Sri Lanka demands to know if ITAK is pretending to seek a Federal solution but aiming for a Confederacy

Mavai Senathirajah

The ITAK has a new leader. He is Mavai Senathirajah. It is a perfect time to bring questions out into the open and seek answers to satisfy our doubts. Top on that list is the question is the ITAK constitution Federal or Confederal? We will not accept claims of being federal while the aims and objectives of the ITAK Constitution are confederal. This necessitates the ITAK to make public its Constitution and legally claim it stands for federalism and not confederalism. The important distinguishing factor is that the 6th Amendment to the Constitution can be applied ONLY IF ITAK is seeking confederacy as one of its aims.

The ITAK party Illankai Tamil Arasu Katchchi which reads as separate Tamil State has shrouded that meaning by its English version given as Federal Party. ITAK was formed in 1949 a year after Sri Lanka (Ceylon) gained independence from the British. The puzzling aspect about ITAKs constitution is that it is referring to a confederacy which clearly establishes the fact that the Tamil quest for a separate state has nothing to do with discrimination or any of the other placards been used. Obviously this has to be one of the colonial British strategies of keeping former colonies divided.

Federal systems can’t ask for referendums – Confederacies can

In 2014 the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu in its State manifesto assured of carrying an ‘Eelam Referendum’ in Sri Lanka. How a state in Tamil Nadu, India can do that is another question but the statement was made.

In 2014 and 2013 the DMK Leader Karunanidhi of Tamil Nadu, India also called for a UN backed referendum for the Tamils in Sri Lanka.

In 2008, Sivajilingam sought a referendum to decide Tamil Eelam when he addressed the Pongku Thamizh event in Sydney, Australia.

Other Tamil leaders of the TNA including its leader have been regularly making references to referendums.

These are all giveaways of their hidden quest and necessitates legal action to prompt TNA and ITAK to place their true objectives into the open without shielding it in political statements.

The People of Sri Lanka now need to demand a disclosure of the ITAK Constitution.

The People of Sri Lanka need ITAK to respond to why in August 2008 months before LTTE was conclusively eliminated ITAK amended its Constitution and substituted the word ‘Shamasthi’ with ‘Innaipatchchi’.

ITAK says ‘Shamasthi’ stood for Federalism why have they replaced it with ‘Innaipatchchi’?

The People of Sri Lanka need ITAK to legally declare that Innaipatchchi does not stand for confederacy.

If the ITAK cannot or refuses to establish legally that its aims and objectives does not stand for a confederacy, we have every right to believe that ITAK is fooling the Sri Lankan public and has been doing so throughout.

Why the Sri Lankan state and public should demand ITAK clearly and legally establishes its position on the aims and objectives of ITAK constitution is because, if it is pretending to demand a federal solution but has as its aims and objectives a confederacy unless it is brought to the courts and ITAK is made to legally state its true aims and objectives the likelihood of ITAK seeking separation and cessation from the State of Sri Lanka is going to happen.

Therefore the ITAK must be asked

  1. Is the ITAK seeking to establish regional states/union of independent and sovereign states with the hidden intention of creating an independent and sovereign state?
  2. Is the ITAK Constitution aiming for confederacy objectives because it is aware that the Central Government can reach only upto the Governments of respective province/State in a confederacy? Is this why the Northern Provincial Council is seeking direct foreign aid and a right to establish direct diplomatic relations?
  3. Is the ITAK attempting to fool the GOSL, the General Public, India pretending it is  seeking a Federal Solution when its constitution if made public may reveal it is advocating confederacy where the Sri Lankan Central Government will have no rights to reach the citizens directly?
  4. Is the ITAK’s objective to hide its confederacy aim because in a confederation it can at any time for any reason withdraw from the Union?
  5. Is ITAK pretending to ask for a Federal set up but talking about Tamil province and Sinhala provinces when such does not exist and the provinces are held by the Central Government and every province is bound by the Central Government’s Constitution.
  6. Is the ITAKs promise to guarantee language and religious rights also part of the confederation quest for under a federal government only the Central Government can provide fundamental rights.
  7. Has the ITAK amended its constitution from Federal to Confederal so that it can seek a unilateral secession. In 1990 the Varatharaja Perumal N-E Province declared a UDI but the Premadasa Government dissolved the N-E provincial council. In a confederacy such an option is not available to the Central Government.
  8. Is ITAK’s reference to accepting a ‘UNITED SRILANKA’ in keeping with its objective of a confederacy where confederates are joined only by a common united ‘collaboration’ factor. The moment a confederacy does not agree they can separate which is obviously the intent of the ITAK and why they are seen regularly referring to a UNITED Sri Lanka. ITAK also refers to co-existing and collaborating with the Sinhala provinces which is also in line with their confederacy quest. There are no Sinhala, Tamil or Muslim provinces in Sri Lanka.

What ITAK and TNA have to FIRST prove in their quest for a separate state

  • Why is it that more Tamils live amongst the Sinhalese if there is discrimination
  • Why did ITAK formed in 1949 aspire for a separate Tamil state (given in the mean Illankai Tamil Arasu Katchchi). There was no basis to demand a separate Tamil state unless this quest was planted by the British
  • ITAK must prove a separate Tamil Homeland existed where Sinhalese had not been living in. However, scores of archaeological and historical sites can prove Sinhalese lived in the North in ancient times and even prior to LTTE taking up arms and Sinhalese and Muslims were forcefully evicted. This gives Sinhalese and Muslims every right to live in the North and questions why the GOSL is taking a very lethargic and lukewarm stand in not declaring that Sinhalese and Muslims have every right to live, purchase land and carry out businesses in the North and neither the Chief Minister any other has any right to refer to that fundamental right as ‘colonization’.
  • ITAK must admit that Sinhalese and Muslims lived in the North before they were chased out. This once proved shows that if Tamils claim to have a right to the North, the Sinhalese and Muslims have every right to stake claim to the North too.

It is understandable why all parties have ended up dilly dallying about a ‘political solution’ for it has been to keep tight-lipped and shield the ITAK constitution that may hide the real objectives of the party.

The ITAK therefore must be forced to commit itself to

  • declaring its Constitution translated into all languages and made public
  • declare that its aims and objectives are Federal and not Confederal which will thus nullify its quest for referendums, direct foreign aid, direct diplomatic ties, rhetoric on UNITED Sri Lanka, collaboration with Tamil provinces and Sinhala provinces, claims of granting citizens religious and language rights which only the Central Government can give and a host of other promises and assurances ITAK-TNA have been publicly making which have everything to do with a Confederal model and nothing to do with a federal set up.

– by Shenali D Waduge