Annai Poopathi anniversary celebrated in Batticaloa
[TamilNet, Thursday, 20 March 2003, 04:03 GMT]
"Today represents a historic day in our freedom struggle. The fifteenth year anniversay of the day Annai (mother) Poopathi sacrificed her life waging non-violent struggle against the might of the Indian Army. She demonstrated that no force can suppress the determination of the Tamils to fight for their rights," said Batticaloa-Amparai special commander of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), T. Ramesh, addressing the anniversary celebrations held in Navalady, Batticaloa, sources said.
Special commander Ramesh hoisting Tamil eelam flag
Batticaloa district LTTE head of administration, Senathirajah, presided the event.
Commander Ramesh hoisted the Tamil Eelam flag at the Navalady Poopathy Memorial. Martyr Lt. Vijaya Kartig's mother hoisted the flag of Mother's Front. Batticaloa-Amparai district head of LTTE political section, Kausalyan, lit the ceremonial flame. Rev. Joseph Mary and Priest Bramasiri Jeyanatha Kurukkal lit the sacrificial flame.
General meeting began after Batticaloa-Amparai district head of the LTTE politicial section women's wing, Banuka, garlanded mother Poopathi's picture frame.
Kausalyan lighting the ceremonial lamp
"Tamils have been discriminated by successive governments from the time Sri Lanka gained independence. Annai Poopathi sacrificed her life so that the future Tamil generations can live in peace. Tamil leaders of the past staged non-violent struggle to obtain our rights. We were forced to takeup arms as our non-violent struggle failed to deliver results," continued Ramesh in his speech.
"Our military strength has finally convinced SriLanka government ot seek a negotiated solution to the conflict. Convincing articulation of Tamil peoples' just rights in the peace talks has given us legitimacy in the within the international community. We have agreed to explore our right to self-determination within a Federal configuration. If the Sri Lanka Government fails to deliver a just solution then international community will have to support our right to secession.
"We have to be vigilant as there is uncertainty in the political dynamics of the South. New elections can be held, and new parties can become key players in the future. We have to be prepared and be ready to face these potential changes," said Ramesh.
LTTE's Banuka and Parliamentarian, Joseph Pararajasingam, also spoke.