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Pongu Thamil urges steps to permanent peace
TamilNet, 27 June 2003
"The clouds of war have once again appeared on the horizon, for no fault of ours. We wish to change this situation" states the Pongu Thamil declaration read out by the President of the Jaffna University Students' Union Mr.Suppaiah Baheerathan. Tens of thousands gathered on the grounds held up their hands in support of the declaration.
The crowds, many among whom are refugees uprooted from their towns and villages by Sri Lankan armed forces high security zones, cried "leave our homes", "Let us return to our lands".
The following is the full text of the declaration.
PONGU THAMIL DECLARATION
Itís more than sixteen months since the signing of the memorandum of understanding. But normalcy has not been restored yet. The negotiations have been suspended.
The clouds of war have once again appeared on the horizon, for no fault of ours. We wish to change this situation. With this objective in view Tamils have gathered here from all parts of the Peninsula, from all its nooks and corners, to freely participate in this Pongu Thamil celebration.
We wish to proclaim to the world:
That we are no longer going to tolerate being pulled about hither and thither or any further dilly-dallying. We wish to get back to our own homes; therefore the occupying forces must get back to their own homes to enable us to live in our own homes.
We wish to build up our normal lives again. To enable us to do that, an interim state structure possessing full powers must be entrusted to the Thamilsí sole representatives, the Liberation Tigers of Thamil Eezham. The international community must recognize this interim state structure. The North and East are the traditional homelands of the Thamils. The Sri Lankan Armed Forces must move out of the Thamilís homeland and get back to their own homes.
The Thamil people are not in a frame of mind to think about peace while being subjected to military oppression and living in an atmosphere of fear.
A situation must be created whereby the Thamil people can, in an atmosphere free of fear and insecurity, participate freely and fully to bring about peace.
In such a conducive atmosphere, the ethnic conflict can be resolved in the basis of the following fundamental aspirations of the Thamils
∑ Recognition of the Thamils as a distinct nation
∑ Recognition of the traditional homeland of the Thamils
∑ Recognition of the Thamilsí right to self-determination
Itís only on the basis of the acceptance of the fundamental aspirations of the Thamils that a just, honourable and final solution can be arrived at through negotiations and permanent peace prevails.
Noble are we all
All of us are children of the mother earth
No longer prepared to be humiliated
We shall hold our heads erect.