The Students’ Union of Jaffna University called on the Tamil people to continue the struggle for self-determination through political means ahead of the upcoming Sri Lankan parliamentary election.
“The Sri Lankan government has to be held responsible for the genocide it perpetrated through international pressure and that alone can help us secure our transitional justice,” the statement read. “The Students Union of Jaffna University has always stood firm in that only such a solution could satisfy the Tamil peoples’ aspirations.”
Commenting on the political course the island has taken since the end of the armed conflict in 2009, the union said it “is deeply disappointing that our political journey over the past ten years has made no progress on these issues”.
“At this stage, ethnic chauvinistic forces have strengthened in the south of the country and they zealously promote the image of Sri Lanka as a Sinhalese-Buddhist nation.”
“The parties that claim to champion Tamil nationalism are riven by infighting and face this election as fragmented pieces.”
Despite the fact that the current situation is bleak for the Tamils in the island, the statement urged the people to not refrain from voting in the elections.
“Because the present situation causes deep disaffection to us Tamils, we might be inclined to abstain from partaking in this election by not voting for any party or be carried away by parties that promised us a lot of offers in the hustings. We would like to stress that it is not the right way to go about this election.”
The statement laid out the following points for the Tamil people to bear in mind regarding voting in the general election:
‘Overcome frustration and come forward to vote.’
‘Choose a party that is devoted to winning Tamils their rights.’
‘Go beyond party boundaries and select and vote for those personalities who can raise
their voice for Tamil rights dauntlessly.’
‘We have lost a great deal in the thirty years of war. Let us be sure that, if not today, we will win back what we lost eventually.’
Jaffna University and its students have been intimidated frequently for commemorating events of Tamil genocide by the overwhelming police and army contingents stationed in the city. A hotbed of Tamil political activism, the university has constantly faced browbeating by Sr Lankan security agents.
See the statement in Tamil below.