Maaveerar Naal -
in many lands & across distant seas...
London, United Kingdom - 27 November 2008
Maveerar Naal 2008 Address by Velupillai Pirabakaran,Leader of
"..The Sinhala nation refuses to acknowledge the
historic homeland of the Tamils. In such a situation, how will it offer
a just solution to our people? As the freedom movement of the people of
Tamil Eelam we will never, ever allow Sinhala occupation or Sinhala
domination of our homeland. Whatever challenges confront us, whatever
contingencies we encounter, whatever forces stand on our path, we will
still continue with our struggle for the freedom of the Tamil people. On
the path shown by history, at the command of the circumstances of today,
(வரலாறு விட்ட வழியில், காலம் இட்ட கட்டளைப்படி) we will continue
with our struggle till alien Sinhala occupation of our land is removed.
At this historic juncture, I would request Tamils, in
whatever part of
the globe that they may live, to raise their voices, firmly and with
determination, in support of the
freedom struggle of
their brothers and sisters in Tamil Eelam. I urge them from my heart
to strengthen the hands of our freedom movement and I ask (உரிமையோடு
கேட்டுக்கொள்கிறேன்) that they continue to extend their contribution and
London, United Kingdom - Excel, 1 Western Gateway, Royal Victoria Dock,
London Docklands, E16 1XL, 27 November 2008 11.30 am
Siobhain McDonagh MP (Labour, Mitcham and
Mordern), Joan Ryan MP (Labour, Enfield North), Vireindra
Sharma MP (Labour, Ealing and Southall). John McDonnell MP
(Labour, Hayes and Harlington), Andrew Pelling
(Independent, Croydon Central), Ed Davey MP (Liberal
Democrat, Kingston & Surbiton)Toby Boutle, Conservative
candidate for Ilford South
Over 40,000 expatriate Tamils participated in the Remembrance Day
ceremony in London on Thursday, a record turnout for the usually well-attended
annual event. Vaiko, leader of the MDMK party in Tamil Nadu delivered the
keynote address at the ExCel centre, London�s largest auditorium, whilst,
earlier, the 2008 Heroes� Day speech by LTTE leader Velupillai Pirapaharan was
heard by attendees as it was broadcast live via satellite from Vanni to Diaspora
centres around the world.
Despite Thursday being a working day, the 25,000 seat ExCel centre in
Southeast London remained packed to capacity from mid-day to early evening, with
thousands of people paying their respects and leaving after some time so as to
make way for those crowding outside, venue officials said.
The day began with a silent tribute to the Tamils who had died in their
people�s liberation struggle. Thereafter, the flame of altruism lit by Mrs
Yoharani Manohararasa, mother of late LTTE Lt Col Vaikunthan.
Then the lights dimmed for lighting of lamps by the attending people whilst the
�Great Heroes' Resting Home� song played in the background.
Throughout the day families waited patiently in line with groups of teenagers
and retirees to place flower petals before portraits of Tamils killed in the
liberation struggle against Sinhala domination.
It took an hour for those joining the queues to reach the petals, people said.
Families of the fallen brought portraits of their loved ones to place on the
dais, they added. As in recent years, large quantities of the Tamil national
flower, the karthigaipoo (gloriosa lily) were among the petals piled up for
attendees to pick and place, they said.
Private bus companies plied from many of London�s boroughs (districts) to the
cavernous venue in the glass fronted Docklands area. Thousands of people also
travelled to London from locations across the British isles, from as far away as
Edinburgh in Scotland and Cardiff in Wales to participate in the event.
Whilst people waited to pay their respects of took their seats afterwards,
dozens of Tamil expatriate arts groups staged dramas, traditional dance
(bharathanatyam) and other cultural performances which were interspaced with
speeches on the Tamils� oppression in Sri Lanka and their struggle for freedom.
Among those who addressed the event were British parliamentarians Edward Davey
(LibDem, Kingston and Surbiton), Siobhain McDonagh (Labour, Mitcham and
Mordern), John McDonnell (Labour, Hayes and Harlington), Andrew Pelling
(Independent, Croydon Central), Joan Ryan (Labour, Enfield North) and Vireindra
Sharma (Labour, Ealing and Southall). The Conservative candidate for Ilford
South, Toby Boutle, also spoke. Written statements were issued by Lee Scott
(Conservative MP, Ilford North) and Jason M Hadden (Conservative PPC for Croydon
Mr. Sharma, chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils (APPG-T)
asked if the massive gathering of expatriate Tamils didn�t represent the
sentiments of the Tamil people, what would? He said the APPG-T would continue to
take up the Tamils� cause.
Mr. Pelling pointed out that the Sri Lankan government labels anyone who talks
about the persecution of Tamils as terrorists. Those gathered at the venue are
only voicing their support for the right to self determination of their people,
he said. They certainly were not terrorists, they occupy an important place in
British society he said.
The keynote address was delivered in the evening by Mr. Vaiko, the general
secretary of Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetta Kazhakam (MDMK). The renowned orator
repeatedly drew applause during his 40 minute speech, which was broadcast on
expatriate satellite channels.
Revisiting aspects of a speech he had given Wednesday to a meeting at the
British Parliament of the APPG-T, Mr. Vaiko said the Tamil struggle for
independence was a direct consequence of Sinhala oppression. He pointed out that
long before armed struggle erupted in Sri Lanka, Tamil leaders had despaired of
trying to get the Sinhala state to treat Tamils as equals.
The project of securing Tamil Eelam was first set out the Vaddokoddai Resolution
(of 1976), he reminded the audience.Implacable Sinhala racism had rendered Tamil
Eelam the only viable route for Tamils� security and dignity he said. He pointed
out that under British colonial rule, the Tamils had not faced violence and
persecution on account of their race.
Mr. Vaiko urged the Indian central government to help establish an independent
Tamil Eelam, saying this was not a threat to India but in fact a vital form of
Whilst the Tamils in Sri Lanka are allies of India, the Sinhalese are hostile to
India, he said. A Sinhala-dominated Sri Lanka would certainly be a threat to
India, he added.He dismissed Sri Lanka�s recent rhetoric about the 13th
amendment as a ruse to fend off international pressure for the Sinhalese to
share power with the Tamils.
Speeches by another prominent Tamil Nadu political leader, P. Nedumaran, was
broadcast. So was a speech by Indian cinema director Seeman.