UK billboard announces Tamil Eelam National Remembrance Day

[TamilNet, Friday, 19 November 2010, 04:26 GMT]
As part of the global Tamil Eelam community’s events to mark National Remembrance Day on November 27, expatriate Tamils in London have sponsored a public billboard. The Tamil Youth Organisation (TYO), an activist group comprising Tamil students and young professionals, coordinated the effort. “We wanted to express the significance of this day for Eelam Tamils, when all of us across the globe are united in remembering the sacrifices made so that the Tamil people could one day live in peace and dignity in their own homeland,” Nisha Mariyathas, TYO spokesperson told TamilNet.

As part of its efforts to annihilate the Eelam Tamil people’s identity, the Sinhala-dominated Sri Lankan state was engaged in hysterical effort to destroy any sign of their protracted resistance to its rule, Ms. Mariyathas said, referring to the wholesale bulldozing of cemeteries where Tamil fighters were laid to rest, and the demolishing of statues built to prominent Tamil politicians and activists.

Despite the Sri Lankan state’s efforts, modern Tamil history would be preserved, and this is duty of the global Tamil community, TYO activist Thusiyan Nanda said

“As an organisation of young Tamils, TYO is committed to preserving this memory and ensuring the next generation of Tamils are aware of the long history of resistance to Sinhala chauvinism,” he said.

“The billboard sponsored by TYO is a symbol of our members' resolve not to forget our collective history of sacrifice, struggle and endurance,” he told TamilNet’s correspondent on the Croydon street.

The billboard, designed by a coalition of Tamil university students, carries a map of Tamil Eelam in the national colours, red and yellow, as well as a rising phoenix, “symbolising the commitment of the Tamil people to continue the struggle for dignity and self determination in the face of Sri Lanka's continuing military occupation and ongoing genocide in the Tamil homeland,” Ms. Mariyathas said.

“Under the present conditions of Sri Lankan military occupation it has become impossible for people to openly observe this day of national remembrance,” Mr. Nanda said. “However, the expatriate Tamil community will continue the tradition.”

Billboard display in Central Croydon, UK
Billboard display in Central Croydon, UK


The days leading up to November 27 are marked each year by a series of cultural activities and programmes. “This year TYO-UK is holding a Thirukkural competition, for children to demonstrate their skills in accurately reciting lines from this ancient Tamil work,” Ms. Mariyathas said, adding regional heats have concluded around the UK, with hundreds of children having taken part.

The finals will be held on the 20th of November to coincide with Universal Children's Day and the beginning of Maveerar Week, she said.

A poetry competition is also being held in UK, drawing participants from across the Tamil Diaspora. Competitors were asked to submit a poem under the title “The Ultimate Sacrifice” in either English or Tamil. The winning entry will be printed on a poster and displayed in Tamil establishments across London, the TYO spokesperson said.

 

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