Tamil self-determination


MELBOURNE — On June 3, 400 Tamils discussed the escalating violence in Sri Lanka, which is occurring despite a February 2002 cease-fire agreement between the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

Robyn Kilpatrick from Amnesty International criticised LTTE attacks on the Sri Lankan army but also noted the murder of Tamil National Alliance MP Joseph Pararajasingham last December and death threats to other TNA MPs. As well, Kilpatrick referred to attacks by Sinhalese mobs on Tamil and Muslim civilians, which the Sri Lankan security forces did not prevent.

Tamil community members Anthony Gration and Jude Pragash argued that the root cause of the violence is the Sri Lankan government's denial of the Tamil people's right to self-determination. Gration said: "The struggle became violent because there was no opportunity for democratic solutions."

Chris Slee

From Green Left Weekly, June 14, 2006.
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