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Sunday, March 29, 2009

A first of its kind exclusive interview with Balasingham Nadesan, Political Chief, LTTE

In an exclusive interview to this journalist, Mr B.Nadesan, Political Head, LTTE, talks about the need for an immediate ceasefire in Sri Lanka to thwart the worsening humanitarian crisis. LTTE thanks AIADMK supremo Ms Jayalalithaa for following in the footsteps of her mentor MGR in showing concern for Sri Lankan Tamils.

1. You offered to announce a ceasefire without preconditions. Is it because of the worsening humanitarian crisis or because of the losses suffered by the Tamil Tigers?

Yes, we are insisting for a ceasefire, because Sri Lanka keeps
accelerating its genocidal war. A ceasefire is needed to alleviate the worsening humanitarian crisis and for people to get essential relief supplies. From a politico-military point of view, we will never ask for a ceasefire if we are weak.

2. India offered humanitarian assistance to the war-hit Tamils. Is the assistance reaching the war-affected Tamils?

For our people it is all just a news. I can confirm you that Indian humanitarian assistance have not reached the people who are in real need. But, Peer, didn't a Sri Lankan minister recently say at the Lankan parliament that India has also been a major part of causing humanitarian catastrophe to Tamil people?...

I want to say, instead of sending humanitarian assistance, India can go one step further and do the real needful to prevent this humanitarian catastrophe from happening once and for all.

3. What is the real scene out there? Are you able to inflict equal damages to the Sri Lankan military?

Yes, we are continuously inflicting heavy damages to the advancing special formations of the Sri Lankan military. Therefore, we have confirmed information that, Sri Lanka has now brought inexperienced non-combatant army unites to the battle front. However, militarily speaking, yes, we have lost territories. But, I wouldn't give credit to the Sri Lankan military. It is the international
community’s lopsided policy towards the Tamils that has contributed to our current military setback.

4. Why is the International community not able to act and bring about a ceasefire?

I dont think they are not able to, Peer. The international community has wrongly characterized our struggle for political aspirations as “terrorism.” Moreover, India couldn't identify Tamils as their true friends in this island, and has drawn an unwise foreign policy right now. Consequence of these are, India and the
international community are strengthening the Sri Lankan military directly or indirectly, officially or unofficially and they are going along with this genocidal war on Tamils. Tamil people are appalled to see the international community and India are willing to complicit with Sri Lanka in annihilating the descendants of one of the oldest civilizations on this earth.

5. There was a proposal from India and the US to evacuate Tamils from their traditional dwellings to a military-controlled zone...

Already, Sri Lanka has been uprooting the Tamils from this island for the past 61 years under various guises: be it removal of citizenship, education and employment discrimination to state organized pogroms, race riots to now “war on terror.” Proposing an "evacuation" or asking for a “safe passage” for the civilians is like giving a nod to Sri Lanka’s ethnic cleansing agenda. The international community and India must stop any action towards the negation of the territoriality of Tamils by calling to continue with the uprooting of a reluctant Tamil populace under the guise of an “evacuation”.

Instead they should insist the Sri Lankan government to stop the war, give “safe passage” to independent monitors, aid workers and journalists to come here and see what the will of the people is; whether their choice is living on their land and make a livelihood with dignity and security or detention in internment camps run by the Sri Lankan military.

6. It has been an unprecedented information war with well-oiled propaganda machinery of the Lankan government working with international media to black out the story of the war-affected Tamil civilians.

Sri Lanka Government has barred independent journalists from visiting the areas of intensified conflict. BBC correspondent Christopher Morris who was on special assignment in Sri Lanka left recently following hostile allegations made against him by the Defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse. Even with Sinhala and English media in Colombo, Sri Lanka is enforcing a total blackout by way of intimidation and deaths with impunity. The Sinhala people too are kept in the dark of the humanitarian sufferings and enormous economic price tag that is waiting down the road.

7. Fourteen people have immolated themselves for the cause of Sri Lankan Tamils. But it has not shaken the conscience of the world or the Lankan government.

First of all, on behalf of our nation, I salute all those who have sacrificed their lives for the Eelam Tamil people.

Neither we nor those who sacrificed their lives did expect a genocidal government to be shaken by any sacrifice. They actually sacrificed their lives asking India to act on behalf of the Eelam Tamils; but, India has not respected their sacrifices and acted accordingly.

The World, on the other hand, which still gives a ‘moral’ support to this genocidal war, sees this as happening in the ‘back yard’ of India and wants India to take the lead. As long as the Government of India fails to act properly, Sri Lanka will continue triumphantly and continue to transform Tamil land into a savage killing field.

8. MDMK chief Vaiko and CPI leader D.Pandian convinced AIADMK supremo
Ms. Jayalalithaa to take up Lankan Tamils' cause as a poll plank...

Our beloved legendary Chief Minister M.G.R whole heartedly stood with the Eelam Tamils at all times. He emphasized that Thamizhagam is not only the symbol in bringing all Tamils together but also supported India giving a decisive helping hand in bringing about an honorable life for the Eelam Tamils. We are now elated seeing his envision for Eelam Tamils being followed under the current AIADMK leader Ms.
Jayalalithaa, along with Mr. Vaiko and CPI leaders including D.Pandian in their steadfast support to Eelam Tamils' quest for freedom.

9. What does Indian elections mean for you?

Tamil people are deeply saddened to hear the recent admittance in the Sri Lankan parliament by Minister Nimal Siripala DeSilva that “India has played a major role” during Sri Lanka’s current military campaign on the Tamil land.

We urge the current and future Indian government(s), political leaders, policy makers, academics and the people of India to envision the future and clearly identify India’s true and permanent friends in her crucial southern flank. That is none other than the Tamils of Eelam. India must recognise the Tamil people’s struggle and support the creation of Tamil Eelam; because, Tamils are the natural allies of India - in spirit, culture, tradition and heritage.

Sri Lanka is hoodwinking India and will always entertain forces that are hostile to India within the shores of the island: that has been and is the history. India by going along with Sri Lanka thinking that it is in its best interests is only harming the peace, security and prosperity of the world’s largest democracy for the long run.

10. Is there any progress in your efforts to reach out to Barack Obama's administration and the international leadership?

Key members of President Obama’s administration and the United States legislative branch are beginning to see the cruelty of the Sri Lankan military onslaught and the civilian misery in the aftermath. Hopefully there will be action in the various judicial bodies as well in the near future to curb Sri Lankan atrocities.
President Rajapakse’s army continues to fire into the civilian areas despite Secretary of State Madame Hillary Clinton’s call to not fire into the people. Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative for UN, is supporting UN Security council briefing on Sri Lanka.

We urge the international leadership including Russia and China to do more and act fast to halt the genocidal war by Sri Lanka and help end the humanitarian catastrophe being faced by the Tamil civilians.

11. MDMK chief Vaiko said he was proud of associating himself with the LTTE when the Sri Lankan Army released pictures of Mr Vaiko with the LTTE leaders.

He is a great compassionate man. He has the in-depth understanding of our struggle, and is always an unconditional and unwavering supporter of the Eelam Tamil people. We are also proud to have him as our friend.

12. Renowned Lankan Tamil pop singer Maya Mathangi Arulpragasam has told American Media that the Lankan Tamils are being discriminated against by the government. Do you appreciate her words?

She is a child of our soil and a prominent young member of our vast Tamil diaspora around the world. We all are proud of her, whose support is a great source of strength to Eelam Tamils. The beauty of her humanitarian heart is that she chose to speak for the suffering people fearlessly, knowingly amidst the all powerful Sri Lanka propaganda machinery that demonizes anyone who speaks for the Tamils.

13. A.R.Rahman told the world to choose love over hate on the Oscars dais. Do you read that in the Lankan context?

He is a genius and we wish him well and success in his history making musical journey. As a Tamil, we all were proudly watching him receiving two Oscar awards, and listened to his speech about how he chose ‘love over hate’.

61 years ago our Tamil leaders had not asked for a separate state and chose "unity" and decided to stay with the Sinhalase as one country when British colonialism came to an end. You know how Sri Lanka has been treating the Tamils ever since, starting with the disfranchisement of hundreds of thousands of Tamils immediately after Britain left in 1948 to today’s “war on terror”. This is due to their refusal to cohabitate this island giving equality and dignity to all
the people.

14. Mahinda Rajapaksa has invited TNA parliamentarians, who support the LTTE for peace talks. How do you respond to that?

TNA has refused to meet anyone representing the Sri Lankan government until truce and unhindered humanitarian access is granted to the people of Vanni. No one would have forgotten that it is the same President Rajapakse who has been excluding TNA during his earlier so called peace initiatives.

We are certain that Sri Lanka President Mhinda Rajapkse has no intention to find a political solution for the ethnic conflict. The motive behind this invitation is monetary than exploring a political solution. Unprecedented military spending and also the global economic slowdown has put Sri Lanka to urgently look for financial assistance; international community is slowly stepping up pressure to find a
political solution and Sri Lanka once again wants to hoodwink them; Sri Lankan military campaign is now unexpectedly facing heavy resistance from us and Sri Lanka needs more time. You have to see this invitation in the back drop of these events, Peer.

15. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said, in his letter to Tamil Nadu chief minister M.Karunanidhi, that he has requested Sri Lanka to ensure devolution of power to Sri Lankan Tamils. How do you see this development?

I can assure you that both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chief Minister M.Karunanidhi, know very well that Sri Lankan government will not devolve any political power to the Tamil people. That has been the history, and that is what happened to the India architected Provincial council solution as well. Prime Minister Singh should know that India's military-related assistance to the Sri Lankan government is in no way an incentive for the Colombo government to devolve any
political power to the the Tamils, but rather as we witness it would only continue to encourage it to impose its military power on Tamils.

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