Ilankai Tamil Sangam

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Feb 4, 1948: The Black Day Thamils Lost Their Freedom

by Tamil Canadian Writers Association, February 2, 2008

The recent de-merger of the Northeast and the demarcation of Trincomalee district as a separate unit to be administered direct from Colombo are covert moves to complete the process of Sinhalization of the Northeast and to nullify Thamils of the concept of homeland.  

Thamils  in the Northeast continue to be oppressed under the jackboot of an occupation army. Aerial bombing, artillery shelling, abductions, assassinations, involuntary disappearances, arrests, cordon and search operations are taking place routinely.

Press release

February 4th is again a grim reminder to the Thamils that they lost their political freedom on this Black Day 60 years ago. It is the day Sinhala hegemonic rule was imposed on the unsuspecting Thamils by ungrateful Sinhalese leaders.  

The hopes of the Thamil people that they would be treated on equal terms within a multi-ethnic, multi-linguistic, multi-religious and multi-cultural polity - in which they will find the political space to live in freedom and dignity - have been rudely shattered. Over the years, Thamils have been brutally reduced to the status of third class citizens by being deprived of their basic human rights. A million Hill country Thamils lost their citizenship and franchise rights in 1948/49.

Through systematic state-sponsored Sinhalese colonization of our traditional Thamil homeland, the demographic composition of the Northeast has been drastically altered in favour of the Sinhalese.  This process has been accelerated now as never before. The recent de-merger of the Northeast and the demarcation of Trincomalee district as a separate unit to be administered direct from Colombo are covert moves to complete the process of Sinhalization of the Northeast and to nullify Thamils of the concept of homeland.  

Thamils  in the Northeast continue to be oppressed under the jackboot of an occupation army. Aerial bombing, artillery shelling, abductions, assassinations, involuntary disappearances, arrests, cordon and search operations are taking place routinely.

On January 16, 2008 the 6 year- old CFA signed between the LTTE and the GOSL was unceremoniously buried by President Mahinda Rajapakse in keeping with his pan Sinhala - Buddhist “Mahinda Chinthanaya.”   The unilateral abrogation of the CFA has shut the door for peace and escalated the ethnic war.

Since his assumption of power, Mahinda Rajapakse is working to an extremist military agenda formulated by the JVP and hawks in the defence establishment for their own political survival.  After “liberating” the East, Rajapakse  has now promised to liberate the North soon. 

Jaffna peninsula is an open prison for Thamils now.  The more than 60,000 strong Sinhala army has imposed military rule over 350,000 Thamils.  On an average 5 civilians are killed daily by the Sinhala army and the Para-military squads operating along with it.

The Sinhala armed forces have mounted attacks from several fronts to capture Vanni before the year is out.  Aerial bombardment and artillery shelling have escalated causing loss of lives and destruction of property.  Several thousand families have been displaced.

More than 150, 000 Thamils displaced in the East during army military operations are still waiting re-settlement.  Thamil families in Sampur and adjoining villages have been driven out permanently from their homes to create High Security Zones.

The Government of Sri Lanka uses - or rather misuses - a myriad of draconian laws in its armory to harass, bully and incarcerate Thamils merely on grounds of ethnicity. The price the nation is paying at the altar of political expedience, ethnic fanaticism, and religious and language frenzy is colossal. 

Unfortunately, the international community including Canada, apart from issuing pious press releases is in practical terms remaining dumb, deaf and blind to the attack on the rule of law and the  threat to media freedom.  

Mahinda Rajapakse has left no one in doubt in regard to his intention to seek a military solution to the ethnic conflict while occasionally mouthing peace to hoodwink others! The escalation of  defence expenditure is  clear confirmation of an all out war against Thamils.  Thamil people should be under no illusion that Rajapakse’s regime is hell-bent to impose Sinhala hegemony over them. 

Mahinda Rajapakse, to fool the international community, wants to implement the 13th Amendment enacted in 1987, which has been rejected by the Thamil people.

On this Black Day, Thamils should firmly resolve to  help create the state of Thamil Eelam in which our people will live in freedom, liberty and security. 

"The cost of freedom is always high, but our people always paid it. One path we shall never choose, is the path of surrender, or submission."
(John F Kennedy (35th US President)

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