Tamil Solidarity strongly condemns the racist attack on the remembrance march and a Tamil MP. A small march from the east to the north was organized in memory of Thileepan, who died on September 26th, 1987, after fasting to death while presenting demands to the Indian military that occupied the north and east at that time. Every year, a remembrance event for Thileepan is held in the month of September, around the time of his fasting, which began on September 15th and ended with his death on the 26th, leaving a profound impact on Tamils at the time. To this day, Thileepan’s death is regarded by many Tamils as an enormous sacrifice and a selfless act that prioritized the people’s interests. Even political opponents of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and those who disagreed with LTTE’s methods have recognized the sensitivity and significance of Thileepan’s death in the Tamil struggle. For this reason, a racist faction has consistently opposed any reference to him or his remembrance.
However, since the surge in triumphalism, particularly by the Rajapaksa family, all Tamil remembrance events have come under attack from the racist elements in the south. Often, these attacks are well-organized, either in collaboration with Sri Lankan government forces or by racist organizations linked to the military and the Rajapaksa family. These attacks are not spontaneous but are planned and executed, either by government forces or groups collaborating with them. Remembrance of 1983 July events in Colombo, July this year also attacked in the same way. This was evident in the attack that occurred on September 17th. A group of individuals, carrying the Sri Lankan flag, hurled hateful slogans and attacked a picture of Thileepan and those participating in the march. Mr. S. Kajendran, Member of Parliament for the Tamil National People’s Front, a Tamil political party involved in organizing the march, also fell victim to the attack. All of this unfolded in plain sight and was effectively supported by the police present at the scene. A video of the attack went viral and circulated globally, causing immense discomfort to many. This hate crime, committed with the tacit approval of the police, only reinforces the deep-seated mistrust that many Tamils harbor towards the Sri Lankan government.
The United Socialist Party (USP) in Sri Lanka promptly expressed its strong condemnation of the racist attack. USP is currently involved in a court battle against the racist who attacked the July 83 remembrance. Please contact Tamil Solidarity (email@example.com) to find out more information and help with the campaign. Numerous Tamil and Muslim organizations, along with members of Parliament, were appalled by the intensity of hatred displayed and unequivocally condemned this act. So far, the Sri Lankan government has made no effort to denounce the attack. The majority of human rights organizations and Western governments had not condemned this heinous act, primarily because Thileepan was a member of the Tamil Tigers and advocated for an independent homeland for Tamils. Their silence reveals the underlying political motivations behind their alleged defense of human rights. It is not imperative to endorse the methods of the LTTE or support Thileepan’s ideals to, at the very least, condemn this racist attack. However, many groups closely aligned with the government and the establishment are eager to eradicate all forms of remembrance events, viewing them as reminders of past crimes committed against Tamils and impediments to their politics of compromise. It is with the same mindset that the genocidal massacre of Tamils in 2009 at the conclusion of the war was tolerated. By attempting to silence the history of struggle and past atrocities, the establishment and those aligned with them hope to alter the perspectives of Tamils regarding their demands for democratic and national rights. However, the reality is quite the opposite; incidents like these engender a sense of helplessness and despair, driving a new generation of youth further towards Tamil nationalism.
Tamil Solidarity vehemently condemns this abhorrent hate crime. We demand that all those involved in the attack, including their affiliations and connections, be exposed. Collusion between the police and the Sri Lankan state should be uncovered, and a public inquiry should be conducted to bring those responsible to justice.
An immediate end to all racist attacks.
An end to police protection for and obstruction of remembrance events.
The establishment of a public inquiry involving victims and workers’ organizations to hold war criminals and hate criminals accountable.
The right to self-determination for Tamils.
Tamil Solidarity fully support the call for protest in London on 20th – Wednesday to condemn the racist attack. We urge members and supporters to support and take part in this protest.
Time and place of Protest
Wednesday – 20th September
Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office
Near Westminster tube Station