Maaveerar Naal 2020 speech
Vanakkam, November 27th 2020, Tamil Eelam National Heroes day speech on behalf of TYO UK.
November 27th is a day that reminds us of our struggle, our fight and our one and only goal, Tamil Eelam. Today we honour and salute our heroes of Tamil Eelam, our maaveerar. It was these heroes who put aside their own ambition for the joint dream of one day being able to live in a nation that we can call our own. Free from oppression, free from discrimination and free from exploitation. The first Maveerar naal was held by our thalaivar on November 27th 1989 and since then every year we remember the thousands of Tamil heroes who faced death with pride as they fought against the genocidal Sri Lankan state for the wellbeing of the Eelam Tamil nation.
Our maaveerar took it as their duty to fight for our homeland and our nation. It was their courage and valour that challenged the Sri Lankan state of their wrongdoings towards our nation. It is vital to remember our great heroes as we continue our fight for liberation. Just as thalaivar said we ‘erect our heroes’ memorials’ so that their ‘memories should remain forever in our hearts’. Maaveerar naal is a part of the Eelam Tamil tradition and identity. It is not an option but a necessity. Today, even during a global pandemic it is reassuring to see that Tamils all over the world have come together, be it virtually, to pay their respects.
Our nation suffered extensive forms of oppression – from what began with abolishing our language and our culture, as well as destroying our precious literature through the burning of the Jaffna library, the merciless Sri Lankan state thought they could get away with annihilating the Eelam Tamil nation. For decades now the Sri Lankan state has tried to divide us and make us feel powerless through fear which is evident by the genocide of Tamils since independence. Even after the height of the Tamil genocide in 2009, the Sri Lankan state has not stopped its ruthless pursuit to erase the Tamil identity with disappearances and abuse still going on to this day. They are conducting a psychological warfare amongst the Tamils in the diaspora – instilling the defeatist mentality. This is why you can see many Tamils including upcoming generations question ‘what exactly am I fighting for, since the war is over?’ and ‘what difference will I make?’.
However, we cannot let them achieve their goal. When they try to divide us, we must unite. When they try to destroy us, we must rebuild. When they try to silence us, we must speak out.We only have one goal that was set out by our thalaivar, one goal that led to the blood stains on our nation, one goal that our maaveerar endeavoured to achieve. We must establish our own independent state and gain back the rights that were brutally taken away from us in our own homeland, Tamil Eelam.
The youth of today are a generation with unlimited potential. The intelligence, talent and awareness we possess should not be wasted. We must take advantage of our education and experiences without abandoning our roots, identity and history. We also possess the skill of articulation, we can converse well in the languages used by the countries we reside in, this in itself is one of our biggest strengths for our voices to be heard and understood. Our thalaivar’s ambition was to ‘mould a new generation of youth who will be
the architects of our future nation’ and ‘this new generation will be patriotic, honest and possessed of a high sense of honour, self respect and dignity’. We are the generation of Tamils that our thalaivar aspired to create in hope that we will bring justice to our people and attain Tamil Eelam. Whilst it is important for the youth to acknowledge their roots, it is essential that parents and grandparents illuminate us to the very details and facts of our history too. You have lived through the war and experienced the atrocities first hand thus have the duty of guiding us in our ongoing fight for Tamil Eelam. The day we lose touch with our identity, culture and traditions, is the day we help the Sri Lankan state eradicate our history and values that our heroes died for.
We, as TYO, have faith that day will never come as we have seen many examples of this generation, Tamils and non-Tamils, standing up against injustice and creating mass movements on social media that even the major governments across the world fear. We see Tamils across the world using their social media platforms to inform the world about current affairs with the hope of getting justice for our people. Recently, TYO held a maaveerar week commencement event alongside 29 university Tamil societies. Not only was it empowering to see the youth honouring our heroes but they had come together as one in order to carry out the event successfully. This is why we reiterate the importance of solidarity and the great outcome it produces. There is evidently a growing number of Tamil youth persisting and contributing to our fight and with time these numbers will only increase. We urge these people to carry on and for others to join to show the major powers that we are a force to be reckoned with.
As the next generation of Tamils, it is our duty to protect the spark our elders lit and turn it into a flame that burns bright for the world to see even clearly. We will use this flame to shine a light on the genocide committed by the Sri Lankan state and when the flame is big enough we will burn down the walls that they think can contain us .The continuing Sinhalisation and extensive militarisation of the North and East provinces by the Sinhala-Buddhist chauvinistic state cannot continue. We will use our voice to keep the International Community informed.
Let us remind ourselves of the message Thalaivar had delivered in 2008 to the diaspora youth ‘I would request Tamils, in whatever part of the world that they may live in to raise their voices, firmly and with determination, in support of the freedom struggle of their brothers and sisters in Tamil Eelam.’
Thamilarin thagam Tamil Eela Thayagam