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article imageTamils to drop separatist demands, vow civil disobedience Special

By Andrew Moran     Mar 13, 2010 in World
Colombo - The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) party of Sri Lanka will drop its demands for an independent state and impose regional self-rule. The Tamils have also vowed civil disobedience in a campaign that was similar to Gandhi's.
In December, millions of Tamils took part in the Vaddukkoaddai Resolution and voted in favor of a separate sovereign Tamil state within Sri Lanka but has failed to gain significant support in the country itself.
On Friday, the Tamil National Alliance party in Sri Lanka made the decision to drop their independent state demands and is ready to accept regional self-rule, according to the Associated Press. For Apr. 8’s Parliamentary elections, the TNA released their platform and stated that it would accept a federal structure in the northern and eastern provinces with legitimate power over land and finances.
In its manifesto, the TNA said, “We will directly take these concerns to India and the International Community urging them to take due cognizance of the genocidal program against the Tamil people and to take appropriate effective action.”
After the Parliamentary elections, which were called by recently re-elected President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the TNA hopes to initiate discussions with the government so that the rights of the Tamil people are recognized.
Former TNA legislator Mavai Senathirajah told reporters on Friday that the Tamil people have the right to self-determination and that they should have sovereign powers over their land, finances, law and order and socio-economic development, reports CRI English.
“The high security zones in the Northern and Eastern provinces established due to the military operations would be removed immediately,” said Senthirajah.
The TNA also announced on Friday that they will begin a peaceful civil disobedience campaign in the same remnants as Gandhi if the government continues to fail to recognize the rights of Tamils, reports Press TV.
Dev Fakruddin, a Toronto Tamil demonstrator who took part in the referendum in the Greater Toronto Area in Dec., told Digital Journal in a telephone interview that he knew all along that nothing was going to be changed in Sri Lanka, even if Fonseka was elected. The Tamils, says Fakruddin, will never have any power or influence in Sri Lanka and will just have to “fight for their own rights.”
“For decades, we’ve just been fighting for peace and justice for the millions of Tamils across the globe and now we realize that we must have our own independent state in order for us to live peacefully. The international community must support our movement for a separate state because we’re just going to continue to be oppressed.”
The Toronto Tamil protester further added that he commends the TNA for their latest campaign of disobedience because “it will show the rest of the world who the real animals are” and will justify their image that they are “not the oppressors but the oppressed.”
Fakruddin concluded that he sees more domestic strife between the Sri Lankan government and Tamils within the next several years.
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