginary ‘shared sovereignty’, projecting it to Eezham Tamils as this is something ‘pragmatic’ and ‘realistic’.
Four years have elapsed since the war. The lost balance of power could have been restored had the international Establishments acted with a principled approach.
But, the same powers that architected the genocidal onslaught are now backing the Colombo-centric group, which has a non-descript ‘blue print’ for solution in its hands.
Apart from Mr Sampanthan, Mr MA Sumanthiran and Mr CV Wigneswaran are the proponents of this non-descript school of thought. But, there is a group of law-experts operating behind the scene. They literally own the manifesto and the policy of the TNA.
When questioned, the majority of the candidates taking part in the Provincial Council election had no idea of what was going to be in the election manifesto of the TNA. They had not been consulted at all.
Instead of course-correcting the IC, the Colombo-based TNA advisors are sitting on the political agenda of the TNA. None of the mainstream parties in the South are willing to change the unitary character of the SL Constitution.
In the prevailing circumstance of vacuum on the sovereignty exercise by Eezham Tamils, the SL State would not agree to share power to the level of guaranteeing the existence of Eezham Tamils as a nation in the island.
The need of the hour is for the global Tamils to focus on a mass struggle in demonstrating the geo-political reality of Tamils as a formation in the region, to checkmate the powers harping on the Sinhala State for their geopolitics and to restore the sovereignty of Eezham Tamils that was originally taken away from them during the colonial times.