Feature Article

Tamils vow to mobilize against unitary design, mark Lt Col Thileepan’s memorial with reverence

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 26 September 2017, 22:38 GMT]
Hundreds of people attended 30th Remembrance Day of Lt Col Thileepan (Rasaiah Parthipan) on Tuesday in front of Nalloor temple in Jaffna, where the LTTE’s Jaffna Political Head sacrificed his life through a 12-day long fast-unto-death in 1987. The hunger-strike by 24-year-old Thileepan, without food and water, exposed New Delhi’s partnership with Colombo following the Indo-Lanka Accord. Three decades have elapsed, but the external Establishments in ‘strategic partnership’ are still bent on gaining inroad into the Indian Ocean Region island through backing the same genocidal unitary system of Sri Lanka. Eezham Tamils will not succumb to these designs and will continue to resist any move aimed at sustaining the unitary system until the national question of the nation of Eezham Tamils is resolved in a principled way, proclaimed the activists and politicians who spoke at the event in Jaffna.



The latest discourse of constitutional reforms is an attempt to strengthen the unitary system and subordinate everything else under it. While there was a talk [from the Establishments] that 13+ was the way forward towards federalism, the discourse is going in the opposite 13- direction, said Suresh Premachandran.

TNPF’s Selvarajah Kajendren said political vigilance of Eezham Tamils in the homeland and in the diaspora would denounce the unitary outlook. The number one priority of Eezham Tamils was to democratically denounce the unitary discourse, he said.

There were three conjunctures of state formation in the island. And in all three, the Eezham Tamils refused to accede their sovereignty, on the grounds that the Sinhala nation was only intent on establishing a unitary system of government that would concentrate power over the affairs and wealth of the island solely in the hands of Sinhala nation. The system in its entirety is genocidal against the nation of Eezham Tamils. No reform would change its genocidal outlook unless a reconfiguration of the system is carried out recognizing Tamil sovereignty and the right to self-determination of the nation of Eezham Tamils, political observers who took part in the memorial event at Nalloor said.

Thileepan’s remembrance was held with rituals, emotional songs, poetic performances and political speeches at the locality where Tamil politicians vowed to oppose the unitary discourse.

Remembrance events were also held in Mannaar, Trincomalee and Batticaloa.

Thileepan's fast-unto-death in September 1987 demystified the Indian propaganda of ‘peace accord’ among the Eezham Tamils at the grassroots level.

The Indo-Lanka Accord, as it was known, was an unprincipled one as far as the Eezham Tamils were concerned.

The accord was between India, which was led by the late Rajiv Gandhi and genocidal Sri Lanka, which was led by the late J.R. Jayewardene.

The Indo-Lanka Accord was primarily a move by New Delhi to secure its geopolitical interests in the island using the Tamil national question as a pawn to make a deal with unitary ‘Sri Lanka’.

The accord also paved way for an Indian military intervention dubbed as ‘Indian Peace Keeping Force’.

The LTTE, which refused to provide unconditional support to the accord as demanded by New Delhi, was under heavy pressure from New Delhi and the IPKF military commanders on the ground.

It was at that time, Thileepan, who was LTTE's Political Head in Jaffna launched fast-unto-death, without food and water, on 15 September 1987 in front of the Nalloor temple.

A massive mobilisation of Eezham Tamils was witnessed in country of Eezham Tamils, particularly in Jaffna where the fast took place for 12 days.

Thileepan passed away on September 26.

The five demands put forward by Thileepan in September 1987 were:

  • Put an immediate end to the colonisation schemes [of the Sinhalese] that take place under the guise of resettlement in the North-East
  • Release all Tamil political prisoners from the prisons and those detained in the camps operated by the SL military and police
  • Scrap the Emergency Regulations
  • Disarm the so-called home guards paramilitary [operated by the SL State]
  • End the activities of launching new [Sinhala] police stations in Tamil areas


The demands thus constituted an acid test for the Indian Establishment and the IPKF.

New Delhi's agenda stood exposed among the Eezham Tamils after the demise of Lt. Col. Thileepan.

Two decades later, Eezham Tamils faced a genocidal war by the SL State, which was primarily sustained by the geopolitics of the US-bandwagon and its ‘strategic partnership’ with the New Delhi Establishment.


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