You’re fired! This exclamation may be familiar with the viewers of Sir Alan Sugar’s “Apprentice” on the BBC. However its speciality can’t be fully comprehended by readers and non viewers alike , because the exclamation itself doesn’t reveal anything other than its literal meaning. But the way Sir Alan Sugar says it definitely carries many clear messages to the person it’s said to. No matter one’s social standing, academic achievements, physical appearance, their field of expertise or the nature of their indefatigability. If Sir Sugar says “you’re fired” he means it for a particular reason. So what relevance does the above have with the “Trans – national government of Tamil Ealam ” a spontaneous question may emerge in the readers’ mind. Wait a minute, I’ll take you through and you may spot the relevance.
I recently happened to read an article on You Tube that a group of Tamil Tigers and/or pro tiger Tamils urge the Tamil populous worldwide to support creating a trans-national government of Tamil Ealam. And before people asked them back “did you mean Tamil Ealam government in exile”, the group explained it is not as such, but it’s an unprecedented experiment to create a body which may take the Tamils towards having the Tamil Ealam government in exile. In a nutshell, my understanding is Ithuthaan athu aahawe athuthaan ithu (this is that thus that is this). Whether the experiment will produce a desired outcome or not, they mean that it will ultimately be a Tamil Ealam government in exile (TEGiE). ( புலம்பெயர் தேசத்தில் தமிழீழ அரசாங்கம் அமைக்க சட்ட அறிஞர் உருத்திரகுமார் தலைமையில் செயற்குழு : தவிபு அனைத்துலக இணைப்பாளர் பத்மநாதன் )
Therefore we assess straightaway the necessity and viability of the government in exile. One of the designers of the mass engagement with the Tamils Tigers, Basil Rajapaksa, publicly announced that he will curtail the idea of the TEGiE to the limit of a day dream. By this statement it appears that the first and foremost obstacle has already been laid before the inception of the exile government. My concern is not what Basil Rajapaksa said or may do, but what made the group come up with the idea without a need for it. What did they learn from the experiments they did for the last quarter of a century. Why they think it is the right time to set up such a political organ, whereas a solid political platform is already in existence in Sri Lanka and crucially will it make any difference and did they think of its eventualities.
They may come up with their usual answers that they can’t reveal all those for some precautionary reasons. We put aside the reasons the group may give us and see what the International Law says about a government in exile, in brief “Government in exile normally claims to be legitimate government of a territory, which was taken from them by subjugation. And the intended government in exile may operate in foreign soils, maintain diplomatic sort of relationship with states and other political and non political entities, if the counterpart is willing to engage with such an exile government”
After all the creation and functioning of an exile government is purely a political consideration with some legal consequences. Precise examples are Ache special territory (Indonesia), autonomous Republic of Abkhazia (Georgia), Transnitria (Moldova), Nagorno Karabah ( Azerbaijan), Somaliland (Somalia), Tibet (Tibet/China) and State of Palestine ( occupied territory, including current state of Israel, by Zionist Jews) . In almost all cases it is a pompous idea except the State of Palestine according to the international community.
In a Sri Lankan political context no reasonable person would take issues with a political experiment as long as it does not keep the IDPs behind the barbed wire camps forever, claim deaths in scores, make people lose their limps in Tamils’ native places. We hope the working committee for the so called TEGiE dare not make the situation worsen and don’t do their experiment at the expense of the IDPs. They also should not forget the sufferings the IDPs face are partly attributable to the Tamils Tigers’ 30 years long experiments.
Therefore my questions to this group are , can the “would be” Tamil Ealam government in exile establish that their territory has been taken by military conquest, putting an end to their functioning government in their territory at the time of the conquest in the first place? If they had a fully functioning government, had that been recognised at least by a member state of the United Nation? Had the country maintained a bilateral or multilateral relationship with the international community? Had that government complied with international law as it invokes the same for its existence. The list of questions is non exhaustive, but the answer is simply a big no.
Let’s see what one of the key members of the TEGiE, an attorney-at – law( solicitor) Mr. V.Uruthrakumaran puts in his statement. ( நாடு கடந்த தமிழீழ அரசு அமைப்பதற்கான முன்னேற்பாட்டுச் செயற்குழு: வி. உருத்திரகுமாரன் )According to him the constitution of the TEGiE will be based on the “Vattukkotai Declaration” and the draft put forward for the formation of the “Interim Self Governing Authority” (ISGA). The former did not address the multiethnic nature of Sri Lanka and deliberately reduced it to a dual ethnic state status and their one time dream land of Tamil Ealam therefore is a mono -ethnic state.
The latter went a step ahead and denied any one’s participation other than the tiger Tamils, perhaps the tiger Tamils think the “Tamilness” of other Tamils to be tested before they are considered in the political process. The advisory committee, full of pro tiger professors and doctors, underpins the question of possible “Tamilness” of other Tamils. Therefore the above two pieces of near legislative precedents are fundamentally flawed. Any future political set up derives from these concealed vitriolic documents are dangerous to the harmony among the Tamils and between the minority Tamils and the minority Moors (religiously Muslim), who are also indigenous inhabitants of the east, north and north-west of Sri Lanka. The inclusiveness, Mr. V.Uruthrakumaran emphasized in his statement is simply a window dressing and nothing else. If the working committee is serious enough to work on the principle of “inclusiveness” then they ought to amend the above documents, even for the hypothetical functions of the TEGiE.
It is also pertinent to state two more interesting things I saw in the nine points statement made by Mr. Uruthrakumaran. The first one is “working with partnership with the Tamils National Alliance (TNA)”. The TNA have been in the Sri Lankan parliament as the representatives of the Tamils, in fact they were the proxies of the Tamil Tigers. The TNA made Tamil voters boycott the presidential election saying it was for the Singhalese parliament and nothing to do with the Tamils, whilst warming up Singhalese parliament’s seats. How can sound minded Tamil voters accept that the TNA is their representatives in the Sri Lankan parliament. TNA’s claim to be democratically elected Tamils’ representatives can be confirmed only if they step down with immediate effect and stand again in by election and prove to the wider world the voters’ unambiguous position. Until such thing happens the choice of the TNA for a partnership program is a grievous mistake in any future political proposals.
The second point, more interesting than the previous one, is “building a political program with the participation of Muslim representatives”. It goes against the very norm of the Tamil Tigers’ political advisor, late Mr. Anton Balasingam, who rejected the demand to accommodating the Moors as a party to the peace process at the outset. This very fact reflected in the draft for the ISGA, for which Mr. V.Uruthrakumaran was the master mind. As far as the Tamil Tigers are concerned the Moors are a “cultural group” or “Tamil speaking Muslims” (a status co-ownership for the language barred and reduced from full ethnicity) How would Mr. Uruthrakumaran expect the Moors to participate in any thing with the tiger Tamils, whilst the purge of mistrust between these two distinct ethnics, part and parcel of the demography in the north, east and north-west, has not been done fully.
Though the groaning tiger faced, crossed guns behind the tiger head and with the bulleted circumference Maroon coloured flag, the items, which Emperor Cholan had no knowledge of whatsoever, is under scrutiny; the geographical map of the Tamil Ealam also attracts comments.
The territory line starts from the south east of Sri Lanka, goes up all the way to Jaffna peninsula and takes a turn towards north west beyond Mannar and goes futher down through Horse Mountain (Kuthiraimalai) up to Kochchikade Bridge (northern boundary of Negombo). Is it the flag hoisted in front of the office of the TEGiE and is it the map hung behind the big table of the executive committee. Will the people of the east be ready to merge themselves with dictatorship type of tiger Tamil people of the north, and how the TEGiE will prove with evidence that the area south to Mannar and to the north of the Negombo suburb had been the legitimate territory of the Tamils or at least Tamil Kings had control of it. The task seems be very difficult and complex.
By and large the TEGiE will be added in the list of Old Boys Associations and British Tamils Sports Associations if they totally ingnore the people in the land we talk about. It’s important that any interested politician comes forward with clean hands, free from perceived political opinion of the tiger, with a sense of commitment, without hidden agenda and from the midst of the people who had been experiencing the political calamity. The group has to go back to the very basics. Even though the upcoming elections in the war affected region are premature, it will be a definite scene that the Tamils will enthustically line up to cast their vote. If it happens then it’ll be a clear sign of choice they have in their minds. It’ll also be an indicator that they prefer any home grown solution (as it’s said by the president) rather than an exported one by their umbilical cord relatives from overseas.
Tamil voters’ position was confirmed in the recent European Parliamentary election especially in England. The so called human rights campaigner and possible executive committee member of TEGiE, Ms. Jan Jananayagam openly said in an interview on a Tamil radio that she had no other things in her election manifesto other than the “Tamils genocide issue”, however two weeks later she came up with a list of environmental, economic and political issues as her concerns for the EP election. The fine opportunism. ( எடுத்த காரியம் அனைத்திலும் வெற்றி!? ‘வணங்கா மண்’ வரிசையில் ஜனனி ஜனநாயகத்தின் அரசியல் கப்பலும் கவிழ்ந்தது!!! : ரி கொன்ஸ்ரன்ரைன் )
She then went on, at an interview at Riz Khan show in the Aljazeera TV, as a response to a question “what do you say about the killing of innocent people by the Tamil tigers”, saying, go and ask tigers, an appalling answer. The president Rajapaksa gave a political answer (a lie) “maybe a 100 people died in the crossfire” to a similar question put to him at a different occasion. But Ms. Jananayagam could have given at least a diplomatic answer (a polished lie- which I’m not encouraging) such as “it is very hard to get first hand evidence due to the intensified fight in the region therefore it’s not right to comment on the allegation of tigers’ killing of innocent people”. The Tamil and non Tamil voters rightly identified that her human rights perceptions are very different from what they see as human rights and she lost the election when she equated the humans rights to Tamils’ only human rights and the Tamils’ only human rights to the tigers’ only human rights.
So in Sir Alan Suger’s view anybody to be entrusted with a specific task that person should be identified without any mistake. In “ Apprentice” Sir Alan Suger’s task is to see a person’s suitability in the business sense; that the person should strictly observe business ethics without any trick or crook while working hard to maximise the profit margin. If the job is done to his satisfaction without any doubt then that person is entrusted for the task otherwise he mercilessly says you’re fired and viewers no doubt agree with his decision.
The Tamils have been cheated by one after the other experiments, sugar coated venomous promises, unchecked reliances and money motivated tasks. Until the Tamils stand up and say you’re fired to the untested actors they can’t eradicate the political sufferings so easily. As the TEGiE have not come up with any plausible answers to the many questions posed, the only thing which remains to be said is ‘You’re Fired!’