The following are some of the proposals that were put forward by Tamil Solidarity at the public meeting of diaspora groups on 25th of February.
It is going to be ten years since the end of war in Sri Lanka next year. We must review now what has been achieved by the diaspora groups.
We must accept that the strategy of colluding with or creating illusions in establishment politics has failed.
The TNA and some diaspora groups have strengthened their link with the establishment parties. The politics of the establishment parties have not resulted in any victory for the Tamils. Furthermore people’s experience of the effect of these parties’ policies on their living standards has led them to distrust establishment politicians. The TNA and other’s approach pushes the public away from participating in politics.
If we are to move forward to re-mobilise the masses, we should understand the relationship of people to the establishment politics and parties.
We request that mass mobilisations take centre stage.
- We must end the prioritising of the lobby of the UN and governments. We must stop any propaganda that the solution to the Tamils will come through UN. We must not look at the establishment as the allies of Tamils, instead should work to strengthen the relationship with struggling masses and their fighting organisations.
Our relationship towards the establishment bodies should be in the character of challenging them rather than being subordinate and strengthening these forces among Tamils.
We are not arguing that Tamils should never go to the UN. But we must review the approach.
- Our annual Mullivaikaal event should be a day of ‘rising up’.
We oppose the use of this event as a platform for right-wing politicians to rally a vote base for themselves among Tamils. We also oppose the use of oppressive imperialist symbols in this event. The Eelam flag or the LTTE flag should be respected in this event. However the politics must take centre stage. There should be a discussion about the current political situation in Sri Lanka, worldwide and its relevance to Tamils’ situation. The political organisations working among Tamils should have the chance to put forward what they are doing and what are their immediate plans, etc. We should mobilise the masses to come to this event, not to cry about the past, but to learn about the political situation and what actions have been taken to go forward, etc. It should not be a day of passivity.
- All organisations should organise public political meeting and discussions. All organisations should put forward what their political perspective is and what they plan to do, etc.
- All organisations should be encouraged to publish their finance details for the public. Even if the whole finance cannot be revealed, organisations should clarify how much money spent on projects and other activities, etc, and where there main income streams come from.
Helping the people in Sri Lanka
- Huge money should not be spent on Martyrs’ Day or similar remembrance events. The money raised should be sent to the poor victims’ families and poor families of ex combatants, etc.
- This will require the formation of a central committee consisting of all organisations to monitor what aids are provided. All organisations should reveal what sort of help they are providing at least to this committee.
- We must expose the organisations who use aid as a cover to pacify the masses and prepare them to oppose the activities of organisation that put forward struggle against government.
A note on unity – unity in whose interest?
The Tamil population is in general united on many issues. The sort of solidarity that emerged following the disgraceful threats by Brigadier Priyanka Fernando is rarely seen. We reject the nonsense thrown at us by some establishment propaganda that the ‘problem with Tamils’ is that we are divided.
However, we also recognise that ‘complete unity’ is not a possible in any population group. Every community is divided along class lines. There are establishments and their political representatives – and people and their representative bodies. All societies are divided along this line. The Tamil community is no exception.
Some who are working with the establishment and have benefitted personally from that role will continue to have illusions and propagate them among the masses. For some, there is an attraction towards the institutions of the establishment media – and their platform is not going to fade away. In contrast to this we are talking about how the masses can take power in their own hands. Our political ideas and actions flow from this.
This is why we requesting people to divide – divide between those on the establishment side and those who stand on the opposite side.
We are asking which side are you on?
Are we ready to mobilise the mass power against the power of establishment?
Are we ready to unite ourselves with the forces that are building the struggle of the
Are we ready to turn towards the political struggle?
We want to build unity on this basis. It is this unity that will be a strong force that will uncompromisingly stand on the side of the masses to end repression and win our rights.