Eelam Tamils need a referendum in Sri Lanka
It is plainly obvious that Tamils cannot get justice in the present and unitary majoritarian Sinhala Buddhist state of Sri Lanka.
Over the last 70 over years, Tamils were not only discriminated by the Sinhalese state, but were subjected to genocidal war.
State sponsored attacks and killings took place in 1956, 1958, 1971, 1977, 1983 culminating in the genocidal war between 2006 to 2009.
In the killings and massacres, hundreds and thousands lost their lives including women and children.
Tamil women were mercilessly sexually assaulted and raped. Rape was deliberately used as weapon to subdue the Tamil nation.
In the final genocidal war, between 2006 to 2009, more than 150,000 innocent Tamils were unaccounted for.
The Sri Lankan government has failed to furnish the information to their families and loved ones.
Repeated requests from international bodies including the UN have fallen on the deaf ears of the Sinhala Buddhist regime.
As a result of the defeat of the Tamil national forces in 2009, the traditional Tamil homeland in the north-east of Sri Lanka came to be occupied by the Sri Lankan armed forces.
There are one soldier for six civilians in the north and one soldier for two civilians in the east.
Tamils are virtually living in heavily militarised zone where their homes are occupied, lands being taken away for security reasons and fishing and agricultural activities severely restricted by the movement of the security forces.
It is like the situation of the Palestinians where their homeland is under the permanent siege by the Israeli forces.
It is no different to the undemocratic and illegal annexation of West Papua by Indonesia in 1969 by a sham referendum.
Despite the various political experiments such as federalism and others to address the Tamil national question, one thing is certain.
The racist and religious extremist state are not ready to give an inch to Tamils. On the contrary, the Tamils are seen as the biggest foe of the Sinhala Buddhist state.
Armed struggle was an option that was thrust on the Tamils because of the intolerance and obstinacy on the part of the Sinhala Buddhist majoritarian state.
The UN despite calls for the restoration of human rights and investigation of war crimes lacks the political will to enforce its decisions on those guilty of committing genocidal crimes on the Tamils.
Those individuals who were responsible for the genocidal crimes against the Tamils continue to be protected by the Sri Lankan state. Some of them are being appointed as appointed as foreign envoys.
Tamils in Sri Lanka and their Diaspora have reached a conclusion that there is no way for them to lead a life of dignity and decency in the present political set up of Sri Lanka.
In short, they don’t want to be ruled and subject to continuous humiliation by the Sinhala Buddhist majoritarian state of Sri Lanka.
The future survival of the Tamil race is at stake in Sri Lanka.
Seven decades were more enough to have put up with the misery, shame and indignity under the racist and extremist Sinhala Buddhist regime.
Tamils want to chart their own political course to determine their destiny. They want to opt for a separate rule through the democratic process of a referendum.
It is not an unusual demand. Tamils have all the attributes of a nation—language, religion, territory, history—to demand a separate political solution.
Asking for a referendum is not something unusual, countries such as Montenegro, Eriteria, East Timor and Slovenia gained independence by way of referendum.
Even Scotland and the province of Quebec in Canada sought referendum for independence but failed to get the necessary support.
The call for a democratic mechanism to support the call for a referendum has gained momentum over the years especially so after the Tamils suffered the horrors of the civil war in 2009.
In the recent years, hundreds of Tamil diaspora organisations voted overwhelmingly in support of a referendum for Eelam Tamils.
The move in the direction of a referendum for Eelam Tamils has been strengthened by resolutions in the Tamil Nadu state assembly in 2013 and in the Canadian Parliament in 2019.
These resolutions called for a thorough investigation of the war crimes committed by the Sri Lankan government particularly those responsible for prosecuting the war against the Tamils.