2ND LEAD (UPDATE)
Denmark silences detractors of Tamil referendum
[TamilNet, Sunday, 28 February 2010, 23:52 GMT]
4,147 out of an estimated 6,000 to 6,500 eligible Eezham Tamil voters in Denmark participated in the referendum conducted by a third party professional institute on Sunday and 98.2 percent of them voted yes for the formation of independent and sovereign Tamil Eelam in the contiguous north and east of the island of Sri Lanka. Denmark is the eighth country in the West where Eezham Tamils have overwhelmingly demonstrated their aspiration for independence through a series of referenda conducted among the diaspora. Even though the population of Eezham Tamils in Denmark is relatively small, since their number is known with fair accuracy, the turn out and poll results are very significant in silencing detracting campaign against the very democratic process of Tamil referendum, diaspora circles said.
According to official statistics, 7,147 people of the origin of the island of Sri Lanka and over 18 years old, live in Denmark.
Between 500 and 700 of them are estimated to be Sinhalese who mostly live in the capital Copenhagen. Some Danish Tamils have migrated to other European countries in recent times.
Making allowances, eligible Eezham Tamil voters over 18 living across Denmark is estimated to be numbering between 6,000 and 6,500.
The participation of 63 to 69 percent of them in the referendum and 98 percent of them aspiring Tamil Eelam is a verifiable mandate, diaspora sources said.
TNS Gallup, a third party professional institute, specialised in sociological and public opinion research services, functioned as Election Managers in working out the voting system and monitoring.
The polling agency conducted the ballot deploying electronic devices and confidential registration to avoid any duplication, dispelling all doubts on the credibility of the democratic exercise.
After electronic registration each voter was given with a password by the third party presiding officer to vote yes, no or blank on the question displayed electronically. The polling agency said 98.2 percent voted yes, 0.5 percent voted no and 1.3 percent voted blank.
Taking the official figure 7,147 for all people from the island of Sri Lanka as the base for calculations, TNS Gallup put the turnout at 58 percent.
Initial poll analysis released by the polling agency showed that out of 33 centres across Denmark, the turnout in one centre at Skanderborg was 95 percent, in 13 centres it was over 70 percent, in 13 centres it was between 50 and 69 percent, 6 centres registered 30 to 49 percent and Copenhagen the Capital registered only 16 percent. According to Danish Tamil circles, the turnout pattern is related to the demographic distribution of Tamils and Sinhalese in Denmark.
Eezham Tamils have mandated independent and sovereign Tamil Eelam in the general elections in the island of Sri Lanka in 1977, when it was the election question put to them through the Vaddukkoaddai Resolution of 1976 by all Tamil political parties of that time.
Referenda seeking re-mandate is now being conducted in the diaspora since last May and Eezham Tamils in Norway, France, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, UK and Denmark have so far re-mandated independence.
Eezham Tamils in the island are disenfranchised from expressing such a political aspiration by the constitution of Sri Lanka.
The re-mandate in the diaspora arises from the necessity to voice on behalf of the people brutally silenced and face genocide in the island, to lay the bearings for democratic political organization and to quell the 'vicious campaign' and assumption that aspiration for independence is only an LTTE agenda and Tamils no longer subscribe to it, said diaspora Tamil circles.
If those who are prepared to opt for tangential approach to the oppressors could show a similar spirit of accommodation to the forces of their own mainstream polity, and if the spirit of inclusion to all shades of Tamil national activism could be extended from the mainstream in firmly laying the foundation for political organisation, much more could be achieved in furthering the struggle for liberation, said Tamil circles engaged in diaspora political organisation.
Alarmed at the democratic political mobilisation of Eezham Tamils, systematic efforts are now being made in several quarters to discourage it, Tamil circles said, adding that vicious campaign is aimed at disillusioning Eezham Tamils in the diaspora and supporters of Eezham Tamil nationalism in Tamil Nadu.
25.02.10 'Eezham Tamils to act for themselves'