An open letter to the Prime Minister designate Narendra Modi by R Sampanthan MP, and the leader of the Tamil national Alliance
( May 24, 2014, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) I write to you as the leader of the Tamil National Alliance, the political formation in Sri Lanka democratically elected at different levels of government, to substantially represent the Tamil people particularly of the North East in Sri Lanka.
We extend to you on behalf of the Tamil People is Sri Lanka our warmest congratulations on your resounding victory at the recently concluded elections to the Loke Sbha and on your appointment to the high office of the Prime Minister of Bharat – India. We extend to you and to your government our very sincere best wishes for the successful discharge if your onerous responsibilities.
We look forward to working closely with you and your government to further strengthen genuine ties between Sri Lanka and India and also to ensure violence doesn’t recur in Sri Lanka, and that all Sri Lankans are able to carry on their lives in territories they live in, based upon equality and justice.
Following the anti Tamil program of 1983 Sri Lanka accepted India’s offer of its good offices, to bring about a final and acceptable resolution of national conflict in Sri Lanka. This has been a continuing process though at times interrupted. India has and continues to play a role.
With the elimination of the armed conflict in May 2009 violence came to an end every opportunity came about to bring a permanent end to the conflict based upon equality, justice and genuine peace.
Both during the armed conflict and after its conclusion, the Sri Lankan government made commitments to both India and the International Community to bring about an acceptable political solution. Unfortunately, this commitment has not been honoured.
The Sri Lankan Government on the contrary is aggressively persuing an agenda which:-
Prevent thousands of displaced Tamil families from occupying thousands of acres of fertile valuable land both in North and East historically occupied by these people for residence and livelihood, in violation of commitments made by the Sri Lankan Government to both the Supreme Court and Parliament, and thus subjecting these Tamil families to extreme deprivation.
Is vigorously settling persons from the majority community with state aid on lands in the North and East so as to change substantially the demographic composition of these areas.
Is desecrating and destroying ancient sites of religious and cultural importance to the Tamil Hindu People in the North and East so as to radically alter the ethnic cultural identity of the said territories.
Is impending and obstructing the overwhelmingly democratically elected Provincial Government of the Tamil National Alliance in the Northern Province form functioning.
Is continuing to violate the fundamental and human rights of the Tamil people in the North and East so as to deny them equality before the law and relegate them to the status of second class citizens.
The excessively disproportionate and oppressive presence of the military, particularly in the North and also in the East, construction of substantial housing facilities for the military, the grave inconvenience and disruption caused to civilian life, the gender based violence, the involvement of the military in agriculture, farming, fishing and in commercial activity have a serious and adverse impact on civilian life.
These actions of the Sri Lankan Government undermine all efforts towards reconciliation, permanent peace and harmony, and further create an environment that could promote hostility which the Tamil people certainly do not desire. We also submit that these actions of Sri Lankan government are clearly indicative of lack of genuine commitment on the part of the Sri Lankan government to evolve an acceptable political solution.
We consider it our duty to bring these matters to your notice at the earliest possible opportunity. We do so in the belief that an honourable peace based upon justice and equality must prevail, and that Bharath’s – India’s role would ensure that. We request that an opportunity be afforded to us to meet with you and others in Government at your earliest convenience.
With our warmest regards ad very best wishes.
Yours Very Sincerely
Member of Parliament, Trincomalle/ Sri Lanka
Leader, Tamil National Alliance