Tamil youth in UK protest against BJP-triggered detention of Thirumurugan Gandhi

[TamilNet, Sunday, 09 July 2017, 23:27 GMT]
A group of young Eezham Tamil diaspora activists as well as progressive activists of older generation, numbering around 30, got together in front of the Indian High Commission in London stressing the need to mobilise against the arrest of May 17 Movement Coordinator Thirumurugan Gandhi and three activists of Thamizh Vidiyal Kadchi who have been detained under draconian Goondas Act in Tamil Nadu after they organised a candle vigil remembrance in May for those who perished in Mu’l’livaaykkaal genocide. Thirumurugan Gandhi has been targeted not only for voicing against the genocide of Eezham Tamils. He has been one of the key articulators against the economic exploitation of resources by India’s ruling BJP backed corporate Establishments. The activists who gathered in front of the India House in London said the protest was particularly intended as an awareness campaign among Eezham Tamils.

Release Thirumurugan protest in UK

Tamil Youth in UK protest demanding release of Thirumurugan Gandhi
While the genocide against Eezham Tamils was waged with the backing of global and regional Establishments, including New Delhi, Eezham Tamils world over, particularly in the UK, gathered in hundreds of thousands sending a strong message to the world Establishments. But, such protests addressing the Embassies, State actors and the UN, ended in vain. The Establishments were backing the genocidal annihilation of Eezham Tamils. From the International Monetary Fund to British representative in UK were only viewing Eezham Tamils, particularly the LTTE, as blighting their agent State in Colombo for a long time.

The Eezham Tamil diaspora, although it has lost hopes in staging protests in front of the high commissions and embassies, cannot remain silent and will contribute to a new paradigm of struggle in addressing the Establishments that have been blighting the Tamil struggle for a long time, commented one of the youth organisers.

The Tamil Youth Organisation in London (TYO-UK) took part in the protest.

“We have not just been exploited through physical genocide. But the continued exploitation of anything that makes Tamil people have a sustainable strong economy is continuously undermined through surgical political actions,” said Krish Saba, the sub-coordinator of TYO-UK, in his address to those who had gathered in front of the Indian mission in UK.

Tamil Youth in UK protest demanding release of Thirumurugan Gandhi

“Fracking has been categorically rejected by much of the informed international community. However it is now being implemented in Tamil Nadu under Modi's India. This is but one example of the exploitation of Tamil national resources. This must end with immediate effect,” he further said.

How could India describe itself as the largest liberal democratic bastion while shutting down the voices of its own communities, the protesters asked.

Tamils demand not only the release of Thirumurugan Gandhi, but also to repeal the draconian act, known as the Goondas Act in Tamil Nadu.

Tamil Youth in UK protest demanding release of Thirumurugan Gandhi

“A place in which ideas cannot be expressed builds tremendous pressure without escape, Eezham Tamils know this only too well,” Krish Saba said adding that Tamils should remember that they are bonded as family not just through a rich history, culture, traditions, stories and language but through a history of “shared oppression”.

The protest has already triggered discussion and debate in Tamil language media in the UK as well as strengthening the on-going discourse of activism, which is primarily based on the social media across the State borders and continents.

The detention of Thirumurugan Gandhi has triggered a new trend of action-oriented mobilisation among the Eezham Tamil diaspora, the youth activists in London said.

Protesters have put out their demands on the wall of the Indian mission in UK
Protesters have put out their demands on the wall of the Indian mission in UK
The protesters who had gathered in front of the Indian mission between 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. were shouting slogans such as “No to fracking, not to Goondas”, “Release our political activists, India, India shame on you and “Free Tamil Eelam, Free Kashmir, Free Baluchistan.”

Although the High Commission was closed on Sundays, there were officials observing the protest from within the India House. At the end of the protest, the participants put up their demands on the wall of the Indian mission.

Tamil Youth in UK protest demanding release of Thirumurugan Gandhi

A group of veteran activists long involved in grassroots mobilisation have come forward with their support to the youth activists, they further said.

Tamil diaspora groups that have succumbed to ‘lobbyist’ trap have been advocating against such protest.

The groups, which have lost their credibility among the grassroots, were also trying to defend themselves among the grassroots by issuing statements urging release of the activists in Tamil Nadu.

A video released last week by TamilNet from an interview with Thirumurgan Gandhi in May 2017 on the topic of Quisling Politics is being reproduced below:

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