"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 

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Selected Writings by Nadesan Satyendra
- நடேசன் சத்தியேந்திரா

Sathyam Commentary
2 October 2007 -
Commemorating
the 138th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi
and the United Nations International Day of Non Violence

The Moral Legitimacy of the
Tamil Eelam Struggle for Freedom

Tamil Art - Savitri- Jayalakshmi Satyendra
Truth
is a Pathless Land

 '..If someone asks me when and how the struggle may end, I may say that, if the entire community manfully stands the test, the end will be near. If many of us fall back under storm and stress, the struggle will be prolonged. But I can boldly declare, and with certainty, that so long as there is even a handful of men  true to their pledge, there can only be one end to the struggle, and that is victory...' Mahatma Gandhi's Pledge of Resistance in Transvaal, Africa, 1906

[see also International Dimensions of the Conflict in Sri Lanka - Nadesan Satyendra - a revised and extended version of a key note address delivered at a Seminar on International Dimensions of the Conflict in Sri Lanka presented by the Centre for Just Peace & Democracy (CJPD) in partnership with TRANSCEND International in Luzern, Switzerland, 17 June 2007. ]


The Tamil Eelam Struggle for Freedom  is lawful and it is just...

because democracy means the rule of the people, by the people, for the people and therefore, no one people may rule another; and

because the struggle of the people of Tamil Eelam is about securing freedom from oppressive alien Sinhala rule

Sinhala rule is alien rule …

because the Sinhala people speak a different language to that of the Tamil people;  because they trace their history to origins different from that of the Tamil people; and because their cultural heritage is different to that of the Tamil people

Sinhala rule is alien rule …

because the political consciousness of the Sinhala people and the way they  exercise their vote, is clearly determined by their separate language, by their separate history and by their separate cultural heritage - in short by their own separate Sinhala national identity

Sinhala rule is alien rule …

because no Tamil has ever been elected to an electorate which had a majority of Sinhala voters and no Sinhalese has ever been elected to an electorate which had a  majority of Tamil voters; and

because a Sinhala Buddhist ethno nation masquerading as a civic ' multi ethnic Sri Lankan nation', will always have a Sinhala Buddhist as the executive head of government.

Sinhala rule is oppressive alien rule

because the record proves and proves beyond all reasonable doubt that the practise of democracy within the confines of a single state has resulted  in genocidal rule by a permanent Sinhala majority…

...because the Sinhala Buddhist nation masquerading as a multi ethnic 'civic' 'Sri Lankan' nation set about its task of assimilation of the people of Tamil Eelam by 

- depriving a section of Eelam Tamils of their citizenship,
- declaring the Sinhala flag as the national flag,
- colonising parts of the Tamil homeland with Sinhala people,
- imposing Sinhala as the official language,
- discriminating against Tamils students seeking University admission,
- depriving Tamil language speakers of employment in the public sector,
- dishonouring agreements entered into with the Tamil parliamentary  political leadership,
- refusing to recognise constititutional safeguards against discrimination,
- later removing these constitutional safeguards altogether,
- giving to themselves an authocthonous Constitution with a foremost place for Buddhism,
- and changing the name of the island itself to the Sinhala Buddhist name of Sri Lanka - appropriately enough, on  the 'tenth day of the waxing moon in the month of Vesak in the year two thousand five hundred and fifteen of the Buddhist Era'.

Sinhala rule is oppressive alien rule

...because Paul Sieghart , International Commission of Jurists and British Section, Justice was right to conclude in March 1984 that “…communal riots in which Tamils are killed, maimed, robbed and rendered homeless are no longer isolated episodes; they are beginning to become a pernicious habit."  [see 1956, 1958, 1961, 1974, 1977, 1983]

Sinhala rule is oppressive alien rule

...because the inevitable rise of Tamil armed resistance to state oppression  was met with enactment of laws which were an 'ugly blot on statute book of any civilised country', with arbitrary arrest and detention, torture, extra judicial killings and massacres, indiscriminate aerial bombardment and artillery shelling, wanton rape, and genocide - together with press censorship, disinformation and murder of journalists.

Sinhala rule is oppressive alien rule

 ...because the impunity granted to Sinhala armed forces, para military groups, goondas and Sinhala thugs, exposed the encouragement, support and direction given by successive Sri Lanka governments for the crimes committed against the Tamil people.

The Tamil Eelam Struggle for Freedom  is lawful and it is just...

... because the Joint Front of Tamil Liberation Organisations was right when it declared with unanimity at the Thimpu Talks in 1985:  ''We are a liberation movement which was compelled to resort to the force of arms because all force of reason had failed to convince the successive Sri Lankan governments in the past. Further under conditions of national oppression and the intensification of state terrorism and genocide against our people, the demand for a separate state became the only logical expression of the oppressed Tamil people. Our armed struggle is the manifestation of that logical expression.''

The Tamil Eelam Struggle for Freedom  is lawful and it is just...

... because it is a cruel extension of the terrorist scourge to taunt the struggles against terrorism with the label "terrorism" and the Geneva Declaration on the Question of Terrorism was right  to 'call for the liberation of political language along with the liberation of peoples' and point out that 'terrorism originates from the statist system of structural violence and domination that denies the right of self-determination to peoples'.

The Tamil Eelam Struggle for Freedom is lawful and it is just...

... because Sri Aurobindo was right when he declared in 1907 that: "..it is the common habit of established governments and especially those which are themselves oppressors, to brand all violent methods in subject peoples and communities as criminal and wicked. When you have disarmed your slaves and legalised the infliction of bonds, stripes, and death on any one of them who may dare to speak or act against you, it is natural and convenient to try and lay a moral as well as a legal ban on any attempt to answer violence by violence... But no nation yet has listened to the cant of the oppressor when itself put to the test, and the general conscience of humanity approves the refusal..."

The Tamil Eelam Struggle for Freedom  is lawful and it is just...

...because today, the Sinhala Sri Lanka  government as well as the Sinhala Sri Lanka opposition seek to pursue the Sinhala assimilative agenda by reneging on the 2002 Oslo Declaration, by refusing to recognise the existence of the Tamil homeland, and by  perpetuating a Sri Lankan state structure within which the Tamil people may continue to be ruled by a permanent Sinhala majority.

The Tamil Eelam Struggle for Freedom  is lawful and it is just...

...because the genocidal intent of the Sinhala Sri Lanka  government is proven by the war crimes committed by the Sri Lankan armed forces under the President's command and by the Sri Lanka para military who in the shadow of a ceasefire, have raped, murdered Tamil Parliamentarians, Tamil journalists, executed Tamil students with impunity, arbitrarily arrested and detained Tamil civiliansabducted Tamil refugee workers, orchestrated attacks on Tamil civilians and Tamil shops, bombed Tamil civilian population centres and displaced thousands of Tamils from their homes.

The Tamil Eelam Struggle for Freedom  is lawful and it is just...

....because "...the problem in nationally divided societies is that the different groups have different political identities, and, in cases where the identities are mutually exclusive (not nested), these groups see themselves as forming distinct political communities. .. if the minority group seeks to be self-governing, or to secede from the larger state, increased representation at the centre will not be satisfactory. The problem in this case is that the group does not identify with the centre, or want to be part of that political community...One conclusion that can be drawn is that… secession/partition of the two communities, where that option is available, is the best outcome overall. .." Normative Justifications for Liberal Nationalism - Margaret Moore, 2001

The Tamil Eelam Struggle for Freedom  is lawful and it is just...

...because “… the principle of territorial integrity protects a state only against invasion of its borders and not against internal rebellion... Lord Robert Cecil once justly observed that the main cause of recurrence of wars was precisely the permanent freezing of state frontiers. In a recent New York Times article, human rights activist Yelena Bonner (widow of Andrei Sakharov) writes that "the inviolability of a country's borders against invasion from the outside must be clearly separated from the right to statehood of any people within a state's borders." Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran in The Tamils' Quest for Statehood

The Tamil Eelam Struggle for Freedom  is lawful and it is just...

... because“...restrictions on self-determination threaten not only democracy itself but the state which seeks its legitimation in democracy...Let us accept the fact that states have lifecycles similar to those of human beings who created them. … hardly any Member State of the United Nations has existed within its present borders for longer than five generations. The attempt to freeze human evolution has in the past been a futile undertaking…" Self Determination & the Future of Democracy  - Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein, 2001

The Tamil Eelam Struggle for Freedom  is lawful and it is just...

because "a social group, which shares objective elements such as a common language and which has acquired a subjective political consciousness of oneness, by its life within a relatively well defined territory, and by its struggle against alien domination, clearly constitutes a 'people' with the right to self determination and ...the Tamil population of the north-east of the island are such a 'people'."  - Joint Statement by 17 NGOs at United Nations Commission on Human Rights  Geneva 4 February 1994 consisting of International Association of Educators for World Peace, International Educational Development, International Indian Treaty Council,Consejo Indico de Sud America, Comision de Deeches Homonas de El Salavador, Commission for the Defence of Human Rights in Central America, World Council of Churches, International Movement against all Forms of Discrimination and Racism,Action des Christians Pour L'Abolition de la Torture,FIMARC, International Council of Women, American Association of Jurists, Centre Europe-Tiers Monde, Servieiv Pax Justica America Latina, Pax Romana, International League for the Rights and Liberation of Peoples, and World Christian Live Community

The Tamil Eelam Struggle for Freedom  is lawful and it is just...

....and therefore it has received the support of legal scholars and non-governmental organizations  "We request that the delegates to the 49th Session of the Commission on Human Rights.. accord open recognition to the existence of the Tamil homeland in the North and East of the Island; and recognise that the Tamil population in the North and East of the island constitute a 'people' with the right to self determination'‘ Joint Statement by 15 NGOs consisting of the International Organisation for the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination, International Educational Development, Centre Europe Ties Monde, International Indian Treaty Council, Fedefam, Association paur la Liberte Religiose, Codehuca, World Christian Community, Pax Christie International, International League for the Rights and Liberation of Peoples, Movement contra le Racisme, International Association of Educadores for World Peace, International Association against Torture, World Confederation of Labour, and International Movement for Fraternal Union among Races and Peoples. at United Nations Commission on Human Rights, Geneva 8 February 1993

The Tamil Eelam Struggle for Freedom  is lawful and it is just...

... because the Gandhian  Tamil Leader S.J.V.Chelvanayagam Q.C. M.P. was right when he declared 32 years ago, on  7 February 1975  "Throughout the ages the Sinhalese and Tamils in the country lived as distinct sovereign people till they were brought under foreign domination... We have for the last 25 years made every effort to secure our political rights on the basis of equality with the Sinhalese in a united Ceylon. It is a regrettable fact that successive Sinhalese governments have used the power that flows from independence to deny us our fundamental rights and reduce us to the position of a subject people. These governments have been able to do so only by using against the Tamils the sovereignty common to the Sinhalese and the Tamils. I wish to announce to my people and to the country that I consider the verdict at this election as a mandate that the Tamil Eelam nation should exercise the sovereignty already vested in the Tamil people and become free."

The Tamil Eelam Struggle for Freedom  is lawful and it is just...

...because the  people of Tamil Eelam were right to give their overwhelming support  in 1977 to the manifesto of the parliamentary Tamil United Liberation Front proclaimed  which proclaimed  "What is the alternative now left to the Nation that has lost its rights to its language, rights to its citizenship, rights to its religions and continues day by day to lose its traditional homeland to Sinhalese colonisation ? What is the alternative now left to a Nation that has lost its opportunities to higher education through standardisation and its equality in opportunities in the sphere of employment ? What is the alternative to a Nation that lies helpless as it is being assaulted, looted and killed by hooligans instigated by the ruling race and by the security forces of the State? Where else is an alternative to the Tamil Nation that gropes in the dark for its identity and finds itself driven to the brink of devastation? There is only one alternative and that is to proclaim with the stamp of finality and fortitude that "we alone shall rule over our land that our fore fathers ruled. Sinhalese imperialism shall quit our Homeland"

The Tamil Eelam Struggle for Freedom  is lawful and it is just...

... because Velupilllai Pirabaharan, the Leader of Tamil Eelam was right when he declared : "We are not chauvinists. Neither are we lovers of violence enchanted with war. We do not regard the Sinhala people as our opponents or as our enemies. We recognise the Sinhala nation. We accord a place of dignity for the culture and heritage of the Sinhala people. We have no desire to interfere in any way with the national life of the Sinhala people or with their freedom and independence. We, the Tamil people, desire to live in our own historic homeland as an independent nation, in peace, in freedom and with dignity."

The Tamil Eelam Struggle for Freedom  is lawful and it is just...

...because it is not for glory or riches that the people of Tamil Eelam struggle but for freedom which no human will lose except with his life

The Tamil Eelam Struggle for Freedom  is lawful and it is just...

...because  உங்கள் உடல்கள் சாய்ந்ததால், எங்கள் தலைகள் நிமிர்ந்தன.. இன்று.. நாங்கள் வெறும் கவிதை பாடிக் கொண்டிருக்கிறோம்.. நீங்களோ.. காவியமாகி விட்டீர்கள்.. 

in sum,

The Tamil Eelam Struggle for Freedom  is lawful and it is just...

because it is concerned to secure the democratic right of the people of Tamil Eelam to govern themselves in their homeland… and

....because it is about reversion of sovereignty - a sovereignty that the Tamil people enjoyed before the British unified the administration of the island of Sri Lanka in 1833; and

...because the charge is genocide but the struggle is for freedom

And the Tamil Eelam Struggle for Freedom will succeed...

...because Mahatma Gandhi was right when he declared in Transvaal, South Africa  one hundred and one years ago  "..If someone asks me when and how the struggle may end, I may say that, if the entire community manfully stands the test, the end will be near. If many of us fall back under storm and stress, the struggle will be prolonged. But I can boldly declare, and with certainty, that so long as there is even a handful of men  true to their pledge, there can only be one end to the struggle, and that is victory..."

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