Pongu Thamil calls on UN to recognize Tamil aspirations
[TamilNet, Monday, 05 April 2004, 15:27 GMT]
At the Pongu Thamil event held Monday in front of the United Nations' Offices in Geneva, Switzerland, the participants from the Tamil Diaspora pointed out the Tamil aspirations endorsed by the Tamil people in the General Elections on April 2 by an overwhelming majority, and called on the U.N. and the international community to recognize the aspirations in finding a lastintg solution to the Tamil question in Sri Lanka.
The full text of the Pongu Thamil declaration follows:
We, the Diaspora Tamils of Tamil Eelam living in many countries, have assembled today, April 5, 2004, in front of the United Nations' Offices in Geneva, Switzerland.
At a time when leaders of many countries and representatives of governments and Non-governmental organizations are participating at the 60th sittings of the Human Rights Commission of the United Nations, events of historic significance are taking place in the liberation struggle for our homeland. We wish to express our political aspirations and the fundamental needs that need to be fulfilled to arrive at a permanent political solution with just peace, to the Government of Sri Lanka and countries of the world.
a) Through the general elections held on April 02, 2004, the Tamil people of the Tamil homeland have approved, by an overwhelming majority, the concepts that the Tamils are a nation, that there is a Tamil homeland in which they have lived historically, that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are the sole representatives of the Tamil people, and that the Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA) proposals of the LTTE should be accepted . We the Tamil people of the Diapora are gathered in front of the United Nations today to reiterate the same concepts to the international community. The U.N. should accept these basic aspirations of the people and help to find a permanent solution to the Tamil national question in Sri Lanka based on these principles.
b) The Sri Lanka Army is occupying the homes of Tamil people in the homeland. According to the ceasefire agreement, the SLA should have vacated these homes two years ago and allowed the displaced Tamil people to go back to their homes. That has not happened yet. We strongly condemn this violation of the Ceasefire agreement. We appeal to Sri Lanka's Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces and President, Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunge, to vacate the homes the armed forces are occupying in the name of High Security Zones, and allow the internally displaced Tamil people to go back to their homes and lead normal lives.
c) The Interim Self governing Authority (ISGA) proposals, drafted with the assistance of political, economic and legal scholars from the Tamil Diaspora, should be accepted and implemented.
d) The Tamil youths who are languishing in jails in the South without any charges, including a large number of innocents, should be released immediately.
e) All countries that have banned the LTTE in their soil should accept the LTTE as the sole representatives of the Tamil people and lift their ban on the organization.
f) The European countries and the United States of America should not send back the Tamil refugees to their homeland until a permanent solution is reached and there is lasting peace.