தமிழ்த் தேசியம்

"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."

- Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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Tamils - a Trans State Nation: USA

 Peace Rally by Tamil Americans
"We, the Tamil Americans, hereby proclaim that Eelam Tamils constitute a Nation"

 23 July 2007

[see also

Commonwealth of Massachusetts Resolution in 1981 Memorialising the President and the Congress to Recognize the Right of Self Determination by the Tamil people of Tamil Eelam. - "Resolved, that the Massachusetts  House of Representatives hereby urges the President and the Congress of the United States to support the struggle for freedom by the Tamil nation for the restoration and reconstitution  the separate sovereign state of Tamil Eelam and to recognize publicly the right of self determination by the Tamil people of Tamil Eelam...."

The Rally - in English - in Tamil
Declaration by Tamil Americans and Friends of Tamils
Memorandum Submitted to Members of US Congress
தமிழீழ தாயகத்தை அங்கீகரிக்க வலியுறுத்தி அமெரிக்கத் தலைநகரில் நடைபெற்ற பேரணி நிகழ்வு தொடர்பாக கலாநிதி எலியேஸ் ஜெயராஜ் வழங்கிய நேர்காணல்
What is this madness? - speech by Dr. Ellyn Shander M.D
Press Release at Conclusion of Rally, 25 July 2007


[TamilNet Report] In the peace rally attended by nearly one thousand American Tamils from several states across the United States in front of the Capitol Building, in Washington D.C. Monday from 12:00 noon to 3:00 p.m., the participants said:

"We, the Tamil Americans, hereby proclaim that Eelam Tamils constitute a Nation. We resolve that our struggle to establish the right of Tamil people to Self-Determination, and to establish self-rule in the territories Tamil people have made their home for centuries will continue until our goal is achieved,"

in a declaration released to the press at the conclusion of the rally.

Mrs Kandaswamy, 80, braved 200 mile bus-ride to attend the rally from New Jersey. She said she had stood in front of the Parliament in Canberra in 2003, in front of Britain's Houses of Parliament in 2005, and that she is happy stand in front of the Capitol Building with her adult son at the rally today. Expatriate Tamils, including a large contingent of second generation American Tamils, from far-away states including Florida, Ohio, California, and Boston, and from several other states attended the peace rally.

Participants carried colorful placards, wore sun-visors and T-shirts carrying the message of peace and the right of Tamil for self-determination, and shouted slogans throughout the rally.

Tamil youth group which has organized a pre-, post-rally congressional lobbying campaign, read messages of support from several Congresspersons between the speeches by International Human Rights Lawyer, Karen Parker, New York Attorney Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran, Ellyn Shander, a Medical Doctor from New Canaan, Connecticut who had visited the NorthEast to provide care and grief counseling to the tsunami survivors, and several others to the participants.

Chris Gaston, Senior Aide to Congressman Rush Holt from New Jersey met with the contingent that attended the rally from the Congressman's home state.

Ms Parker said: "Because of the right to self- determination, the Tamil areas belong to the Tamils. It is their land. The civilian government and the military force - the LTTE - have a right de jure (by law) to this State. Tamils presence in their own land is not de facto and their government is not a de facto one. "The Sri Lankan government’s occupation of part of the historic Tamil Eelam is de facto. They are there by the clear facts on the ground but they don’t have the legal right to it," Ms. Parker added.


The declaration read at the conclusion of the rally also noted that 100,000 Tamils have died and more than a million have been internally displaced during the struggle, and that Tamils did not participate in Sri Lanka's 1972 and 1978 constitutions which "institutionalized discrimination" and "denied Tamils effective role in decision making process."


தமிழீழத் தமிழர்களின் தன்னாட்சி உரிமையை வலியுறுத்தி அமெரிக்கத் தலைநகரில் 23.07.07 பேரெழுச்சியான அமைதிப் பேரணி

வாசிங்ரன் டி.சியில் உள்ள அமெரிக்கத் தலைநகர் கட்டட முன்றலில்
23.07.07 பிற்பகல் 12 மணி முதல் மாலை 3 மணிவரை நடைபெற்ற இந்த அமைதிப் பேரணியில் அமெரிக்கா முழுவதிலிருந்தும் ஆயிரக்கணக்கில் புலம்பெயர் தமிழர்கள் பங்கேற்றிருந்தனர்.

'தமக்கு இருக்கும் தன்னாட்சி உரிமையின் அடிப்படையில், தமக்கென ஒரு சுய ஆட்சியை நிறுவி தம்மைத் தாமே ஆழ்வதைத் தவிர, சுதந்திரத்தோடும் நிம்மதியோடும் வாழ்வதற்கு ஈழத் தமிழர்களுக்கு வேறு வழியில்லை" என்று இந்தப் பேரணியில் வலியுறுத்தப்பட்டது.

புளோரிடா, ஓகையோ, கலிபோர்னியா, போஸ்ரன் உள்ளிட்ட பல்வேறு நகரங்களிலிருந்து பெருந்தொகையான இரண்டாம் தலைமுறைத் தமிழர்களும் இப்பேரணியில் கலந்து கொண்டனர்.

தமிழர்களின் தன்னாட்சியையும் சுயநிர்ணய உரிமையையும் வலியுறுத்தும் மேலாடைகளை அணித்து பேரணியில் பங்கேற்றோர் உரிமை முழக்கங்களை எழுப்பினர்.

இந்நிகழ்வில் அனைத்துலக மனித உரிமைகள் சட்டத்தரணி கரேன் பார்க்கர், நியூயோர்க் சட்டத்தரணி விசுவநாதன் ருத்ரகுமாரன், ஆழிப்பேரலையால் பாதிக்கப்பட்ட தமிழர்களுக்கு மனவள ஆலோசனை அளிக்க தமிழீழத்துக்குச் சென்று திரும்பிய மருத்துவர் எலின் சண்டெர் உள்ளிட்டோர் உரையாற்றினர். அவர்களின் சிறப்புரைகளுக்கு இடையே ஈழப் போராட்டத்துக்கு ஆதரவளித்துள்ள அமெரிக்க காங்கிரஸ் உறுப்பினர்களின் அறிக்கைகளும் வாசிக்கப்பட்டன.

நியூ ஜேர்சியைச் சேர்ந்த காங்கிரஸ் உறுப்பினர் ருஸ் ஹோல்ட்டின் மூத்த உதவியாளர் கிரிஸ் காஸ்ரன் இப்பேரணியில் பங்கேற்றார்.

'சுயநிர்ணய உரிமையின் அடிப்படையில் தமிழர்களின் தாயகப் பிரதேசம் தமிழர்களுக்கானது. அங்கே ஒரு அரசாங்கத்துக்குரிய குடிசார் அரசாங்கமும் இராணுவமும் இயங்கி வருகிறது. தமிழீழம் அவர்களின் சொந்த மண். அங்குள்ள அவர்களின் அரசாங்கம் நிழல் அரசாங்கம் அல்ல. பாரம்பரியமான வரலாற்று ரீதியான தமிழர் தாயகத்தை சிறிலங்காதான் ஆக்கிரமித்துள்ளது. தமிழர் நிலத்தில் எதுவித சட்ட உரிமையுமே சிறிலங்காவினருக்கு இல்லை" என்று கரேன் பார்க்கர் உரையாற்றினார்.

பேரணியின் முடிவில் பிரகடனம் வெளியிடப்பட்டது. இந்தப் பேரணியில் திருமதி கந்தசாமி என்ற 80 வயது மூத்தாட்டி பங்கேற்றார். நியூஜேர்சியிலிருந்து 200 மைல் தூரம் பேரூந்தில் பயணம் செய்து இந்தப் பேரணியில் கலந்து கொண்டார்.

தான் 2003 ஆம் ஆண்டு அவுஸ்திரேலியாவின் கான்பரா நாடாளுமன்றக் கட்டடம் முன்பான ஆர்ப்பாட்டத்திலும் 2005 ஆம் ஆண்டு பிரித்தானிய நாடாளுமன்றக் கட்டடம் முன்பான ஆர்ப்பாட்டத்திலும் பங்கேற்றதாகவும் இப்போதும் அமெரிக்க தலைநகர் கட்டட முன்றலில் எமது தாயக உரிமைக்காக குரல் கொடுக்க நிற்கிறேன் என்றும் பெருமிதம் பொங்க தெரிவித்தார்.

இந்த ஆர்ப்பாட்டப் பேரணியில் முதல் முறையாக ஆயிரத்துக்கும் அதிகமான தமிழர்கள் பங்கேற்று தங்களது தாயகத்துகான அங்கீகாரத்தை வலியுறுத்தி உரத்து குரல் கொடுத்தமை குறிப்பிடத்தக்கது.

கடந்த காலங்களில் அமெரிக்காவில் நடத்தப்பட்ட தமிழர்களின் போராட்டத்திற்கு ஆதரவான பேரணிகளில் இதுவே மிகப்பெரியது.

அண்மையில் அமெரிக்கா, பிரித்தானியா, அவுஸ்திரேலியா, பிரான்ஸ் போன்ற நாடுகளில் ஈழத்தமிழ் செயற்பாட்டாளர்கள் மீது அந்தந்ந நாட்டு அரசாங்கங்கள் சட்ட நடவடிக்கைகளையும், கைதுகளையும் மேற்கொண்ட சூழ்நிலையில் இவ்வளவு பெருந்தொகையானோர் இதில் கலந்து கொண்டது, அமெரிக்கா தலைமையிலான மேற்குலகுக்கு ஒரு முக்கியமான செய்தியை சொல்கின்றது என்று இதில் கலந்துகொண்ட ஒருவர் தெரிவித்தார்.

அண்மையில் செய்தி நிறுவனம் ஒன்றுக்குப் பேட்டியளித்த சிறிலங்காவிற்கான அமெரிக்கத் தூதுவர் றொபேர்ட் ஓ பிளேக், தன்னோடு பேசிய எந்தத் தமிழர்களும் தனிநாட்டுக் கோரிக்கையை ஆதரிக்கவில்லை என்று தெரிவித்திருந்த பின்னணியில், அமெரிக்கத் தமிழர்களாகிய நாங்கள் எமது அபிலாசை என்ன என்பதை, அவருக்கும், அமெரிக்க அரசங்கத்திற்கும், அமெரிக்கா தலைமையிலான மேற்குலக நாடுகளுக்கும் இப்போது தெரிவித்திருக்கின்றோம் என்று இந்த பேரணி ஏற்பாட்டாளர்களில் ஒருவர் தெரிவித்தார்.

இங்கே வெளியிடப்பட்டு, பேரணியில் பங்கேற்ற அனைவராலும் கையெழுத்திடப்பட்டு, அமெரிக்க நாடாளுமன்ற வெளிவிவகாரக்குழு உறுப்பினர்களுக்கு கையளிக்கப்பட்ட பிரகடனத்தில் -

 "தமிழீழத் தமிழர்கள் ஒரு தேசமாக, ஒரு தேசிய இனமாக வாழ்ந்து வருகின்றார்கள் என்பதை, அமெரிக்கத் தமிழர்களாகிய நாங்கள் இங்கே பிரகடனப்படுத்துகின்றோம்.இலங்கைத் தீவில் தமிழர்கள் பாரம்பரியமாக வாழும் அந்தத் தமிழர் தாயகப் பிரதேசத்தில் ஒரு தமிழ் சுயாட்சியை நிறுவுவதற்காகவும், தமிழ்த் தேசிய தன்னாட்சி உரிமைக்காகவும் நிகழும் எமது போராட்டம், அந்த இலட்சியங்களை அடையும் வரை முடிவுறாது என்பதை அமெரிக்கத் தமிழர்கள் இங்கே பிரகடனப்படுத்துகின்றோம் "

என்று தெரிவிக்கப்பட்டுள்ளது.


Declaration by Tamil Americans and Friends of Tamils at the Peace Rally in Washington D.C. Monday July 23, 2007 (also in PDF )

1. Recognizing that the Tamil people in the island now known as Sri Lanka have paid a heavy price for freedom in their struggle for justice bearing the loss of 100,000 people and the displacement of over a million as refugees and internally displaced persons;

2. Bearing in mind that successive Governments of Sri Lanka have been responsible for those deaths and persecution, discrimination, and ethnic cleansing including the recent expulsion of Tamil people from Colombo to their Homeland;

3. Deploring the plight of the millions of refugees and displaced persons who have been uprooted as a result of Sinhala armed forces’ acts and preventing from their right to return to their homes voluntarily in safety and honor, and emphasizing the urgent need for concerted international action to alleviate their condition;

4. Mindful that the Tamils did not participate in the making of the 1972 and 1978 constitutions which institutionalized discrimination and which denied them an effective role in the national decision-making process;

5. Noting that the Tamil people gave their mandate to their elected representatives to seek an independent state for the Tamil people in the elections subsequent to the Vaddukoddai Resolution of 1976;

6. Reaffirming that the universal realization of the right of all peoples, including those under alien domination, to self-determination is a fundamental condition for the effective guarantee and observance of human rights and for the preservation and promotion of such rights;

7. Being aware that the history of the relations between the Tamil People and the Sinhala People has been a process of broken promises, unilateral abrogation of pacts and agreements by the Governments of Sri Lanka;

8. Bearing in mind that the armed struggle as a measure of self-defense and a means of the realisation of the right to self-determination arose only after the failure of the 40 years of non-violent struggle, and due to the absence of means to resolve the conflict peacefully;

9. Cognizant of the reality that the war in the island of Sri Lanka has been principally confined to the NorthEast, resulting in the destruction of its social, economic, administrative and physical infrastructure;

10. Accepting that it was the Sinhala attempt to subjugate and assimilate which led, eventually, to the rise of the armed resistance of the Tamil people, led today by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam;

11. Conscious that an effective control and jurisdiction of the NorthEast of the island of Sri Lanka is exercised by Tamil governance, which is also resisting the current war for land to colonize the Tamil Homeland;

12. Welcoming the Fifteen Non-Governmental Organizations’ statement at the UN Human Rights Commission in February 1993 that: -

"A social group, which shares objective elements such as a common language and which has acquired a subjective consciousness of togetherness by its life within a relatively well defined territory, and its struggle against alien domination, clearly constitutes a "people" with the right to self-determination”.

13. Noting that the Tamils of Eelam are not simply an ethnic group. Their togetherness is not only a cultural togetherness, they are a people who have lived within a relatively well defined territory for many centuries and established their own separate and independent state and defended it against alien invaders;

14. Recognising that Tamil Eelam is a de jure State where in some areas Sinhala alien de facto rule exists, against the will of the Tamil people;

15. Determined to bring lasting peace to all Peoples of the island of Sri Lanka;

We, the Tamil Americans, hereby proclaim that Eelam Tamils constitute a Nation.

We resolve that our struggle to establish the right of Tamil people to Self- Determination, and to establish self-rule in the territories Tamil people have made their home for centuries will continue until our goal is achieved.

We appeal to the legislators, the Administration and the people of the United States who fought and won their freedom to empathize with the Tamil people, and help to establish our right to Self-Determination from the remnants of the Sinhala colonial State.


Memorandum Submitted to Members of US Congress by Tamil Americans and Friends of Tamils at the Peace Rally in Washington D.C. July 23, 2007 [also in PDF]

We, the undersigned, have gathered today to rally for peace and an end to human rights abuses in war-ravaged Sri Lanka and to support the Tamil people’s right to self-determination in pursuit of a lasting peace on the island.

Over the past two years, under the leadership of President Mahinda Rajapakse, violence in Sri Lanka has been on the rise with the 2002 ceasefire agreement between the government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam effectively abandoned. As reported in Amnesty International’s 2006 report, “The human rights situation in Sri Lanka deteriorated dramatically. Unlawful killings, recruitment of child soldiers, abductions, enforced disappearances and other human rights violations and war crimes increased…”

According to the United Nations Human Rights Council, three million citizens have been affected, 500,000 forced out of their homes and over 4,000 killed in the past 12 months. The toll has added to the 100,000 deaths, mostly Tamil civilians, in more than two decades of sectarian strife. Massive military operations in the Tamil homeland in the North and East of Sri Lanka have displaced half a million war and tsunami devastated Tamil civilians who have been left to suffer in refugee camps, most of which are in deplorable condition due to lack of food, water, sanitation, medical care, schooling, and adequate shelter.

Human rights watchdogs and international leaders have spoken out against the government’s increasing brutality as it engages in crimes against humanity including, “directing artillery fire at military targets and civilians without discrimination, firing artillery from populated areas, summarily executing persons, and unnecessarily preventing the delivery of humanitarian aid” (Brad Abrams, HRW, April 16, 2007).

In August 2006, the government of Sri Lanka closed the A-9 highway, the only land route linking the Northern Jaffna peninsula with the rest of the island. Almost one year later, approximately 400,000 Tamil civilians remain trapped in this region, where they continue to be denied food, medicine and humanitarian aid. In a further display of discrimination and oppression against Tamils, the UN reports that Tamil regions have received 20 percent less tsunami aid than other areas, despite having suffered 65 percent of the tsunami destruction. As little as 29 percent of the required permanent houses have been completed in the war-torn Tamil regions, compared to 98 percent in the south.

Last month, the situation took an even more alarming turn as the government stepped up its efforts to purge Tamil civilians from the capital city of Colombo in what amounts to no less than ethnic cleansing. “The forced eviction of 375 Tamils from the capital of Colombo … carried out by police and soldiers in a nighttime raid on areas of Colombo populated by the Tamil ethnic minority, was the latest chapter in the brutal civil war,” reports The New York Times. In the past year, more journalists and aid workers were killed with government complicity in Sri Lanka than anywhere else in the world.

Throughout this time U.S. military aid has increased, despite the government’s abominable record of human rights violations.The suffering of the innocent people of Sri Lanka has taken an enormous toll, as poignantly reported in Time magazine: “Sri Lanka has been in ceaseless turmoil for more than three decades… Fighting has gone on for so long now that it has brutalized an entire society, creating a culture of violence that haunts the country whether there is fighting or not” (April 5, 2007).

We urge the great citizens of this country and the U.S government to take the following actions to help restore peace, justice, and democracy in Sri Lanka, and protect the victimized Tamil population:

• Support the current Senate language in HR 2764 that would restrict military aid to Sri Lanka;

• Join the Price-Holt initiative in the US House of Representatives in asking President Bush to “increase U.S. diplomatic engagement and high-level political contact in Sri Lanka to work toward achieving a lasting peace… increase U.S. efforts to promote strong human rights protections for civilians”;

• Encourage the involvement of the United Nations to monitor human rights on the ground;

• Put pressure on the Sri Lankan government to rescind the declaration of Tamil land in Trincomalee area as high security zone thereby preventing the resettlement of the Tamils and Muslims;

• Demand the Sri Lankan government immediately allow humanitarian organizations unrestricted access to conflict areas and open the A-9 highway to Jaffna;

• Promote lasting peace through a permanent resolution, not excluding a two-state solution

• Recognize and support the Tamil people’s right to self-determination.

Thank You. Sincerely, (see signatures on the attached pages)


What is this madness? - Speech by Dr. Ellyn Shander M.D

First I want to say how honored I am to speak at this rally. I want to express my appreciation to the organizers who had the vision to invite us together for this important cause. And a heartfelt thank you ,to each of you who took the time to travel from your homes and express your solidarity, here in Washington DC, with the Tamils in Sri lanka, who dont have the opportunity to be here today expressing their anguish and despair.

I am an American physician that went to Sri Lanka and volunteered my services in the North, 6 weeks after the tsunami. I returned 6 months later for a follow up visit.

All of us remember the devastation of the tsunami, villages flattened, whole families swallowed up, lives shattered. For a brief moment in time, Sri Lanka was illuminated. I traveled the road from Killonochi , thru the elephant Pass up thru the fishing villages that dot the shore. I met the most beautiful people. And an extraordinary thing happened to me. I fell in Love. I fell in Love with the people, their courage, their strength and their willingness to invite me into their homes and share their grief. I helped the families make sense of the incomprehensible; I treated the children, and met teachers, fishermen, moms, dads, people just like us, trying to hold their families together in extraordinary circumstances.

I took their pictures home with me, and left a piece of my heart there, in a small fishing village on the North east coast . When the civil war broke out again, I was sad. When the government closed A-9 I was devastated! I have no words for the madness that stalks the north and east today. You see for me this crisis IS personal. The Tamils who are being bombed, killed, abducted, tortured, starved and denied medical care are family to me. Their pictures are in my home, and I will NOT stop fighting for peace and justice for them.

Today NGO’s are denied access to the North and East by a stalled government process. The government refuses to open A-9, the highway that supplies food and medicine to the North. More than 500,000 civilians are being held hostage there. Shelling by government troops continues to rain on civilian areas. If the hospitals are closed and have limited medicines and few doctors, how does a maimed or burned child get help??

What is this madness? Tamils are being forced to return to areas that have NOT had low mine clearance. They are forced from one camp to the next as the fighting spreads, they have no income and have to depend on food handouts from aid agencies. What is this madness? International agencies are reporting rampant malnutrition in the northern Jaffna district. Fisherman are denied access to the sea. In Vavunia last week 4 Tamils were shot. One of them a 14 year old boy. How can this be happening?? What is this madness?

On July 14 and 15th the SL Army launched heavy sustained rocket fire on the Pulliyankulam hospital in Vavunia. 2 shells exploded right inside the hospital. It used to serve the needs of 15,000 inhabitants.

What is this madness? What government kills its own civilians? The government
 of Darfur, the former government  of Saddam Hussein, and the government  of Sri Lanka .

What is this madness?? The war is reported as a fact sheet of military conquests.. Very little is said about the real victims of this war. The Tamil people who are dying in the thousands.

What is this madness?

Children cannot go to school, medical students in Jaffna the future pride of the Tamil people cannot finish their studies, and the youth are being kidnapped and torn from their families

What is this madness?

You know the opposite of this madness is a dream that I have. Martin Luthur King a great American stood close to here and shared his dream. America is a place of dreams. Today I want to share mine with you!! I have a dream that every Tamil can feel the breeze on their cheeks without worrying about being killed.

I have a dream that every Tamil can look up at the sky and check the weather without checking to see if their government is raining bombs on them today.

I have a dream that every pregnant Tamil will have access to a hospital and only be concerned if she is having a boy or girl and NOT whether a SL Army shell will take her life and her newborns.

I have a dream that every Tamil child can laugh and go to school in freedom and not worry that her family will be dead when she returns home or to the refugee camp.

I have a dream that the fishermen I met can go out on their boats again and bring home their catches , and not worry about being tortured and kidnapped.

I have a dream that no Tamil person will ever have to be on rations, or be without .doctors or medicines.

I have a dream of Tamil weddings, birthdays, and festivities in a peaceful self governed state called Tamil Elam.

Land does not belong to people!! It is people that belong to land. The Tamils belong to their land.

Please let us work toward stopping this madness. Let us work towards peace talks. Let us work towards Justice and Freedom for every human being in Sri Lanka . Denying the right to self determination is a violation of human rights! Today I ask the Sri lankan government
 a question. If you don’t want to treat the Tamils equally, fairly, or humanely, then what is wrong with a 2 state solution? Two States in Peace is Better than One State in War!

Stop the persecution of the Tamils!!!  Let us call today for an independent state for the Tamils before it is too late and there are no more Tamils left in Sri Lanka. Please peace for Tamil Elam!

Stop the Madness. Thank you.


  Press Release by Tamil Americans and Friends For Peace, 25 July 2007

Tamil Americans Hold Peace Rally at Capitol Hill

Tamil Americans in the US held a massive Peace Rally on July 23rd in front of the US Capitol. The rally attended by nearly one thousand American Tamils of all ages from across the country projected the Tamils’ right for self-determination as the peaceful solution for the vexed ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka. Scores of non-Tamil Americans also participated in solidarity with the Tamils.

A declaration released at the conclusion of the rally stated:

"We, the Tamil Americans, hereby proclaim that Eelam Tamils constitute a Nation. We resolve that our struggle to establish the right of Tamil people to Self-Determination, and to establish self-rule in the territories Tamil people have made their home for centuries will continue until our goal is achieved."

"We appeal to the legislators, the Administration and the people of the United States who fought and won their freedom to empathize with the Tamil people, and help to establish our right to Self-Determination from the remnants of the Sinhala colonial State," the declaration further said.

Carrying colorful placards and wearing T-shirts with message of peace, the participants chanted slogans drawing parallels from the United States declaration of independence to that of the Tamil struggle. “Raise your hands, free our land,” “We reject Sri Lanka; Tamils can govern themselves,” were some of the chants heard resonated. One placard said: “Life, Liberty & pursuit of Happiness: -What is good for US is good for Tamils in Eelam too.” “Peace in two states better than war in one,” stated another. The slogans highlighted the deaths of 100,000 Tamil civilians and the displacement of over 1 million at the hands of the Sri Lankan military and called for an end to ethnic cleansing in Sri Lanka.

The Tamil youth group participants who organized a pre- and post-rally congressional lobbying campaign, collected signatures from the attendees for a special memorandum to the US legislators calling for an end to all military aid to Sri Lanka, and pleading for humanitarian aid to the half-a-million Tamil refugees in the NorthEast of Sri Lanka.

They also read messages of support from several Congresspersons between the speeches given by International Human Rights Lawyer, Karen Parker, New York Attorney Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran, Dr. Thani Cheran of North Carolina, and Dr. Ellyn Shander of New Canaan, Connecticut who had visited the NorthEast to provide care and grief counseling to the tsunami survivors. The public meeting part of the Peace Rally was presided over by Lisa Hansen of the Clinton Foundation.

Pointing out the ongoing ethnic cleansing and the scale of government induced mass displacements of the Tamils, Ms. Parker argued that the actions of the Sri Lankan Government clearly constitute genocide. The Tamils’ right to self-determination conforms to all international laws, Ms. Parker observed. “The Tamil areas belong to the Tamils. It is their land. The Sri Lankan government’s occupation of part of the historic Tamil Eelam is de facto, whereas the civilian administration and the military force of the Tamils have a right de jure (by law) to the land they control,” she said.

Dr. Shander electrified the crowd by her speech, by bringing heart and mind together and  sharing her dream of a peaceful Tamil homeland where the children going to school will look up the sky only to check the weather and not scout for fighter jets. “I have a dream that every pregnant Tamil will have access to a hospital and only be concerned if she is having a boy or girl and not whether a Sri Lankan Army shell will take her life and her newborns,” she said.

Dr. Shander questioned the Sri Lankan Government, “If you don’t want to treat the Tamils equally, fairly, or humanely then what is wrong with a two-state solution?” “Two States in peace is better than war in one,” she concluded.

Earlier in the afternoon, Chris Gaston, Senior Aide to Congressman Rush Holt came to the rally and met with the contingent that attended the rally from the Congressman's home state of New Jersey. The rally organized by Tamil Americans and Friends for Peace, concluded at 3pm and participants peacefully dispersed to their far way home states along the east coast, Midwest and far west.

Pictures of the rally can be found and freely downloaded at:http://www.tamilnaatham.com/photos/2007/JUL/20070724/USA/

For further information please contact info@TamilPeace.org

or call Elias Jeyarajah at 919 247 4072.


Tamil Americans and their Friends
are cordially invited to participate in a massive
RALLY FOR PEACE
in front of the Capitol Hill, Washington, DC.

WHEN:

Monday,  July 23, 2007  11:00am to 3:00pm

WHERE:

In front of US Capitol Building (intersection of Pennsylvania Ave NW & 1st Ave NW)

Short History Of Sri Lanka
- an Audio Video Presentation

 

A Change Is Gonna Come

 

  • Participate in the Peace Rally
  • Express Tamil Aspirations for National Self-determination
  • Urge US Government to prevent Tamil Genocide
  • Listen to speeches given by members of US Congress
  • Hear ACLU attorney speak on our civil liberties in the great country of the USA

If we can do one thing productively to help alleviate the agony of Tamils in Sri Lanka, it should be our participation in this Peace Rally in large numbers. If we do not stand up for our own, who will?

 

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