Tamil Eelam Remembrance Day Speech by TGTE PM

New York, May 18, 2011

Fellow Countrymen from Tamil Ealam, Our Compatriots from Diaspora and Our brethren from Tamil Nadu and Other Realms,

Today is National Mourning Day of Tamil Eelam!

This is the day, the virulent ethnic cleansing pogroms perpetrated against our people by the odious Sri Lankan Government, culminated in the most number of tragic deaths in Mullivaikkal and brought the most debilitating sorrow and sadness, not only to the people of Tamil Ealam but to all Tamils all over the world.

This day, soaked in the blood of Eelam Tamils, shall bear witness in history to the misdeeds of the murderous tentacles of the Sinhala State that clawed all the way through Southern Tamil Ealam to corner our helpless civilians in Mullivaikkal and commit Genocide of gargantuan proportions.

This day the de facto state of Tamil Eelam, built on the valor and sacrifice of our heroes, and ably led by the Tamil National Leader Mr. V. Pirapaharan; the de facto state that provided the space to articulate the political aspirations of the Tamil people, came under total occupation by the Sinhala State.

This day, with its indelible stains of Tamil blood, marks the culmination of those mournful days when the fascist Sinhala diabolarchy rained an Armageddon of cluster bombs on our people, simply destroying 80,000 civilians in a matter of days and shocked the civilized world into disbelief.

On this day, the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam remembers with profound respect all those innocent souls of Tamil Ealam that became collateral damage in the mindboggling designs of a mindless Sinhalese aggressor. Today, we will fondly remember and pay our obsequies to our freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives in their valiant efforts to forestall the Sinhala aggression.

Now, for the benefit of posterity, it becomes incumbent upon me to delve a little into the circumstances that led to declaration of this day as the National Mourning Day of Tamil Eelam.

In those last days of the armed struggle, the day-to-day existence of our people had been so completely trampled upon as had been witnessed never before in our history, so much so that, their lives brimmed with nothing other than debilitating sorrow, sufferings, and disasters.

Those were days when our people were chased down and murdered anywhere and everywhere - in their homes and in the streets, in the temples and in the hospitals, in wedding ceremonies and in funereal services- there was no place to hunker down if you were a Tamil – no place was a safe haven if you were a Tamil.

Those were the days they were hunted down and killed at any time and at all times – regardless of what they were engaged in. They were killed while they were walking and while they were lying down, they were killed when they were eating and they were killed when they were learning, they were killed while they were asleep and they were killed while they were in bed. There wasn’t anything that you could do with peace of mind - No activity was a safe activity there if you were a Tamil.

In the same way one would gather a pile of garbage together and set it on fire, just the same way one would gather a bunch bed bugs and trample upon them, the Sinhalese tyranny cornered the helpless Tamils into a tiny strip by the beachhead of Mullivaikkal and pulverized their life out of existence.

The mindless acts of genocide on our land and our people shall remain as a collective memory of the Tamil people for generations to come.

It is in this regard, in order to remember in its proper perspective the disaster and destruction that enveloped the people of Tamil Eelam that the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam has ordained May 18 each year as a National Day of Mourning. In order to enable all Tamils of our Homeland and of Diaspora to reflect on these events, share in the grief of a Nation and to derive inspiration from the valiant efforts of a people that would not surrender, it has also decreed that every year, henceforward, the days from May 12 to May 18 shall be observed as the Week of National Remembrance.

The term “Mullivaikkal” has burrowed itself a deep hole but a tender one in the national psyche of a people. Just as “holocaust” holds a very tender, special place in the collective memory of the Jewish people, so will the term” Mullivaikkal” hold a special place in the collective memory not only of Eelam Tamils but of all Tamils all over the world. It is a special word that shall bear witness to the Genocide that was unleashed on the hapless Eelam Tamils.

The sorrowful, disturbing and heart-rending collective memories do have a special way of entrenching deep in the psyche of a wounded people. They have the ability to bring transformational changes to the lives of a suffering people. It was a genocide that brought home the reality of a separate homeland to the Jewish people. It is only through nurturing their collective memories through many generations and channeling it through the dynamic of a political movement that the Palestinian people are now getting ready to greet a new dawn in their homeland. These two anecdotes of history shall hold well and serve the Tamils too in their struggle for their homeland.

The National Mourning Day is not a day for weeping and wilting. It is the day to reflect and resolve. It is the day to absorb and utilize the sadness and sorrow to re-energize and reinvigorate ourselves in our determination to secure a free, sovereign, independent State of Tamil Eelam in order to live as a nation with security and self respect. And, secure it ever, we shall!

The National Mourning day is not a day for drooping and recoiling. It is the day to absorb and utilize our many frustrations and disappointments to give ourselves a new impetus to forge ahead with a new resolve and renewed determination to bring those culprits of murder and mayhem to justice and to bring justice to our people. And bring it ever, we shall!

The National Mourning Day is not a day to get stultified by the mindboggling destruction brought to our shore by the Sinhala army. It is not a day to get overwhelmed by doom and gloom. It is a day to reflect upon the supreme need to sacrifice for the sake of our people. It is the day to refocus our energies to rebuild the homesteads and livelihoods of a people that have lost everything.

The Mullivaikkal massacre and the subsequent events that have followed in its wake have only helped to underline the fact that the need of the moment for Tamils of Eelam is the separate State of Tamil Eelam. And we say today here that parting of ways is the only way forward!

It is an accepted norm in international law, covenants and practice that a nation that had suffered Genocide does have a right of remedy and relief through the exercise of their right to self-preservation, a sovereign State of their own. But, in reality, all these laws and practices come into effect only when the powerful states desire so. They take decisions based only on their self interest and not on the principle of justice and fair-play for all. Inevitably, the journey towards our goal has to be made within the parameters of this order of the world. This is the most powerful challenge we are envisaging right now. The enormity of the challenge is such that there is no need to emphasize the importance and imperative to utilize every opportunity that presents itself to us. We shall seize them without fail.

It is in this light that the recently released Report of the UNSG Panel has to be considered as an opportunity. It provides us with some glowing opportunities and some stultifying impediments. It has meticulously demarcated and delineated all the war crimes perpetuated by the Sri Lankan political and military hierarchies on our people. It has also underlined the fact that it is unable to determine the fate 140,000 Tamils in the aftermath of the war. Yet, the Report inexplicably and astoundingly fails to categorize all these failings as an act of Genocide.

That, of the five main categories of Sri Lankan excesses, four fall into the general classification of genocide by nature has been documented in no uncertain terms, yet there has been no unambiguous call for committing the perpetrators to the International Criminal Court is a bit puzzling. Large scale targeted shelling, targeting into a no-fire zone, knowingly targeting hospitals and other humanitarian objects, systematically depriving the people in the conflict zone of basic human needs, depriving from humanitarian aid, all the other human rights excesses committed by the Sri Lankan Government – these have all been pointed out in the report – the above actions directed by the military and political command of the Sri Lankan Government comprising almost exclusively Sinhalese against the Tamil civilians and therefore clearly establish that genocide has been planned and perpetrated by the political and military command. Furthermore, the Panel has gathered additional evidence which discloses that the policies of the Sri Lankan government immediately after the war subjected the Tamil population to torture, forcible imprisonment and other denials of human rights. Such persecutory and discriminatory conduct was based entirely on the ethnicity of people. We also note that based on recent international as well as national jurisprudence, the act of genocide can and has taken place in a limited geographic zone. The intent and important component of the act of genocide can be inferred from the scale and the nature of the operation. Based on information in the panel report these components of the crime of genocide are present. Yet there has been hesitancy in pointing them out as crimes of Genocide.

To the extent the Panel has purposely desisted from using the word “Genocide” which was clearly reflected on all major turns of events catalogued in the report, we have to question the purposefulness of the report. Therefore, it is even more incumbent upon us now, to establish in the international arena that the crimes committed by the Sri Lankan Government are indeed crimes of Genocide. We have to go out and forestall the currently on-going international diplomatic maneuvers of the Sri Lankan Government to discredit in toto, the UNSG Panel report.

We are working on the realization that we have to create a strong international opinion that basing on this report there are additional actions to be taken against the Sri Lankan Government. The Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam is working on the realization that we have to raise the sympathies of the international community to a level which will be harder for anyone to resist so that no one will be able to throw the Panel’s Report into the garbage bin. We know our motives are genuine, we know our ambitions are modest and reasonable, and we know that in the end, justice shall be delivered to our people.

My dear friends and fellow citizens of Tamil Eelam,

It has been a year since the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam was conceived and there were many doubts about its viability then in the minds of various interested parties. There was many a threat, open ones as well as veiled threats from the Sri Lankan Government. There were interferences when we tried to conduct our consultative meetings, there were many obstacles when we tried to set up working groups to conduct elections, not to mention the logistical challenges the elections themselves presented to us when the environment was not friendly. We did overcome these challenges and surpassed the expectations of our people and our well-wishers. What was a crawling infant a year ago is now a sturdy child taking confident steps forward in the governance of the affairs of the transnational Tamil community. The Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam has not failed to draw the attention of international policy framers and mainstream media notably those of India and western world.

We have to remind ourselves that the presence today of an entity called Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam is a victory in itself for the people of Tamil Eelam. The successful formation of it has sent the unmistakable signal to our Sinhala aggressor and to the international community that nobody can extinguish the Tamil Eelam people’s thirst for freedom by a chokehold on their throat.

Ever so mindful of all the developments among us and around us, and mindful of the underpinnings of such developments, we are working hard on laying a strong foundation for undertaking the necessary diplomatic moves that will ultimately make the free and sovereign state of Tamil Eelam a reality. In making our moves, we have taken note of the stand taken by the powerful players and their interests, and we are aware of the intimate links between the internal conditions of a country and its external relations.

My dear fellow countrymen,

On this day, we deem it appropriate to have you informed of our approaches now and in the future in order to win over the support and approval of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam in the international political arena.

We need to make the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam a focus of power in order to get recognition in a world revolving around an axis of power and interests. The geographical position of Tamil Eelam, the undeterred sense of freedom nurtured by its people, the commitment to dedicated action seen amongst the Tamil Diaspora, and the sense of solidarity carried across the 80 million Tamils around the world- these are all factors capable of converging towards delivering the power centre the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam wants to become. We have started to make progress in this direction already. The work in Tamil Nadu under the leadership of Professor Saraswathy is making great strides in raising awareness and the building of solidarity among Tamil brethren there.

We have committed ourselves to our operations with a clear understanding of the current world order. We are not gunning for the explicit recognition for us from anyone. We commence our diplomatic efforts aiming for their tacit approval of the activities and strategies of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam. The laws and democratic traditions of the different countries are conducive to our activities. We work in compliance with their laws and democratic processes to have our views heard. We will then work towards the more explicit recognition. Such mutual reinforcement at a fundamental level is absolutely essential to take our goals forward.

Our endeavors are directed not only at making the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam a power centre capable of matching the Government of Sri Lanka in the international arena but also at establishing its inescapable presence in the geopolitical arena of South Asia and the Indian Ocean region.

We are paying much attention to canvassing world opinion towards our contention that, as a nation that has been subjected to a Genocide in a series of most abominable pogroms, the Eelam Tamil Nation does not have a choice other than creating its own sovereign independent state. This, we believe, will only be assisted by the imperialistic tendencies that run deep in the successive Sinhala regimes and the systemic racism inbuilt in the Sinhalese nationalism that does not permit them to accept the nationhood of Tamils nor recognize Tamils ever as their equals.

We are making it patently known to world governments that a sovereign and independent State of Tamil Eelam is capable of contributing to peace and stability in its South Asian and Indian Ocean neighborhood, and that its interests are not incompatible with those of the regional and global powers.

In order to turn the attention of the International community towards us, we have to make a series of interrelated diplomatic efforts in a continuous fashion. Continuous attention has to be paid to the formulation of a cohesive strategy that can make the Ealam Tamils’ wellbeing and the wellbeing of the world governments complementary to and interdependent on each other.

Presently, we are undertaking research studies to extrapolate the convergence of strategic and geopolitical interests and ambitions of the regional and global powers and those of the Tamil Ealam Nation in the island of Sri Lanka; and a modus operandi for melding the strategies intended by the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam into the strategies of such powers in our area. This way, we hope to infuse fresh thinking into policy making apparatuses of those nations so as to make a favorable impression of this nation of ours in crisis.

With a view to take these efforts one step further, we have already formulated a think-tank which we hope will become fully functional anytime soon.

We want to deliver a message to the Sinhala Nation: You have not extinguished the Eelam Tami’s thirst for freedom. The presence today of Eelam Tamils in such large numbers in front of the UN here, in Geneva and in the streets all over the world is a testimony that Eelam Tamils’ commitment to realizing

their right to self determination is truly alive. In fact the embers of freedom are brighter and stronger than ever.

Our efforts over the two painful years have started to bear fruit. Situations have been created in which Sinhala political – military leaders cannot travel openly. We want to send a message to them that they can run but they cannot hide forever behind the veil of immunity. In fact, the veil of immunity has already been pierced in the case of international crimes.

My dear brothers and sisters,

Today we have arrived at a cross road. The time has come for us to give the international community a true portrayal of our dire situation. We have to present ourselves before conscience of the world as a people truly denied fair-play and justice. We have to point out the irony that we are the ones who have abided by the international laws and conventions consistently, yet we are the ones who have been denied justice. We cannot stand alone in this process. We cannot afford to be alone in this process. We have to hold hands with all forces that can raise their voices for justice and fair-play. As the first step in this regard, we have to seek the unity of all Tamils now. We hope and pray that the collective memory of Mullivaikkal massacres will give us the strength to overcome our shortcomings and converge together as a force to be reckoned with.

‘The thirst of Tamils is the establishment of a Tamil homeland’

Thank you

Visvanathan Rudrakumaran
Prime Minister,
Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam

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