May 18th marks an important day in the history of Eelam Tamils. The Sri Lankan state’s genocide on the Tamils reached its height in May of 2009. The failure of international bodies and institutions to prevent genocide of the Tamil people resulted in one of the most recent genocides of the 21st century. In May 2009 alone, tens of thousands of Tamil civilians lost their lives and countless others maimed and injured. The slaughter of Tamils reached genocidal proportions in Mullivaikal, where tens of thousands of Tamils were slaughtered in cold blood. Civil society in the Tamil homeland estimates that over 146,679 people disappeared during this time. Today, those civilians continue to remain unaccounted for and the pursuit of justice for them continues.
Every year on this day we remember those who sacrificed their lives with a dream of a separate state; Tamil Eelam and the thousands of civilians who lived in fear of when their last breath would be.
Let’s take a moment to reflect on the words of a 13 year old’s diary entry during the 2009 genocide. “Before I could even register what was being said bombs smashed in. Fortunately, I was thrown into a bunker. Once the smoke clear I peered out and there was the bloodied figure of a relative, with part of his face missing” Is it moral for these to be the memories and the life of someone so young?! It is our responsibility to get the answers delivered to those mothers who have unaccounted children, those brothers and sisters that have to live with the memory of losing their loved ones right beside them and most importantly to get the answers for those who live with the memory of the cluster bombings, the cries of the mourning and the screams of the suffering.
As Tamils we will never lose our drive for freedom and an opportunity to live with the dignity we rightfully deserve. 11 years on we have only become more resolute in the righteousness of our struggle for self-determination. 11 years since what was framed as an end to the Tamil struggle for independence, we have learnt many lessons, we value our past sacrifice more than ever and strive for the recognition of our rich heritage which this brutal genocide is a part of.
On behalf of the younger Tamil generation and the Tamil Youth Organisation, I take this opportunity to pledge that I will continue fighting to uphold my identity. And I will use the opportunity I am blessed to have, to help improve the lives of the survivors who continue to suffer at the hands of the Sri Lankan state. Because I, like many others, still dream of knowing what it’s like to live and laugh and love freely in Tamil Eelam.
Our hearts heavy with the blood of our people, our disgust at the international system’s disregard and careless cover ups fuel another generation of true free thinkers.
It is not only our responsibility but our duty to pass on the factual occurrences of what had happened in Mullivaikal. May 18th is a blood-stained day in the history of Eelam Tamils. However, it emphasises the role the young diaspora need to play in passing the legacy onto the future generations to provide the justice Eelam Tamils truly deserve.
Thamilarin thaakam Tamileela thayakam.