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Eelam Freedom Struggle
> Velupillai Pirapaharan, Leader of Tamil Eelam to the People and leaders of
Velupillai Pirapaharan, Leader of Tamil Eelam
15 December 1995
On behalf of our people, I wish to express my affection and gratitude to the people and leaders of Tamil Nadu for voicing passionately their support for the Tamils of Eelam who are struggling for their liberation against the genocidal oppression of the Sinhala regime.
The waves of sympathy that sweeps across Tamil Nadu whenever Eelam Tamils are repressed has always been a deterrent to our ruthless enemy and a great source of hope and relief to our aggrieved people. It also impresses upon the world that the Eelam Tamils are not alone and not without support.
Even though several forces have been making deliberate efforts to pollute the minds of the Tamils of Tamil Nadu with ill-conceived notions about our national struggle and about the Liberation Tigers who lead that struggle, we are encouraged and emboldened to note that there is growing upsurgence in Tamil Nadu demanding justice for our people on the basis of ethnic affinity and humanism.
For a long time, even before the birth of the LTTE, the Tamil Nation has been bleeding. For a long time, our nation has been facing genocide. In this lengthy history, extending over four decades, our language, our culture, our education, our economic existence - all the essential elements that form the very basis of our national life - have been subjected to systematic destruction. The monster of Sinhala racism has been usurping our motherland. The Sinhala armed forces have occupied our historical cities and towns. Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to vacate their own lands and reduced to destitution. In this tragic history tainted with blood, forty thousand Tamils have been exterminated. The current war is a continuation and monstrous expansion of this cruel genocidal history.
Historically the Eelam Tamils are faced with genocide. This well planned racial extermination is aimed at the genocidal destruction of the Tamil Nation. For more than quarter of a century our past generation fought non-violent struggles based on the principles of Ahimsa enunciated by Mahatma Gandhi. But the Sinhala racist state did not understand or appreciate the spiritual or moral values of non-violent struggles.
Ahimsa agitations were brutally crushed by armed violence. With the repression of democratic non-violent struggles racial extermination assumed a dangerous proportion. It was when the Tamil people had no choice other than to take arms to defend themselves, the Tamil Tiger movement and the armed struggle gave birth.
The Sinhala state has been making desperate efforts to characterise the mode of armed resistance based on the struggle of self-determination as a form of 'Terrorism and Separatism'. These ill conceived notions are being propagated among the Indian people and among the international community. This malicious propaganda is aimed at distorting the truth and discrediting the mode of our struggle.
We are neither 'Terrorists' nor 'Separatists', nor propagators of 'Armed Culture'. We are fighting for a noble cause We are fighting to protect our people from racial annihilation. We are compelled to take up arms against the armed violence which has taken a genocidal form. We are faced with a complex conflictual historical situation in which we have to struggle with our lives for the right to live. We fervently hope that the people of Tamil Nadu and India will understand our critical situation.
The successive Sinhala-Buddhist racist governments, since independence, have attempted to subjugate and dominate our people instead of integrating them. This has compelled our people to decide to determine their own political destiny. As a people constituting themselves with the cultural elements of a national formation, they are entitled to the right to self-determination. It is only when state repression assumed the dangerous dimension of genocide our people chose to invoke their inherent right to self-determination. The mandate to fight for self determination was given by our people to the old leadership, before the growth of the armed resistance movement.
The political objective and the struggle of our movement is based on this political will of our people. It is those who lack a dear vision of the history and legitimacy of the struggle for self-determination in Tamil Eelam, who attempt to characterise us as 'separatists'. This attempt to portray the legitimate struggle of our people, who aspire to live as free beings with dignity and security, liberated from the peril of national destruction as 'separatism' and to compare and confuse it with the internal problems of the Indian states is misleading and wrong.
The hope and expectation of our people that the Sinhala nation might offer an alternative to the demand of an Independent state are now shattered. The Sinhala nation is not prepared to recognise the historically constituted traditional lands in which the Tamils lived for centuries as the homeland of the Tamils. It is for the resolution of this crucial issue that the Tamils have been cheated for a long time. Tamil political history is full of incidents of abrogation of pacts and agreements on this basic issue.
The Chandrika government has scored historical achievements in the task of destroying the geographical unity and integrity of the Tamil homeland and disrupting the national life of the Tamils. Having cheated the world with slogans of 'War for Peace' and 'Liberating the Tamils' her regime has occupied our historical homeland. The central theme of her proposed package is aimed at redefining the geographical structure of the Tamil homeland.
From the time of Bandaranaike to Chandrika's period, successive Sinhala racist states have adopted repressive military policies instead of peaceful approach to resolve the conflict. Chandrika's approach is unique. Misguiding the world under the slogan of peace she has ingeniously planned and executing a genocidal strategy against the Tamils.
Our talks with Chandrika have ended in a fiasco. Chandrika regime refused to create conditions of peace and normalcy by relaxing military and economic pressure on the Tamils. Her government was reluctant to enter into a permanent cease-fire with international supervision. Instead under the guise of a fragile cessation of hostilities the government has been strengthening its military machine. It refused to open up a land route to the people by relaxing the siege of Jaffna. It gave primacy to the hegemonic interests of the military rather than to create an environment of peace.
The government did not give any importance to the peace talks with the LTTE. It delegated ordinary bureaucrats to the peace negotiations. High ranking political leaders did not participate. The government did not reveal its package of proposals during the peace talks with the LTTE.
Chandrika government failed to take seriously our proposition that we were prepared to consider a political framework that recognises the Tamil homeland with full form of autonomy to the Tamils. We expressed our goodwill by releasing prisoners of war. Yet, Chandrika government was not prepared to even settle the minor day to day problems of our people.
We felt that the government was not sincerely interested in resolving the ethnic conflict by negotiating with the LTTE. We were also convinced that Chandrika regime was not prepared to offer any substantial political framework that would satisfy the political aspirations of the Tamils. Under these circumstances, when the talks prolonged meaninglessly we issued deadlines. But the government did not take our warnings seriously. The talks collapsed.
Having created conditions for the breakdown of talks the government blamed the LTTE. It carried out a false propaganda campaign internationally that the LTTE was against the peace approach. In truth, it was Chandrika's government which was opposed to peace.
Claiming that the Tamil people are the citizens of the country, Chandrika's regime has embarked on a massive military onslaught on the Tamils. Having assembled a formidable force in a single battle front, it has occupied the historic city of Jaffna and has the Sinhala national flag over our soil.
The Sinhala nation is celebrating this tragic event soaked by the tears of five hundred thousand displaced Tamils. Celebrations are taking place in Colombo as if the Tamil nation was defeated at war. We do not believe that the Sinhalese chauvinists who have deeply hurt the national sentiments of the Tamils in such a manner would offer justice to the Tamils.
The Tamil nation, which has been conducting a heroic freedom struggle for such a long time, will not be frustrated by a setback in a single battle. Our people are fiercely determined though they have faced the enormous suffering arising from death, destruction, displacement and destitution. We are united and determined by the passion for freedom. We are confidant that the setbacks of today will turn out to be the victories of tomorrow. We are firmly convinced that our land which bleeds today will become a free land one day.
Though our enemy has been adopting devious methods to alienate us from the outside world, from the world Tamil community and from Tamil Nadu where our deep roots are embedded, the support and sympathy generating from Tamil Nadu have given us moral inspiration and determination.
We are deeply saddened to note a recent incident in Trichi where a youth has taken his life by self-immolation as an extreme form of expression of solidarity. While we pay our respects to his passion for freedom and his sentiments of ethnic love we feel that such acts of self sacrifice are unnecessary and therefore have to be avoided.
The Sinhala state is firmly determined to continue to carry out the genocidal war in Tamil Eelam. In these circumstances, Tamil Nadu should continue to give voice for our plight and express support for our legitimate cause. This is what the people of Tamil Eelam fervently expect from the people of Tamil Nadu.