Be cautious in dealing with ethnic problem, Anandasangaree urges Tamil Nadu

B. Muralidhar Reddy

Do not get swayed by emotional speeches made by some politicians in the StateIndian model an acceptable solution in Sri Lanka

COLOMBO: Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) leader V. Anandasangaree has appealed to people and leaders of Tamil Nadu to act with `care and caution' in dealing with the Sri Lanka ethnic problem and not to be swayed by emotional speeches made by some politicians.

In an open appeal, the veteran leader expressed concern over the pro-LTTE propaganda by a section of the leaders in the State and sought their sincere cooperation in helping to liberate the Tamil people of the north and east in the island nation from LTTE subjugation and in finding a reasonable solution to the ethnic problem.

While the concerns of Tamil Nadu's 60 million people for the ethnic group in Sri Lanka were understandable, it was all the more reason why Tamil Nadu should act with care and caution, Mr. Anandasangaree said. People should not be swayed by speeches made by some Tamil Nadu politicians to incite the crowd, without bothering about the negative consequences in Sri Lanka. India and Sri Lanka could not afford to quarrel for a variety of reasons.

Stating that the demand for Tamil Eelam could not and should not come from Tamil Nadu's failure to rule out a separate state in Sri Lanka, he noted that India did not want a divided Sri Lanka from the point of view of its national interest. "Hence Tamil Nadu can play a balanced, constructive role between the national interests of India and the basic aspirations of Tamils in Sri Lanka."

"LTTE lost credibility"

Mr. Anandasangaree said the LTTE lost its credibility to speak for the Tamils of Sri Lanka by its atrocities perpetrated on innocent Tamil civilians, who were living like slaves for several years amid fear and tension. The recklessness of the LTTE cadres was the main cause for the large-scale displacement of people. "Those who can afford have fled to foreign countries and some others moved to India, although getting into LTTE-held areas is much easier than taking a risk and leaving by boat for India. All those who go to India are not simply refugees. They want their children to be saved from being enrolled as child soldiers and also want their children educated, which facilities are denied to them due to regular demonstrations and protest marches in which children are compelled to participate."

Mr. Anandasangaree said the LTTE's calls for frequent "hartals" upset normal life and the Tamils were now convinced that a separate state was not at all possible and that the Tigers could never succeed in achieving it.

It was unfortunate that many Sinhala leaders had become allergic to the word "Federal," thanks to the fear and suspicion created in their minds during the past 50 years that federalism would lead to separation.

Unitary constitution

Similarly, those who opposed a "unitary" constitution also felt that no solution could be found during the past 50 years because of the unitary constitution and a satisfactory solution could never be found in the future as well.

Mr. Anandasangaree said that during his discussions with people opposed to the "Federal" and "Unitary" constitutions, he found that the Indian model appeared more acceptable to them.

"That is why I started promoting the Indian model as an acceptable solution. Everyone appreciates the world's largest democracy India, with its majority Hindu population, having a Tamil Muslim as the head of the republic and treating him with the utmost respect. Muslims had held this position earlier too. A much respected Sikh, from a minority community, is the Prime Minister of India." Mr. Anandasangaree said Tamil Nadu could play a pivotal role in finding peace for the Tamils across the Palk Straits by putting pressure on the LTTE to accept the Indian model, taking into serious consideration the immense hardship it caused to the Tamils in several ways for well over 23 years.

If the LTTE made a public announcement accepting the Indian model, the political solution would be on the doorstep and the country as a whole would accept it, he said.

Recommended for you