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The full moon day that falls in the traditional solar month of March–April is a major festival day for Saivaite Eezham Tamils as well as Tamils in Tamil Nadu. Known as Pangkuni Uththaram, it marks the grand finale of the annual festival, including the car festival, of all the Siva temples. The folk of Tamil Nadu and the Up-Country Tamils of Tamil Nadu origin in the island celebrate it as Kaaman festival, marking Siva reducing Kaaman (cupid) into ashes. It is a major festival for the Up-Country Tamils. But this year, the New Delhi Establishment’s Consulate General in Jaffna, brought in a ‘cultural’ concept altogether new to Tamils in the island, by introducing Holi and smearing colours on that day.
What was the ‘New Delhi imperialism’ or ‘Hindi/ Hindutva imperialism’ part, conspicuous in the show of India in Jaffna, was its press release explaining the festival, which was totally ignorant of the pluralism of its own cultural heritage.
New Delhi’s Consulate General in Jaffna seems to be having no idea at all on the pluralistic ways in which the day is celebrated.
The press release said that as “the liveliest of all Hindu festivals” it is observed all over North India, and added, “celebrations in Mathura and the small towns of Braj Bhoomi, the land of Sri Krishna, are spectacular.”
Smearing colour on all those who were present and all those who were passing by, the Consulate General said, “Sri Lankan students who had joined the “India Corner” at the Consulate also participated in this event and witnessed this colourful festival.”
Boxes of Heineken cans were seen at the celebration venue.
The ‘liveliest Hindu’ festival celebrated by the New Delhi Establishment’s Consulate General in Jaffna with the serving of Heineken.
An Indian citizen from Tamil Nadu, who has been jailed in Colombo for five years, has launched hunger-strike unto death demanding his fate known to the world, after he has been subjected to severe harassment by the Sri Lankan ‘Terrorist Investigation Division’ and the prison authorities, reliable sources told TamilNet on Sunday. The victim, John Peter Vijayendran, is a political prisoner, who has been jailed in Colombo’s Magazine prison and recently transferred to a prison in Negombo, the sources further said.
Mr John Peter Vijayendran has been in the Sri Lankan prison for 5 years under the notorious ‘Prevention of Terrorism’ act charges. He has started the fast-unto death protest demanding his fate known to the world, especially to the government of Tamil Nadu, the sources further said.
John Peter was being harassed by the Sri Lankan ‘Terrorist Investigation Division’ operatives and the SL prison authorities who blamed that he had been in touch the outside world from the Magazine prison.
On Friday, Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa, in a ‘gesture of goodwill’ towards the New Delhi Establishment for abstaining to vote on UNHRC resolution, instructed the release of Tamil Nadu fishermen detained in Colombo’s prisons.
Finding fault with the USA and EU for spoiling negotiated solution by banning the LTTE, the former head of SLMM says that North America and Western Europe lack interest in what is happening in the island as it is not in their backyard, and he points to India to now act on its regional matter. He also implied that effective public and media pressure is a prerequisite for any action in the island in the lines of Bosnia. Tamils in the island, in the diaspora, and especially in Tamil Nadu, will be miserable failures if they show any timidity, or find excuse in diplomacy in not telling the world in no uncertain terms the genocide faced by Eezham Tamils, said Tamil activists for alternative politics in the island.
Further comments from the activists:
Even the former head of SLMM, Major General Ulf Henricsson, who had ground experience in the island for a year, is influenced by the economy paradigm to give only secondary importance to the extraordinary genocidal intent in the psyche of the Sinhala State.
He looks at the age-old question of gravity in the island through the West’s textbook formula: economy and power.
Agreeing that Bosnia, which was recognized for genocide and the question of Eezham Tamils “are more similar than different,” Henricsson identify the mechanics as money, property and power.
“[…] The mechanics behind the war was the same – it was about money, property and power. All conflicts, you see Syria, whatever. It is not about ethnicity and religion. You use it as fuel for the conflict. If you have a decent social and economic justice, then you will not have conflict,” he observed.
Again, comparing the situation with Ukraine, he said:
“People want to stay in power. They want to protect their property and money. They are not interested in letting the other. The same on Sri Lanka; You have a political elite. They have interests. And those with money and property control the media and they control the message.” Henricsson said.
Chronic genocidal intent comes from very different formulations, which were a reality in Europe in the past, but still a reality for us in the island, where the issues are not sorted out.
The crime of genocide is different from crime in any other war.
If the world has not understood the question in the island in its proper perspective, the bulk of the blame goes to the naivety of Tamils and their ‘articulators’, who historically play in the hands of others.
As a strategy to pre-empt any Tamil uprising demanding practical remedy on halting genocide, a campaign has been orchestrated that the USA will come out with a resolution on international investigation on the war crimes and the ‘diplomacy’ is not to spoil it by any other demand.
But informed circles say that there is going to be no such move from the USA.
The nominated and hijacked articulators, who were in the outside deceiving Tamils on behalf of their masters by such a campaign, are in reality exasperating in Geneva in seeing that ‘any’ resolution tabled by the USA should get passed, informed circles said.
The current trend in Geneva is everyone pointing to India, the informed circles further said.
But then, a web blog of an influential, middle-level political party in Tamil Nadu came out with a campaign last week, detracting Tamils from demanding investigation on the genocide and urging them to support the US line.
In taking a line in the struggle of Eezham Tamils, People in Tamil Nadu and organisations beyond party politics have to carefully scrutinize the forces that are at work and their links, cautioned Tamil activists for alternative politics in the island.
The Tamil Youth Organizations (TYOs) of 12 countries and four Tamil Nadu youth organizations that were active participants in the student uprising of 2013 in a joint statement released on Sunday endorsed the Tamil Sovereignty Cognition declaration. In addition to the TSC declaration, which recognizes the historical, earned and remedial sovereignties of the Eezham Tamil nation, the youth organizations also passed a declaration of principles, calling on the new generation of leaders from Tamil Eelam, Tamil Nadu and the Diaspora to “challenge the international community to re-evaluate its approach to self-determination for unrecognized nations and peoples and to build solidarity with other nations living under occupation to challenge the present geopolitical order.”
The statements were passed and read out at the Tamil Sovereignty conference conducted in London on Sunday by the TYO-UK.
At the conference, TYO-UK activists outlined the history and the basis of the Eezham Tamils’ struggle for freedom, connecting historical and earned sovereignty. They also explained how Eezham Tamils as a nation are eligible for the right to remedial sovereignty, criticizing the failure of the international community’s responsibility to protect.
Speaking to TamilNet, Tiksi Bala from the TYO-UK said “We have a historical sovereignty to our land that cannot be erased. We earned sovereignty through the creation of the de facto state. Now that there is no force on the ground, remedial sovereignty is the only solution to bring peace to the 60 year struggle and bring a stop to the ongoing genocide against Tamils by the Sri Lankan state.”
The full text of the Tamil Sovereignty Conference declaration of principles follows:
BE IT RESOLVED THAT on this day the representatives of the collective Eelam Tamil youth organisations around the world and Tamil youth movements in Tamil Nadu adopted the following declaration as guiding principles in the Eelam Tamils’ national question.
The principles are as follows:
Awareness of Eelam Tamil identity and the promotion of the same among the mainstream International polity and society are vital for our authentic cultural life in their respective as well as for the restoration of our sovereignty in the occupied homeland of the Eelam Tamils.
We welcome the Tamil Sovereignty Cognition as a principled approach in resolving the national question of Eelam Tamils in the island of Ilangkai and recognize the declaration as a milestone following the Vaddukkoaddai Resolution of 1976 and the Thimpu principles of 1985.
It is due to the global injustice that the genocidal war was made possible on the Eelam Tamils. The same global injustice prevails, politically privileging the perpetrator, the Sri Lankan state. Addressing this is a step to restore the lost power of balance between the Sinhala and Eelam Tamil nation.
The struggle of the Eelam Tamils, who are subjected in their homelands to a protracted, intended genocide carried out in various ways and kept under a system of colonization, militarization and Sinhalisation, is an international struggle, with over a million of the Eelam Tamil nation being in the diaspora, and thus, a solution from a purely local approach is not only impossible but also unproductive.
We uncompromisingly uphold the legacy of the Tamil Eelam liberation struggle and its martyrs and shall endeavour to promote its political and cultural symbols, the Tamil Eelam national flag, national festivals, national culture, national traditions, to both local and global audiences and what we shall promote the ideals of the resistance and the freedom fighters in all spheres of Tamil life.
We reject the occupation of Tamil Eelam by the genocidal Sri Lankan state and we reject the imposition of the ‘Sri Lankan’ identity, politically and culturally on the Eelam Tamils.
We will not compromise on the principles of Homeland, Nation and Self-determination, rejecting any collaboration of any bodies that lends legitimacy to the unitary state of Sri Lanka.
As a practical next step to the Tamil Sovereignty Cognition declaration, we call on a new generation of Tamil leaders from Tamil Eelam, the Diaspora and Tamil Nadu to challenge the international community to re-evaluate its approach to self-determination for unrecognized nations and peoples and to build solidarity with other nations living under occupation to challenge the present geopolitical order.
We will resolve to raise awareness and educate Tamils and non-Tamils about the ongoing internationally abetted genocide of the Eelam Tamil nation. We will also seek to educate the international community on the legitimacy of the Eelam Tamil liberation struggle.
An international mechanism is vital in the process to stop the ongoing genocide and is necessary that it starts to work for a political solution of the national question. This must respect the will of Eelam Tamil nation which is only possible through the implementation of the right to self-determination, via an internationally monitored referendum.
- Balachandran Students Movements Tamil Nadu
- Loyala Hungerstrike Tamil Nadu
- Naam Tamilar Maanavar Paasarai Tamil Nadu
- Tamil Youth Organisation Australia
- Tamil Youth Organisation Belgium
- Tamil Youth Organisation Canada
- Tamil Youth Organisation Denmark (Thesaigal)
- Tamil Youth Organisation France
- Tamil Youth Organisation Germany
- Tamil Youth Organisation Italy (Giovani Tamil)
- Tamil Youth Organisation New Zealand
- Tamil Youth Organisation Norway
- Tamil Youth Organisation Sweden
- Tamil Youth Organisation Switzerland
- Tamil Youth Organisation United Kingdom
- Tamil youths & students federation Tamil Nadu