Tamils for Obama Poll: What Now for the Tamils? Transitional Government?

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Tamils for Obama, an organization of politically active Tamils in the U.S., will conduct a poll from October 14, 2009 to November 4. The poll is titled "What now for the Tamils? Transitional Government?" The poll asks Tamils how to prepare for an eventual Tamil government in their homeland in northeastern Sri Lanka. The poll includes a text defining the terms "government in exile" and "transitional (or provisional) government."

Tamils for Obama is conducting a poll, starting today, which asks diaspora Tamils how they should go about preparing a government for the eventual independent Tamil homeland in northeastern Sri Lanka.

The poll can be taken in Tamil or English.

To take the poll go to: http://www.tamilsforobama.com/poll3/What_now_for_the_Tamils.html

The poll includes a text explaining the terms "Government in Exile" and "Transitional Government." A Tamils for Obama spokesman explained that these terms are frequently misused and misunderstood, and so it was important to define the terms and show how they applied to the Tamils' situation.

The explanatory text reads:

"A Transitional Government (also called a Provisional Government) usually indicates a short-term government that prepares a country for a new government after the old regime has ended. Two examples are the Transitional Government of Russia after the fall of the Tsarist regime in 1917 and Eritrea's Transitional Government which established a new permanent government after Eretria's successful insurgency ended Ethiopian rule in 1993. Transitional Governments exist within the country.

"A Government in Exile represents a government that has been deposed by invasion or revolution and exists outside of its homeland. An example is the Government in Exile of Poland, where the last legitimate government was destroyed by the invasion of Germany and Russia in 1939 and then displaced by the Russian-installed communist government which held power until 1990. The Polish Government in Exile considered that its main purpose was to preserve legitimacy which it could convey to the next legitimate Polish government, which it did. A Government in Exile requires a host country: The Polish Government in Exile existed in the U.K. until 1990.

"Tamils are like the Eritreans because we were ruled by an oppressive government against which we rebelled. We are unlike the Eritreans because we do not now control our homeland. We are like the Polish Government in Exile from 1939 to 1990 because we want to establish legitimacy for a Tamil democratic government which we hope will be formed in the near or distant future."

The Tamils for Obama spokesman said that the poll's questions are clear and simple, requiring only direct answers.

The questions include:

1.    Should the Tamil diaspora create a government for the Tamil homeland, even though we don't currently control our homeland?

2.    If Tamils form a government for the Tamil homeland, should we consider this a Transitional Government or a Government in Exile?

3.    If we create a Tamil Transitional Government, should we try to have a world-wide and stateless transitional government, not located in any particular country, since it could not currently meet in the Tamil homeland?

4.    If we create a Transitional Government or Government in Exile located in a particular country, where should it be?

5.    Should we Tamils pressure other countries (like the U.S. or the U.K.) to bring war crimes charges against the Sri Lankan government and armed forces in international courts (like the International Court of Justice in the Hague)?

6.    Do you think the international community can change Sri Lanka's behavior toward the Tamils?

7.    What should be the Tamils ultimate goal? (Four choices, from an independent Tamil state--Eelam--to permanent acceptance of rule by national government in Colombo, are given.)

The Tamils for Obama spokesman said the poll will be conducted from October 12, 2009 to November 2. The results will be published shortly thereafter.

To read the press release in Tamil go to: http://www.Tamilsforobama.com/pressrelease/poll3_press_release_Tamil.html

Tamils are an ethnic group living mainly in the northeast of Sri Lanka and southern India. During the final weeks of the recent civil war, the Sri Lankan government killed about 1,000 Tamil civilians per day, according to the United Nations, and about 30,000 in 2009.

Tamils are a minority population in Sri Lanka, and have borne the brunt of a civil war they regard as genocide. One-third of the Tamil population has fled the island and formed a substantial diaspora overseas. Tamils for Obama is comprised of Tamils who have settled in the U.S. or who were born in the U.S.

To contact the group, call at (617) 765- 4394 and speak to, or leave a message for, the Communication Director, Tamils for Obama.



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