People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 13

March 31, 2013






Only Solution is Maximum Devolution of Powers to Tamils


Below we publish the text of a resolution adopted by the Tamilnadu state secretariat of the CPI(M) on the Sri Lankan issue on March 27, 2013, in the wake of a resolution passed by the Tamilnadu state legislature.


THE Tamilnadu state secretariat of the CPI(M) is of the view that the resolution passed by the Tamilnadu Legislative Assembly on the issue of Sri Lankan Tamils today (March 27, 2013) has been passed without taking into account the ground realities facing the Sri Lankan Tamils.


Even though four years have passed since the end of the war between the Liberation Tigers and the Sri Lankan armed forces, the Sri Lankan government has not found a solution to the issue of Sri Lankan Tamils.


The war crimes committed by the Sri Lankan armed forces against the Sri Lankan Tamils in the final stages of the war and the violations of human rights have had severe consequences. Forty thousand innocent Tamils have been killed in the final stages of the war. It causes great distress that the trials and tribulations faced by Sri Lankan Tamils continue without end.


The CPI(M) urged in 2009 itself, when the war between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan armed forces had reached its peak, that the United Nations and the government of India must intervene to stop the war, make efforts to devolve powers in Sri Lanka through negotiations between the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE, and prevent the deaths of innocent people trapped in the war zone.


From the beginning, the CPI(M) has continuously insisted that armed conflict would not solve the ethnic issue in Sri Lanka, that the northern and eastern provinces (of Sri Lanka) where Tamils live must be merged and given greater autonomy, and that the Tamils and the Tamil language must receive equal treatment in Sri Lanka at all levels. It has also urged that, both as a member of SAARC and as a neighbour, India must intervene diplomatically to help find a political solution to the question of Sri Lankan Tamils.


The immediate need of Tamils affected by the war is that of ensuring basic livelihood and guarantee of rehabilitation. Along with the withdrawal of armed forces from the areas where Tamils live to create a democratic atmosphere, Sinhalisation should be stopped. A political solution and devolution alone will enable the Tamils to live on a basis of equality with the Sinhalese people. No other proposed solution will help put an end to the travails of the Sri Lankan Tamils.


Demanding a referendum on the demand for a separate Eelam or announcing that Sri Lanka is not to be regarded as a friendly country will not only not help solve the Sri Lankan Tamils issue. It will in fact complicate the issue further.


The immediate task before us today is not to demand an international inquiry into the war crimes committed by the Sri Lankan armed forces. Instead, we must make the Sri Lankan government agree to conduct a credible inquiry by an international panel of judges and punish those found guilty. We must raise our powerful and united voice urging upon India and the United Nations to put pressure on the Sri Lankan government to grant maximum autonomy including devolution of powers to Sri Lankan Tamils.


The CPI(M) shares the feelings underlying the struggles conducted by students in Tamilnadu for several days now condemning the atrocities against Sri Lankan Tamils and urging devolution of powers. In view of the fact that all democratic forces in Tamilnadu and the people of the state have raised their united voice in support of Sri Lankan Tamils, the CPI(M) appeals to the students to end their agitations and pay attention to their curricular tasks.