Tamils - a Trans State Nation..

"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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Home > Tamils - a Nation without a State> Pongu Thamil  > Pongu Thamil 2008 > Pongu Tamil 2008 Concludes with Massive Rally in London

"Pongu Thamil rally symbolizes the quest towards self-determination by Tamil Eelam - the ethnic homeland of the Tamils of Ceylon(Sri Lanka.

Pongu Thamil can be described as 'awakening' 'revival' 'uprising' 'upsurge' or 'renaissance.' The word 'Pongu' is the act of boiling over of the pot of rice especially during the annual Pongal celebrations held on 14th. of January. It signifies the surge (boiling over). And the word Thamil denotes not the language but the people who speak Thamil.Pongu Thamil symbolizes the quest towards self-rule as an alternative to armed struggle. The initial driving force behind the PT uprising was the Jaffna University Students Association. It was the restless student community that unfolded the flag of peaceful protest at a time when the Jaffna populace was reeling under the military jack-boot of the Sinhala occupation army.

PT uprising was a turning point in the history of the Thamil people's liberation struggle. It came to denote people's power spearheaded by radical Thamil students and ably backed by civil organizations in the Northeast. But PT success did not come easily. When Thamil students staged the Pongu Thamil uprising the war was still there. Only LTTE had declared a unilateral ceasefire for 4 months beginning 25th December, 2001. This unilateral ceasefire was not reciprocated by the Government of Sri Lanka. True to form the Sri Lankan army, which is the terror arm of the Sinhala oppressive state, was openly hostile to the peaceful rally. It used every trick in the book to intimidate, threaten, harass and break the spirit of the Jaffna University students. Thivyan who took a leading part in organizing the Pongu Thamil was arrested and thrown into prison.

President Chandrika's government used Quisling groups like the EPDP to undermine and sabotage the PT. Douglas Devananda as Minister was the local Czar who exercised political control over Jaffna. And Varatharajaperumal was brought in from political exile in India and given five-star treatment.

It was obvious President Chandrika was resorting to the same age-old political machinations and subterfuges employed by her predecessors to divide the Thamil side. The SLA refused to allow the holding of the PT and warned students, lecturers and residents of the dire consequences of participating in it. Nine students were arrested by the SLA to instill fear in others.

On January 17, 2001 roads leading to the university were blocked off with barbed wire placed across most of the streets. SLA troops also set up roadblocks at the major entrances to the university and refused entry to the grounds for anyone who was not staff or a student. Bicycles of hundreds of participating students were confiscated, loaded onto trucks and taken away by the SLA. Identity cards of several students were confiscated and taken to the nearby Army camp. The students were told to report to the SLA to get their cards back.

Despite the concerted campaign of intimidation and thuggery by SLA and EPDP to brow-beat the student community, the PT celebrations turned out to be a huge success beyond the expectations of the organizers themselves. People scaled over the walls and found ways around the blocked streets to enter the grounds, which were decorated in red and yellow bunting, and joined the celebrations.

The PT sent a clear message to the Government of Sri Lanka that the LTTE is the sole representative of the Thamil people and the government should reciprocate the unilateral ceasefire declared by the LTTE and negotiate with them a just and equitable solution to the national conflict.

A Declaration signed by the Jaffna University Students Association, Jaffna University Teachers Association and the organizations representing the various support staff of the university stated as follows: * "At this juncture, we raise our suppressed voices together. " * "The government must immediately stop this war. It must immediately begin meaningful and just peace talks with the Liberation Tigers." * "Through this process, we want to see a just solution that recognizes Thamil people's right to self-determination, their traditional homeland and their distinct national identity and their right to self-determination." * "We call on the international community to understand the real hopes and aspirations of our people who have long been suppressed." * "Your conscience must lead the way to finding a just and peaceful solution to the national conflict." " - Tamil Internet Network

பொங்கு தமிழ் - PONGU THAMIL: 2008
Concludes with Massive Rally in London, 12 July 2008...

உலகத்தாயே பொங்கு பொங்கு தமிழ்...
உரிமைப்போரில் பொங்கு பொங்கு தமிழ்...
தமிழர் தேசம் பொங்கு பொங்கு தமிழ்...

பிரித்தானிய தமிழர் கலை பண்பாட்டுக் கழகத்தின் வெளியீட்டில், புலவர் சிவநாதனின் வரிகளில், யூட் ஜெயராஜின் இசையமைப்பில், கஜன், டில்சா பாடிய பொங்கு தமிழ் பாடல்

40 ஆயிரத்துக்கும் அதிகமானோர் பங்கேற்பு
[சனிக்கிழமை, 12 யூலை 2008, 08:46 பி.ப ஈழம்] [புதினம் நிருபர்]

லண்டன் பொங்கு தமிழ் - 2008 நிகழ்வில் யாழ். மாவட்ட நாடாளுமன்ற உறுப்பினர் செ.கஜேந்திரன் ஆற்றிய உரை

லண்டன் பொங்கு தமிழ் - 2008 நிகழ்வில் மட்டக்களப்பு மாவட்ட நாடாளுமன்ற உறுப்பினர் எஸ்.ஜெயானந்தமூர்த்தி ஆற்றிய உரை

பிரித்தானியாவில் இன்று நடைபெற்ற பொங்கு தமிழ் நிகழ்வில் 40 ஆயிரத்துக்கும் அதிகமான தமிழர்கள் பேரெழுச்சியுடன் பங்கேற்றனர்.
இந்நிகழ்வு பிரித்தானியாவின் வேல் பகுதியில் உள்ள றிச்சர்ட்சன் இவன்ஸ் மைதானத்தில் இன்று சனிக்கிழமை பிற்பகல் 3:40 மணிக்கு தொடங்கியது.

நிகழ்வின் பொதுச்சுடரினை தமிழ்த் தேசியக் கூட்டமைப்பின் மட்டக்களப்பு மாவட்ட நாடாளுமன்ற உறுப்பினர் எஸ்.ஜெயானந்தமூர்த்தி ஏற்றினார். தொடர்ந்து, அகவணக்கம் நடைபெற்றது.  இதனைத் தொடர்ந்து, அரங்க நிகழ்வுகள் தொடங்கின.

பிரித்தானியா வாழ் தமிழ் இளையோர்கள் ஐம்பதுக்கும் அதிகமானோர் மஞ்சள், சிவப்பு வர்ண உடையணிந்து மேடையில் பொங்கு தமிழ் எழுச்சிப் பாடல்களைப் பாடினர்.

Pongu Tamil 2008 - London

"We want Tamileelam" என மேடையில் இளையோர் முழங்க, அங்கு கூடியிருந்த அனைத்து மக்களும் சேர்ந்து முழங்கினர்.

Pongu Tamil 2008 - London
Pongu Tamil 2008 - London

நாடகம் மற்றும் தமிழர்களின் மங்கல வாத்தியங்களான தவில், நாதஸ்வரக் கச்சேரி ஆகியன நடைபெற்றன.

Pongu Thamil - London

தொடர்ந்து, பிரித்தானிய தமிழர் பேரவையின் சார்பாக மட்டக்களப்பு மாவட்டத்தின் முன்னாள் நாடாளுமன்ற உறுப்பினர் மாமனிதர் ஜோசப் பரராஜசிங்கத்தின் மகன் டேவிட் பரராஜசிங்கம் தமிழிலும் ஆங்கிலத்திலும் உரையாற்றினார்.

இதனைத் தொடர்ந்து, பிரித்தானியாவின் லிபரல் கட்சி நாடாளுமன்ற உறுப்பினர் எட்வேர்ட் டேவ் உரையாற்றினார்.

தொடர்ந்து, பிரித்தானியாவின் தொழிற்கட்சி நாடாளுமன்ற உறுப்பினர் சிவோன் மக்டோனா உரையாற்றினார்.

இதனைத் தொடர்ந்து, தமிழ் உள்ளுராட்சி அமைப்பின் சார்பாக சுரேஸ் கிருஸ்ணா உரையாற்றினார்.

தொடர்ந்து, சோசலிச எதிர்ப்பின் ஆசிரியரும் அதன் கெளரவ உறுப்பினருமான லியாம் மக் எய்ட் உரையாற்றினார்.

தொடர்ந்து, தமிழீழ விடுதலைப் புலிகளின் கலை பண்பாட்டுக் கழகப் பொறுப்பாளரும் கவிஞருமான புதுவை இரத்தினதுரையின் உரை ஒலிக்க விடப்பட்டது.

இதனைத் தொடர்ந்து, பிரித்தானியாவின் தொழிற்கட்சி நாடாளுமன்ற உறுப்பினர் வீரேந்த சர்மா உரையாற்றினார்.

தொடர்ந்து, "உலகத் தாயே ஒன்றுபடு" எனும் பொங்கு தமிழ் பாடலுக்கு இளையோர்கள் எழுச்சி நடனம் வழங்கினர்.

இதனைத் தொடர்ந்து, பத்து வருடங்களுக்கு மேலாக பிரித்தானிய தொழிற்கட்சியின் அரசியல் விவகாரங்களுக்கு பொறுப்பாக இருந்த மைக் கிறசன் உரையாற்றினார்.

தொடர்ந்து, மனித விவகாரங்களுக்காக குரல் கொடுத்துவரும் ஐரோப்பிய நாடாளுமன்ற உறுப்பினர் பானாட்ஸ் சாறா லுட்பேட் உரையாற்றினார்.

இதனைத் தொடர்ந்து, பிரித்தானிய தமிழ் உள்ளுராட்சி மன்ற அமைப்பின் தலைவர் தயா இடைக்காடர் உரையாற்றினார்.

தொடர்ந்து, பிரித்தானியாவின் தொழிற்கட்சி நாடாளுமன்ற உறுப்பினர் டோன் பற்றின் உரையாற்றினார்.

இதனைத் தொடர்ந்து, பிரித்தானியாவின் கிங்ஸ்ரன் பகுதியின் முன்னாள் நகரபிதா யோகன் யோகநாதன் உரையாற்றினார்.

தொடர்ந்து, நடன நிகழ்வு நடைபெற்றது.

இதனைத் தொடர்ந்து, தமிழ்த் தேசியக் கூட்டமைப்பின் மட்டக்களப்பு மாவட்ட நாடாளுமன்ற உறுப்பினர் எஸ்.ஜெயானந்தமூர்த்தி சிறப்புரையாற்றினார்.

கொசவோ விடுதலை அமைப்பின் முக்கிய பிரதிநிதி ஒருவரும் தென்னாபிரிக்க தேசிய காங்கிரசின் முக்கிய உறுப்பினர் ஒருவரும் நிகழ்வில் சிறப்புரையாற்றினர்.

இதனைத் தொடர்ந்து தமிழ்த் தேசியக் கூட்டமைப்பின் யாழ். மாவட்ட நாடாளுமன்ற உறுப்பினர் செ.கஜேந்திரன் சிறப்புரையாற்றினார்.

அரங்க நிகழ்வுகளைத் தொடர்ந்து "We want Tamileelam" என மேடையில் இளையோர் முழங்க, அங்கு கூடியிருந்த அனைத்து மக்களும் சேர்ந்து முழங்கினர்.

இதனைத் தொடர்ந்து பொங்கு தமிழ் பிரகடனம் படிக்கப்பட, அங்கு கூடியிருந்த அனைத்து மக்களும் பிரகடனத்தினை முழங்கினர்.

"தமிழரின் தாகம் தமிழீழத் தாயகம்" எனும் உறுதிமொழியுடன் இரவு 7:30 மணியளவில் நிகழ்வு நிறைவடைந்தது.

பிரித்தானியாவில் முதல் தடவையாக நடைபெற்ற பொங்கு தமிழ் நிகழ்வில் 40 ஆயிரத்துக்கும் அதிகமான தமிழர்கள் பங்கேற்றனர். அரங்க நிகழ்வினை நோக்கி மக்கள் வந்து கொண்டிருந்த போது லண்டனின் பிரதான சாலை முடக்கத்துக்கு உள்ளாகியிருந்ததாக தெரிவிக்கப்படுகின்றது.

இந்நிகழ்வினை விடுதலைப் புலிகளின் அதிகார வழி வானொலியான புலிகளின் குரலும், லண்டன் ஐபிசி தமிழ் வானொலியும் நேரடி ஒலிபரப்புச் செய்திருந்தன.

Tamilnet Report, Sunday 13 August 2008

Around 30,000 people attended the Pongku Thamizh (Tamil Upsurge) rally in London at the Rorehampton Vale sports ground on Saturday, choking traffic in one of the highways, said the organisers. A number of British parliamentarians cutting across party lines, international representatives of liberation movements, rights activists, and politicians from Tamil and Sinhala communities addressed the event, and sent messages in support of the event. Even by conservative estimates, nearly 150,000 Tamils of North America, Europe, Africa and Australia have so far demonstrated their support to the cause of Eezham during the last one-month through Pongku Thamizh 2008.

The overwhelming response of Diaspora Eezham Tamils to the call of Pongku Thamizh was not only impelled by the stepped up sufferings in Sri Lanka, but also was due to suppressed anger over the attitude of the International Community, opined an independent observer reading the mood of the people who attended the London rally.

Dr Bajram Rexhepi, the Mayor of Mitrovica in Kosovo, spoke of the similar history between the Tamils and the Kosovans. He mentioned that though they had international support, the intransigence of the Milosevic government meant that Kosovo remained oppressed until they fought for their freedom. Mentioning that the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) was identified as a terrorist organisation by a number of countries, he said his country was finally freed in 1999, but even then they had to prove that they would not abuse their people�s human rights, which they finally succeeded in doing in February this year. �It was not easy,� he said, adding that �we will show solidarity and support for your struggle.�

Professor Thiyagaraj Dasaratha Chetty of the African National Congress restated his government�s position that there can be no solution without the involvement of the two principle parties and that no solution can be imposed from outside. The Liberation Tigers are engaged in an armed struggle as a response to structural failures and though two states may be the answer, that too has problems that need to be addressed, he said. The South African government is willing to help with all efforts that lead to reconciliation and peace, he said.

Liam MacUaid, editor of Socialist Resistance and a member of Respect, spoke of his family�s experience of being forced to leave their home (in Belfast) at the end of the guns of an occupying army. He expressed the solidarity of the workers with all oppressed people, such as the Tamils.

[ Note by tamilnation.org From Liam MacUaid Blog at  http://liammacuaid.wordpress.com/2008/07/12/pongu-thamil-2008/  

Liam MacUaid at London Pongu Thamil 2008"This is true. I�ve been invited to speak at this year�s Pongu Thamil on behalf of Socialist Resistance - presumably not near the top of the bill. It�s the annual festival for Tamil people in London and gets an audience of 15-20,000. Even though SR�s editorial team is often asked to speak to crowds of that size commonsense suggested it�s best not to speak off the cuff at an event like this . Below is what I�ll be saying  

Sisters / brothers / friends and comrades -

As you have just been told I originally come from Belfast. Like some of the people here today my family was forced at gunpoint to leave its home by a sectarian militia. Like many of you and your families I know what it is like to be spread-eagled against a wall at rifle point by the troops of a hostile occupying army.

So when I say that I give my solidarity on behalf of Respect and Socialist Resistance to the Tamil people in their just struggle for self-determination it is more than rhetoric. It comes from the heart and, if I have anything different to say here today from what the other speakers will say to you, it will be to present some of that recent Irish experience to point out some of the traps that enemies and false friends will lay for you in your struggle.

Today is the 12th of July. That is a special date in the Irish calendar. As we stand here tens of thousands of Orangemen are walking the streets using a 17th century battle to justify 21st century prejudice and discrimination.

A lie has been told so often that it almost seems like the truth. Peace, justice and freedom have not been established in Ireland. The country remains partitioned. One part is still occupied by the imperialist army. Politicians and former revolutionaries now find themselves in coalition government with the most right-wing, reactionary party in mainstream European politics.

They grovel to war criminal like George Bush, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown � men whose armies are responsible for the deaths of uncounted thousands in Iraq and Afghanistan and who now seem almost certain to attack Iran.

The absence of violence is not peace. What you see when you look at Ireland today is the complete victory of imperialism  and the most reactionary forces in Irish society.

Don�t accept what you are told about  imperialist attempts to broker peace deals. They do not bring peace with justice or self-determination. Who in their right mind could believe that the Americans and Israelis would ever give real peace, justice and freedom to the Palestinian people? Only a fool! And it is the same wherever imperialism dabbles.

Take for example the decision of the European Union to LTTE in Europe for �their involvement in terrorist acts�. I am a Marxist. As such I disagree with relying solely on armed struggle to liberate a nation or a class. As a Marxist I support the right of an oppressed group to use whatever methods it thinks are right to free itself. But that same EU takes no action against a Sri Lankan government which uses its troops to carry out extra judicial executions with impunity, support terrorist militias or force thousands of people from their homes.

The Tragedy of Vaharai

If, as I believe, the Tamil people will find only enemies and false friends among the governments of Europe, where can they find their real friends? Where will they find the people who will support them in their quest for equality, autonomy and the right of self determination? Who will stand beside them in the struggle against the racism they face in the cities where they have come for work and security?

My answer to these questions is that you will find your real friends in the workers� movement and the progressive socialist organisations. There is a socialist proverb �you dig where you stand�. It means you fight where you are. 

If you are not yet in a trade union. Join one. There you will be able to make workers from all over Britain aware of the struggle of the Tamil people. You can organise delegations of trade unionists to go and see at first hand the injustices your friends and families face at home. You will be able to get your union to take a stand in defence of the Tamil people and provide practical support.

If you are not involved in political organisations in Britain you should do so. All the same issues that face you in your daily lives face millions of other working people. Your wages are frozen while your bills are rising. It�s impossible to find somewhere to live. Politics is how we fight these things.

Naturally I am biased. I am a member of Respect and I think that if you want to fight for social justice in Britain and to work with friends who will, without conditions, support the struggle for peace and justice in your homeland that you should join us. We will welcome you.

Victory to the struggle of the Tamil people!
Self determination for the Tamil people!"]

A message of support from Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne of the Nava Lanka Sama Samaga Party (NSSP) was read out by local party member Sashie Peiris, in which he expressed his regret at being unable to attend, and his support for the Tamil cause.

Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrats Foreign Affairs spokesman expressed the need to �get the message� to the Sri Lankan government that they need to get back to the peace negotiating table. He also called for an end to the human rights abuses in Sri Lanka.

Andrew Pelling MP (Conservatives) said the problem in Sri Lankan can only be resolved by negotiation and called on the parties to come back to the table.

Welcoming the efforts by Britain that resulted in Sri Lankan being removed from the UN Human Rights Council, Virendra Sharma MP (Labour) stressed that there was no quick fix. �Sri Lanka is not just a failed state�, he said. �There is no cure.� Mr Sharma said he understood that the crowd felt Tamil Eelam was the only solution and promised to work with the British government to force the Sri Lankan government to take steps towards solving the conflict.

Mike Griffiths MP (Labour) said while he understood the Tamil suffering, there was great ignorance of it among the British populace. Stating that many peoples cry for self-determination, he said Tamil raises are raised too in the same cry at events like the Pongku Thamizh gathering. Pledging to re-double his efforts to restore peace in Sri Lanka, Mr. Griffiths called on all those gathered to do the same.

Comparing her experiences as a migrant to Britain, Siobhan McDonnagh, Labour MP, spoke of understanding Tamil experiences and thanked the Tamils for their contributions in Britain.

Baroness Sarah Luxford MEP (Liberal Democrats) called for there to be many more opportunities to hear Tamil voices expressing their opinion. �It is deeply important to anyone concerned with human rights and justice that we get a political solution that recognises the cultural and linguistic identity,� she said. She urged all parties to return to the negotiating table and called for an end to human rights abuses.

Dawn Butler MP (Labour) spoke of seeing the Tamils �walking with purpose for a purpose� to attend the event. Stressing that governments must listen to the sound of so many Tamil voices, she stated her belief that change was possible. �We will make a change together,� she pledged.

Messages of support were also received from Tony Benn MP (Labour), Robert Evans MEP (Labour), Stephen Hammond MP (Conservatives), Simon Hughes MP (Liberal Democrats), Susan Kramer MP (Liberal Democrats), Joan Ryan MP (Labour) and Roy Padayachie (South Africa�s Deputy Minister of Communications).

Independent sources said that more than 25,000 people attended the event though the estimation by the Metropolitan Police was between 20,000 and 30,000. A small number of police were present, as were security officials organised by the event organisers to ensure the event was peaceful and crowd control was maintained.

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian S. Jeyananthamoorthy said that Tamils have historically ruled themselves, and that this has been denied them since the colonial times. �Tamils are fighting now to reclaim what is ours,� he said.

S Kajendren, TNA MP for Jaffna, spoke of the war currently being fought on Tamil soil. �The Tamils are not terrorist,� he said, expressing the hope that the freedom of the Tamil people would be achieved soon.

Thaya Iddaikarar, British Tamil Councillor, compared the Tamil struggle to the sacrifices the British people were prepared to make in their defence of the Falkland Islands.

Solicitor Matt Foot expressed his shame at being a British citizen when the government, elected on an ethical foreign policy, banned liberation struggles like the LTTE and the PKK. �Seeing you gives me hope that we can fight,� he said.

Other speakers included Suresh Krishna, of the Tamil Councillors Association, former Kingston Mayor Yogan Yogananthan, Merton Mayor Martin Whelton,

The event began with the lighting of the common flame of sacrifice by the parliamentarian for Batticaloa, S. Jeyananthamoorthy, followed by the traditional moment of silent respect.

The folk dance drama that followed was an interactive event, with full participation. Expression of support for Tamil Eelam were greeted with overwhelming applause from the audience, and chants of �We want� roused the crowd to its feet with responses of �Tamil Eelam�.

The programme also included traditional Nathaswaram music, the broadcasting of a poem by poet Puthuvai Ratnathurai, and dancing by local youth to Pongku Thamizh songs. David Pararajasingham of the British Tamil Association delivered the welcome address, before the politicians took to the stage to express their support.

Arriving from across the British capital, with some making the journey from outside London, Tamils gathered to reinforce the global call for �motherland, nation, self-rule�.

The traffic congestion attendees blocked the main A3 road leading to the event, with the traffic backed up for over a mile even after the event had begun. 

Pongu Tamil 2008 - London

As a balloon flew overhead expressing the sentiment that �Tamil Eelam must be free�, mini stages set amongst where the Tamils were gathered commemorated the great rulers of the Tamil kingdoms in Jaffna, including Sangkiliyan, Ellalan, Pandara Vanniyan and Princes Kuruvichchi Nachchiyar.

Pongu Tamil - London

As is now common at all Tamil events in London, a food stall provided traditional foods and soft drinks, while children were entertained with face painting, balloons and flags. Shops around the grounds also sold Tamil Eelam t-shirts and umbrellas.

The large crowd, waving the red and yellow flag in the Tamil colours, braved the weather to turn out in force, with most staying through to the end despite periodic bouts of rain. The red, black and yellow Tamil Eelam umbrellas were not only colourful, but also useful in the British weather.

Video High Lights...



Part 5

Part  6

Part 7
Batticaloa MP
Dawn Butler MP

Part 12

Part 15

Part 17

Part 18

Part 19

Pongu Thamil 2008 - UK



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