Around 7,000 French Tamils thronged the venue of Pongku Thamizh
rally at Place du Président Edouard Herriot close to the French
Parliament in Paris Wednesday. A parliamentarian of the French
Communist Party (PCF), Maxime Gremetz, who came out of the
Parliament, appreciated the Tamils for voicing for their rights.
In a spontaneous address to the audience, he said that the
proscription imposed on Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam (LTTE)
was unfair and the movement was essentially a freedom movement.
The French President who proclaims that he raises his voice for
the rights of the other people around the world, should also
turn his eyes towards the Tamil people, who are fighting for
their rights, Mr. Maxime Gremetz said and called upon the French
government to take a note of the rally and its message. Anthony
Russell, a councilor of La Courneuve also addressed the rally.
elected Tamil members for the local government bodies in Paris
also addressed the rally. Mr. Ravishankar, a young Tamil
municipal council member, who made the inaugural speech said the
newly elected councilors would raise the concerns of the Eezham
Arivumathy, a poet from Tamil Nadu, India, who was the chief
guest of the event, lit the traditional lamp at 2:45 p.m. He
also addressed the audience. The first cultural event of the
rally was the band called 'inniyam', a recent innovation of the
Eastern University in Batticaloa.
Ms. Antoine Thavamani, an Indian orgin Municipal Councilor of
Evry Courcourones, spoke for peace in Sri Lanka, defended Tamils
right to Self-Determination and hoped for early reconciliation
between the Sinhalese and Tamils.
Many of the participants in the rally carried the flag of Eezham
Tamils and the photos of Velupillai Pirapaharan, the leader of
The rally ended at 6:00 p.m.
Pongku Thamizh in France coincided with a historical day of
French resistance against Hitlers invasion. On 18th June, 1940,
General Charles de Gaulle had called for the French to join him
in London in the French resistance movement against occupation.