Ilankai Tamil Sangam

Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

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Tamil Rights Unique

by Vijay Lazarus

I would like to draw your attention regarding comparing our Tamils' right for self determination with that of the Palestinians and other groups.

We Tamils have history, archeology and ancient literature to support our existence as an independent country in the past.  However, in history you can never find a "Palestinian" King or Queen or an independent Palestinian nation.  In fact, Jews have just as solid a history to justify their self-determination in that land.  The Bible is one of the evidences.  ( Just like the Mahavamsa, some people do not believe that the Bible can be taken as historical fact, but rather as myth that may or may not have some historical basis. These myths have an important role to play in our ethical and cultural being in the contemporary world, but if used as justification for 'God's will' can lead to injustice. -- Editor)  Even during the time of Jesus Christ we can never spot the existence of "Palestinian" people.  During the British mandate even the Jews were called "Palestinians," only "administrative boundaries" existed, but never an independent Palestinian country and the Jewish newspaper Jerusalem Post was then known as Palestinian Post.

Also our Tamil National Leader Hon. V. Pirabaharan recognizes the existence of a Sinhala country and his aim is not to wipe out the Sinhala state.  However, the Palestine leadership's aim is to wipe out Israel and they do not believe in the existence of Israel. 

Jews suffered holocaust and centuries of persecution like we Tamils suffering in various parts of the world.  There are even 3 Tamil words (for Peacock feather, monkey and ivory) in Hebrew (which is source language of Old Testament) Bible proving that trade relationship existed between Israel and Tamil lands during the reign of King Solomon.

Once a Palestinian woman was selected as "Miss Israel" and we could never see a Jewish woman living in an Arab country selected as "Miss <Any Arab> country!  Moreover Palestinians living inside Israel have more rights (especially women) than their brothers and sisters in other Arab coutries.  [The question, however, is do Palestinian Israelis have the same rights as Jewish Israelis, just like the question in our part of the world is "Do Tamils have the same rights as Sinhalese?" -- Editor]

Tamil Eelam is a secular nation and the national leader Hon. V. Pirabaharan is a secular person - common to Hindus, Christians and Muslims.  There is no separate religion for Tamils and our language is the primary thing that unites all of us.  Palestinian, Kashmiri, Punjab's Khalistani, Chechen independence, etc. are based on religion.  Even though the majority of Tamils are Hindu, we can find a lot of Christian fighters and even area commanders serving (or served in the past) in the LTTE military!

Palestinians receive billions of dollars in aid from various countries, but no country in the world gives aid officially to the LTTE or our Eelam people.

Regarding Israel supplying arms and Kfir planes to Sri Lanka - I do not think it should be taken personally nor it is and act of Israel to kill Tamil people.  Even the Muslim nation of Pakistan supplies arms to Sri Lanka.

Jews have contributed a lot of things to Science, Engineering, Technology and Medicine which is disproportionate to their population and the amount of persecution endured through out the centuries.

I 100% percent admire the great fighters of LTTE and recognize their right for self-determination.

My intention is to highlight the uniqueness of our struggle which cannot be compared with other struggles.