Thousands of British Tamils back independent Eelam
[TamilNet, Sunday, 15 July 2007, 15:30 GMT]
Nearly five thousand British Tamils demonstrated Saturday in central London calling on the UK to apply pressure to halt human rights abuses by Sri Lanka’s security forces and to recognize the right to self-determination of the Tamil people. The rally in Trafalgar square was organized by councilors of Tamil origin in the London area. The protestors were addressed by two UK parliamentarians, Mr. Keith Vaz (Labour) and Mr. Simon Hughes (Liberal Democrats) and two MPs of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), Mr. K. Sivajilingam and Mr. Chandrakanthan Chandra Nehru, as well as some of the organizing councilors.
The rally held in the famous London landmark between 11.30 a.m. and 3p.m.
Among the councilors who addressed the event were Ms. Sasikala Suresh, Mr. Thaya Idaikadar, Mr. Yogan Yogarajah and Ms. Eliza Maan.
The speakers condemned the ongoing human rights abuses against Sri Lanka’s Tamils by the security forces there and urged the British government to pressure the government of President Mahinda Rajapakse to halt the atrocities.
Some speakers appealed to the international community to recognize the Tamil people’s right to self-determination, saying self-rule was the only way to safeguard their wellbeing..
Thousands of people attending the rally signed a petition addressed to the British government.
A resolution passed at the event declared:
“On this day, the 14th of July 2007, we, the many thousands who have assembled in London's Trafalgar Square, have come together to severely condemn the ethnic cleansing, killings, abductions, torture and other human rights abuses that the Sri Lankan Government is carrying out against the Tamils of the island as well as those who tell the truth about the state's vicious activities and those who come to the aid of the Tamils.
“In one voice, we declare that the only way the language, lands and culture of the Eelam Tamils, as well as their basic rights, may be safeguarded, is through the establishment of the independent state of Tamil Eelam, as the Tamil people so emphatically demanded in 1977.
“Witnessing the widespread ethnic cleansing and torture and human rights abuses occurring in Sri Lanka today, we reiterate that remains the only choice for the Tamil people, and we reaffirm our continuing and wholehearted support for this cause - the establishment of Tamil Eelam.
“We ask that the countries of the world that respect truth and justice, the United Nations and similar organisations that represent these countries, and human rights organisations, to condemn the human rights abuses perpetrated by the Sri Lankan Government.
“We ask that they see the injustice of dismissing as so-called terrorism this legitimate and just struggle for our people’s freedom from racial oppression.”