Translation of some of the speech by Tamil Guardian, London at http://www.tamilguardian.com/article.asp?articleid=9348
Speaking in Parliament today, TNA MP, Sivagnanam Sritharan, outlined that the majority of the Tamil people in the North-East had voted for the TNA to support the ideals of the LTTE leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran.
Sritharan further reiterated that the Tamil people had a right to commemorate the Tamil cadres that lost their lives in the ethnic conflict.
Asserting that the Tamil people had a right to commemorate the Tamil cadres that lost their lives in the ethnic conflict, Mr Sritharan said, “tomorrow, each Tamil, will think of the Maaveerar from morning till dusk.”
“Each Tamil has the right to honour them and lay a flower for them. How just is it to prevent this right?” questioned Mr Sritharan, adding, “Maaveerar Naal is an auspicious day for the Tamils… a day when those that sacrificed their lives for the liberation of Tamils are remembered… Repressing or prohibiting this auspicious day for the Tamils, will only increase the scars in the minds of Tamils.“
“Tamils do not deny that Tamil national leader Prabhakaran is still revered, but the Sri Lankan state depicts him as a terrorist. In truth, Tamil people see him as the greatest leader in history, who awoke the previously dormant defiance of the Tamils… they see him as a symbol of the irrepressible struggle against the subjugation of our race,”
“The Tamil people have the right to honour anyone who has fought for their freedom,”
“The Sri Lankan government continues on its path of crushing oppression. If our people had any faith in the government to solve their problems, that faith is disappearing.”
Amidst strong opposition in parliament, he went on to highlight the needs of the people, and condemned what he described as the on-going “structural genocide” against the Tamils in the North-East.
Mr Sritharan said,
“Today the people of the North have been displaced, and they have to be given the environment in which they could live in peace and harmony. Even though we asked the government for funds to develop the North, the people voted for us to live with self-respect. Now, we see that the government is getting aid to suppress the rights of Tamils.”