Ilankai Tamil Sangam

Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

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The Tamil Homeland is No Longer 'Mythical'

by Dharakan, Brisbane, Australia,, June 7, 2006

Our need to preserve our Tamil Homeland is only one facet of the freedom fight.  The freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of language, and freedom of education and employment are among the avowed objects for which the Tamils are waging war in Sri Lanka.   It would be folly to separate our "homeland" from the freedom fight of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka . 

On 2 June 2006, Mr. Richard Boucher,  US Assistant  Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs,  for the first time, used the term 'Tamil homeland' addressing the legitimate demands and aspirations of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka. 

The top US official said "there are legitimate issues that are raised by the Tamil community and they have a very legitimate desire, as anybody would, to be able to control their own lives, to rule their own destinies and to govern themselves in their homeland; in the areas they've traditionally inhabited …"

Thank you, Mr. Boucher.  

In recognizing that now is the first time that the United States of America openly expressed support for the "Tamil Homeland," the Tamils and LTTE should take this as a window of opportunity to "burn down the bridges behind" and build a renewed relationship with USA. We must lobby and inform them that the "freedom fight by the Tamils" is not separable from the their "homeland" and their freedom fight is justifiable.  

Our "freedom" and our "homeland" are being separated, tested, and retested by the European Union, the USA, Britain, Canada and Australia.   However, the time has come to declare that the peace offer from Sri Lanka is "mythical and romantic" and thus to make the rest of the world realise that Tamils have been pushed to take up arms only as a last resort to regain their freedom. 

Our need to preserve our Tamil Homeland is only one facet of the freedom fight.  The freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of language, and freedom of education and employment are among the avowed objects for which the Tamils are waging war in Sri Lanka.   It would be folly to separate our "homeland" from the freedom fight of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka. 

The Sinhala government is attempting to re-write the history of Sri Lanka by claiming that there was never a Tamil Homeland in existence in ancient Sri Lanka. Tamils do not need historical and archaeological evidence and counter arguments to prove and justify their fight for their homeland and freedom.   Nevertheless, the current situation clearly supports the fact that the Tamils and Sinhalese communities in Sri Lanka cannot live and work with peace and harmony within the unitary government anymore.  

For long years, the Sinhalese people in Sri Lanka were not given an opportunity to understand the plight of the Tamil people by their "musical chair" governments.    Two major Sinhala political parties rotated the government one after another by playing the "racism card" to gain political power at the expense of the fundamental rights of the Tamil people.  

The Sinhalese did not understand and appreciate the grievances of the Tamil people and the demand for protecting their traditional "Tamil Homeland."  Tamils have suffered too long and too hard to reverse their fight for freedom by the futile "peace talks" engineered by the Sri Lankan government and executed by the international community.   In this manner, the international community has totally failed to recognise the barren-ness of the peace proposal by the Sri Lankan government.  Instead, the international community taken blind and bias actions against the Tamils.

In 1976 the leading Tamil parties, including the Federal Party of S.J. V. Chelvanayagam, the Tamil Congress of G.G. Ponnambalam and Mr Thondaman's Ceylon Workers Congress representing plantation Tamils, and Prof. Sunderalingam, a prominent Tamil nationalist, combined to form the TULF (Tamil United Liberation Front). In that year (1976) was adopted the "Vadukoddai Resolution" which put forward an Independent State of Tamil Eelam as being the best and the lasting solution to the rights of the Tamils and Tamil homeland.  

The Tamils fight the "popular people's choice" for their independence and freedom with dignity.  The strategy had both violent and non-violent options to gain the freedom of the Tamil people and Tamil homeland.   Therefore, it was a planned struggle by the Tamil people to fight for their freedom by any means – including the use of "violence" if it is faced with violence or through peace and negotiations if faced with similar.   Certainly, peace and negotiations have failed time and time thereafter.  Tamil youths and people who never had freedom in their lives will have a hard time to trust the Sri Lankan government and to give up their armed struggle to gain their freedom.  

It is now certain that there will not be parliamentary solutions to find a peaceful means to achieve the freedom for the Tamil people.   The past and current Tamil politicians could not pull our freedom out of the Sri Lankan government.  The Sri Lankan government is not ready at all to bring forward constitutional reform.   The Sri Lankan government is keeping the Sinhalese people and the international community under an illusion, by such slogans, calling the Tamil issues a"terrorism, and nothing but terrorism."  Certainly, the fight for freedom is not terrorism and it should not be labelled as terrorism.  However, unfortunately, the Tamils have been led by the Sri Lankan government to use violence to achieve their ends because the Sri Lankan government did not provide any other options for the Tamils as an alternative to violent means.   Tamils should not pretend that they are not using violence as a means to achieve their end – freedom for their people. 

TAMIL EELAM and TAMIL HOMELAND are not just words.  They are real and they will be established and protected forever.   The Tamils cannot co-exist with Sinhalese within a unitary Sri Lanka and they should divide and create their own nation.  This is the final and viable option.  The Tamils and Sinhalese have already divided by geography, culture and traditions.   In fact, the two divided communities are currently living in two different nations – the Tamil nation and Sinhala nation.  The remaining action is only recapturing and demarcating the Tamil homeland.   The time has comes for the Tamils to totally give support for the "Tamil Homeland."   Tamils cannot be proud of calling themselves "Sri Lankans," because the same Sri Lankan government is unleashing "state terrorism" against the innocent and unarmed Tamils and marginalising them within the concept of one Sri Lanka.    

The Tamils are not interested in the Foreign Minister post or even the Regional Minister posts.  Tamils want freedom and freedom with dignity.   The Tamils are not interested in material benefits.  Tamils are not interested in senior government positions in Sri Lanka anymore.  The Tamils are not interested in university places anymore.   Tamils know how to create their own university.  Tamils have totally lost their faith in the Sri Lankan government.  Tamils want to determine their own destiny and fate.   Tamils do not want their destiny to be decided by the Sinhalese and their government anymore.  Tamils are fully capable of looking after their own business.   Let us to live on our own with our own pride and dignity and without bloodshed, death and destruction to our Tamil people anymore.

This war has brought on so much suffering and misery to all the Tamil people.  It has taken the Tamils to 2500 years back in the past.   The Sinhala nation did not suffer from Sri Lankan state terrorism.  The Sinhala nation was not damaged by the state terrorism.   Sinhalese were not marginalised by their own government.  Sinhalese do not know what "freedom" is all about.  Thus, the Sinhalese do not believe in devolution and they cannot resolve the "great divide" between the Tamil and Sinhalese people by peace talks.   Freedom is the only way out and it is the sweetest choice for the Tamils.  

The "Tamil Nation" is nearing a reality.   If Montenegro people can achieve their independence for 600,000 people, then Tamil people shall and should have achieved their independence by this time.  Montenegro formally declared independence from its union with Serbia in June 2006.  There were public and international celebrations of their freedom.   Fifteen years after ethnic conflict broke out in the western Balkans , Montenegro decided to separate from Serbia.  Montenegro 's Diaspora played a decisive role. They played a decisive role in achieving freedom for their people.  They made a difference. 

The time has come for the Tamils Diaspora to unite, reunite, refocus on the plight of the Tamils in our homeland, and support them for their freedom.   Please, unite and give your voice for unity and freedom for our Tamil people.

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