I’ve been wondering who this Professor Francis Boyle character is that they keep quoting on TamilNet. For reference, I access TamilNet (banned here) by visiting vtunnel.com. It’s hopeless for news, but it at least gives you a sense of what nonsense the LTTE side is calling for. Recently an anonymous ‘Colombo commentator’ called for the US to practice gunboat diplomacy, as in invade to save the LTTE. Okay. But one constant on TamilNet is the Illinois professor Boyle. I looked him up and turns out that he calls for, among other things, Hawaiian independence from the United States.
“…now the United States government, after one hundred years, has finally and officially conceded, as a matter of United States law, that Native Hawaiian people have the right to restore the Independent Nation State that you had in 1893 when the United States government came and destroyed it…
“”As a litigator before the International Court of Justice, I would be able to take this law to the World Court, and say, ‘The United States government has now officially conceded that it illegally invaded and occupied the Kingdom of Hawai`i, and for this reason the native people of Hawai`i would be entitled to a restoration of their independent status as a sovereign nation state.'”
“I could not predict how long this would take, what would be the consequences, how many states will recognize you, but I take it that the plight of the Hawaiian people is generally well known in the world, and there’s a great deal sympathy …it might be that you would be able to obtain recognition quickly. And especially if you pursue this process in accordance with principals of peaceful, non-violent struggle…
“…an Independent Sovereign Nation State is one way a people who are threatened with extermination by means of genocide can attempt to protect themselves… What is the best way to protect the existence of your people, as a people? …to proclaim your own State, and then ultimately seek international recognition and finally UN membership…”
“…it’s your future and that of your children and your children’s children that is at stake.”
Indeed. Whereas now a child born in Hawaii is the President Of The United States. Weird how that works out. Sometimes if people live and work together they end up having a better life for all their children.
Right now Tamils are getting bombed and held in camps they can’t leave under terrible conditions. This is made all the more terrible because the LTTE has herded them into the warzone and created these scenes for propaganda purposes. The GoSL, however, is following the decapitation strategy leveraged at great costs against the JVP in the late 70s. Which, at terrible cost, prevented a Khmer Rouge style insurrection in the country which would have been unspeakably horrid.
At the same time, most Sri Lankans are willing to bear these terrible sacrifices to free our land of an unspeakably horrid future where the LTTE uses those in its territory as cannon and camera fodder and destabilizes the democracy of Sri Lanka (and India) through assassinations and terrorism.
That’s a sum, but the long is that we have to work to give Tamils and all Sri Lankans full civil rights within our Constitution, within our existing democracy. Separation may seem like a pat solution to internationals like Boyle, who at least also calls for separation in his own country. Here, however, we have to live together, especially since over 50% of Tamils live in the south.
For our children’s future, we need to work this out within a just and equitable Sri Lanka. Does it look likely, not really, but did a black, Hawaiian President ever look likely in the United States? With hope all things are possible, and Sri Lanka deserves a chance to work this out within our democracy without secession won through terrorism. I don’t think it’s likely, but I also don’t know the future and I have some faith in myself and my country. I do hope that we’ll have a Tamil or Muslim or ‘minority’ President someday, and I think it’s more likely if the LTTE isn’t around to kill off all the prospects.