Professor P. Ramasamy of the Democratic Action Party of Malaysia is a Deputy Chief Minister of thePenang state of Malaysia since March 2008. He participated as a member of the LTTE’s ConstitutionalAffairs Committee, prior to Geneva Talks in June 2006. He also served as advisor for Free AcehMovement during the Helsinki Peace Talks, 2006.Full text of the interview of Prof. Ramasamy to TamilNet follows:
TamilNet: The Tokyo Co-Chairs and other international actors have been asking the LTTE to laydown arms, end armed resistance and enter Sri Lankan politics, arguing that their concern to thecatastrophic end to the war can only be on humanitarian grounds. What do you think are thereasons that limit them to base their stance solely on 'humanitarian' concerns and how does itaffect the ongoing war?
Prof. P. RamasamyDr. Ramasamy: The Tokyo-Co-chairs and other international actors have been duped in supporting thewar aims of the Sri Lankan government, having fallen into the trap of labelling the LTTE as terrorists,these actors have found they have little or no space to manoeuvre to a fast changing internationalsituation. Although they are mindful of the ground support for the LTTE both in Sri Lanka andelsewhere, they are unable to move beyond the present straitjacket of wanting to sideline the LTTE.Knowing very well that the humanitarian situation in Sri Lanka has been deplorable for a number of years, the Tokyo-Co-Chairs have emerged as humanitarian champions overnight.
TamilNet: Some among the International Community seem to think that LTTE has not beenflexible enough in negotiations with Colombo. As an expert who contributed in the politicalaffairs committee of the Tamil side during the last negotiations, how do you view the 'flexibility'of both the sides? If you think that LTTE has shown enough flexibility, then what do you think isthe reason for some members attempting to blame the LTTE for not being flexible enough?
Dr. Ramasamy: Flexibility has to emerge from the two opposing sides during conflict. While theinternational community expects flexibility from the LTTE, however, such a request is not made on thegovernment of Sri Lanka. Furthermore, the international community seems to think that the problem ismainly with the LTTE, while the GOSL is allowed to pursue its war efforts recklessly resulting in ahumanitarian disaster among innocent Tamils. The LTTE is expression of Tamil discontent of the SriLankan government and the way the latter has dealt with the Tamil national question. The LTTE is blamed for various reasons. This mainly refers to LTTE's consistent position in defending andarticulating the Tamil position in Sri Lanka. The refusal of the LTTE to compromise on Tamil dignityhas earned it the anger of India and other countries.
TamilNet: You served also as an advisor for Free Aceh Movement during the Helsinki PeaceTalks 2006. How do you compare the engagement of the International Community incontributing to sustainable and conducive atmosphere during the negotiations? What wentwrong in the conflict in Sri Lanka?
Dr. Ramasamy: In so far as the conflict in Aceh was concerned, the international community was muchneutral in providing the political circumstances for peace to be achieved. The neutrality and objectivityof the international community was one of the main reasons as to why peace was able to be achieved inIndonesia. However, in the Sri Lankan conflict, the international took a biased stand and its refusal toaccord recognition to the LTTE as the sole representation of the Tamil people has blocked attemptstowards a peaceful solution. What is more, in the process of the war, the international took side with the