Feature Article

Remembering Mu値値ivaaykkaal in proper context: Professor Jude Lal Fernando

[TamilNet, Monday, 15 May 2017, 23:15 GMT]
Martin McGuinnes, the former first minister of Northern Ireland (2007 2017), who was previously the chief Negotiator of Sinn F駟n, which has been the political wing of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), in 2006 travelled to Colombo and Ki値inochchi. At Ki値inochchi, he openly stated that the EU leaders had committed a huge mistake by proscribing the LTTE. The EU ban harmed the parity of status in the talks and paved the way for genocidal onslaught. Professor Jude Lal Fernando of Trinity College, Dublin, an exiled Sinhala activist who has been actively engaged in seeking global justice to Tamil genocide said the idea to mark Mu値値ivaaykkaal Remembrance in the north of Ireland this year was conceived with due respect to the parity of status promoted by the Irish during the peace process between the LTTE and the Colombo government in 2006.

展e want to remember both the victimhood and resistance in Mullivaikkal. For that to happen we need to meet people who continue to resist. We need to go to places where such resistance continues. This is why we chose Belfast and Derry, not the House of Commons to commemorate Mullivaikkal, like we chose Ecuador last year, Professor Jude Lal told TamilNet in an interview on Monday.

The People's Tribunal was held in Ireland in 2010 January with the support of many who are engaged in resisting the US/UK dominance in world politics, he further said.

Full text of the interview follows:

TamilNet: While marking Mu値値ivaaykkaal Remembrance in the north of Ireland, what would be your message to the sections of Tamil lobbyists in London, who take pride in marking the day at House of Commons of the United Kingdom?

Professor Jude Lal
Professor Jude Lal
Professor Jude Lal Fernando: The US/UK axis wages a psychological warfare against the Eelam Tamil diaspora groups by pushing them to accept the oppressive Sri Lankan unitary state in the name of 喪econciliation.

This psychological warfare comes under different mechanisms, organisations, lobby groups and events which appear to deliver justice to the Tamils.

One such mechanism is the UNHRC resolution which has dropped the word Tamil and want the Tamils to cooperate in implementing it under the Sri Lankan state.

It appears to promise juridical justice, but the Tamils should give up political justice and the memory of resistance.

As part of this process, last year British Tamils Forum (BTF) commemorated Mullivaikkal massacre in the House of Commons, the place where Tamil Genocide was orchestrated.

The statement issued for the Tamil Hero's Day by the British Parliamentarians' Group for Tamils referred to Tamils only as civilian causalities totally erasing their memory of resistance.

This way of depicting the Tamils is part of an ongoing genocide whereby the Tamil Eelam national consciousness is day by day destroyed.

Some diaspora groups have consciously or unconsciously have fallen victim to this agenda.

Under this agenda it is the victimhood that has been highlighted, not the heroic resistance and the great achievements of that resistance in building an alternative socio-political structure in Tamil Eelam.

TamilNet: Could you elaborate further on why the Western governments want to portray Eezham Tamils only as victims?

Jude Lal Fernando: As long as Tamils are depicted as victims and Tamils perceive themselves only as victims, victimisers can control Tamils' hearts and minds and keep them under subjugation.

The powers who appear as saviours will even promote remembering victimhood (like in the House Commons), but not resistance. They will promote celebration of our victimhood so that we give up our memory of resistance.

What is there to celebrate in our victimhood? Nothing!

It痴 the collective resistance to oppression that needs to be marked. It is the memory of resistance that energies people to start a new journey and give hope for the future.

The agenda of the powers who are responsible for oppression, repression and genocide would be disturbed when the victims come out with the memory of their historical resistance and collective political aspirations.

It is only by becoming aware of their power to resist that the Tamils would be able to start a new journey.

Mu'l'livaaykkaal Remembrance

TamilNet: Why did you choose Belfast and Derry to commemorate Mu値値ivaaykkaal Remembrance this year?

Jude Lal Fernando: We want to remember both the victimhood and resistance in Mullivaikkal. For that to happen we need to meet people who continue to resist. We need to go to places where such resistance continues. This is why we chose Belfast and Derry, not the House of Commons to commemorate Mullivaikkal. And, this was we chose Ecuador last year.

In Belfast and Derry, resistance to British empire still continues.

In the Irish peace process there is parity of esteem given to both parties.

Martin McGuinness travelled to Colombo and to Killinochchi during the peace process in promoting this parity of esteem between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan state.

It is this equality that was destroyed by the US/UK governments which led to Mullivaikkal massacre.

The first People's Tribunal was held in Ireland in 2010 January with the support of many who are engaged in resisting the US/UK dominance in world politics.

TamilNet: Who are the organisations supporting the commemorative events in the north of Ireland?

Jude Lal Fernando: In 2017, Mullivaikkal Remembrance Day is organised by several Irish organisations, who are involved in the Irish peace process. Coiste Na Nlarchimi is the ex-political prisoners' organisation of the Irish Republicans.

Relatives for Justice is the biggest human rights organisation which campaigns for the rights of families of victims.

The Irish National Gravyards Association revives the memory of the hunger strikers led by Bobby Sands and other IRA volunteers who gave up their lives for the Irish struggle.

Pat Finucane Centre is a human rights organisation which has been named after an Irish human rights lawyer who was assassinated by the British para-military groups.

The Sinn Fein has expressed their support to the event and some of their political leaders will attend the event.

TamilNet: Through these events what do you intend to communicate to the Eezham Tamils who engage in daily protests in the homeland?

Jude Lal Fernando: Whilst the Diaspora faces a psychological warfare those in homeland face an ongoing structural genocide.

Some in the homeland also have come under pressure to work under the UNHRC agenda.

It is important to realise that not a single UNHRC resolution has been able to stop the ongoing structural genocide.

However, day by day there is growing resistance to land grab and militarisation emerging from the people in the homeland.

Families of disappeared ones continue to revive the memory of their loved ones.

These should not be seen as isolated events and demands.

These should be seen as part of Tamils' collective political aspiration to own their land as nation and be free from the Sri Lankan state.

At this juncture, it is absolutely necessary that we reach out to those who are engaged in freedom struggles and understand our aspirations.

For that to happen we need to find alternative places of resistance to overcome the ongoing structural genocide and psychological warfare that the Tamils face both in the homeland and Diaspora.

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