Ilankai Tamil Sangam

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Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

Regaining Sovereignty for Tamil People

by International Federation of Tamils, February 4, 2008

The Tamil people are aware of the changing nature of the strategic importance of the island and the concerns of the global and regional powers. And they strongly believe that the past ’60-year’ history of the island proves that only two free nations can live with peace, and not an oppressive state and oppressed people.

International Federation of Tamils
18 Rue des Paquis,1201 Geneva, Switzerland
tel/Fax 00 41 22 7320 831 ift@bluewin.ch
4th of Feb.08

Sri Lanka: 60 years Thence –
Regaining Sovereignty is the Option for Tamil People


60 years of post-British colonial rule in Sri Lanka proves that two free nations – not an oppressive state and an oppressed people - can live in peace

IFT International Federation of Tamils logo Sixty years ago, was the day the last European colonial ruler left the Island of Sri Lanka and handed over state power to the alien Sinhala ruler. This is the day that symbolizes the Tamil nation’ s loss of sovereignty to its new rulers - the alien Sinhala state.

The Sinhala hegemonic projects began with the disenfranchisement of almost a million Tamils in 1948. A policy of settling Sinhala settlers in the Tamil homeland to change the demography in order to consolidate the Sinhala state structure was introduced. In 1956, the Tamil people found themselves deprived of their language rights and of educational and employment opportunities. The Sinhala State’s armed forces were deployed in the Tamil Homeland, resulting in the
massacre and maiming of over 100 000 Tamil people. Over a million Tamils people were driven out of their homes, villages and towns as refugees. Further, 500 000 IDPs have been forced to live in precarious conditions in the North-East of the Island. In these 60 years, violence and other forms of structural oppression reached the level of systematic genocidal pogramme against the Tamil people.

In these historical conditions, the Tamil leadership struggled with the oppressive Sinhala state to protect the political, economic, cultural and social rights of the people.

In the 1977 general elections, the Tamil people democratically decided to regain their lost sovereignty from the Sinhala state. All the Tamil political forces united under “Vaddukotai Declaration” which proclaimed the age-old sovereignty of the Tamileelam state. A freed Tamil Eelam became the goal of the Tamil people to live and prosper with dignity and in peace.

It is important to remember that the British colonial rulers of the island annulled the Tamil territorial identity, which even the previous colonialists had respected for three centuries, and united it with the Sinhala state. This sowed the seeds of the current conflict. Now, the Tamil people and their national liberation movement, the LTTE, reverse the situation and re-building a state in the Tamil homeland.

The Tamil liberation struggle under the leadership of the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) had by the beginning of the 21st century succeeded in liberating a large proportion of the Tamil homeland and established a de facto state. The Sinhala Government, forced to acknowledge this reality, entered into a Cease-Fire
Agreement in 2002.

The Tamil people are aware of the changing nature of the strategic importance of the island and the concerns of the global and regional powers. And they strongly believe that the past ’60-year’ history of the island proves that only two free nations can live with peace, and not an oppressive state and oppressed people.

On this day of the 60th anniversary, the Tamil people in the homeland and in the Diaspora urge the international community to recognize the Tamil struggle for regaining sovereignty.

For further contacts
ift@bluewin.ch

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