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Letter to Mr Herve Jouanjean, Deputy Director General for External Relations, EU Commission

By : Ivan Pedropillai
Location & Time : London 15.00 GMT 27 December 2005
Source : TWG

Mr Herve Jouanjean
Deputy Director General, External Relations EU Commission Brussels
26 December 2005

Dear Mr Jouanjean,

Sri Lankan Political situation

I have for acknowledgement your letter of 29th November in reply to my letter of 26th September 2005. I thought I would wait for a short period after the Sri Lankan Presidential Election, before I wrote again to you. As the Chairman of the Tamil Writers Guild, I wrote to you in September about the misguided policy of the EU Commission which placed the peace process in jeopardy, and the unduly harsh treatment of the Tamil cause for justice and self determination vis a vis the uncritical support given by the EU to the Sri Lankan government in its rampant mission to subjugate the Tamils. It seemed to me that the EU Commission had allowed itself to be swayed by the rhetoric of the Sri Lankan government. I am sorry that you have paid little or no regard to the abysmal record of the SL government in not keeping to any of its agreements with the Tamil political leadership on constitutional arrangements, ever since independence from Britain. As you have the functional responsibility for this area, and if you are interested, I can send you for your perusal one or two publications by reputed jurists on SL Government abrogations of constitutional agreements.

I am writing again this time to bring to your notice, in case you are not already aware of it, of the brutal murder of Mr Joseph Pararajasingham MP by the Sri Lankan security forces operatives during Christmas Mass in the Batticaloa Catholic Cathedral. You might, if you wish, say that the evidence is not yet available as to the SL government's culpability in this brutal murder. But that may not be quite ingenuous given Mr Pararajasingham's known position on Eelam Tamil self-determination and that the new SL Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka has quite openly stated his trenchant and uncompromising view on his hardline position towards the Tamil political struggle.

We have to exercise our intelligence and political nous to establish motive, opportunity, and history to avoid closing our minds and our judgment. We should ask ourselves who has to gain by such a dastardly act? The political killings of Tamil leaders like Kumar Ponnambalam, Sivaram and now Joseph Pararajasingham during the currency of the so- called Ceasefire Agreement, have all a brutal and cynical motive behind it. The Sinhala Government and its intelligence operatives have embarked on a calculated and brutal purge of Tamil Leaders, so as to denude the Tamil Nationalist movement of its leadership. That they sometimes use renegades and misfits like Karuna and his brigands as their hired gunmen, does not absolve them of overarching responsibility.

You cannot be unaware that the newly elected President Mahinda Rajapakse came to power on extremist racist Sinhala support to disavow all previous political agreement for a Federal constitution to accommodate the Tamil national aspirations. He has surrounded himself with the most extreme of radical Sinhala Buddhist military commanders and advisors. The EU stood blithely aside when Mahinda Rajapakse campaigned and won the Presidential election after abnegating the Oslo accord between the SL government and the LTTE for a Federal constitution. The Eelam Tamil nation has watched with alarm and considerable shock at the amazing temerity of the EU to express its disapproval of Rajapakse's rejection of the Oslo accord and the provisions of the Ceasefire Agreement.

It has been reported in the press that you were to visit Sri Lanka as part of a mission of the Co-chairs to assess the situation on the ground. I hope you will leave behind any preconceptions that your letter exhibited of the SL government being the 'Goodies' and the Tamils being the 'Baddies', which is more suited to the fiction of cowboy movies. The Tamil nation has suffered from economic, educational and cultural strangulation for over 50 years and now, when even the few leaders that have emerged are struck down by the rampaging Sinhala elements, the EU cannot be seen to conspire in silence with this pogrom. I am reminded of the evil episode of European history during the Second world war, when trainloads of Jews were betrayed by their neighbours to be transported to Auschwitz and Buchenwald to be gassed. The EU cannot be complicit in betraying a whole Tamil nation either by opportunism or by recklessness.

The Tamil Nation will look to the co-chairs for democratic equity, fairness, neutrality and an understanding of the position of political victimisation of the Tamils but if the co-chairs are seen to be bent, cynical and partisan, I hope you will pardon us if we were to say that we would be pleased if you were to concentrate on resolving your own arguments on budgets, import quotas and foreign policy within your own member states and leave us alone. We are educated, cultured, civilised and proud enough to look after our own destiny, if all you can do is to hector to us. Some of us are senior professionals of long standing in the west who are at ease both in the east and the west, and genuinely want you from the west as our partners to build a partnership with a resurgent Tamil nation but not while keeping it on its knees. It is not the economic might of the EU that gives it a special role in Sri Lanka but that it has two thousand years or more of western democratic philosophy, ideals and practice. We are intellectuals who believe that ideas should replace conflict and I do hope we can meet and discuss our needs and position in more detail to our mutual benefit.

Yours sincerely,
Ivan Pedropillai

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