A coalition of Tamil diaspora groups around the world released a joint statement commemorating Thiyagi Thileepan’s sacrifice, calling for action “demanding that the militarised Sri Lankan dictatorship recognise international conventions on the right to remember the dead”.
The British Tamils Forum (BTF), Australian Tamil Congress (ATC), Solidarity Group for Peace and Justice in Sri Lanka (SGPJ), Irish Tamils Forum (ITF) and United States Tamil Action Group (USTAG) statement details Thiyagi Thileepan’s hunger strike and his demands for the self-determination of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka.
The diaspora groups also spoke of the court rulings to block commemorative events for Thileepan’s remembrance in the Tamil homeland and the appeals made by Tamil nationalist groups to Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
“Since the end of the armed conflict, we have not seen progress on these issues, but rather a deeper entrenchment of Sri Lanka’s military in the North-East, continued use of the internationally-condemned Prevention of Terrorism Act to silence government critics; and expedited colonisation schemes, as well as state-led land grabs,” they added.
The groups also called for the Tamil diaspora to demand the militarised Sri Lankan government to recognise international conventions which protect the right to remember the dead. They hope that Eelam youth will take to social media with the campaign and help to spread awareness of the assault on Tamil rights.
“Only a globally united struggle against the oppressors of our people can liberate them and allow the spirit of Thileepan guide all of us in this endeavour,” the statement concluded.