World body to protect Tamils'
rights mooted at NY talks
Hindu News Report in the Sri Lanka Island, 7 July 1984
NANUET (New York
State) The second international Tamil conference which ended here on July 1
resolved to create an organisation at the international level to secure the
rights of the Tamil people. It also called for an impartial inquiry into the
violation of the rights of Sri Lanka Tamils in recent times.
By a resolution the conference, convened by representatives of the Eelam
Tamil Association, called upon the various Tamil political groups in Sri Lanka
to unite in their struggle against the Jayewardene Government.
In the two days of deliberations, there were strong speeches, especially by
Eelam Tamil leaders, but the outcome was moderate. Both in their speeches and
behind the scene talks, they were urged by participants from Tamil Nadu to
proceed with caution. For example, when a resolution was brought up for
exploring the possibilities of a government-in-exile of Sri Lanka Tamils, the
sponsor Mr. Jagadasan was counselled by several others, notably Mr. P.
Nedumaran, conference president and leader of the Kamaraj Congress in Tamil
Nadu, not to press his motion. This was neither the moment to proceed with it
nor was it in conformity with the objectives of the conference. He eventually
withdrew the motion.
During the concluding day's discussions, speakers strongly denounced, the
Jayewardene Government's action in inviting Mossad from Israel to crush the
Tamil movement in the guise of curbing terrorism. The Rev. Philip Ratnapala, a
church leader of Sri Lankan origin from Ottawa, alleged that the British Prime
Minister, Mrs. Margaret Thatcher was secretly sending arms to the Jayewardene
Government. He thanked both Mrs. Gandhi and the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for
looking after Tamil refugees and said they should not be handed over to Mr.
Democrats' support cited:
Mr. Sri Thillaiampalam, president of the Eelam Tamil Association in the U.S.,
said the fact that Senators Alan Cranston and Edward Kennedy, both top
Democrats, had moved a resolution in the Senate calling upon the U.S. President
Mr. Reagan, to urge the Sri Lanka Government to seek a negotiated settlement of
the Tamil issues showed that truth was on their side.
From the Tamil Nadu leaders attending the conference, there was a renewed
call for unity among the Sri Lanka Tamil leaders and for spreading Tamil culture
among overseas Tamils of the younger generation.
Tamil centre opened:
The Tamil Nadu Speaker, Mr, Rajaram formally inaugrated a Tamil centre to be
set up at New York by lighting two "kuthuvillakkus". Both Mr. Rajaram and Mr. K.
Veeramani of the Dravida Kazhagam presented Tamil books for the library to be
set up at the centre.
The conference passed a resolution sponsored by Dr. W. Panchacharam, chief
organiser, for the formation of a "Tamil International". The purpose will be to
secure the physical well-being of the Tamil people, their cultural identities,
their ancient culture and the human rights of Tamil people springing from "the
inherent dignity of man" and, lastly, to preserve the civil and political rights
of Tamil people to enable them to live in equality and freedom."
The resolution was left vague enough to enable participants from different
countries, especially those from Tamil Nadu to endorse it. A Working Group was
set up with Mr. Satyendra, Mr. Chandrahasan, Mr. Ponnambalam and a
representative of the Tamil United Liberation Front.
The Tamil Nadu representative is Mr. Nedumaran. The group will take steps to
set up the organisation.
Call for unity:
The unity resolution was moved by the TULF representative Mr. V. Yogeswaran.
It called upon the various groups working for "separate State of Tamil Eelam" to
coordinate their activities. "A grave situation for the Tamils has been created
by the induction of Mossad and the British SAS. In meeting this it is necessary
to forge unity among us," he said. The resolution was passed.
At the instance of the Congress [I] member of Parliament from Tamil Nadu, Mr.
Era Anbarasu, and with modifications proposed by Era Sezhiyan, President of the
Janata Party in Tamil Nadu, the conference passed a resolution that called for
an independent inquiry into the "crime of genocide" and "violation of human
rights" by the Sri Lanka Government.
The conference also resolved to observe July 25 as a day of mourning in mark
of the Tamils in Sri Lanka killed in the army action.