London conference 'backs Tamil independence'

[TamilNet, Monday, 26 April 1999, 21:53 GMT]
(News Feature) An estimated five thousand Tamil people living in Britain attended a rally and conference titled 'Tamil Eelam Towards Independence,' at Alexander Palace, London on April 25, 1999, said the organisers, the Federation of Tamil Associations (UK). However, widespread speculation about a 'unilateral declaration of independence' at the event proved unfounded.

'The conference deliberated on the issues affecting the Tamil Nation in the island of Sri Lanka,' said the organisers in a press release.

london_conference_2.jpg'The Tamil people demonstrated their solidarity behind the leadership of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam,' said the Federation of Tamil Associations.

Robert Evans, MEP of Britain's ruling Labour Party gave the opening address to the conference. He said he "brought greetings from the European Parliament" and expressed his "support for the Tamil people" and said the situation Sri Lanka had been "forgotten" by the world.

The conference resolved to:

'accept and recognise the Tamil peoples (sic) right to self determination',

'accept and recognise the North-Eastern Province in the island of Sri Lanka as the Traditional Homeland of the Tamil Nation',

'accept and recognise the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam as the legitimate representative of the Tamil People' and

'stop the ongoing war and withdraw the Sri Lankan Armed Forces from Tamil Eelam forthwith.'

'The conference concluded that these are essential prerequisites for a durable political settlement of the Tamil national conflict,' said the press release.

The resolution was passed with a show of hands from the conference floor. Speakers at the conference included Adrian Wijemmane, an academic who spoke on independence struggles and how, in his view, the situation in Sri Lanka could be seen in a similar light.

Representatives of about twenty Tamil community organisations also spoke in support of Tamil independence and the LTTE.

British Parliamentarian (Labour Party), Neil Gerrard, gave a speech supporting "self determination for the Tamils" and condemned the Sri Lankan government for it's human rights record and for not seeking a negotiated solution.

Vasantha Raja, former Rupavahini chairman, also addressed the conference, drawing parallels between the humanitarian situation in Kosovo and that in Sri Lanka.

Ms. Arjin Amedi, a representative of the Kurdish Freedom for Ocalan Campaign drew parallels with human rights situations 'faced by the Kurdish people in Turkey and the Tamil people in Sri Lanka'.

london_conference_1.jpgA speaker Committee for the Unification of the Revolutionary Left told the conference that Sri Lankan left wing parties such as the NLF and JVP 'are opposed to the war'.

A press briefing held part way through the conference was attended by Adrian Wijemmane, representatives of the Federation of Tamil Association and International Federation of Tamils (IFT), as well as Kumar Ponnambalam, of Sri Lanka+IBk-s All Ceylon Tamil Congress.

When asked by journalists about the widespread speculation about a declaration of independence at the event, James Karan of the IFT denied an announcement had been planned.

'UDI can only be announced by our leader in Tamil Eelam,' he said, referring to LTTE leader Vellupillai Pirapaharan.

'Our agenda is not set by the Sinhala press,' he said, in reference to recent reports in the Sri Lankan press that expatriate Tamils were planning to 'declare Tamil Eelam' at an event in Europe.

 

Latest 15 Reports
17.05.21 19:23   Photo
Ananthi blames war criminal Silva for blocking collective memorial at Mu'l'livaaykkaal
23.03.21 12:41   Photo
No focus on Tamil genocide, geopolitics gets played out in Geneva in favour of QUAD formation
21.03.21 13:34   Photo
Navi Pillay explains ‘human rights’ limitations in Geneva on Tamil genocide
15.03.21 20:36   Photo
Deceived Tamil activists in UK falsely claimed ‘substantial changes’ to Zero draft
09.03.21 21:34   Photo
UK repeatedly wronged Tamils says hunger-striker, demands genocide justice
26.02.21 11:53   Photo
Tamils witness false dilemma in Geneva as geopolitical formations pit against each other
19.02.21 14:02   Photo
UK not prepared to push for ICC option in new UNHRC Resolution
07.02.21 23:16   Photo
Unprecedented P2P uprising paves the way for rights-oriented politics of Tamils and Muslims
22.01.21 08:01   Photo
Gotabaya sets up deceptive COI citing ‘sovereignty’ and ‘non-aligned’ foreign policy
18.01.21 23:44   Photo
Tamil activists resisted three sources of outside influence while drafting demands to UNHRC
16.01.21 11:03  
Tamil national parties demand UN to inquire into crime of genocide and set up IIIM
09.01.21 09:37   Photo
Demolition of Tamil genocide monument, fourth emblematic trauma since 1974: Rev Fr Sakthivel
08.01.21 23:51   Photo
Colombo destroys Mu'l'livaaykkaal memorial monument at Jaffna University
07.01.21 11:22   Photo
With emphasis on genocide, Suresh calls for ICC-referral, IIIM and referendum
07.01.21 00:04   Photo
Boyle prefers IIIM demand over ICC-referral, says specific reference to genocide essential
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=3209