The International Council of Eelam Tamils (ICET) has expressed its serious concern and reservations over the press statement issued by In Transformation Initiative (ITI) which claiming that Tamil Diaspora have taken part in a meeting on “Dialogue on promoting reconciliation and strengthening of democracy in Sri Lanka,” held in Singapore from 3 to 5 April 2015.
“The conspicuous absence of legitimate representation of diaspora Tamils seriously calls into question the above initiative” ICET, which is a collective of grassroots Tamil diaspora organizations from 14 countries, said in a press release issued today.
ICET also has questioned the legitimacy of the said peace initiative in the absence of any real changes in ground realities for the Tamil victims who are unable to articulate their legitimate aspirations under constitutional restrictions.
“The fact that the above initiative is shrouded in secrecy raises serious concerns whether the legitimate aspirations and long term interests of the Eelam Tamils will be addressed by the above initiative. Will such initiative bear fruit if one of the major protagonists in this intractable conflict is kept out of the dialogue? “ ICET further said.
Issuing a press release immediately after the meeting in Singapore on April 5, In Transformation Initiative (ITI) said, the meeting was a continuation of dialogues on strengthening democracy and promoting sustainable peace in Sri Lanka, the Government of Switzerland and the In Transformation Initiative (ITI) from South Africa, and attended by political, civil society, academic, diaspora and other international stakeholders including an observer from the Government of Australia.
The Press statement said, “ This is a continuation of dialogues on strengthening democracy and promoting sustainable peace in Sri Lanka, and is consistent with several other initiatives of the Government of Switzerland and ITI that included various meetings and visits by Sri Lankan government ministers and senior officials, opposition and ruling party members, as well as other stakeholders including diaspora representative groups. Various issues including the on-going democratisation activities in Sri Lanka, potential initiatives for achieving long lasting peace and reconciliation were discussed. It was agreed to continue this engagement and dialogue to accelerate the process of achieving meaningful reconciliation among all Sri Lankans”.