Kangaroo-courts under the Tigers
There 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 ground.

Despite 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.

The attempt 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 as well.

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 parallel state?

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 Lanka".

In other words a Tamil homeland, with self-rule, commandeered by the LTTE.

The LTTE's 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.

No. 8, Hunupitiya Cross Road, Colombo 2. P.O. Box: 1136, Colombo.
Editor - steditor@wijeya.lk , News - stnews@wijeya.lk Features - stfeat@wijeya.lk
Business - btimes@wijeya.lk Subs - suntimes@wijeya.lk,
Funday Times - funtimes@wijeya.lk
EDITORIAL OFFICE Tel: 326247, 328889, 433272-3. Fax: 423922, 423258
ADVERTISING OFFICE Advertising - advt@wijeya.lk , Fax: 423921
CIRCULATION DEPARTMENT No. 10, Hunupitiya Cross Road, Colombo 2.
Tel: 435454, 448322, 074 714252. Fax: 459725

Back to Top  Back to Columns  Back to Index

Copyright © 2001 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd. All rights reserved.