Tamil politician to rebels: independence is a “dream” accept federalism
by Melani Manel Perera
V. Anandasangaree, president of TULF, writes to the head of the Tigers, accusing him of having installed a regime of terror and of having thrown the country into an abyss of poverty and pain: “the situation is out of control, the only solution is to negotiate federalism”.

Colombo (AsiaNews) – A Tamil political leader has asked the head of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), to abandon his “dream” of independence to embrace a “federal solution within a united Sri Lanka”.  V. Anandasangaree, president of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), has written an open letter to Velupillai Prabhakaran, condemning the ferocity and the destruction which he has forced upon the population, in particular the Tamils, in over 20 years of civil war.  Anandasangaree’s appeal is carried in a missive dated to June 22: “Since things going to be out of control, please take suitable remedial measures to bring back peace and tranquillity to a suffering nation, without any delay”.

Anandasangaree is a rare example of a Tamil politician critical towards the Tigers.  In the 2004 elections he refused to join the Tamil National Alliance, a coalition with close links to the LTTE. The majority of citizens of both ethnic origins – Sinhalese and Tamil – considered him to be a serious worker for a lasting peace in their country.

The letter reminds the Tigers that they are not the elected representatives of the Tamil people: “By your reign of terror you have silenced every Tamil voice except a few…. give up your demand for separation and accept a federal solution within a United Sri Lanka, which will receive very wide support, surprisingly even from un-expected quarters”.  

The TULF leader then accuses the Head of the Tigers of having massacred tens of thousands of  people “of all faiths, of all age groups, of both sexes of all communities in Sri Lanka,” and of having caused enormous damage to the economy; in conclusion he invites the leader not to close his eyes to the situation but to accept that fact that a federal solution is the only one that will give Sri Lanka back its infrastructure, industries, employment for the youth and education for its children”.

The Tigers aim to establish an autonomous and self governed state in the North and East of the country (Eelam) areas already under their control.  The Colombo government is only willing to negotiate a possibility of a federation of states.