Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam

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Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam
நாடு கடந்த தமிழீழ அரசு
TGTE Logo.jpg
The official Seal of the Government
Location Tamil Eelam territorial claim.png
Area which the War happened.Before 2010.
Formation 17 May 2010
Purpose The creation of an independent state called Tamil Eelam
Official language
Prime minister
Visvanathan Rudrakumaran
Main organ
Transnational Constituent Assembly of Tamil Eelam

The Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) is a government in exile among the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora which aims to keep alive the idea of Tamil Eelam, a state which TGTE aspires to create in the north and east provinces of Sri Lanka.[1]

The TGTE has been called a "ploy to perpetuate terrorism" by the Government of Sri Lanka,[2] which itself is under international pressure for alleged war crime probes,[3] in addition to facing accusations, by rights activists, of orchestrating human rights violations, terrorism, organized crimes, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing and, above all, genocide.[citation needed] For its part, the TGTE has maintained that it is a democratic organization, and intends to use soft power and not military power to its end.[4] The exact words found in TGTE constitution are : "Whereas the TGTE has guided us towards a democratic system of government, in order to establish an independent state of Tamil Eelam based on the principles of peace, non-violence, tolerance, pluralism, transparency and accountability".[5]

Formed following the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and the end of the Sri Lankan Civil War, the TGTE is based internationally, including in Canada, the United Kingdom, Norway and the United States. Its Prime Minister is Visvanathan Rudrakumaran, the former international legal advisor to the LTTE.[6][7][8] Global elections were amongst Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora communities in May 2010 to elect members to the first Transnational Constituent Assembly of Tamil Eelam, the first step towards the formation of the PTGTE.[citation needed]


Policies adopted by the majority Sinhalese government of Sri Lanka following independence from Britain in 1948 resulted in the growth of Sri Lankan Tamil nationalism, along with an appeal for Tamil autonomy.[9] Political parties were formed to petition for these goals, with Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), the main political party representing the Tamils, calling for "an independent sovereign, secular, socialist State of Tamil Eelam" in its 1977 election manifesto. This was endorsed the Tamil people who voted overwhelmingly for the TULF[citation needed]. However, the failure of the Tamil political parties to achieve autonomy resulted in some Tamils forming militant groups such as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (Tamil Tigers). By 1983, full scale civil war had broken out between the Tamil Tigers and the Sri Lankan government. Over the next three decades the Sri Lankan civil war became increasingly violent. The civil war came to an end in May 2009 when the Sri Lankan military defeated the Tamil Tigers.[10]

After the end of the war the UN urged the Sri Lankan government to address "the legitimate concerns and aspirations of the Tamil people".[11] This was echoed by the EU, United States, India and other countries.[12][13][14] In March 2010 the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), the successor to the TULF, dropped its demands for an independent Tamil Eelam but continues to demand greater autonomy through federalism.[15]


After the end of the civil war the concept of a Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam was proposed as a non-violent political mechanism to fulfil the aspirations of many Tamils living abroad and in Sri Lanka.[5] Initially it was Selvarasa Pathmanathan, who had become leader of the Tamil Tigers after Velupillai Prabhakaran had been killed by the Sri Lankan Army, who proposed that a government in exile be established.

Advisory Committee[edit]

In June 2009 an Advisory Committee on the Formation of a Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam was established "to explore the modalities for the establishment of a Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam, and to recommend the objectives that should be achieved by such a Transnational Government".

The advisory committee consisted of many experts from different countries.

  • Muthucumaraswamy Sornarajah,[16] Ph.D./LL.D. (University of London, UK)
  • Francis Boyle,[17] Ph.D./J.D. (Harvard University, USA), Professor of International Law, USA
  • Prof.Ramasamy Palanisamy, (Malaysia)
  • Prof. A.J.C Chandrakanthan, (Canada)
  • Nadarajah Sriskandarajah, Ph.D. (University of Sydney, Australia), Professor of Environmental Communication, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden
  • Murugar Gunasingham, Ph.D.
  • Dr.Sivanendran Seevanayagam (AUS)
  • A.L. Vasanthakumar Ph.D. (UK)
  • Karen Parker, Ph.D. Humanitarian Lawyer (USA)
  • Nagalingam Jeyalingam, M.D. (USA)
  • Selva Sivarajah
  • Paul Williams
  • Peter Schalk,[18] Ph.D. Lund University (Religion) / University Gothenburg (Indology), Professor of History of Religion, Uppsala University, Sweden

The advisory committee published its final report in March 2010.

Transnational Constituent Assembly of Tamil Eelam[edit]

One of the main recommendations of the advisory committee was that a Transnational Constituent Assembly of Tamil Eelam be formed consisting of 135 members. Of these, 115 would be elected and the remaining 20 shall consist of delegates selected by the elected assembly to represent regions where elections aren't feasible.

The distribution of the 115 elected representatives is: Australia 10; Benelux 3; Canada 25; Denmark 3; Finland 1; France 10; Germany 10; Ireland 1; Italy 3; New Zealand 2; Norway 3; South Africa 3; Sweden 1; Switzerland 10; UK 20; and USA 10.

The distribution of the 20 appointed delegates is: Caribbean & South America 1; India 5; Malaysia 3; Mauritius 1; Middle East 2; Oceania 1; Rest of Africa 1; Rest of Asia 1; Rest of Europe 1; Singapore 2; and South Africa 2.

Working groups were established in countries with significant diaspora communities to organise elections. Elections were held in May 2010 and the following were elected:

  • Australia - Janani Balachandran; Dominic Savio Santhiapillai; Eliyathamby Selvanathan; Thuraisingam Shanmugananthakumar;Kanagenthiram Manickavasagar and Apiramy Visuvanathan.
  • Canada - Joe Antony; Pon Balarajan; M. K. Eelaventhan; Sivasothy Jeyamathy; Nagendra Katpana; Suren Mahendran; Mokanasingham Markandu; Bhuvan-Endra Nadarajah; Niruthan Nagalingam; Maharajah Nanthakumar; Tharani Prapaharan; Muthukumarasamy Ratna; Sam Sangarasivam; Iyampillai Shanmuganathan; Ram Sivalingam; Luxan Sivapragasapillai; Sothinathan Sumughan; Kanthiah Theiventhiran; Waran Vaithilingam.
  • Denmark -
  • France - Subashini Kuruparanathan; Balachandran Nagalingam; Sasikumar Saravanamuththu; and Krishanth Tharmendran.
  • Germany - Rajaratnam Jeyachandran; Nadarajah Rajendrâ; Anather Poopathy Balavadivetkaren.
  • New Zealand - K. S. Naguleswaran and Theva Rajan.
  • Norway -
  • Switzerland - Thayananth Alvaipillai; Baskaralingam Mahalingam; Suginthan Murugiah; Suganya Puthirasigamani; Mahenthirampillai Sellathurai; Jeyam Selvarajah; Rajinithevi Sinnathamby; Balan Sivapatham; Srisajeetha Sivarajah; and Suntharalingam Virakathi.
  • United Kingdom - Arththy Arumugam;Shanmuganathan Kaviraj; Nicholas Manoranjan; Deluxon Morris; Balambihai Murugadas; Janarthanan Pulenthiran;Manivannan Pathmanabhan; Nimalan Seevaratnam; Sokalingam Yogalingam and Selvarajah Sellathurai.
  • United States of America - Alex Doss; Gerard Francis; Jeyaprakash Jeyalingam; Prabharan Ponnuthurai; Visvanathan Rudrakumaran; Siva Sangary; Ranjan Selva; Shan Sundaram; Suba Suntharalingam; and Thave Thavendrarajah.

The inaugural assembly met between 17 May 2010 and 19 May 2010 at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, USA.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Lanka asks European countries not to support LTTE remnants". Hindustan Times. 15 May 2010. 
  2. ^ "Transnational Eelam Govt ploy to perpetuate terrorism". The Nation, Sri Lanka. 16 May 2010. 
  3. ^ Sri Lanka war probe `lacks credibility'
  4. ^ TGTE 'Mission Statement'
  5. ^ a b TGTE 'Constitution'
  6. ^ "'We Will Become A Power Centre' - Rudrakumaran". Tehelka. 8 August 2009. Retrieved 8 April 2012. 
  7. ^ Haviland, Charles (15 September 2009). "Tamil exiles to form 'government'". BBC News. 
  8. ^ "Tamils proposed "Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE)"". 20 September 2009. 
  9. ^ "Sri Lanka country profile". BBC News. 5 May 2010. 
  10. ^ "Up to 100,000 killed in Sri Lanka's civil war: UN". ABC Australia. 20 May 2009. 
  11. ^ "Geneva, 19 May 2009 - Joint Press Conference held by UN Secretary-General and World Health Organization Director-General, Margaret Chan". United Nations. 19 May 2009. 
  12. ^ "Summary: 18 May 2009, Brussels - Council of the European Union, 2942nd GENERAL AFFAIRS Council meeting, Conclusions on Sri Lanka". European Union. 18 May 2009. 
  13. ^ "Daily Press Briefing May 18, 2009". United States Department of State. 18 May 2009. 
  14. ^ "Statement by the Official Spokesperson on Sri Lanka". Ministry of External Affairs (India). 18 May 2009. 
  15. ^ Burke, Jason (14 March 2010). "Sri Lankan Tamils drop demand for separate independent homeland". London: The Guardian, UK. 
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^

External links[edit]