Pongku Thamizh rally in France draws 7000

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 18 June 2008, 23:21 GMT]
Around 7,000 French Tamils thronged the venue of Pongku Thamizh rally at Place du Président Edouard Herriot close to the French Parliament in Paris Wednesday. A parliamentarian of the French Communist Party (PCF), Maxime Gremetz, who came out of the Parliament, appreciated the Tamils for voicing for their rights. In a spontaneous address to the audience, he said that the proscription imposed on Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam (LTTE) was unfair and the movement was essentially a freedom movement.

Pongku Thamizh, Paris
A section of the participants at the Pongku Thamizh rally in Paris


Pongku Thamizh, Paris
French politician addressing the rally
Pongku Thamizh, Paris
Inniyam performance
The French President who proclaims that he raises his voice for the rights of the other people around the world, should also turn his eyes towards the Tami people, who are fighting for their rights, Mr. Maxime Gremetz said and called upon the French government to take a note of the rally and its message.

Anthony Russell, a councilor of La Courneuve also addressed the rally.

Newly elected Tamil members for the local government bodies in Paris also addressed the rally. Mr. Ravishankar, a young Tamil municipal council member, who made the inaugural speech said the newly elected councilors would raise the concerns of the Eezham Tamils.

Arivumathy, a poet from Tamil Nadu, India, who was the chief guest of the event, lit the traditional lamp at 2:45 p.m. He also addressed the audience. The first cultural event of the rally was the band called 'inniyam', a recent innovation of the Eastern University in Batticaloa.

Ms. Antoine Thavamani, an Indian orgin Municipal Councilor of Evry Courcourones, spoke for peace in Sri Lanka, defended Tamils right to Self-Determination and hoped for early reconciliation between the Sinhalese and Tamils.

Many of the participants in the rally carried the flag of Eezham Tamils and the photos of Velupillai Pirapaharan, the leader of the LTTE.

The rally ended at 6:00 p.m.

Pongku Thamizh in France coincided with a historical day of French resistance against Hitlers invasion. On 18th June, 1940, General Charles de Gaulle had called for the French to join him in London in the French resistance movement against occupation.

Pongku Thamizh, Paris
A section of the participants at the Pongku Thamizh rally in Paris


Pongku Thamizh, Paris
Poet Arivumathy lit the common flame at the begining of the event
Pongku Thamizh, Paris
A stage programme at the rally


Pongku Thamizh, Paris
A section of the participants at the Pongku Thamizh rally in Paris


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