NE observes Lt. Col.Thileepan death anniversary
[TamilNet, Sunday, 15 September 2002, 23:52 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam Sunday commenced commemorating the fifteenth death anniversary of one of its senior commander Lt.Colonel Thileepan throughout the Tamil dominated northeastern province including Sri Lanka Army held areas for the first time. Lt.Col.Thileepan started his fast unto death agitation fifteen years ago on 15th September, 1987 putting forward five demands to be implemented following the signing of Indo-Sri Lanka agreement in a bid to solve the country's ethnic conflict.
Lt.Colonel Thileepan passed away on the twelfth day of fasting on 26th September 1987 on the special dais constructed at the veethi of historic Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil Temple in Jaffna. Following his death, war broke out between the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) and the LTTE on 10th October 1987.
The events marking the death anniversary of Lt.Colonel Thileepan in Trincomalee district commenced with the inaugural programme held Sunday morning at the district office of the LTTE located at Green Road in east port town. The Tamil National Alliance parliamentary group leader and the Trincomalee district parliamentarian Mr.R.Sampanthan inaugurated the two-week long commemoration by lighting the flame of sacrifice.
"Any political solution to the Tamil national question must recognize the sacrifices made by the Tamil combatants and the non-combatant Tamil civilians to our struggle. The political solution found at the peace talks should give the Tamil people a political status, which will restore their dignity and allow them to determine their political destiny. A half-baked political solution will never be acceptable to the Tamil people. The government and chauvinistic elements should realize this and should come forward with a political solution that is acceptable to the Tamil people. The final outcome of the current peace talks depends largely in the hands of the government and the opposing chauvinistic elements. Till then we must show to the international community and the government that we are united in achieving our aspirations," said Tamil National Alliance parliamentary group leader Mr.R.Sampanthan delivering the memorial address.
He added, "about eighteen thousand LTTE combatants have laid down their lives in the armed struggle. More than fifty thousand Tamils have been killed in the two-decade-old war. Finally, after fifteen years a constructive approach has been embarked on by the two sides to solve the conflict through peaceful negotiations. The sacrifices made by LTTE leader Thileepan, other combatants and Tamil people have laid a strong foundation for the present peace talks. This fact should not be forgotten by anyone."
"The government in power has realized that a political solution can be found to the ethnic conflict only by having negotiation with the LTTE," Mr.Sampanthan added.
Mr.Thennavan, head of Trincomalee district Maveerar office, said that Lt. Col Thileepan sacrificed his life in an attempt to achieve five demands: Tamils right to self determination must be accepted, the Sinhala colonization of traditional Tamil areas should be stopped, all military camps must be removed from the northeast, an inert rim administration should be setup, and all Tamil political prisoners should be released.
The Trincomalee district political head of the LTTE Mr.Tilak hoisted the Tamileelam national flag. Thereafter Mr.K.Sivapalan, human rights lawyer paid homage by lighting lamp to the portrait of late Thileepan. Sri S.Ravaichandrakurukal, chief priest of Trincomalee Pathirakali Amman Temple offered flowers. Mr.A. Sothilingam, Secretary of the Trincomalee Urban Council garlanded the photograph of late Thileepan. Ms Yalisai of the LTTE Trincomalee district political office presided over the first day's programme.
Commemoration in Jaffna town started with a meeting held Sunday morning at Nallur Kandaswamy temple veethi. Mr.C.V.K.Sivagnanam presided. The head of the Jaffna LTTE Martyr's Division Mr.Pon Thiyagam laid the foundation stone for late leader Lt.Col Thileepan memorial.
Jaffna district LTTE political head Mr.Ilamparuthi also spoke.