Thangathurai Statement from the Dock


Nadarajah Thangathurai’s statement from the dock remains a moving political testament of the movement that he had led with simplicity, dignity and clarity. He declared:

“We are not lovers of violence nor victims of mental disorders. We are honest fighters belonging to an organization that is struggling to liberate a people. To those noble souls who keep on prating “terrorism, terrorism” we have something to say.

Did you not get frightened of terrorism when hundreds of Tamils were massacred in cold blood, when racist hate spread like fire in this country of yours? Did terrorism mean nothing to you when Tamil women were raped? When cultural treasures were set on fire? When hundreds and hundreds of Tamil homes were looted?

Why in 1977 alone 400 Tamils lost their lives reddening the sky above with their splattered blood - did you not see any terrorism then? Did your thoughts and feelings become deadened when it concerned Tamil lives and Tamil property or are your minds unable to conceive the very idea of Tamil suffering?..”

And concluded:

“The consequences of the verdict of this Court will not touch us, content as we are that we have done our duty. We will not flinch from embracing death or spending the rest of our lives in jail... All these are merely commonplace incidents in the history of a nation’s struggle for freedom. We were fully conscious of what we were doing. Hence there is no question of disappointment... The seeds we sowed were not seeds of poison, our arrow heads were not dipped in venom.. These tribulations are a boon bestowed by God to purify us. The final victory is ours. Long Live Tamil Eelam!’’...

All six accused were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment on 24 February 1983.

In July 1983, whilst their appeal to the Supreme Court was pending, Nadarajah Thangathurai, Selvarajah Yogachandran, Devan, Sivapatham, and Nadesudasan were murdered in a high security prison in Welikade whilst in the custody of the Sri Lankan government. They will always be remembered as national heroes by the people of Tamil Eelam.