"Non-violent struggle will not work," says student leader
[TamilNet, Thursday, 20 April 2006, 11:31 GMT]
"Annai Poopathy, reverently remembered today at the eighteenth anniversary of her fasting to death for the liberation of the Tamils, shines like a beacon to all of us, as dark clouds of war gather fast in our skies," said Vijayaroopan, president Jaffna University Student Union (JUSU), Wednesday at the memorial day observance held in the Jaffna University. He was one of several speakers at the Annai Poopathy memorial day observed in the districts of the NorthEast.
"Eighteen years ago Annai Poopathy embraced death demanding an unconditional ceasefire between the IPKF and the LTTE, and urging unconditional talks between the LTTE and the Indian government. We face now similar intransigence from the Sri Lanka government with its violations of the ceasefire agreement and deliberate attempts to derail the talks in Geneva. This situation calls for sacrifices, but we know that non-violent means like fasts-unto-death are doomed to fail leaving fighting to death as the only alternative," said the student leader.
"Nineteen years ago, on the 26th of September 1987, Lt. Col. Thileepan too gave up his life in a non-violent protest to draw the attention and sympathy of the world to the grave violence committed against the Tamils by both the IPKF and the Sri Lanka Armed forces. The world just looked on as Thileepan died a slow and painful death.
The international community, now too, feigns ignorance of the i atrocities committed on the Tamils in the NorthEast daily. Some countries are blindly blaming us. No one else can earn us liberation, we ourselves have to fight for it and we will fight unto death for it," said another student participant.
Mrs. Poopathy Kanapathipillai, a 56-year old grandmother at the time of her death, has earned the reverential name 'Annai' (Mother) Poopathy. She commenced a fast-unto-death at the Mamangam temple in Batticaloa on March 19, 1988 and continued her fast until she died on April 19,1988.
The 18th Annai Poopathy memorial day observance began with the lighting of the common flame and hoisting of the National flag in all the places where the event was held.
Student unions, staff of government and non-government organisations, Local Authority representatives, officials of several civil organisations and officers and cadres of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the public took part in the observance of the memorial day held in the eight districts in the North and East.
The Annai Poopathy memorial day was observed at Pavattai in the Amparai district, at Kokadicholai in the Batticaloa district, at Kallady in Trincomalee district, at Puliyankulam and Periyamadu in Vavuniya district, at Kilinochchi town, Akarayan and Pooneri in the Kilinochchi district, at Puthukudiripu, Mullaitivu town, Mulliyawalai, Visvamadu, Mallavi, Pandiyankulam, Moonkilaru in the Mullaitive district, at the Jaffna University, Pallai, Vadamarchchi East in the Jaffna district, at Illupaikadavai and Andankulam in the Mannar district.