Tamil diaspora activists in Europe, Canada and Australia staged protests on Monday coinciding with the Sri Lanka’s official 65th ‘independence day’, with activists alleging that this so-called ‘independence’ was only a freedom given to the Sinhala nation to commit a protracted genocide of the Eezham Tamil nation. Speaking to TamilNet from a solidarity gathering in Geelong in the state of Victoria, Australia, labour union leader Tim Gooden said that there was a need to recognize the sovereignty of the Eezham Tamil nation. “Unless the aspirations of people are met then there is no peace. One side will always have to suppress people if they are not going to recognise their sovereignty. People on both sides cannot develop culturally, economically or morally until the national question is resolved,” he said.
“Unless we recognise all people and their aspirations then we are helping to fuel and prolong the national struggle to the determent of the oppressed and ultimately ourselves,” Mr. Gooden further said.
Tim Gooden, the secretary of the Geelong Traders Hall Council, hoisted the Tamil Eelam national flag over the Geelong Traders Hall on Monday as a mark of solidarity with the Eezham Tamil nation and as a symbolic protest against Sri Lanka that prevents the use of any symbol associated with Tamils’ sovereignty in the militarily occupied homeland of the Eezham Tamils.
He further emphasised the need to take the information about the cause of the Eezham Tamils to the labour movement and the trade unions.
“Even a simple thing like raising a flag can create debate and discussion that leads to better education around and issue and the more people that are educated then the more chance there is to reaching a resolution of the dispute. At the end of the day the majority of workers don’t want to see the atrocities and human suffering we have witnessed in Sri Lanka to last few years. Governments rely on ignorance to hide behind – it is our job to break that ignorance to begin real solidarity in all struggles against repression,” he said.
Eezham Tamil activists participating in these protests asserted the sovereignty of the Eezham Tamil nation that was left unrecognized by the colonial powers as they the handed ‘independence’ in the island of Ceylon in the form of a unitary state that favoured Sinhala majoritarianism, laying the foundation for the genocide.
A copy of the unitary constitution of Sri Lanka was burned in Berlin, Germany, in front of the Sri Lankan embassy by Tamil protestors. Sources from Berlin told TamilNet that personnel within the embassy were taking photographs of the protestors.
In a novel manner of protest on Multicultural week at York University, Canada, an image of the Sri Lankan constitution was carried same was carried on a coffin by Tamil students. Organizers of the protest said that this was to symbolically convey the end of the attempts to seek a political solution within Sri Lanka’s constitution.
Speaking to TamilNet, Prynth Nallaratnam from York University Tamil Students Association (YUTSA), told TamilNet that "beyond talking over and over again about reconciliation and accountability which are little more than hollow terms now, Canada, as the host to the largest Tamil diaspora, should take concrete steps towards a political solution based on the nationhood and territorial sovereignty of the Eezham Tamils."
Complementing him Praventh Jegatheesh, Vice president of events in YUTSA said "In this crucial time we have to remember that we shouldn’t settle down for a toothless solution or be instrumented by global imperialists and water down our liberation movement, we are a huge diaspora and we have to learn from our history to facilitate our own path to a permanent solution that represents the political aspirations of Eezham Tamils."
Protesting outside the Commonwealth Office in London, Eezham Tamils from the UK submitted a petition to the Commonwealth Secretariat demanding removal of Sri Lanka from the Commonwealth.