“With the possible exception of things like box scores, race results, and stock market tabulations, there is no such thing as Objective Journalism. The phrase itself is a pompous contradiction in terms.” —Hunter S. Thompson
Criminalizing the Tamil political struggle to drown out legitimate Tamil aspirations and grievances on the island of Sri Lanka has long been the forte of mainstream media organizations and successive Sri Lankan governments. For decades the Tamil population has borne the brunt of overarching “counter- terrorism” legislation aimed at stifling dissent and highlighting grave abuses and injustices by the security apparatus of the country. The most recent example is that of Balendran Jeyakumary, a prominent participant at protests against enforced disappearances, who was held without charges under the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) for 365 days and only released in March 2015 ahead of a high profile visit by the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi.
Sadly, the tactic of criminalizing Tamil leaders and voices seems to have been adopted, in recent months, by sections of mainstream Tamil political entities, media organs and media personal to discredit those who question their stances on issues vital to Tamils.
D.B.S Jeyaraj’s column for the Daily Mirror [i], screaming in big, bold and red with the headline “Tiger Diaspora Backs Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam”, lays bare his intent. If there was any doubt, the headline coupled with Jeyaraj’s first paragraph introducing the coastal town of Valvettithurai (“notorious reputation as the hotbed of smuggling”, “nursery of militancy”) confirms his objective. To a keen reader, the rest of Jeyaraj’s column takes an expected path.
Let us look in detail at several observations,
“Tiger Diaspora Backs Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam”
The supreme irony and hypocrisy of Jeyaraj’s accusation that Ponnambalam’s Tamil National People’s Front and its election campaign is funded by “Tiger and pro-Tiger elements” within the Tamil diaspora is this: the very same sections that Jeyaraj aligns with within the Tamil National Alliance (Jeyaraj never makes any disclosures about his conflicts of interest nor his sources. Hence his claims can never be independently verified) and who claim that Gajen Ponnambalam is funded lavishly by sections of the diaspora accuse Ponnambalam of being an ‘acolyte’ and ‘agent’ of former President Mahinda Rajapakse when they campaign among Tamils in the North and East. How Jeyaraj (and the TNA) will explain to their voters that Ponnambalam is somehow funded by Tamils sympathetic to the LTTE and has the moral support of Mahinda Rajapakse is yet to be seen (one suspects that this dilemma will not arise since the TNA has now mastered the art of reiterating in the North and East the exact opposite of what it claims in Colombo and vice-versa). Further, leaders and members of the TNA openly admire and romanticize the LTTE on public record and have urged the Tamil diaspora to fund the TNA in the past. During visits to countries with substantial Tamil diaspora populations, members of Parliament of the TNA including R. Sampanthan and M. A. Sumanthiran are on record urging the Tamil diaspora to provide financial and political support for their coalition. It is yet to be seen how funding and support from the Tamil diaspora to the TNA is encouraged, accepted and sought after, while alleged funding to the TNPF is criminalized. Further, the TNPF leader was one among 68% of the candidates [ii] who declared their assets to the Election Commissioner recently.
Will Mr. Jeyaraj now interrogate the TNA’s candidates about their assets and their sources of funding for their election campaign and finally display the high journalistic standards he claims to uphold?
C.V Wigneswaran and V. Prabhakaran
In one of his opening paragraphs, Jeyaraj accuses former judge of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka and current Chief Minister of the Northern Provincial, C. V Wigneswaran for a “disgusting spectacle” and a “volte-face” in a speech at a campaign rally during the Provincial Council elections of 2013. It is indeed quite timely that Jeyaraj should bring up volte-face and disgusting spectacles because spectacles by former TNA MPs and current candidates are part of what are drumming up a groundswell of public opinion towards the TNPF. But one suspects Jeyaraj wouldn’t use such language in those cases but only in the case of the Chief Minister who has belligerently defied party line (and admonishment by the Government of Sri Lanka) and offered an honest appraisal of the existential issues faced by the Tamils of the North- East—continuing militarization, State sponsored land grabs, and Sinhala-Buddhisization of the North and East by the State.
In an interview with the Daily Mirror in 2013 [iii], R. Sampanthan, Leader of the TNA, in a clear attempt to distance himself from the LTTE in the South, said that he “had been in the hit list of the LTTE even before Mahinda Rajapakse” in reply to a question that the TNA was a ‘proxy’ of the LTTE. Further, in November 2013 rebuking TNA MP Sritharan’s statement in Parliament that “Prabhakaran was a freedom fighter and died a heroic death”, Sampanthan denied that this was the position of the TNA and that the TNA never campaigned along these lines during the election [iv] (the Provincial Council election was held in September that year). M. A Sumanthiran recently told the Sunday Leader [v], another newspaper in the South, that the TNA was “not committed to (LTTE) ideology” and that people were “steadfast in not allowing terrorism to return”. Yet, during the election campaign last month, Mr. Sumanthiran’s leader, Mavai Senathirajah is on record declaring that the leader of the LTTE, V. Prabhakaran, “was like a brother to him” and that he would never “betray” Prabhakaran’s ideals [vi]. At the same Kilinochchi meeting Senathirajah recounted happy memories of “brother” Prabhakaran. At another event, Senathirajah claimed that Prabhakaran “was compelled to take up arms” to “fight Sinhala-Buddhist majoritarianism that had unleashed violence to enslave the Tamil people” [vii] and appealed to ex- combatants should come forward to support the TNA. During a recent election rally of the TNA, former MP and candidate N. Srikantha, in the presence of TNA leaders including Messrs Sampanthan and Senathirajah thundered that “Rajapakse did not defeat the Thamizh national freedom struggle at Mullivaikkal; instead what was defeated was an armed resistance movement that amazed the world“.
During the inaugural TNA election rally held in Marudhanarmadam last month, speeches were sprinkled with references to the valour of the LTTE and at one point, the mention of V.Prabhakaran received “thunderous applause” reported Thinakkural [viii]. In July, Sivagnanam Sritharan claimed that V. Prabhakaran and the LTTE were the “identity of the Tamil nation”. Yet there was no admonishment from the party hierarchy, nor screaming headlines and exclusives columns by the likes of Mr. Jeyaraj. These are but a handful instances of members of the TNA conveniently co-opting the language of the armed struggle during an electoral campaign or a memorial event but denouncing and disowning it later and at their whim, with the aid of scribes like Jeyaraj. A casual glance at Tamil media during the election campaign will prove how TNA candidates pepper their speeches with references to the LTTE. It is somewhat acceptable that the Sinhala scribes who are fed stories by ‘anonymous’ sources within government and the TNA ranks regarding “extremists” and “diaspora elements” miss the double- speak but how a seasoned, veteran and star journalist like Jeyaraj, who claims to have sources in all aspects of public life in the North and East, misses these remarks by TNA candidates, yet pens an entire (unsubstantiated and uncorroborated) column about “influential diaspora group of a particular political persuasion with ample resources” funding the TNPF, beggars belief.
In February, D.B.S Jeyaraj blasted [ix] Prof. S. Sittrampalam, Emeritus Professor of History at Jaffna University and Senior Vice President of Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) as being part of a “vicious and venomous campaign” for daring to criticize [x] Messrs Sampanthan and Sumanthiran’s attendance at the Independence Day event in Colombo, boycotted for more than 60 years by Tamil leaders. How the attendance at the Independence Day events, a “symbolic gesture” and “great leap forward”, in Jeyaraj’s words, worked to charm the Sinhala leadership could be seen very clearly in the sprouting of newly built, Army- sponsored Buddhist temples in the North-East and the point blank refusal of the military to hand back private lands over the past 6 months, and the rejection of even the TNA’s manifesto calling for a federal power sharing model by Sinhala parties in the South. Prof. Sittrampalam, who, on the obvious instigation of certain sections within the TNA, was derided as an ‘extremist’ by Jeyaraj in February has now been named as a National List candidate of the TNA in the Jaffna District in August[xi]!
In the same Daily Mirror interview mentioned above Mr. Sampanthan vigorously argues for a complete implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. The TNA, still led by Mr. Sampanthan, now repeatedly calls for the full implementation of the 13th Amendment and Provincial Councils Bill. However, it should be noted that in 1987 Mr. Sampanthan (along with Mr A. Amirthalingam and Mr. Sivasithamparam) firmly rejecting the two proposed Bills, sent a missive titled “Our Disappointment With Proposals Contained in the Two Bills” [xii] to then Prime Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi.
Will Mr. Jeyaraj (and the numerous journalists in the South) now question the TNA leadership and the TNA’s stance regarding the LTTE, the 13th Amendment and its (and his own) repeated volte-face?
Gajen Ponnambalam’s exit from the TNA
Over the past few years, Gajen Ponnambalam is on public record detailing the exact circumstances of his exit from the TNA in 2010. In his speech at the TNPF rally held on August 2nd [xiii] Ponnambalam narrated an event that occurred immediately after the end of the armed conflict which directly contributed to his exit. According to Ponnambalam, on 21st May 2009, a mere 3 days after the end of the brutal war, leaders of the TNA were convened to meet then National Security Adviser of India M.K Narayanan in Colombo. At the meeting, those who were present (R.Sampanthan- Parliamentary group leader, Mavai Senthirajah- ITAK, Suresh Premachandran- EPRLF, Gajen Ponnambalam- ACTC and T. Kanagasabai on behalf of TELO) were told in no uncertain terms that the TNA should now advocate for the full implementation of 13th Amendment to the Constitution and Provincial Councils and that any political solution to the national question should be based on the 13th Amendment. Upon protests by two MPs present, including Ponnambalam, the explanation by Narayanan was that the existence of 13th Amendment to the Constitution (passed after the Indo-Lanka Accord) was essential to maintaining India’s interests and preventing an emerging Chinese foothold in the country. Ponnambalam maintains that it is this meeting and the policy decisions taken afterwards by the TNA and the unjust exchange of 6o years of Tamil sacrifices, death and destruction to uphold a widely rejected and condemned 13th Amendment (in order to toe India’s interests) that led to his departure from the TNA.
It should be noted here that the 13th Amendment to the Constitution and the Provincial Councils were roundly rejected in 1987 by all the armed Tamil movements and Tamil political leaders, including Mr. Sampanthan (as mentioned above). Even an amateur observer of Tamil politics in Sri Lanka would recount the imposition of the Indo- Lanka Accord and the Provincial Councils on the Tamil people and their wholehearted rejection of it.
In the ensuing five years not one of those who were present at the Colombo meeting, including Narayanan, have rejected or questioned Ponnambalam’s claims regarding the outcomes of that meeting. Yet, Jeyaraj again cites ‘anonymous’ sources while peddling the story of Ponnambalam leaving the TNA over Parliamentary seat allocation.
Will Mr. Jeyaraj now question the leaders of the TNA, including his ‘anonymous’ source, regarding the meeting between leaders of the TNA and M. K Narayanan in Colombo and what transpired that day?
TNPF, Northern Provincial Council elections-2013, Presidential elections-2015
Once again, Gajen Ponnambalam is on record repeatedly detailing his stance regarding the party’s statements prior to and during the campaign for the above elections. In July 2013, months before the Provincial Council elections, Ponnamabalam made his party’s stance clear. At a press briefing [xiv] he said that the TNPF would not participate in any process that would endorse or legitimize Provincial Councils, which had been widely rejected by the Tamils, upon their introduction. But, he further clarified, that Tamil civil society actors had pointed out that the Government and their proxy parties would then take advantage of a Tamil boycott, win control of the Northern Provincial Council and then attempt to portray the Provincial Council system as a viable solution to the national question. He further stated that a decision was then taken to not explicitly contest for the elections endorsing the Provincial Council, but to only contest as an independent group to prevent Government proxies from gaining power and portraying the Provincial Councils as the ‘magic bullet’ for the national question. He further reiterated that the TNPF had declared then that it was prepared to support the TNA in its campaign if the TNA would not endorse the Provincial Councils but contest as an independent group to only prevent government proxies from gaining control of the Northern Provincial Council. He explained that since all parties, including the TNA, endorsed the Provincial Council system the TNPF had no option but to boycott the election.
Explaining his party’s call for Tamils in the North and East to boycott the Presidential election of 2015, Ponnambalam, stated that the TNA’s unconditional offer to support regime change while allowing powerful regional and world powers to piggy back on the Tamil issue was a colossal blunder. Failing to realize the geo-political importance of the Tamil people at a momentous and pivotal time in the country’s and, crucially, the Tamil’s political timeline, he said, could prove fatal. The only bargaining chip, he maintained, was that certain conditions put forward by the Tamil leadership would be met by leaders of the ‘Yahapalanaya’ coalition and international actors in exchange for Tamils voting en masse against Mahinda Rajapakse. Again, Ponnambalam was ridiculed for his stance.
Six months after a supposed ‘Sri Lankan Spring’ Ponnambalam’s words regarding an unconditional support for regime change have proven prophetic. The military juggernaut continues unabated in sponsoring and building Buddhist temples in the North and East, even as recently as August 7th [xv]. The Minister for Resettlement from the UNP D.M Swaminathan recently lamented that the Army was not allowing civilians to resettle on private lands that it now occupies [xvi]. Civilian governors appointed to the North and Eastern provinces with much fanfare continue to undermine the elected Chief Ministers of the Provinces and actively participates at military parades and events. The TNA which during the Presidential campaign stated that Tamils could trust the Ranil-Maithri-Chandrika troika now campaigns on a completely opposite platform. At a rally recently, another candidate of the TNA and proprietor of Uthayan, E. Saravanapavan ‘revealed’ that unlike Mahinda Rajapakse who would battle ‘face-to-face’, Ranil Wickremasinghe would “put his arms around you and then push you into a ditch” (these words eerily and not without coincidence echo those of former LTTE ideologue Anton Balasingham who described Wickremasinghe as “a cunning fox”). Why the TNA, which boasts of astute and visionary leadership, failed foresee this eventuality is anyone’s guess. Yet, Wickremasinghe in an interview with Uthayan [xvii] revealed that his government was actually in discussions with the TNA to formulate a response to the UNHRC report expected to be released in September!
It is most astounding how the TNA engaged in discussions with the Ranil Wickremasinghe- led government even after ‘realizing’ his treachery.
Will Mr. Jeyaraj constructively engage with Ponnambalam’s stances on the above and question the TNA’s leadership’s unbelievably preposterous volte- face?
“Two countries, one country”
The writer intends no disrespect, but in arguably the most laughable section of his column Jeyaraj questions the TNPF’s slogan- ‘One Country, Two Nations’ (‘ஒரு நாடு, இரு தேசம்’-‘Oru Naadu, Iru Thesam’) as “hilarious” and “deliberately ambiguous”. The writer, being several decades younger than Mr. Jeyaraj, does not wish to school him on the concepts of nation, nationhood and self- determination but only wishes to say that it is Jeyaraj’s claims that are hilarious and deliberately ambiguous. It is hilarious that after nearly 60 years of usage of the word ‘Nation’ (‘தேசம்’- ‘Thesam’) vis-à-vis Tamil nationalism and probably even more, and after nearly 40 years of D.B.S Jeyaraj writing about Tamil politics, it is only in 2015 that he figures out the supposed Sanskrit-Tamil-English meaning of the word ‘தேசம்’ (‘Thesam’). It is also no coincidence that TNA candidate S. Sritharan, on August 3rd, attempted to ‘dismantle’ the TNPF’s slogan (and call to recognize Tamils as a distinct nation and not a ‘minority’ community), in identical and comical fashion. What is even more hilarious is that Sritharan, on the campaign trail during the Provincial Council election in 2013, campaigned on the basis of ‘One Country, Two Nations’. Addressing a meeting in Mudkomban, Kilinochchi in 2013 [xviii], Sritharan boldly and decisively declares (from min 5:10- 6:11) that Sri Lanka is a country with two nations- the Sinhala nation and the Tamil nation and that the Tamil nation has the right to self- determination! What is also hilarious is that for the past few decades Tamil leaders, including those of the TNA, are on record using the term ‘தேசம்’ (‘Thesam’) to denote a ‘Nation’.
The TNPF’s manifesto [xix] is based on the ‘Thimpu Principles’. In 1985 the Tamil delegation to the peace talks held in Thimpu issued a joint statement on the last day of the peace negotiations. The delegation comprised representatives from all existing Tamil armed movements of that time. The joint statement (popularly known as the ‘Thimpu Principles’) released by the delegation on the final of the talks had overwhelming support of Tamil political parties and all Tamil armed movements, including current leaders of the TNA and were put forward as the basis for any negotiated solution to the national question. When the then government rejected the first statement the Tamil delegation issued another several days later. The ‘Thimpu Principles’ [xx] are reproduced below. The second statement [xxi], issued days later, reiterated the stance of the Tamil delegation.
July 13th, 1985,
“It is our considered view that any meaningful solution to the Tamil national question must be based on the following four cardinal principles:
– recognition of the Tamils of Ceylon as a nation
– recognition of the existence of an identified homeland for the Tamils in Ceylon
– recognition of the right of self determination of the Tamil nation
– recognition of the right to citizenship and the fundamental rights of all Tamils in Ceylon
Different countries have fashioned different systems of governments to ensure these principles. We have demanded and struggled for an independent Tamil state as the answer to this problem arising out of the denial of these basic rights of our people. The proposals put forward by the Sri Lankan government delegation as their solution to this problem is totally unacceptable. Therefore we have rejected them as stated by us in our statement of the 12th of July 1985. However, in view of our earnest desire for peace, we are prepared to give consideration to any set of proposals, in keeping with the above mentioned principles, that the Sri Lankan Government may place before us.”
The writer is of the opinion that Mr. Jeyaraj is well aware of the distinction between ‘Nation’ (‘தேசம்’- ‘Thesam’) and ‘Country’ (‘நாடு’- ‘Naadu’). If indeed Mr. Jeyaraj is genuinely unaware of the distinction between ‘Nation’ (‘தேசம்’- ‘Thesam’) and ‘Country’ (‘நாடு’- ‘Naadu’) it is most unfortunate. It would be even more unfortunate if he is merely being mischievous.
Yet, if his attempt at mischief is given credence then there arises a conflict that Mr. Jeyaraj would want to avoid at any cost. At a press conference convened at the Jaffna Press Club on August 6th 2015, M. A Sumanthiran, former Member of Parliament and TNA candidate in Jaffna claimed [xxii] that the TNA manifesto “would go beyond the Thimpu Principles”.
The writer asks D.B.S Jeyaraj this—if, according to Jeyaraj, ‘தேசம்’ (‘Thesam’) stands for country and if, according to Mr. Sumanthiran, the TNA manifesto goes beyond the ‘Thimpu Principles’ (where ‘தேசம்’-‘Thesam’ is used for ‘Nation’) what would go beyond a country? Will he now ridicule Sumanthiran for “going beyond a country”?
Further, the writer also takes this opportunity to ask this—recently Mr. Sampanthan chided Mr. Ponnambalam as being a ‘separatist’ for advocating distinct nation status for Tamils and advocating a solution based on the ‘Thimpu Principles’ (which he himself had signed in 1987).
If Gajen Ponnambalam’s call is ‘separatist’ and an ‘empty slogan’ how then is Mr. Sumanthiran’s declaration any less so?
It is also most reprehensible that Mr. Jeyaraj would want to even remotely assume that there is stomach and intent within the Tamil community for more violence on the island. This kind of ‘objective’ journalism is malicious, without basis and coincides with the narrative of media organs in the South.
Come what may on August 18th, the TNA is now very clearly and cleverly banking on ‘running with the hare and hunting with hound’. The party hierarchy and allied journalists will claim that this phenomenon is “party democracy” and that “differences of opinion within a coalition is inevitable”, yet this is precisely the TNA’s strategy. Operating from an undisputed pedestal and thus seen us ‘true representatives’ of the Tamil people, the TNA espouses a still undefined ‘Sri Lankan’ identity in the South, while speaking the language of Tamil nationalism and self- determination in the North and East during key electoral moments thereby widening an already deep chasm of distrust between the Sri Lankan State and the Sinhala majority, and the Tamils of the North- East. This deliberate stance of the TNA, with the aid of ‘objective’ media personal in the South, further aids in the silencing of dissenting Tamil views and highlighting of legitimate existential grievances of the Tamils within the Sinhalese. While the writer is of the opinion that the LTTE’s legacy, its role in Tamil nationalism and the Tamil struggle should be firmly, thoroughly and comprehensively addressed and acknowledged, it is the rank hypocrisy and bankruptcy of the TNA that is now driving more and more people towards Gajen Ponnambalam’s TNPF. The TNPF, it should be noted, is on the road to building a more progressive and inclusive political culture in the North and East, with the active participation of women and youth (TNPF’s candidates include a minimum of 2 women candidates in each electoral district, including 3 in Jaffna) and advocacy about global climate change. The TNPF has also held campaigns to highlight increasing violence against women and children in the North-East and a campaign on zero tolerance for violence against women and children. At a time when inclusion of women and their equal access to political participation and preventing violence against women and children is mere talk among the major parties, including the TNA, it is refreshing to see advocacy for more women and youth participation being put into practice by the TNPF.
It is indeed sad to see a journalist losing grace and credibility thus. D.B.S Jeyaraj could well have his opinion on various matters of Sri Lankan politics and Tamil nationalism. He also has every liberty to accommodate visiting Members of Parliament at his abode (it is common knowledge, at least within Tamil circles, who his ‘anonymous’ source is). But to peddle his opinion (and theirs) as ‘factual’ an ‘unbiased’ reporting and to take his unsuspecting readers for a ride is a grave insult. If Mr. Jeyaraj wishes to be taken seriously anymore (and for the sake of “confluence of hearts” in Sri Lanka), it is hoped that Mr. Jeyaraj would, at least in the future, refrain from resting on past laurels, refrain from feeding his readers ‘news’ sensationalised by ‘anonymous’ sources, and give his readers credible and intellectually stimulating opinion pieces.
The writer wishes to remain anonymous for fear of being added by Mr. Jeyaraj to an already burgeoning ‘extremist’ ranks. Further, it is the writer’s hope that by remaining anonymous Mr. Jeyaraj would finally be persuaded to address the issues raised here rather than maligning the messenger.
[i] D.B.S Jeyaraj, “Tiger Diaspora Backs Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam,” Daily Mirror. http://www.dailymirror.lk/82053/tiger-diaspora-backs-gajendrakumar-ponnambalam. (August 7, 2015).
[ii] Sandasen Marasinghe, “Around 68% of election candidates declare assets,” Daily News. http://www.dailynews.lk/?q=local/around-68-election-candidates-declare-assets. (August 7, 2015).
[iii] “I was on the LTTE hit list before Mahinda Rajapakse,” Daily Mirror. http://www.dailymirror.lk/32004/i-was-on-the-ltte-hit-list-before-mahinda-rajapaksa-was-. (August 7, 2015).
[v] “TNA Has No Loyalty Towards LTTE — M. A. Sumanthiran,” Sunday Leader. http://www.thesundayleader.lk/2015/04/19/tna-has-no-loyalty-towards-ltte/. (August 7, 2015).
[vii] “தமிழ் மக்களை அடிமைகளாக்க சிங்களப் பேரினவாதிகள் எத்தணிக்கையில் ஆயுதம் ஏந்தினார் பிரபாகரன் :மாவை,” Uthayan. http://www.onlineuthayan.com/News_More.php?id=539804184306769802#. (August 7, 2015).
[viii] K. Hamsanan, “பிரபாகரன் பெயரை கேட்டதும் அதிர்ந்தது மருதனார்மடம்,” Thinakkural. 26 July 2015, p. 1.
[ix] D.B.S Jeyaraj,” Tamil ‘Extremists’ target Sampanthan and Sumanthiran of the TNA as ‘Traitors’,” Daily Mirror. http://www.dailymirror.lk/65029/tamil-extremists-target-sampanthan-and-sumanthiran-of-the-tna-as-traitors. (August 7, 2015).
[xi] “தேசியப் பட்டியல் வாய்ப்பை மறுத்தார் சசிகலா ரவிராஜ்,” Athavan News. http://athavansrilanka.com/?post_type=post&p=254227. (August 7, 2015).
[xii] “Letter to PM Rajiv Gandhi from TULF on 13th Amendment,” Sangam. http://sangam.org/letter-pm-rajiv-gandhi-tulf-13th-amendment/. (August 7, 2015).
[xiii] “கூட்டமைப்பில் இருந்து நாம் ஏன் வெளியேறினோம்?,” கஜேந்திரகுமார் பொன்னம்பலத்தின் நண்பர்கள். https://www.facebook.com/friendsofgajen/videos/1649450078605981/?pnref=story. (August 7, 2015).
[xv] “Sri Lankan army opens Buddhist temple in North-East,” Tamil Guardian. http://www.tamilguardian.com/article.asp?articleid=15498. (August 8, 2015)
[xvi] “The army in Jaffna are prohibiting the people from resettling,” TamilCNN. http://www.tamilcnn.ca/the-army-in-jaffna-are-prohibiting-the-people-from-resettling-d-m-swaminathan-accused.html. (August 8, 2015).
[xvii] “ஐ.நா அறிக்கைக்கு பதிலளிப்பதற்கு கூட்டமைப்பின் உதவி,” Uthayan. 8 August, 2015, p. 1.
[xx] “Joint statement made by the Tamil Delegation on the concluding day of Phase I of the Thimpu talks on the 13th of July 1985,” TamilNation. http://tamilnation.co/conflictresolution/tamileelam/85thimpu/thimpu10.htm. (August 8, 2015).
[xxi] “Joint response of the Tamil Delegation on the concluding day of Phase II of the Thimpu talks 17 August 1985,” TamilNation. http://www.tamilnation.co/conflictresolution/tamileelam/85thimpu/thimpu18.htm. (August 8, 2015).
[xxii] “தமிழ் தேசிய கூட்டமைப்பின் தேர்தல் விஞ்ஞாபனம் திம்பு கோட்பாட்டையும் மிஞ்சியது,” Global Tamil News. http://www.globaltamilnews.net/GTMNEditorial/tabid/71/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/122692/language/ta-IN/article.aspx. (August 8, 2015).