The Vaddukkoaddai Resolution was spontaneously coming from the nation of Eezham Tamils and all its political parties. The resolution was entirely indigenous. It had the spirit of struggle. The Tamil People's Council (TPC) draft proposal, in its thrust, is dictated by the outside imperialist need to retain the Agent State ‘Sri Lanka’ in one piece. The TPC draft is confined to larger outlines set from the outside. There is no struggle, but compromise. Right from the Tamil chieftains of Nalloor signing a defeatist treaty with the Portuguese; the Kandyans signing a similar one with the British and all treaties being forgotten in the creation of the unitary State, the game of conceding the island to suit views through outside prisms continues.
The TPC draft, on the other hand, concedes: “The Tamil People pledge their commitment to a united and undivided Sri Lanka which respects and affirms the right to self-determination of the Tamils.”
The TPC draft doesn't assert to the identity of the nation of Eezham Tamils, while getting bogged up in ambiguous terminology and even relegating the word nation to footnotes. If Eezham cannot be there, ‘Sri Lanka’ also cannot be there. The binary identity in terminology is crucial for the self-respect of Eezham Tamils in their existence and international interactions.
The TPC draft, talking of an agreement as pre-condition for a constitutional process, is totally silent on recognising genocide and repeal of the 6th Amendment. Contrary to the talk of ‘self-determination’, the draft concedes the dangerous power of dissolving a State Government at the mere pretext of citing secessionism. This is reconfirming the 6th Amendment.
The TPC draft paves way for Colombo-centric monopoly of the island and a State-within-State formula for Colombo, indirectly falling in line with the vertical model favoured by corporate imperialisms. The same model was structurally enslaving the nation of Eezham Tamils in the island for 500 years, ever since the Portuguese conceived it for the purchase of cinnamon. Even some British administrators long serving in Jaffna and had understood the structural issues in development, resisted to the model in the 19th century itself.
With all lacunas in the fundamentals, the TPC draft is still a step forward compared to the previous discourses coming as alternatives to independent and sovereign Tamil Eelam.
“We think that a pre-constitutional agreement in the form of a treaty (like the Dayton Agreement and the Good Friday Agreement) is necessary prior to the constitution making process.
“The treaty should inter alia recognize the Tamil Peoples' right to self-determination, its sovereignty and constituent power and its traditional homeland in the areas of historical habitation of the Tamil people.
“The treaty should provide that in the event of the arrangements being unilaterally abrogated by the numerically larger Sinhala Buddhist majority and its political representatives and in the absence of any other alternatives, the Tamil people may decide to hold a referendum to further determine their political status.
“This treaty which we think should be underwritten by a third party (foreign governments such as the US/India or the UN) will help to bring international/external guarantee to the durability of the solution arrived at, beyond the contours of a constitution that otherwise rests within the domain of domestic law.
“This agreement should also spell out inter alia measures to be taken for accountability and justice, address issues relating to disappearances, release of political prisoners, release of land occupied by the Armed forces in the North-East, demilitarization, state-sponsored colonization, security sector reforms and contain guarantees of non-recurrence.
“It would be impossible to create a safe and open environment for the discussion of these political/constitutional issues without creating the above enabling conditions in the North-East,” the TPC draft said.
However, any treaty, like all post-war treaties coming from the ‘victors’, cannot be a ‘sealing process’ of the struggle of the nation of Eezham Tamils for international justice.
Considering past records, Tamils all over the world should be prepared and mobilized to face the situation from a position of strength.
If geopolitics is the cause for injustice, it could be met only through geopolitical mobilisation of world Tamils.
Tamil activists of today have to be awakened to the fact that many geostrategic points are at their disposal if they know how to demonstrate the strength beyond States and militaries.
There should be preparedness for a civil resistance struggle, in case the Agent State is not prepared to see the realities, and preparedness of global Tamils to show civil disobedience to outside imperialisms if the insistence is on having discourses only through the prism of ‘Sri Lanka’.
Struggle for justice is not singing to tunes set by adversaries, but setting tunes for the ultimate adversaries to address. Of all the Eezham Tamil leaders after the genocidal war, it was perhaps Justice C.V. Wigneswaran, who did that at least to a small extent. The cue should be taken in pursuing the struggle and in course-correcting irredeemable slips.
The reality is that even if the Sinhala nation wants to have its own State, the international engineers of ages will not allow it. Tamils in pursuing their goals should show full respect to the Sinhala nation, its State and its place in South Asia. Only then, the nation, the State and place of Eezham Tamils in the region will be justified.
The united ‘Sri Lanka’ paradigm is a design of outside forces to keep both the Sinhala nation and Eezham Tamil nation in continued subservience in the chosen geostrategic point.
The proposals for a constitutional arrangement to resolve the national question in the island, produced by a 15-member TPC Sub-Committee follow:
The Tamil People’s Council appointed a Sub-Committee on 27th December 2015 mandating it to present a report based on which public consultations for an acceptable political solution could be initiated. The Sub-Committee is comprised of representatives of political parties and civil society organisations represented in the Council.
The was done to meet its time schedule and may need corrections and polishing in some aspects in its present form. Therefore, a final version of the draft proposal will be delivered in due course, the Sub-Committe noted in the draft release.
For comparison, TNA's leaked proposals from 2009, with self-denouncement of the fundamental principle of Tamil sovereignty and the abandoning of full-scale right to self-determination, are also given below:
The audio recordings of the Tamil speeches made by the co-chairs of the TPC and a member of the sub-committee that submitted the draft on Sunday, follow: