This year youth and students in Sri Lanka had started to organise several activities as part of Mullivaikal remembrance. Tamil solidarity fully support their call to make this event as a political mobilising day. Here we publish the full text that they are using in their campaign.
Mullivaikal stands as one of the saddest scars on the memories of Tamil people. To truly honour it we must both remember the dead but fight for the living.
Therefore Mullivaikal Day should not be just a remembrance day but a day of re mobilisation of Tamil workers and young people. We must register strongly that we shall not be silenced by this massacre. This day should be marked as a day when we mobilise our strength against destruction and death.
The following are some of the demands that people are fighting for-
- All land expropriated by the military must be returned.
- Information on all the disappeared must be published.
- Political prisoners must be released.
- In addition to a war crimes investigation that includes democratically accountable representatives of the people, the masses also demand that their living conditions are improved.
- Allow the right to self determination.
Most of the places where Tamils live now are the most deprived parts of Sri Lanka. There is increasing joblessness. There is also a massive problem of debt. How to improve their living conditions is a key concern for all. From where will the solution come?
The Sri Lankan government? Regardless of which party holds power in the south, no real solution will come out of the Sri Lankan parliament. It does not have the interests of ordinary workers and young people from any ethnic background as its priority. It is more concerned with aiding big business and the rich and powerful.
The Indian government? Western governments? They stand for the same – the interests of the rich. The United Nations is not separate from the governments involved – it is not a body for ordinary people’s rights.
None of these intervene with the aim of improving the living conditions of the masses or deliver justice, but with the sole aim of achieving the strategic and economic interests of the major corporations and banks. They will not surpass the Sri Lankan government to deliver justice.
This truth is hidden in the propaganda of some Tamil political leaders as they claim to deliver justice through some ‘external powers’. This is nothing but a deception. They have been claiming this for the last ten years. Where are the results? People only saw their living standards deteriorate. Awareness against this false propaganda must be increased among the masses – as well as ideas about what can be done instead.
Some NGOs provided some help using part of the money that is donated generously by the working people internationally. But these were only temporary. It is not enough to lift the people out of poverty and the bad living conditions for ever. Once the hand-outs run out people’s lives will return to hardship. How long can people continue their lives based on hand-outs?
In addition, some people are dragged into bogus debt schemes in the name of ‘self-improvement’. Only a few can sustain a small business with small profits – the rest are submerged irrecoverably in debt and tied to paying back all their earnings to the lenders. A campaign among the masses is needed to raise awareness of these bogus schemes. We must fight for a democratic planned economy that uses the resources of society for the benefit of all.
In these circumstances – what people can do?
Feeling utterly powerless as a small group of people, at the mercy of the powerful Sri Lankan government, is understandable. It is difficult to visualise how we can improve our conditions and win our rights.
But we must realise that we cannot win anything without mobilising together and showing our strength. We must not give support to those right-wing parties and politicians who only support policies that don’t serve our interests. We must think about how we can mobilise our strength against them. We must also strengthen our relationship with the left forces who are fighting to improve the conditions for all.
We must come together to form a mass organisation that will articulate our demands and build a fightback to deliver on these demands. We request everyone to come forward to take part in this process. We request you to join us to build the fightback.
If you are interested please give us you contact details such as phone number, email or address.