India should not collaborate in genocide of Tamils: Tamil Protection Movement

[TamilNet, Friday, 14 March 2008, 22:19 GMT]
The Tamil Protection Movement (TPM), an umbrella organization consisting of pro-Eelam political parties, NGOs, members of the film fraternity and Tamil associations, condemned the Indian state for extending military support to the genocidal Sri Lankan Government. In a joint statement issued on behalf of the TPM, Paaddaa'li Makka'l Kadchi (PMK, Toilers' Party) founder-leader S Ramadoss and Viduthalai Chi'ruththaika'l Kadchi (VCK, Liberation Panthers Party) President Thol Thirumavalavan, demanded the "Indian Government to radically change its approach and actions in the Sri Lankan Tamils issue" and warned the union government not to be seen as collaborating in Sri Lanka's genocide of Tamils.

Underlining the fact that the ethnic crisis in Sri Lanka was an emotive issue for Indian Tamils, the Thamizh Paathukaappu Iyakkam (TPM) pointed out that it was the duty of the Tamil Nadu government to spearhead the movement to bring together the "entire Tamil Nadu people to speak in unison in support of the Tamils of Eelam."

The TPM sought the reclamation of Kachchatheevu in view of the Sri Lanka Navy's attacks on Indian fishermen, and urged the Indian Government "to be cognizant of Sri Lanka's past diplomatic record."

According to informed sources, a TPM demonstration is planned on March 28 with a plethora of demands: to protest against Indian military aid to Sri Lanka; to urge the Indian Government to take back Kachchatheevu from Sri Lanka; to request the Indian Government to modify its external affairs approach in order to safeguard the rights of Sri Lankan Tamils and recognize their struggle for survival, self-determination, and self-defence against state genocide.

Full text of the TamilNet translation of their joint statement:

Sri Lanka's ethnic conflict remains unsolved for the past quarter century. The Tamil people become everyday victims of the cruel face of racism. Sinhala ruling class has denied education and employment to almost four generations of Eelam Tamils, and many are leading unsettled lives as immigrants in foreign countries. The institutions that fight against racial, religious and linguistic discrimination too are staying away from asserting their moral stand on Tamil issue, causing surprise and bitterness to those seeking relief.

In this climate, Sri Lanka Army (SLA) has launched a three-pronged attack on the Tamil people. The SLA and security forces have jettisoned basic ethics of warfare and are dropping bombs on schools, orphanages and residential areas. The international community has condemned these incidents and have threatened to stop aid to Sri Lanka.

The people of Tamil Eelam are a part of the Tamil-speaking world. They have a special place in the heart of Indian Tamils. If any harm befalls them, Tamils in Tamil Nadu will not stay silent; no one can hide this truth.

In recent days, several acts which hurt the sentiments of the Indian Tamils have taken place. The Tamils here expect an amicable solution to the problems of the Sri Lankan Tamils. But, the Indian Government has not lived up to the expectations of our people.

The Sri Lankan Government, which unilaterally withdrew from the Norway mediated Cease Fire Agreement, has been pressing for a military solution to the ethnic crisis, and has unleashed brutal attacks on the Tamil people of Eelam. In this circumstances, Indian Tamils expect India to not support the Sri Lankan Government, but to take initiatives to find a just solution to the problems faced by Eelam Tamils.

Recently, India has given training to the Sri Lankan military, and this has encouraged the Sri Lankan Government to intensify the war on the Tamil people. We urge the Indian Government to stop all military aid to the Sri Lanka.

Unlike in many other conflicts, in Sri Lanka, a group has taken up arms to defend its people from genocide. Sri Lankan state has embarked on a focused effort to crush the struggle and to erase the Tamil people from the map of Sri Lanka. The Indian Government should recognize this and work towards saving the Tamil people. It should not be seen as collaborating in Sri Lanka's genocide of Tamils.

We demand that the Indian Government radically change its approach and actions in the Sri Lankan Tamils issue. We request the Indian Government to modify its strategies in order to safeguard the just rights of the Lankan Tamils. The role of the Tamil Nadu Government in this regard is extremely important.

We wish to point out that in the past, State government has spearheaded several initiatives which brought together entire Tamil Nadu people to speak in unison in support of the Tamils of Eelam. Tamil Nadu government without remaining silent must assert its influence in the Centre and shape its policy towards protecting Tamils in Tamileelam. We also request the people of Tamil Nadu to set aside their individual differences and to unite for this cause.

The belligerence of Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) is not confined to Tamileelam. SLN attacks on the Tamil Nadu fishermen have been escalating at an alarming rate. They abduct our fishermen, they torture them, they arrest them. Our fisher families affected by SLN aggression are undergoing severe hardships. Kachchatheevu which was gifted to Sri Lanka by India, is central to the travails faced by Tamil Nadu fishermen. We urge the Central Government to take steps to take control of Kachchatheevu which traditionally belonged to the Tamil Nadu fishermen.

India should assert its supremacy as a regional super power by confronting any challenge from the Sri Lanka Navy in the Indian ocean and Palk straits. India cannot remain mute.

We would also like to point out that Sri Lanka has never taken a pro-India stance in issues important to India in international arena. The Indian Government, advisors and diplomatic staff must be cognizant of Sri Lanka's past diplomatic record. Past behavior is an accurate predictor of future behavior of the Sri Lanka Government. India can ignore this lesson only at its own peril.



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