Feature Article
3RD LEAD (Adds statement)

Sikhs, expatriate Indian Tamils mark May 18 questioning role of Norway, USA

[TamilNet, Monday, 20 May 2019, 23:03 GMT]
The expatriate Indian Tamils from Tamil Nadu living in Scandinavia took part in the 10th Mu'l'livaaykkaal Genocide Remembrance event organised by Eezham Tamils in Oslo, the capital of Norway. They also staged a separate marking on their own at Gustaf Adolf's square in the city of Gothenburg in Sweden on 20th May. In the meantime, expatriate Tamil Nadu Tamils living in the USA staged remembrance events at 20 different places on 18th May, criticising the US abetment of genocidal Sri Lanka, both before and after the 2009 onslaught. The role of the expatriate Tamil Nadu Tamils in marking the tenth remembrance gains more significance than the hundreds of emotional events marked by the Eezham Tamil diaspora in the North-America, Europe and elsewhere with massive participation, said Tamil diaspora activists, who also appreciated the way a Sikh editor marked his remembrance to the same effect.

Gurratan Singh, a Canadian New Democratic Party politician and an elected member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, expressed the following in the Assembly on 18th May: “Today we remember the #TamilGenocide. Tens of thousands killed, orphanages bombed, journalists murdered, campaigns of physical & sexual violence, Tamils disappeared, libraries burnt destroying ancient Tamil documents & more. All at the hands of the Sri Lankan Government. These decades of violence continue to impact the Tamil people. That's why it's so important to name the #TamilGenocide & remember it. Because we can only heal from trauma once we confront it. So we can all understand the injustices Tamils have & continue to go through.”

At the same time, the World Sikh News (WSN) said it was paying tributes to Tamil martyrs and re­produced an open letter which was written by its editor Jagmohan Singh in 2009 at the height of war. The letter was addressed to Charles Anthony, the son of LTTE Leader V. Pirapaharan.

“Like India downing the Sikhs, Kashmiris and the people of the North-East and getting away with it, today, the Sri Lankan government is getting away with broad daylight murder and mayhem,” Jagmohan observed in the open letter.

“I am particularly impressed by the retort of the Tamil Diaspora to the Norwegian leadership. I have read reports that when Norwegian Tamils laid a siege of the Oslo-based office of the country’s Prime Minister and confronted the government there, the Norwegian Minister for International Development, Erik Solheim is reported to have said: ‘I can understand the level of desperation among the Tamils in Norway. But, I can’t cause miracles.”

In the letter Jagmohan was quoting a comment by the late Ki Pi Aravinthan to TamilNet from April 2009.

Aravinthan's response was apt and classic, he had hit the nail on the hea Jagmohan Singh observed in his open letter.

“I am not a defence analyst, but I think that when the Norway-led peace process started, the struggle of your people was hit hard. I am sure your leaders then had practical reasons for the decision but invariably such peace process attempts of insincere governments enable the entrenched violators to further arm themselves and cause more death and destruction,” he had observed in the letter.

Ten years later, on 18 May 2019, the same message was echoed, this time by Vijay Asokan, a postdoctoral researcher from Tamil Nadu, who was addressing the Eezham Tamil participants of the Remembrance Event in Oslo in front of the Norwegian Parliament.

Dr Vijay in Oslo event
Dr Vijay Asokan from Tamil Nadu was addressing the Eezham Tamil participants at the remembrance event in Oslo on 18 May. Expatriate Tamil Nadu Tamils living in Scandinavia also took part in the event. Vijay is having the book “Structures of Tamil Eelam: A Handbook” published by an Eezham Tamil youth group in Switzerland and urged Tamils in Norway to engage in similar publication work documenting the injustices
Vijay was making reference to what Norway and the USA were saying after 2009.

“On 12th May 2015, I was present at a meeting in which Mr Solheim was addressing a group of Eezham Tamils in Oslo. He was repeating the same words of John Kerry, the US Secretary of State who had had made a speech praising the SL State a few days back in the same month during his visit to Colombo,” Vijay said.

On one side Norway was blaming the ‘two sides’ for the failure of the peace talks and for the fate of the war, on the other side, it was providing overwhelming financial assistance to genocidal state of Sri Lanka. This was the same attitude witnessed during the war and after, he said.

Dr Vijay was also making a particular reference to the financial assistance provided by Norway's Development Agency, NORAD, to the application SL State was making to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) to expand its sovereignty into the sea by 25 times its territory.

The Tamil Nadu activist said Eezham Tamils, particularly their youth, have to raise questions to those who wronged the Tamils through lopsided diplomacy with vested geopolitical interests.

Gothenburg May 18 event
The Remembrance event marked by the expatriate Tamils from Tamil Nadu was the first such event to take place in Europe, the participants said

In the meantime, expatriates from Tamil Nadu living in Gothenburg, Sweden, arranged a remembrance day event on Monday. Dr Vijay addressed the event explaining the role of Tamil Nadu Tamils in demanding international justice for the crime of genocide against the Eezham Tamils. He called for self-criticism of all the Tamil Nadu politicians, activists and movements in order to advance the cause in a proper way in the coming years.

The expatriates from Tamil Nadu living in the USA also marked similar events in 19 places on 17th and 18th May.

The organising group of the US events, the North American Tamils, condemned the US resolution in the UN Human Rights Council in 2015. “The US resolution destroyed the international mobilisation of Tamil Eelam struggle,” the organisers said. “The resolution was not recognising Eezham Tamils as a nation. In fact the resolution doesn't even mention the term Tamils,” they further stated.

The expatriate group in the USA marked the events in Philadelphia, Virginia, Atlanta, St. Louis, Tampa, Delaware, Seattle, Dayton - NJ, Belleville - NJ, Chicago, Greensboro - NC, Connecticut, Dallas, Cary - NC, Palo Alto - CA, Irvine - CA, Boston, Exton - PA and in Syracuse, NY.

Following is the full text of the statement issued by the organisers of the remembrance events in North America:

Commemorating 10th year of Tamil Eelam Genocide in United States of America

In the modern era of advanced digitized information processing, May 17, 2009 witnessed one of the bloodiest Genocides, perpetrated by the Sri Lankan forces against Tamils. It has been 10 years now and we are still beleaguered for an international consensus. World countries, EU and UN are extremely reluctant to assert the strategically planned eradication of Tamils as Genocide and to propose a just solution to alter the 60 year long ethnic conflict. International Super Powers like America, in its resolution in UNHRC, erroneously see the conflict as a religious struggle.

Unites states in the year 2014 brought a resolution on Sri Lanka which not only favored Sri Lanka but proved to be a disaster for Tamils in the international forum. Unfortunately, some non-government organizations in United States run by Tamil expatriates supported the resolution and saw it as a beacon. As the upcoming generation of youngsters, we see it as a upheaval for the below reasons -

  1. US Resolution strongly emphasizes protecting “Territorial Integrity” of Sri Lanka there by denying the Legitimate (indigenous) Tamils sovereign rights and their political aspiration

  2. US Resolution urges Sri Lanka to oblige international law while countering terrorism, there by wrongly branding Tamils as terrorists and the liberation struggle as terrorism

  3. US Resolution does not recognize Tamils as an entity and judiciously avoided any mention of the word Tamil in the entire resolution, there by denying Tamils as Ethic Nationalities

  4. US Resolution promotes Accountability which directly contradicts the nature of the failed state of Sri Lanka who denied entry to UN special rapporteurs during conflict times

  5. By urging reconciliation without justice, US resolution denies any rights for Tamils towards justice and have failed responsibility to protect hundred of thousands of innocent Tamil civilians

This year marks the 10th commemoration of the genocide. As youngsters from Tamil Nadu living in the United States, we had organized peace gatherings in 20 different states across the US involving various Tamil movements. On paying homage to the fallen heroes, we place the below demands -

  1. Tamil Eelam is the only solution and we will not compromise for anything less than a sovereign state, a mandate given by the people of Tamil Eelam based on Vattukottai Resolution. Therefore, we demand that the international bodies stop thrusting unitary solution on us

  2. Recognize and Legitimize the defacto Nation and let the nation present its case with proper evidence on the perpetrated Genocide

  3. We demand the United States to make necessary changes to the earlier mistakes and refrain suggesting unitary solutions, but to proceed for accountability and justice for the crimes of Genocide.

We trust our demands will be heard and the US will bring a strong resolution to comply with the standards of international law and to uphold truth & justice

North American Tamils
United States

May 18, Atlanta
Atlanta, USA
May 18, Connecticut
Connecticut, USA
May 18, Connecticut, Seattle
May 18, Connecticut, Seattle
Seattle, USA

Related Articles:
01.05.19   Swiss youth group brings out publication on de-facto state o..

External Links:
The World Sikh News: On 10th Re­mem­brance day, time to salute Ee­lam Tamils killed by Sri Lanka



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