President Ranil must tell ITAK – Annul Vaddukoddai Resolution before demanding 13A
The people of Sri Lanka should ask themselves some questions and seek answers given the connection of 1987, 13Amendment & the 1976 TULF Vaddukoddai Resolution which ITAK endorsed in 2008. Demands by Tamil militant groups/ LTTE / LTTE Diaspora /Tamil academia in Jaffna University/ Tamil political parties especially TNA & ITAK all echo what TULF originally demanded via Vaddukoddai Resolution on 14 May 1976. This document is what continues to keep alive the quest of separatism. This is why it must be annulled first.
Here are the questions:
- Who is ITAK
– ITAK was formed in 1949 months after gaining partial independence in 1948. It is partial independence because the Queen remained Head of the State, the UK Privy Council was the highest court & UK continued its military bases in Sri Lanka. ITAK in Tamil meant Tamil State Party but that meaning was craftily camouflaged by presenting ITAK as Federal Party. Therefore, there is confusion whether ITAK is seeking federalism or in reality confederalism which aims at eventual separation. What People must understand is that it was Tamil politicians who first sought separatism not LTTE.
- What is the Vaddukoddai Resolution by TULF, ITAK
When ITAK continues to commemorate the Vaddukoddai Resolution, people must ask themselves why?
Vaddukoddai Resolution seeks direct self-determination.
Vaddukoddai Resolution seeks an independent Tamil Eelam State
Vaddukoddai Resolution was unanimously adopted by TULF on 14 May 1976.
Vaddukoddai Resolution calls for a “free Sovereign, Secular, Socialist State of Tamil Eelam”.
Vaddukoddai Resolution was included to the TULF election manifesto
Vaddukoddai Resolution claims the State of Tamil Eelam consists of North & East provinces (though these were created after 1833 by Colonial Britain) ITAK must first prove there was a Tamil kingdom in 1619 & up to 1833 – if Portuguese took that Kingdom away, ITAK or LTTE must fight the Portuguese, the Dutch or the British! But then, the term Ceylon Tamils or Tamils of Ceylon was only coined in 1911 & prior to that all Tamils were known as Malabars (coming from Indian coast)
Vaddukoddai Resolution called to launch ‘struggle’ to win the ‘sovereignty & freedom of the Tamil Nation”
Vaddukoddai Resolution called upon the Tamil Youth to throw themselves ‘fully into the sacred fight for freedom”
(note 19 year old Prabakaran created Tamil New Tigers on 22 May 1972 day of the Republican Constitution & renamed TNT as LTTE on 5 May 1976 – weeks before the Vaddukoddai Resolution)
Vaddukoddai Resolution alienates pro-separatist Tamils from assimilating. Why are the pro-reconciliation lobbies silent on this?
Vaddukoddai Resolution was hurriedly resurrected in 2008 (before collapse of LTTE) by ITAK, a key signatory of the 1976 Resolution.
ITAK amended its 1949 original constitution by endorsing the Vaddukoddai Resolution for a ‘sovereign socialist state of Tamil Eelam” & replacing word “Shamashthi” with “Innaipatchchi” in 2008. What this meant was that ITAK was taking over TULF quest for a separate “Tamil Eelam”.
- LTTE sought separatism by Gun – Tamil politicians seek separatism by Vaddukoddai Resolution
LTTE attempt to separate Sri Lanka was eliminated by the Sri Lanka Armed Forces in May 2009.
LTTE used terror to separate Sri Lanka by hijacking the separatist quest launched by TULF.
The attempt by Tamil politicians to separate Sri Lanka is enshrined in the Vaddukoddai Resolution.
Tamil politicians are demanding periodic political compromise to eventually separate Sri Lanka
Same objective – both deploying different tactics. This is what People need to understand.
When Tamil politicians directly use LTTE insignia it directly connects the 2 objectives.
At the 2020 General Elections – TNA displayed the LTTE Tamil Eelam Map. https://www.tamilguardian.com/content/tna-parades-tamil-eelam-maps-and-ltte-links-campaigning-draws-close
LTTE Diaspora issued statements to vote for former Supreme Court judge Wigneswaran.
- Let’s look at the demands of ITAK
In 1949 ITAK used “shamasthi” to connote their demand for federalism.
In 2008 ITAK replaced “shamasthi” with “innaipatchchi” – is it because while shamasthi meant federalism / innaipatchchi means confederaiism/ confederal / federation. Innaipatchchi did not mean federalism.
It is important for people to find out the meanings of Shamasthi (used by ITAK in 1949) & Innaipatchchi (replaced by ITAK in 2008) & realize that with the fall of LTTE, ITAK is seeking not a federal set up but a confederal form of power-sharing, which Sumanthiran explains.
How did ITAK amend its 1949 constitution in 2008?
“The General Committee of the Illangai Tamil Arasu Kadchi decided on 24.04.2008 and 03.08.2008 to approve all resolutions and actions taken by the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) and the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi from 14 May 1976”.
This means in 2008 – ITAK endorsed what TULF in 1976 sought via Vaddukoddai Resolution.
Noteworthy is how immediately after the 2008 ITAK amendment to its 1949 constitution, a plethora of LTTE fronts began forming to continue the quest that the LTTE had failed to do.
- How is 13A connected to the Vaddukoddai Resolution
- Sought a Tamil Eelam State for people living in North & East (13A merged NE & claimed it was a historical habitat of the Tamil speaking people)
- Sought right to self-determination which LTTE demanded in 1985 Thimpu Talks
- Sought Tamil as Official Language of N & E (though opposing Sinhala as Official Language)
- Indirectly encouraged Tamil youth to take up arms (India began training Tamil youth after late 1970s)
So long as Tamils quote from Vaddukoddai Resolution the quest for a separate Tamil Eelam state, citizens of Sri Lanka are justified in demanding that govts do not implementanything that attempts to fulfil quest for a separate Tamil state.
Evidence of continuing Vaddukoddai Resolution ideology
- TULF used Vaddukoddai Resolution at 1977 elections http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2019/11/21/trying-to-understand-how-tamils-vote-read-tulfs-1977-election-manifesto/
- Jaffna University – http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2019/03/05/linking-jaffna-university-ltte-the-separatist-ideology/
- TNA manifestos of 2001, 2004, 2010, 2013, 2015, echoes same objectives as Vaddukoddai Resolution
- 2008 TNA endorses Vaddukoddai Resolution – ITAK endorses Vaddukoddai Resolution
- 2014 ITAK Resolution – 15 demands connected with Vaddukoddai Resolution https://sangam.org/itak-convention-resolutions/
- TNA 2020 – canvassing with Tamil Eelam map https://www.sinhalanet.net/are-the-demands-of-itak-tulf-tna-ltte-ltte-fronts-india-one-the-same
LTTE only hijacked a quest to separate by Tamil politicians.
This means Tamil political separatism remains alive.
GoSL must take action to prevent political separatism
Having power over land & police is important to fulfill this confederal quest.
This is why 13th amendment cannot go beyond what has been given.
Given that it was forcibly introduced, given that it is a colossal waste of money & a den for corruption, given that Sri Lanka is not going to give land or police powers to the provinces, people must demand annulment of 13th amendment.
The bigger problem is India. Let India not forget that self-determination for Tamils was launched initially in India. Its intel took side of Sri Lankan Tamil militants over Indian soldiers, Indian intel failed to prevent an Indian Prime Minister getting assassinated in Tamil Nadu. That assassination team comprised many Indians as well. Did India indirectly help Sri Lanka defeat Prabakaran knowing that India itself is earmarked to be balkanized as the Soviet Union & Yugoslavia. If so, it is to India’s advantage that 13th amendment is annulled. LTTE Tamil Diaspora have support of West & this should pose a threat to India while West’s foot soldiers (Evangelical Movements, Local NGOs etc) are fully operational in the North & East & able to influence Tamil society more than India.
Majority of People do not wish to continue with 13a primarily due to the cost of maintaining it & the corruptions prevailing. President Ranil Wickremasinghe must tell the Parliament to take necessary legislative action to annul it. President Ranil must clearly inform that State Land remains vested in the Central Govt & to return private lands held by the military, the ownership must be legally proved while it makes no sense to have 9 Police Divisions reporting to 9 Chief Ministers, politicizing the police force.
Shenali D Waduge