under the Tigers
has been a good deal said already on the issue of the LTTE court houses.
Even as Minister G. L. Peiris was saying that the LTTE had given its
word that no more courts will be established, the LTTE ceremonially
declared open its second court in the East. So much for what the LTTE
pledges in Oslo, and what the organisation eventually does on the
fact that this newspaper was singled out for an outburst by no less
a person than the Prime Minister of this country, followed by a
totally guileless attack via TV, we are happy that the issue of
the Eelam law-courts has indeed been taken up with the LTTE during
the ongoing negotiations.
For one thing,
we cannot accept the position that the ongoing talks are strictly
between the GOSL (Government of Sri Lanka) and the LTTE, with Norway,
while everybody else is supposed to lump it. The Government position
has been based on two arguments, that these LTTE courts have existed
for the past ten years (albeit unbeknownst to us) and that these
courts function in the LTTE controlled (uncleared) areas.
The moot point
is whether the government is happy with the existence of LTTE -
run Eelam courthouses in any part of Sri Lanka.
Is the government
- and we daresay the concerned international community - happy with
a legal system whose source of law is unknown, whose procedures
are unknown, and, as we understand it, whose final appeal lies at
the 'fountainhead of justice of the Eelam legal system', in the
person of the leader of the LTTE organisation, an organisation still
scratching its collective head these days pondering whether to renounce
violence, or not.
to show that these courts of law are in existence for the last ten
years is a smokescreen for what is after all just the starter, a
smorgasbord, which is a Norwegian hors d'ouevres in the gigantic
foodfest to follow in the form first of a federal state and then,
possibly a sovereign state, in the North and the East?
The Chief Justice
(of Sri Lanka) has gone on record saying that the very essence of
governance and the concept of the State is embodied in a unified
judiciary. But if the Government in Colombo is to otherwise accept
these Eelam courts then they must accept the Eelam Chief Justice
This is the
worrying part. Not whether these Eelam Courts are ten years old
or ten days old or whether they are in un-cleared areas, but whether
when they send 'summons' and try people living even in Government
controlled areas, are they not by creating a parallel judicial system
and a parallel Government, merely creating the ground-work for a
This is what
the LTTE keeps saying is 'self rule' and internal self- determination.
This is what has to be inferred from the latest Norwegian statement
at the conclusion of the Oslo talks which is that the parties agreed
to "explore a solution founded on the principle of internal
self-determination in areas of historical habitation of the Tamil
speaking peoples, based on a Federal structure within a united Sri
In other words
a Tamil homeland, with self-rule, commandeered by the LTTE.
chief negotiator Anton Balasingham says that LTTE courts are necessary
to prevent anarchy in the areas where their cadres exist, but these
courts proceed to 'prosecute' a woman selling moonshine while the
LTTE itself simultaneously deftly unleashes anarchy in the Delft.
What a joke.
As the University
Teachers of Jaffna states in its latest document, this is akin to
the quasi-judicial contortions practised in Hitler's Third Reich
which transformed Germany into a dictatorship. The problem was where
to draw the line. By the time the lines could be clearly drawn,
the course of events had made it a fait accompli.
That is why
we say, these Eelam courts and a separate legal system together
with its own police and banking systems, are but the ingredients
to clear the pitch for a separate State.