Tamil Nadu government erases the word 'Eezham'

[TamilNet, Monday, 17 August 2009, 23:08 GMT]
Tamil Nadu Police was seen pasting white papers on the word 'Eezham' and on the picture of LTTE leader V. Pirapaharan, figured in the banners and posters of Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Kadchi (VCK) organised uprising in Chennai attended by more than 100,000 people Monday. The VCK's annual uprising day, conducted on the birthday of its leader Thol Thirumavalavan, has chosen the theme 'Ezhum Thamizh Eezham' for this year. The phrase can either mean the 'rising Tamil Eelam' or 'Tamil Eelam will rise'. The word 'Eezham' is the earliest reference to today's island of Sri Lanka, found in Tamil literature and inscriptions of pre-Christian centuries.

VCK event in Chennai

On the eve of the meeting, within a couple of hours, more than 2000 large digital banners publicizing the public meeting were pulled down by the police in and around Chennai city alone. The police, who pasted white papers on the word 'Eelam', which appeared in the name of the conference, spared only a tiny fraction of the banners.

The state police also pasted white paper to cover pictures of Mr. Pirapaharan wherever it appeared in the digital banners.

According to news reports, these banners had been placed throughout Tamil Nadu more than ten days ago. The sudden police action of pulling down these digital banners on Monday left the VCK embittered. The VCK cadres staged spontaneous protests.

Wall writings (graffiti) giving details of the event, which had been painted several months ago, were also defaced by the civic staff in Chennai on the orders of the city police who supervised this cleaning operation.

Launching a tirade against the Government of Sri Lanka for its systematic genocide of Tamils, Mr. Thirumavalavan, who is also an Indian Member of Parliament vowed to cast his party, the VCK (Liberation Panthers), as the "unarmed Tamil Tigers" and to keep the fire of Tamil Eelam struggle alive in Tamil Nadu.

Thirumavalavan argued that although his party was bound by the Indian Constitution, the Tamil people in India could not remain mute spectators to the genocide of their brethren in Sri Lanka.

Referring to the police action, Thirumavalavan said that such an assault on the freedom of expression was highly condemnable. He also observed that any force in the world could only erase words and images from walls, and use their might to pull down banners, but they can never remove these emotions and feelings of liberation and homeland which people carry in their minds, nor can these powers stop our uprising.

Alleging that fifty thousand Tamil people, including young children and women, were killed in Sri Lanka since the beginning of 2009, he also detailed the sufferings that the Tamils were presently undergoing in the barbed wire camps in Vavuniyaa.

The VCK leader also read out a resolution stating that an independent state of Tamil Eelam was the only solution to ensure the long-term safety and protection of the Eelam Tamils.

Another resolutions passed in this conference requested the US and Indian governments to remove the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam from the list of terrorist organizations and called upon them to recognize the LTTE as freedom movement.

Thirmavalavan expressed suspicions on the truth behind Sri Lanka's unverifiable claims about LTTE leader V. Pirapaharan.

The conference also passed a resolution condemning the "arrest" of Selvarasa Pathmanathan. The resolution demanded that the Government of Sri Lanka should announce whether Mr. Pathmanathan was arrested or kidnapped, and called upon the United Nations to safeguard him from any threat to his life.

Moreover, according to sources in Tamil Nadu, rumours of Thirumavalavan's arrest caused some anxious moments for his cadres, and this was used by the police as a pretext to prevent thousands of people from reaching the Chennai to take part in this public meeting. The railway police had also resorted to a lathi-charge on VCK cadres in Madurai Sunday night and prevented them from boarding trains to come to the state capital to participate.

Thirumavalavan said that while his party would take every effort to ensure that the DMK Government would not be put to hardship, any question of compromise in aim or ideology was impossible and that his support for Tamil Eelam was unwavering.

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