Massive Pongu Thamil Convergence of European Tamils
[TamilNet, Monday, 05 April 2004, 12:39 GMT]
The Pongu Thamil event started at 14:40 European time on Monday at the Central Railway station in Geneva, Switzerland, with a speech by Mr. V. Rudrakumaran, the legal advisor of the Liberation Tigers, and the number of participants exceeded the organizers' expectations, sources said.
Pictures of Tamil Eelam national leader, Mr. V. Pirapaharan, were carried at the front, followed by a procession carrying Tamil Eelam national flags, with Nathaswaram and drum music.
The Tamil Eelam women’s wing, Education wing, and the organizers of the Pongu Thamil event were in the procession, followed by the Tamil Eelam students organization.
A large number of people from many countries are converging in the procession from all directions. The procession from the Central train station will reach the United Nations building 2 k.m. away in about 60-75 minutes.
The following is the full text of the Press statement released by the International Federation of Tamils regarding the Pongu Thamil event.Massive Pongu Thamil Convergence of European Tamils
Before the UN Buildings in Geneva
Today's 12,000 strong massive convergence of Tamils of the island of
Sri Lanka in Geneva for their International Pongu Thamil (Tamil
Resurgence) from various parts of Europe, from far away places like
Rome, Oslo, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Berlin, Amsterdam, Brusselles and
Paris is to echo the near unanimous voice of millions of Tamils at
home expressed in the series of Pongu Thamil held all over Thamil
Eelam and in the recently concluded Parliamentary Elections of Sri
Pongu Thamil is the movement initiated by the Youth of the Jaffna
University to raise national unity and consciousness among the Tamils
and to reclaim the houses and, lands occupied unjustly by the State
Forces. It was conducted in all the districts of the Northeast
(Thamil Eelam) of Sri Lanka as a festival of Tamil nationalism.
Once before in 1977 the Tamils spoke almost unanimously through the
parliamentary elections their wish to become a separate state but
their participation in Parliament was rejected. After decades of war
and denial of rights, the Tamils have again participated fully in the
elections under the leadership of the LTTE and are knocking at the
doors of democracy and human rights to recognise and respond to the
unanimous verdict of the people.
The Tamil National Alliance put forward by the LTTE as their proxy in
the elections to demand the rights of the Tamils in Parliament came
out with a singular victory in that they received more than 90% of
the popular support. The loud and clear message of this victory to
the Sri Lankan Government and to the international community is
a) that the Tamils are once again gathered with enthusiasm under
one and only leadership of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)
b) the one aspiration of the Tamils is their right of self
determination to be a distinct people with their traditional homeland
c) that the proposals worked out by international experts and
subm itted by the, LTTE as proposals for an Interim Self Governing
Authority (ISGA) for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the war
zone be accepted and put into effect with the help of the
The results of the recent parliamentary elections have shown clearly
the reawakening of forces which have campaigned against the two
years long peace process facilitated by Norway and have brought to
power SInhala Buddhist Nationalists who want peace and prosperity for
themselves but not a just and peaceful solution that will stabilise
the whole country and take it towards peace and prosperity, We have
genuine fears about the future.
Hence we appeal to the international community and the UN Commission
on Human Rights to exert their pressure on the Sri Lankan government
to respect the unanimous verdict of the Tamil people an genuinely
seek a just and peaceful solution.More images from Gallery >>