'We want our land' - Second Pongu Thamil theme
[TamilNet, Saturday, 18 January 2003, 12:25 GMT]
The first year anniversary celebrations of Pongu Thamil (Tamil Resurgence) movement in northeast province which was held at the Jaffna University grounds Friday concluded with the declaration of the theme "We want our land," sources in Jaffna said.
Pongu Thamil events will be held in the northeast province on
district basis and the final will be held in Trincomalee, said organizers at a press briefing at the conclusion of the event.
The Jaffna morning event started at the Students' Union complex of the Jaffna University, with Mr.Ilamparuthi, Jaffna district political head of the Liberation Tigers of
Tamil Eelam (LTTE) hoisting the Thamileelam national flag. Lt.Colonel Sara lit the flame of sacrifice. Jaffna District Student Union President Mr.K.Paraneetharan declared open the exhibition that comprised historical documents and other materials depicting the pristine glory of Tamil language, Tamil Literature and the presence of Tamils in the northeast in the past, sources said.
Mr.S.Gajendran, President of the International Tamil Union lit the traditional oil lamp. District Representatives of Thamil Pongu Movement in the northeast and several other organizations also lit traditional oil lamps. Representatives of East University of Sri Lanka and Vavuniya campus of the Jaffna University also participated in the event. Professor P.Gopalakrishnan presided over the morning session, sources said.
The evening session was held at the Kailasapathy Auditorium in Jaffna University. Vice Chancellor S.Balasundarampillai lit the flame of sacrifice.
Excerpts from the Pongu Thamil Declaration follow: -
"We want to convey this message to the people of Southern Sri Lanka and to the world who recognize human rights. We urge peace should return to the island.
"The war broke out when Sri Lanka forces occupied lands belongs to Tamils. In the midst of war we urged the authorities to recognize Tamil nationalism, Tamil traditional homeland and self-determination. We further urged the government to recognize the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam as the sole representative of Tamils and to initiate dialogue with the LTTE. Today we are very glad to note that talks take place between the government and the LTTE.
"In these circumstances, displaced people desire is to return to their own land and to restore normal life. But the Sri Lanka Army is obstructing the path by asking LTTE to lay down their arms. We say that these arms helped Tamils to save their lives from genocide. The SLA still addresses the Tamil leadership as terrorists. We cannot accept the condition of the SLA.
"We do not want the SLA to stay in our soil further. We want the SLA to leave the Tamil homeland. We are firm in our decision. The SLA should return to their homes allowing displaced Tamils to return to their traditional homes. We want our land. We stress that this is very important for establishing a lasting peace in the country."