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Home > Struggle for Tamil Eelam > Boundaries of Tamil Eelam > Without a homeland we could not have become a people and without a homeland we shall cease to be a people
BOUNDARIES OF TAMIL EELAM
" We say that we have an identifiable homeland in the North and East of Sri Lanka. We do not seek to enter into some sort of historical debate about whether the Tamils of Sri Lanka have lived in the North and East from the dawn of history - although many of us believe that the historical records support this conclusion. But let us not get involved in a secondary school debate. Neither you nor we are in a position to do that today.
A point was made by a member of the Tamil delegation yesterday and it was a point that was movingly made. He asked: 'where do we go for safety, when we are assaulted in the South of Sri Lanka? Where does the government of Sri Lanka send us when there are riots in Colombo? We seek sanctuary in our homeland in the North and East of Sri Lanka.' That surely must be the best test of all, because we all know where we go - and so we say, once again, very respectfully, please do not seek to hide that which is a self evident truth, please do not deny the existence of our homeland.
After all the fact is that the Bandaranaike - Chelvanayagam Pact of 1956 recognised that the North and East of Sri Lanka should be treated differently in relation to language, land settlement and so on, because the Tamil people lived there. The fact is that the Dudley Senanayake - Chelvanayagam agreement of 1965 made special provisions concerning the North and East because the Tamil people lived there. The fact is that the 1972 Sri Lankan Constitution made special provisions concerning the use of the Tamil language in the North and East, because the Tamil people lived there - permanently - permanent Constitutional provisions were not made in respect of a transient population. And the fact is that the 1978 Sri Lankan Constitution not only declared Tamil as a national language, but also made special provisions for the use of this 'national' language in the North and East, clearly because the Tamil people lived in the North and East, not as wandering nomads, but permanently in an area which they regarded and the Sri Lankan government accepted as their homeland.
Please tell us, if that which we say does not seem reasonable to you. We are a reasonable people and we will listen to you, if you show us where we are wrong. But, if you cannot tell us where we are wrong, and if you seek to assert that you are not persuaded, then, surely, the struggle must go on. We do not have any other option. If we were to say, that even though something was not right, even though something was not just, we shall enter into a political horse deal - that would be unreasonable - and we are a reasonable people. "