US Tamils call for show of unity
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 24 March 2004, 02:46 GMT]
"It is the duty of every Tamil speaking person in Sri Lanka, regardless of his/her political alignment, religious affiliation, region of residence, or even personal biases, to set aside all such considerations and support this hard earned Tamil unity...[We] wish to humbly and earnestly request ALL Eelam Tamils to exercise their franchise on April 2nd, 2004, conscientiously," said United States-based expatriate Tamil organizations in an appeal issued Tuesday.
Full text of the appeal follows:An Appeal to Eelam Tamils
A Rare Moment in History
Seize the Moment
In the course of human history, few nations have been granted rare moments, of a propitious alignment of diverse forces affecting them. It could be luck, destiny or the product of perseverance, but such moments are rare. Some nations have ‘seized the moment’ to achieve their dreams, while others have squandered and failed.
This year Eelam Tamils have been presented with a similar confluence of favorable factors. After a long-drawn-out serfdom, the Tamil cry for self-rule now has international recognition. Decades of non-violent political effort, followed by twenty-five years of armed struggle, has led to the ‘oppressor’ being compelled to acknowledge and restore the denied Tamil rights. After centuries of disunity, and betrayals starting with Kaakkai Vannian to the present, Tamil people are united under one leadership, and the detractors are marginalized.
TNA, the strongest Tamil political party, is contesting the forthcoming election on the basis of Tamil unity. Its election manifesto, reiterates the three cardinal principles of the Thimpu declaration, (namely, recognition of the Tamils of Sri Lanka as a nation, recognition of the existence of an identified homeland for the Tamils in Sri Lanka, and the recognition of the right of self determination of the Tamil nation); accepts the LTTE as the sole representatives of the Eelam Tamils, and has pledged support for the LTTE proposal for an Interim Self-Governing Authority.
Indeed, this is a rare moment in the history of Thamileelam.
It is the duty of every Tamil speaking person in Sri Lanka, regardless of his/her political alignment, religious affiliation, region of residence, or even personal biases, to set aside all such considerations and support this hard earned Tamil unity.
On April 2, 2004, they have the opportunity to express it at an election. The greatest contribution Eelam Tamils can make at this rare moment in history is to speak with one voice and endorse the Tamil leadership. A strong electoral message will have a forceful and convincing impact on the international community and the government of Sri Lanka, and pave the way for an end to Tamil suffering.
Eelam Tamils have suffered far too long to let this rare moment in history pass by.
We the undersigned Tamil organizations in the United States of America wish to humbly and earnestly request ALL Eelam Tamils to exercise their franchise on April 2nd, 2004, conscientiously.
Ilankai Tamil Sangam, USA
Ilankai Tamil Sangam of Texas
Florida Tamil Sangam
Tami Eelam Society of Carolinas (USA)
Washington Ilankai Tamil Sangam
Sri Lanka Tamil Association of Ohio
Midwest Thamizh Sangam (USA)
World Tamil Coordinating Committee (USA)
World Tamil Organization (USA)
Tamil Refugee Rehabilitation Organization (USA)
Tamil Welfare and Human Rights Committee of Washington, D.C.
Action Group of Tamils in the US (AGOTUS)
Society for Democracy Peace and Justice (New York)
Thamil Heritage International, Los Angeles (USA)
Seattle Vancouver Tamil Sangam (USA)