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Tamil Nadu activists speaks out: Tamil Youth & Students Federation

As part of our series - 'Tamil Nadu activists speak out' - on the growing activism in Tamil Nadu on the Eelam Tamil issue, Tamil Guardian caught up with leading activists across the state.

This week, we publish our interview with the Tamil Youth & Students Federation based in Chennai.

Speaking to the Tamil Guardian, the Tamil Youth & Students Federation have stated that the students of Tamil Nadu reject the 13th Amendment and are unequivocally protesting for a free Tamil Eelam.

In a wide ranging interview, V Prabhakaran and A M Varman of the organisation, told Tamil Guardian that,

"Before 2009 May, what happened in Sri Lanka was a genocide. Now what is happeneing in Sri Lanka is purely a cultural genocide. The Sri Lankan government is totally eradicating Tamil culture. This is a great danger for us as Tamils."

Speaking on India's involvement in the ethnic conflict, the students went on to add,

"We are not believing the Indian government on Sri Lankan issues... It was a genocide done by India and we will not support any of these acts of India. We are born as Indians, we have been brought up as Indians, but now we feel so bad for that."

Contemplating on the role that the various Indian political parties have played and their stances, Varman noted,

"The alternative for this Congress government is the BJP government. If you see the BJP government's stance, when there was a UN resolution, it also supported Sri Lanka. It said 'You should not say anything against Rajapaksa'"

"Even the Communist party, the third alliance, also supports this. They say 'We do not want a separate Eelam'. So we can't believe in these parties and we can say we don't believe in the central system of India, we are against India now!.. The Comunist party says 'We accept it is a genocide but we will not support a separate Eelam'. The Congress government says 'No, it is not a genocide it is just army activity' and the BJP also says that, so we cannot believe any of these Indian nationalist or government parties to help Tamil people in Tamil Eelam or Tamil Nadu."

"They cannot even save us from the Sri Lankan Navy. More than 750-800 fishermen have been attacked by them... Until now the Indian government has not raised it's voice up against this."

Speaking in Tamil, they also stated,

"What we think of Indian government is, India did play a key role in the genocide of Tamil people. The Congress, who holds power, has supported genocide of Tamil people."

"The Indian Congress party is determined to take part in CHOGM despite the controversy. It is very clear there is political influence in their decision."

"Moreover, India is supporting Sri Lanka by providing military aid, although their public statements claim otherwise. But we witnessed, on the 10th day since such a statement, there was training provided to Sri Lankan army at the 'Wellington' base; which proves to us their statements are not reflections of their actions."

"Nor the shadow party welcomes the self determination to the Tamil people, and helps Sri Lankan governmentt. it had opposed the resolution passed against Sri Lanka in UN."

"We do not have hope in any of these political parties or the Indian government. We were born and brought up as Indians. but having seen all these atrocities which India has supported, we feel disgraced."

Prabhakaran went on to say,

"We students of Tamil Nadu are protesting for a free Tamil Eelam. We don't want the 13th Amendment or 13th Amendment plus. No compromise on anything other than a separate Eelam. "

The students, who have also campaigned for the abolishment of the caste system and other issues across the state, also reflected on the student protests across Tamil Nadu earlier this year. They stated,

"Another success of the students uprising was they have educated the people, who were against the struggle, linking the struggle to Rajiv Ghandi assassination, this uprising has made them understand the struggle more. It proved there will always be support for Eelam Tamils, to others whom may have given up and thought otherwise. I see this event as something that should be recorded in the history."

"Since the protests and demonstration has come to a temporary end, students continue to carry the bruises caused by the genocide of Tamils. This reminds us of something the Tamil Leader Pirabhakaran would say, that he wanted generations to take up the struggle after him, until there's the solution. That is what we are also aiming, we want students to take this up. We got together emotionally as the protests happened before, and from here this should transform into a diplomatic way of protest. We are holding seminars to discuss ideas and educate others on what Tamils in Eelam are facing and what an endangering situation they are, in their own homeland."


Also see our previous interviews in the series:

Tamil Nadu activists speak out: Interview with Students Struggle for Tamil Eelam (03 October 2013)

Tamil Nadu activists speak out: Interview with Save Tamils Movement (05 September 2013)