Follow the report has spoken in Mullivaikal remembrance Day at Norwary by Tamil Solidarity committee member Bharathi Subramaniam.
Vannakam brothers and sisters
Today marks 7th year of Mullivaikaal remembrance where we remember the tens and thousands of innocent lives lost in the final phase of the war but we carry on fighting for the living.
Since end war there has been no real change for Tamil people. State oppression continues and ethnic tensions are still very present. The slaughter continues in a different scale with the continued denial of democratic rights.
Despite the change of regime, over a year has passed but there is no change in system or state. There are continuing the attacks on Tamil, Muslim and upper country people.
Land grab continues and political prisoners have still not been released, with many facing torture, and still many others in the notorious secret camps. Their whereabouts are unknown, the president and prime minister giving contradicting statements to the families of disappeared of whether their loved ones are dead or alive.
In spite of the high militarisation in the north and east, we recently saw the Sampoor victory. This shows that if we organise and put fight we can win the rights of our land.
The proposed constitutional change, is going to bring no real change for the Tamil, Muslims or upper country people. This regime will come under a lot of pressure from the Buddhist chauvinism not to act on behalf of the oppressed communities. No constitution written by the politicians or the people in power is going to offer real rights for us, the ordinary people.
Brutal attacks on peaceful student demonstrators and protesters last year and this year show the real face of the regime. However, there is potential for a united fightback to develop in spite of the community where the issue originates from. When a Tamil student, Vidya, was brutally raped, Sinhala and Muslims took to the streets demanding justice for Vidya. Schools were shut with children protesting on the streets.
When Sinhala students were brutally attacked during their demonstration, Tamil Jaffna students immediately issued a solidarity letter and condemned the state brutality on fellow students who were protesting against changes to the diploma, which is something that affects all students in Sri Lanka. This is an attempt to devalue the diploma, which will affect students’ future prospects, and part of a plan to privatise education.
To continue as a regime and to ensure full state control, this regime will promote to divide the community. We see this with the Rajapakse supporters and affiliates, whipping up chauvinism in the Southern Universities as a result of which attacks on Tamil students took place. There is growing chauvinism unlike previously seen in the island and may well result in another kind of Mullivaikaal for the Tamil people.
It is our job to cut across the chauvinism from ordinary Sinhala people. We need to make sure that we win Sinhala people to support our right to self-determination. Therefore, we need to defend their rights.
In Britain, the BTF which is looking to do deals with the Conservative government. But this government is implementing savage cut-backs, and those cuts are hitting Tamil people in the UK hard. So how can we look to get justice and freedom in Sri Lanka from an alliance with a government which is attacking our people at home?
A similar thing is happening with the TNA who is supporting UNP and their neo-liberal policies that is attacking the community. The TNA is failing to offer effective leadership and the people are sick and tired of situation and youth are looking for an alternative.
This year marks the 40th anniversary one of Tamil struggle’s best resolutions that came from a struggling tradition. A resolution that puts forward demands for just society and not on behalf of few people in power.
We are facing a similar situation now and we need to learn from the VKR and build the fight with our real allies, who are the organised working class in trade union movement, fighting against low pay, for decent working conditions, for campaigns against cut-backs, as well as other oppressed people around the world.
We need to take out our leadership from compromisers and build our own fightback mobilising in our communities and creating our own organisation with progressive ideas and one that can fight for something better, so that it can rally people behind it. People then will have a reason to rally behind, instead of the TNA, who are just compromising -what’s the point of it?
An important upcoming event is Solidarity Day on Saturday 4th of June in central London of Unite headquarters. This is an event when we build links with others fighting for their rights and facing oppression. Along with discussing about the VKR and lessons we can learn from it, we will also be hearing from other communities that fight for the right of self-determination across the world and those that fight for their rights locally. There will be speakers from trade unions, who will be speaking about how we can build links and build our fightback against oppression by Tamils joining the union.
We shouldn’t worry about too many organisations coming up, it is a sign of political awakening, but you should investigate what organisation you want to support, look at who they are supporting and their history of defending the rights of ordinary people and if they support the right to self-determination.
We have a very new situation now in our struggle, the sampoor situation shows that, we need to discuss the direction of travel from here. We need to ask ourselves, do we want to locked into the situation of never ending negotiations with SL and west and continue to beg continue to live in hope, while our hopes fade away, the pocket of our so called leaders will be filled OR do we want to take the hard road and build something of our own, that will stand independently and continue to fight in an uncompromising fight?
We have the space to build the fightback that our brothers and sisters in SL don’t have, and we must build our own movement alongside others who are facing oppression and fighting for rights in the countries you live in, as they are our real allies.
Sisters and brothers, we must remember the dead and continue to fight for the living.