Australia must ratify Tamil referendum results: Greens MLA

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 12 May 2010, 08:52 GMT]
Citing the overwhelming consensus for independence as expressed by the Australia’s Tamil Diaspora in the recent Tamil Referendum on independent and sovereign Tamil Eelam, Greens Member of the Legislative Assembly for the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Ms. Amanda Bresnan, who witnessed the referendum as an observer, has urged the Australian government to ratify the results, also citing the overwhelming support in similar referendums held across Europe and Canada. The referendum is “to reaffirm the political aspirations of the Tamils in the isle of Sri Lanka, that the opinion of Tamils living overseas can be used to determine the political solution to ethnic conflict, that the results be taken to governments and international bodies and that this bring about national and global solidarity amongst Tamils and bring consensus on the national question” she said.

Full text of Amenda's address in the Legislative Assembly follows:

Amenda Bresnan
Amenda Bresnan, Member of the ACT Legislative Assembly
I would like to briefly mention that on Sunday, 18 April, I attended, as an observer, the ACT booth for the Tamil referendum, where Tamils living in Australia were asked to vote on whether they aspire for the formation of an independent Tamil homeland in the north and east of Sri Lanka. At least 10,000 Tamils turned out for this vote. Dr Sam Pari from the Australian Tamil Congress said that, whilst the result will have little political significance, it will serve as a tool to show the world that Tamils living overseas support the cause of Tamil independence.

The provisional results from Australia were that 99.4 per cent voted yes to the referendum. The referendum has been held successfully in other countries, including Norway, France, Canada, Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany and the United Kingdom. Again, in these countries more than 99 per cent voted yes and a further five countries will be conducting a referendum in the next few months. The UK government has formally recognised the result of the referendum for the UK; so it would be good to see the Australian government do the same thing for the Tamil people living in Australia.

The referendum this year is based on the Vadukkoddai resolution, which was a landmark decision made by Tamil political parties in 1976 to reclaim their traditional homeland and exercise their right to sovereignty. What they hope to achieve through the referendum this year, obviously by showing that there is the vast majority of support amongst Tamils living overseas or independents, is to reaffirm the political aspirations of the Tamils in the isle of Sri Lanka, that the opinion of Tamils living overseas can be used to determine the political solution to ethnic conflict, that the results be taken to governments and international bodies and that this bring about national and global solidarity amongst Tamils and bring consensus on the national question.

As I noted, I do hope that the Australian government follows in the footsteps of the UK government and officially recognises and supports the results of the referendum in Australia. I wish all the Tamil community success with further referendums that they run across the world.


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