A day long international conference of youth held last Saturday in Chennai raised its voice against the Commonwealth Heads of Governments Meeting (CHOGM) scheduled to be held in Sri Lanka in November this year. The conference decried Colombo government as a fascist, genocidal force that killed over 150,000 Eezham Tamils in the last phase of the 2009 war. Over 700 participants took part in the conference expressing concerns over holding the Commonwealth meeting in Sri Lanka.
Prominent leaders and activists took part in the conference.
The conference accused that even after the war, the militarized SL government has stationed hundreds of thousands of Sinhala military personnel in the homeland of Eezham Tamils.
A resolution passed in the conference pointed out that the genocidal, fascist government in Sri Lanka was was taking up rapid Sinhalisation of the Tamil homeland and that the CHOGM was only an attempt to remove the stains of blood from the SL State.
Organised jointly by Save Tamils, a team of IT students and professionals from Tamil Nadu, and the Students’ Struggle Committee for Tamil Eelam, the conference condemned the Indian government for ignoring the sentiments of Eezham Tamils and proceeding to announce Colombo as Commonwealth’s honorary head for the next two years.
Besides demanding that the Commonwealth meeting should not be held in the island, the conference also passed a resolution demanding that a referendum be held among Eezham Tamils living in the island and all over the world on deciding their political solution.
The conference also urged the Tamil Nadu government to pass a resolution against the participation of Indian prime Minister in the CHOGM. The Tamil Nadu government should also take steps to implement economic sanctions on Sri Lanka by India and the Tamil Nadu state.
For the first time in Tamil Nadu, students from London, Kharagpur and also from various districts of the state have participated in the conference extending their solidarity towards the cause of Tamils in Sri Lanka, calling on the Indian government to boycott the Commonwealth Summit to be held in Sri Lanka, the organisers of the event said in a press statement issued on Tuesday.
Some excerpts from the press statement follow:
Mr Vaiko, the general secretary of MDMK, reiterated over the history of countries that were expelled from Commonwealth’s nations for committing human rights violations that were many times lesser than the massive structural genocide committed by the Rajapaksa government. He named India as a ‘co-accused’ nation which tries to suppress the arising voices against it for its guardian role played in the genocide by lobbying its ways to enthrone Rajapaksa as the common wealth head. On an ending note he warned that if India wants to preserve its unity with Sri Lanka, it will be only at the cost of shattering the unity within India.
Parimala, Save Tamils Movement, explained about how India betrayed Eezham Tamils since the independence of Sri Lanka.
Comrades K.Venkatraman, the general secretary of Tamil National Communist Party and Thiyagu, general secretary of Tamil National Liberation Movement clearly explained about the principles and various charters of the Commonwealth Council and how Sri Lanka violated all those principles.
Comrade Thiyagu explained the audience about the significance of the boycott CHOGM demand and how it would impact the justice for Eezham Tamils if we fail in this demand. Thiyagu had earlier announced his fast unto death protest demanding the boycott of CHOGM in Sri Lanka starting from September 26, 2013 , the remembrance day of Martyr Dhileepan.
“The Sri Lankan government had dismissed the Chief Justice Shivani Bhandaranayake, jeopardizing the independence of judiciary. When Fiji, Nigeria, Pakistan and South Africa can be suspended from the Commonwealth of Nations, why not Sri Lanka, which continues with its structural genocide by destroying temples, churches and mosques?” Prabhakaran, a student of IIT-Kharagpur, asked.
Writer Jeyaprakasam said that Sri Lanka has never been a friendly nation to India. Whereas India sees Pakistan and China as a threat, it refuses to recognize Sri Lanka a potential threat in the south. He stated that India should not participate in the Commonwealth of Nations.
Sinhala-Buddhist Supremacist Sri Lankan government has violated the 1971 Singapore Declaration of Commonwealth principles of equal rights for all regardless of race, colour, creed or political belief. Hence, this conference urges Commonwealth Nations specifically India not to conduct CHOGM summit in Colombo.
This conference urges the Commonwealth Council to expel Sri Lanka from Commonwealth foundation as it has killed more than 1.5 lakh Tamil civilians in the war and for continuing the structural – cultural genocide of Tamils.
This conference urges the Indian government to heed to the democratic appeal of 70 million people of Tamil Nadu to change the venue of CHOGM summit out of Sri Lanka. If the summit held in Colombo , India should boycott the CHOGM. The conference congratulates the Canadian Prime Minister’s decision to boycott CHOGM in Colombo. Likewise,this conference urges the Prime Minister of India to boycott the commonwealth summit if it is held in Sri Lanka.
This conference appeals the commonwealth council to pass a resolution in the council demanding an independent international investigation into war crimes, genocidal crimes committed against Tamils in Sri Lanka.
In order to safeguard Tamils in Sri Lanka being subjected to ethnic cleansing even today by means of militarization and Sinhalicization , this conference appeals to the International community to work for installing a transitional civil administration under the aegis of international community in north eastern part of the island, the homeland of Tamils as a temporary measure.
This conference demands a public referendum among Eezham Tamils in Sri Lanka and diaspora countries as a means for Eezham Tamils, being subjected to ethnic cleansing by Sinhala Supremacist Sri Lankan state for the past 60 years, to choose their political solution in a democratic manner.
This conference appeals to the government of Tamil Nadu to pass a resolution in Tamil Nadu State Assembly urging the Prime Minister of India to boycott CHOGM if it is held in Sri Lanka.Further, the conference urges the government of Tamil Nadu to implement the earlier passed resolution seeking economic embargo against Sri Lanka in Tamil Nadu and India.
The seven point resolutions passed by the conference are: