தமிழ்த் தேசியம்

"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."

- Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

Home

 Whats New

Trans State Nation Tamil Eelam Beyond Tamil Nation Comments Search

Home > Struggle for Tamil Eelam > Sri Lanka's Broken Pacts & Evasive Proposals > The Thimpu Talks - July/August 1985 > Introduction > Initial cease fire proposal by Eelam National Liberation Front in April/May 1985 > Terms of cease-fire proposed by Indian Government Agencies > Joint response by Eelam National Liberation Front to cease-fire proposals, 18 June 1985 > Tamil Liberation Organisations refuse to participate in talks with Sri Lanka, 29 June 1985 > Diary of Phase I of Thimpu Talks, 8 July 1985 to 13 July 1985  > Joint Statement by Tamil Liberation Organisations on cease-fire violations by Sri Lanka, 9 July 1985 > First Proposal by Sri Lanka Delegation, 10 July 1985 > Joint Statement by Tamil Liberation Organisations, 12 July 1985 > Response by Sri Lanka Delegation, 13 July 1985 > The Thimpu Declaration,13 July 1985 > Opening statement by Sri Lanka delegation - Phase II - 12 August 1985 > Joint Response of Tamil Delegation, 13 August 1985 > Statement by Nadesan Satyendra on behalf of Tamil Delegation,14 August 1985 > Joint Statement by Tamil delegation on recognition of representative character, 15 August 1985 > Response of Sri Lanka delegation on recognition, 15 August 1985 > New Proposals by Sri Lanka Delegation, 16 August 1985 > Joint Response by Tamil Delegation to new proposals, 17 August 1985 > Joint Statement by Tamil Delegation immediately prior to walk out, 17 August 1985 > A Brief Note on the Thimpu Talks - David Selbourne, Oxford, August 1985 > S.Sivanayagam on the Thimpu Talks - The Sinhala- Tamil Conflict & the India Factor > Thimpu Declaration: The Path of Reason - Nadesan Satyendra, 1987

Thimpu Talks - July/August 1985

Joint Reply made by the Tamil Delegation
to the statement made by Dr H.W. Jayewardene QC
- August 1985

In our statement of 13th July 1985 we set out the four principles which we consider to be fundamental to any meaningful solution to the Tamil national question. It would appear from the statement by the Leader of the Sri Lankan delegation made on 12th August 1985 that the Sri Lankan Government's perception is at variance with our understanding of the nature and content of the four principles that we had enunciated.

In the circumstances, we now propose to set out in some greater detail the nature of the basic framework suggested by us and also to place on record some of the reasons which impelled us to assert our inalienable right of self-determination.

Our demand for self-determination has evolved and taken shape historically through determined political struggles by our people. This struggle for political independence took different forms and different modes at specific historical situations unifying and organising our people and strengthening the collective will of the Tamil nation for a legitimate cause. In the late fifties and early sixties, the terms of struggle were characterised by non-violent peaceful agitations based on Gandhian principles of Ahimsa, that unfolded into huge upsurgence of peaceful popular resistance demanding autonomous self government. The struggle took a different form in the mid-seventies when the non-violent peaceful campaigns had failed to be an effective mode of agitation and resistance against the ever mounting State repression and terrorism and resulted in the advancement of the popular struggle into a revolutionary armed resistance. Thus, the Tamil national question became a question of self-determination of the Tamil people a question of an inalienable right of a people to decide and determine their own policy.

The stamp of popular approval was given to the demand for self-determination at the General Elections of July 1977 when the Tamil people voted overwhelmingly in favour of the mandate for Tamil Eelam, which was, in a political sense, an authentic declaration and expression of the popular will of the Tamil nation. Thus, the right to self-determination was already invoked and mandated by our people and our armed struggle for national liberation is none other than a struggle for the realisation of that right. We wish to assert that the issue of self determination in the Eelam liberation struggle is a historically constituted demand borne out of the concrete conditions of the struggle specific to our situation.

From the basis of our right to political choice, we have enunciated four cardinal principles that are fundamental to the Tamil national question and to the resolution of that question.

First principle: We are as nation

Our assertion of the inalienable right of self-determination stems from the fact that we the Tamils of Eelam or Tamil Eelam are a nation. What is a nation? A nation is a historically constituted stable community of people formed on the basis of a common language, territory, economic life and a psychological make-up manifested in a common vulture. The togetherness of the Tamil people of Sri Lanka is rooted in a common history, a common culture and a common language. It springs from a common past, but it is not a function of the past alone. It has been hammered into shape by the discrimination of a shared present a discrimination which has treated separately and which has inevitably nurtured that which was separately treated. It is a togetherness which has been given strength and direction by a growing conviction that we, as a people will together shape a common future where we and our children and our future generation will live in equality and in freedom.

Second principle: Right to homeland

As a nation, we, the Tamils, have an inalienable right to our homeland. We have an identified territory, a historically given homeland, a land of our toil which we call Eelam or Tamil Eelam, that includes all the geographically contiguous areas that have been the traditional homeland of the Tamil-speaking people in the country.

The Sri Lankan State since its inception to power in 1948 has been pursuing a deliberate policy by enacting citizenship laws and introducing colonisation schemes, usurping the right to ownership of property, disturbing the demographic composition of the population, dismembering the Tamil areas and thereby flagrantly violating the traditional integrity of the Tamil homeland. Without a homeland we shall cease to exist as a people due to the process of assimilation, integration and ultimate annihilation. We, therefore, proclaim our fundamental right to safeguard and protect the territorial integrity of our homeland.

Third principle: Right to self-determination

The Tamils of Sri Lanka are a nation and constitute a people within the meaning of that expression in article (1) of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights which reads:

"All people have the right of self-determination. By virtue of their right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development."

We are not only a people but also by any test we are today a subjugated people living in fear for the safety of our lives and property. It is the inherent right of a subjugated people to free themselves from an alien subjugation. This is the right of self-determination which the international community has come to recognise as one of the peremptory norms of General International Law. In upholding this right, we as a people, have the liberty to determine our political status to freely associate or integrate with an independent state, or to secede and establish a sovereign independent state.

Fourth principle: Right to full citizenship and other fundamental democratic rights

We wish to state categorically that the plantation Tamils are an integral part of the Tamil people and no solution to the Tamil national question will be complete without resolving the problem of citizenship and fundamental democratic rights of the plantation Tamils. These are our people, nearly one million of them who toiled in blood, sweat and tears to build up the Island's economy, who were disenfranchised by the State and were robbed of their basic human rights and suffered the worst form of dehumanised and degraded life. Having been robbed of their right to citizenship, our people in the plantation areas, the most exploited and economically backward of all peoples of Sri Lanka, have been totally alienated from the political life and welfare system.

By denying the vast majority of the people of their fundamental freedom the Sri Lankan State stands indicated as a violater of international principles and norms and guilty of crimes against humanity. We demand that the Sri Lankan Government should forthwith terminate the conditions of statelessness of these people by recognising their civic rights and political liberties.

We have outlined the basic principles that are cardinal to the Tamil national question and fundamental to our freedom struggle. These principles constitute the legitimate national aspirations of our people.

The enumeration of these principles, which are inalienable rights of our people, does not entail that we are opposed to any rational dialogue with the Government of Sri Lanka. We wish to make it absolutely clear that any meaningful discussion for a lasting solution to the Tamil national question cannot be worked out unless the Sri lankan State recognises these inalienable rights.

Mail Us up- truth is a pathless land - Home