Braving biting winter and incessant rains, Eezham Tamils in New Zealand staged a demonstration on Tuesday in the capital Wellington and in the commercial capital Auckland, protesting the diamond jubilee celebrating Queen Elizabeth II dining with Mahinda Rajapaksa, the genocidal President of Sri Lanka. Synchronized with protests in London, the demonstration on the other side of the former British Empire where the Sun was never setting gained significance, as the Queen of England is also still the Head of State and Queen of New Zealand. Speaking at the demonstration, Queen’s Service Medallist in New Zealand, Mr. A Thevarajan pointed out how the colonial British administration, which for the first time introduced unitary state formation in Ceylon, ignored historical sovereignty of Tamils and denied even federalism due to its sluggishness.
A delegation of Tamils headed by Siva Naguleswaran handed over a petition to the MPs and the Prime Minister at the Parliament in Wellington, expressing disapproval of allowing a war criminal to dine with Her Majesty the Queen on this historic occasion.
When the media asked why the protest, Mr. Ashok of Tamil Youth Organization (TYO), leading the demonstration said that apart from being Eezham Tamils, as New Zealanders and members of the Commonwealth they were angered by the diamond jubilee event allowing a war criminal to sit and dine with the great and beloved Queen.
Drenched and dripping in the heavy rains the Tamil youth stood demonstrating for two hours near Potters Park, a major cross junction in Auckland on Tuesday evening when people were getting back home after work. Despite the rains the demonstration made many of them to pause for a while and encourage the protestors.
Speaking at the event when the rains ceased for a while, Mr. Thevarajan citing the first ever unitary arrangement for Ceylon that came through the Colbrooke-Cameron reform of 1833 unifying territories of the Eezham Tamils, Kandyan Sinhalese and coastal Sinhalese in the island, said the basic clause in the arrangement, i.e., one people not denying the right of the other, passed into all the subsequent colonial reforms as a Royal Instruction.
But included as Section 29 of the Soulbury constitution, the original concept became totally effect-less in practice and even the Privy Council could not do anything on the Sinhala Only Act. The moves initiated during the British rule for a federal set-up were shelved due to sluggishness of the British governors, Thevarajan said, pointing to the responsibility of the British and the international community.
In the current militarised situation in the island, in which the military is exclusively Sinhalese and orientated with a genocidal mind-set, even a federal solution would not work now. The international community and India should not continue the fundamental mistake of British colonialism. Sections of Eezham Tamil leadership should stop giving ideas to the international community or vice versa about experimenting with federal solution or about promoting ‘Sri Lankan Tamil’ identity, Eezham Tamil political activists in the island commented.