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Sri Lanka:
One Island, Two Nations
Presentation for:





Tamil Americans and Friends (TAaF)
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Srilanka-Ilankai (in Tamil) / Lanka (in Sinhala)
An island located in the
Indian ocean, off the
southeast tip of India

Three times as larger than
the state of New Jersey -
25,000 sq miles in area

Shared History Dates Back to
500BC.
Sinhala-speaking people - 77%,
Tamil-speaking people - 23%
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When Portuguese took
possession of the
island in 1505 there
were 3 Kingdoms

Tamil Kingdom in the
North-East - Tamil
Homeland - (yellow)

Sinhalese Kingdoms in
the South-West (grey).
History
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History
Two different nations from a very ancient period have
divided between them the possession of the Island.
First the Sinhalese, inhabiting the interior of the
country in its Southern and Western parts, and
secondly the Malabars (Tamils) who possess the
Northern and Eastern Districts. These two nations
differ entirely in their religion, language and manners.

The Cleghorn Minute

In 1799 June, Sir Hugh Cleghorn, the first British Colonial
Secretary wrote to the British Government


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1505 -1658: Portuguese held the island

1658 1796: Dutch usurped control

1796: the British took over

Portuguese and Dutch ruled the Tamil and Sinhala
Kingdoms separately, but, the British artificially joined them
for their administrative convenience only in 1833.

On Feb. 4, 1948 - British left the Island leaving it as one
country, CEYLON, leaving political power in the hands of
the majority Sinhalese.
History
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THE PROBLEM
Three Fundamental Elements
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THE PROBLEM: First Element
1. Two Historically Feuding Ethnic Groups
Tamils in the North-East
(Yellow)

Sinhalese in the Central
and South-West (Gray)
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1. Two Historically Feuding Ethnic Groups.
2. Centralized Unitary Government.

Citizens are not treated equally
Rights of the Tamils are violated

Mistreatment of Tamils 60 years!
THE PROBLEM: Second Element
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1. Two Historically Feuding Ethnic Groups.
2. Centralized Unitary Government.
3. Constitutionally entrenched Sinhala Rule.

SINHALESE COMMAND

ABSOLUTE POWER
and, it is PERMANENT!
THE PROBLEM: Third Element
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1948 1 million Tamils declared as non-citizens

1949 Sinhalese colonization in traditional Tamil homeland

1956 Sinhala made sole official language of the country

1970 ethnic standardization slashes university admission to Tamils
same entrance exam, but Tamils need to score 30% more

1972 New constitution without Tamils participation
Unilateral name change from Ceylon to Sri Lanka
Declaration of Srilanka as a republic
Buddhism made state religion

1977 - Prevention of Terrorism Act
State-sponsored anti-Tamil violence in 1956, 1958, 1961, 1974
THE PROBLEM: Mistreatment of Tamils
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TAMIL POLITICAL ACTION
NON-VIOLENCE
(1948 1976)
Tamils Response to State Discrimination:
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TAMIL POLITICAL ACTION
Tamil Political Leaders protested against the Sinhala only Act,
in front of the parliament (5 June 1956)

Sinhalese assaulted the picketers and the attack spread the whole island.
NON-VIOLENCE
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School Girls Marching against ethnic based standardization (1972)
TAMIL POLITICAL ACTION
NON-VIOLENCE
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GOVERNMENT RESPONSE:
VIOLENCE
(Since 1956)
1. State Organized Sinhala Thugs:
Repeated Anti-Tamil Pogroms: Ethnic cleansing

2. Government Security Forces:
killing Tamils with impunity99% of the Armed Forces are Sinhalese
TAMIL POLITICAL ACTION: NON-VIOLENCE
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Systematic Genocide of Tamils
1956.. 1958.. 1961.. 1974.. 1977.. 1979.. 1981.. 1983.. .. 2008
Anti-Tamil Pogrom
1983

Government sponsored
Sinhala Thugs tortured a Tamil
Man, then poured gasoline on
him and burnt him alive
(July 1983)
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TURNING POINT - 1976
TAMIL POLITICAL ACTION: NON-VIOLENCE
GOVERNMENT RESPONSE: VIOLENCE
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TURNING POINT - 1976
Resolution for Independence: Vaddukoddai Resolution

30 year struggle for equality denied.

multiple pacts for regional autonomy not honored.

non-violent agitations by Tamils met by State violence

The Elected Tamil Political Leaders convened and resolved to restore
Tamil Sovereignty by declaring an Independent Tamil state in the
North-East of Sri Lanka.

1977 Election: Tamils ratify the call for independence by 82% popular
vote

Tamil Legislators thrown out of parliament by the government.

Tamil Armed Rebellion takes hold
Lead by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)

1983 State Sponsored Anti-Tamil Pogrom
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Thimpu Talks Declaration July 13
th
1985
Mediated by Indian government failed
Statement by the Tamil Delegation (Elected and Rebel)

Any meaningful solution to the Tamil national question must be
based on the following four cardinal principles:

Recognition of Tamils as a Distinct Nation.

Recognition of the Tamil Homeland and its Territorial Integrity.

Recognition of the right of Tamil National Self-Determination.

Recognition of the Right to Citizenship of all Tamils.


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Entire Tamil Nation rallied behind LTTE and carry out
armed struggle for independence.

75,000 civilians died: 97% of them were Tamils, killed by
the Sri Lankan armed forces.

Tamils sacrifice 18,000 youths to achieve parity of status
with Sri Lanka.

LTTE becomes a formidable Tamil military force and the
sole-representatives of the Tamil people, gains control of
significant areas of the North- East, and establishes civil
administration services.
1983 - 2002
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TAMIL NATIONAL MILITARY
(LTTE)
Today, a Conventional Tamil Armed Force.
(Ground Forces, Naval Force, Air Force, Police, Intelligence Service)
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MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING
2002
Ceasefire
Monitored by Scandinavian Countries
(Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission - SLMM)
Direct Dialogue
Facilitated By the Royal Norwegian Government
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CEASEFIRE AGREEMENT
Signed by the SL Government and the LTTE on 22 February 2002
forward defence localities (borders)
have been established, the Sri
Lankan armed forces and the
Liberation Tigers fighting
formations shall hold their ground
positions

Neither Party shall engage in any
offensive military operation nor
shall move munitions, explosives
or military equipment into the area
controlled by the other Party.


LTTE Northern Com. Col. Theepan &
SL Northern Com. Maj. Gen. Fonseka
[at the northern FDL February 2002]
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THE OSLO DECLARATION:
Signed by the SLG and the LTTE on 25 November 2002
the parties have agreed to
explore a political solution
founded on the principle of
internal self-determination in
areas of historical habitation
of the Tamil-speaking
people, based on a federal
structure within a united Sri
Lanka.
In the presence of US Deputy Sec. of State Mr. Richard Armitage,
Norwegian Foreign Minister Mr. Jan Petersen, UK Sec. of State Ms. Claire short, Japan Special
Envoy Mr.Yasusi Akashi


LTTEs Dr. Anton Balasingham,
SLGs Prof. G.L.eiris,
at the Oslo Conference, 25 November
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BROKEN AGREEMENTS
Within 3 years 2002-2005

1. Dissolving High Security Zones Withdrawing
military from Houses, School, Worshiping places
(February 2002)

2. Sub-Committee for Immediate Humanitarian and
Rehabilitation Needs in the North and East (SIHRN)
(February 2002)

3. North East Reconstruction Fund (NERF) (November 2002)

4. Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA) (31 October 2003)

5. Post Tsunami Operational Management Structure
(PTOMS) (June 2005)
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November 2005
Election of President Rajapakse
Campaign promises:
No recognition of Tamil Homeland or right to Self-Rule.

No to Federal Solution

No to International Mediation
Rajapaksa was elected as President by the
Majority of Sinhala people.
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Supported by Extremist Buddhist Monks Party (JHU),
view Srilanka as a Sinhala-Buddhist nation, Burning Norway Flag
Associated Press Photo November 2005
November 2005
Election of President Rajapakse
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After the Election of President Rajapakse
ESCALATION OF VIOLENCE
by the SL Armed Forces and Government sponsored Paramilitary.
47 humanitarian workers were kidnapped and killed.

5 Tamil Parliamentarians were assassinated.

Many leading Tamil Journalists were murdered.

Hundreds of Tamils were abducted for ransom & killed.

17 Humanitarian Workers of a French NGO (AFC)
Murdered by SL Army in an execution style on 5 August 2006
Chief of the Ceasefire Monitoring mission
Maj. Gen. Ulf Henricsson told:

"I have experienced this in the Balkans before. When you're not let in,
it's a sign that there's something they want to hide".
[ Reuters; 12 Aug 2006]
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Violence after Election of President Rajapakse
Targeted Killing of Tamil Civilians
Mother raped and killed. Children brutalized and Hanged.
Father forced to see all these, and shot dead. (Venkalai, 9 June 2006)
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Violence after Election of President Rajapakse
Targeted Killing of Tamil Civilians
A Government minister acknowledged it, and argued,
There is nothing wrong in killing future child soldiers.
Sri Lankan jets
bombed a
children's home in
Mullaithivu
67 schoolgirls
and 7 teachers
were killed
129 were
wounded when
(14 August 2006)
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SL government de-merged the Tamil Homeland. (North-East)

Sri Lanka government officially unilaterally abrogated Ceasefire
Agreement from January 16, 2008

Sri Lanka government is intensifying a full scale war on the Tamil
Homeland to impose Military Solution & calling it as War on Terror

No credible political solution is under discussion by SL government.

Tamil civilians being targeted: Disappearances, Daily aerial bombings,
Road-side bombs, Shelling, Extra-judicial killing.
Over 5000 Tamils have been killed since election .

Average of 7 Tamils killed daily
After Election of President Rajapakse:
Current Situation
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US Foreign Policy & Role
Toward Sri Lanka and Tamils
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US Policy & Role
In 1996 Sri Lanka influenced US to designate LTTE as FTO.

In the post 9/11 scenario US sort partners for War on Terror.

SL depicted the Tamil armed struggle as acts of Terrorism.

SL declared its human rights violations as inevitable occurrences in the
War on Terror.

US promotes democracy and freedom, and acknowledges Tamils
legitimate aspirations for freedom.

In 2004 elections, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) accepted the LTTE
as the National Leadership of the Tamils, and won 97% of Tamils votes.

However, since LTTE is in its FTO list, US is in a paradox that it is
unable to treat both parties equally and help Tamils achieve their
legitimate aspirations for freedom.
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R. Nicholas Burns,
Under Secretary for Political Affairs,
(Colombo, Sri Lanka - January 23, 2006)


We brand LTTE as terrorist organization for using violence as
a political weapon. But the Tamil population has legitimate
grievances, and they must be respected by the majority
population, and there has to be a way for the Tamils to be
able to articulate those grievances.

I must say that this long conflict is only going to come to an
end when the LTTE and the government sit down and find a
way forward to end this conflict.


The USA had placed LTTE on the FTO list


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US ROLE
1. Military Assistance to SL Army
Stop It
2. Financial Aid to SL Government
Monitor it
3. Public Statements
Be fair to both nation
4. Diplomacy
Treat both parties Equally
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US CONGRESS
Rep. Frank Pallone On Autonomy of Tamils:
I echo this sentiment and support a solution that grants a level of autonomy to
ethnic minorities like the Tamils. We have seen very similar successful
situations throughout the world. Places like Quebec in Canada, Wales and
Scotland in Great Britain are all part of their Federal Nations but have
significant autonomy. (September 2006)



Rep. Rush Holt On Human Rights Violations Against Tamils
I urge US Secretary of State Dr. Rice to appoint a special envoy to emphasize
US's commitment to peace in Sri Lanka and to include in the envoy's
mandate efforts to increase monitoring of human rights violations," (September
2006)

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US GOVERNMENT
Mr. Richard Boucher
Assistant US Secretary of State
[Colombo; 26 June 2006]


Though we reject the methods that the Tamil Tigers
have used, there are legitimate issues raised by the
Tamil community and they have a very legitimate
desire, as anybody would, to control their own lives,
to rule their own destinies, and to govern themselves
in their homeland, in the areas theyve traditionally
inhabited.
-


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Richard L. Armitage
Deputy Secretary of State
[December, 2002


the United States is greatly encouraged that the LTTE has
made a commitment to the political solution and has agreed to
settle this conflict through peaceful means...

the United States government is also encouraged by the vision
of the LTTE as a genuine political entity. If the LTTE can make a
convincing case that it is committed to a political solution, the
United States will certainly consider removing the LTTE from the
list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations, as well as any other
terrorism-related...

A US LTTE direct contact is worth Trying.

US GOVERNMENT


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Maj. Gen. Ulf Henricsson
Chief of the Ceasefire Monitoring Mission.
[ Reuters; 12 Aug 2006]


EU can't say they didn't know or at least have any signal about
what could happen, I think the EU thought that the government
of Sri Lanka was a responsible government, who could take the
appropriate decision and work for peace instead of war...

I would say, EUs decision to ban the LTTE is a mistake, it
was a wrong decision, because the LTTE and the government
have signed the ceasefire agreement as equal partners.

EU followed US and placed LTTE on the FTO list


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Teresita C. Schaffer
Former US Ambassador to Sri Lanka
(June 2005)

The United States designation of the LTTE a
Foreign Terrorist Organization has affected U.S.
diplomacy in Sri Lanka

The effect of U.S. terrorism law and of the
terrorist organization list has been a problem for
U.S. diplomacy, and one that has not always been
wisely handled.


US DIPLOMAT
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Rep. Brad Sherman
March 15, 2006


Ive urged the State Department to design a road
map for the Tamil Tigers, so that they would know
what steps they would need to take to get off the
terrorist list

What is the difference between terrorism on the
one hand, and waging a legitimate guerrilla
struggle on the other?..

Seeking some degree of autonomy for North-East
Sri Lanka is not a terrible objective.


US CONGRESS
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Jeffrey Lunstead
Former US Ambassador to Sri Lanka
[May 2007]


Direct US-LTTE links would have helped in
convincing the LTTE to move away from terrorism

direct communication with the LTTE would have
had concrete benefits including the ability to deliver a
clear U.S. message about possible delisting of the
LTTE as an FTO (Foreign Terrorist Organization)
US DIPLOMAT


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60 Years... The result:
More than 100,000 Tamils Killed and Disappeared

More than 20,000 Tamil orphaned children

More than 35,000 Tamil widows

Hundreds of Thousands of schools, houses, hospitals, churches,
temples, villages and livelihood destroyed.

More than 600,000 Tamils Internal Refugees

Nearly 1 Million Tamils made to flee the country

Fighting for Survival is NOT Terrorism
If this is not ETHNIC CLEANSING, then what is?
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A Struggle for Freedom NOT Terrorism
Two Ethnic Nations, separated by
History, Language, Culture, Economic Life, Territorial Homeland.

A Tamil Conventional Military fighting the Sri Lankan Military.
Defense against genocide of Tamils

A large enough Tamil Territory
Defensible and sustainable for self governance
Roughly the same size as Israel or Kuwait or Slovenia.
Bigger in area (19,509 sq. km.) than at least 41 countries in the UN
(including Singapore)

A De facto Tamil Government
Police, Judicial, Finance, Economic-Developments,etc, in existence.
Bigger in population (3.6 million in 1979 - ) than at least 59 countries
in the UN
A Struggle for Freedom NOT Terrorism
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The Future
If the Sri Lanka government does not accept Tamil Homeland,
Tamil Nationhood and Tamil self-rule, the basic and cardinal
principles, that have been guiding the Tamils in their struggle
to find a peacefully-negotiated political arrangementand

If the Sri Lankan government not willing to share power with the
Tamils under a Con-Federal system or some form of a two-
state solution

Tamils will be forced to continue their struggle for their
National Self-Determination and a Separate State.
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Kosovo & Tamil Eelam
What is good for Kosovo is good for Tamil Eelam
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What the Tamil Americans expect from the
Government of the United States:
Play a leadership role to find a political solution
to the legitimate aspirations of the Tamil People.

Remove the LTTE from the Foreign Terrorist
Organizations list, and Treat both parties equally.

Recognize the Tamil National Self Determination.

Permit Tamil people to choose their destiny in
internationally supervised plebiscite.

Facilitate the birth of the Tamil Nation, Tamil Eelam
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