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British Tamil students remember sacrifice at 'Youth Maaveerar Naal'

Over 150 Tamil students from across the UK gathered today at the annual Youth Maaveerar Naal in remembrance of lives that have been sacrificed in the Tamil nation’s struggle against genocide .

The inter-university remembrance event, ‘Youth Maaveerar Naal’, hosted this year by Imperial College London, saw several universities prepare theatrical dance performances, poems, songs and speeches in remembrance of sacrifices in the Tamil struggle against genocide.

Representatives from each university commenced the event by lighting the traditional lamp, before raising the Tamil national flag to a song that commemorated those that had sacrificed their lives for the liberation of Eelam Tamils.

The Imperial College theatre hall was then illuminated by hundreds of candles as all students held a candle lit vigil for the lost lives  and paid individual tributes by placing them alongside Karthigaipoo flowers (the national flower of Eelam Tamils) in front of a monument dedicated to the lives sacrificed in the struggle.

A representative from City University then addressed the crowd reiterating the resolve of the Tamil youth to continue speaking out against genocide, concluding,

“Though the war may be over, the fight for our people, our freedom, still continues.”

Students from University College London (UCL) and University of St Georges  performed poignant songs that resonated with the audience.

Members of the London School of Economics (LSE) and St Georges also performed powerful and thought provoking spoken word pieces, whilst a member of the Tamil Youth Organisation Uk (TYOUK) recited an Eelam Tamil remembrance poem.

Dancers from Imperial College London captivated the hall with a theatrical dance that depicted the experiences of people that had struggled for liberation of the Tamil nation.

Two representatives from Kings College London, delivered the final speech of the event, emphasing the importance of remembrance and echoing earlier calls to continue the fight against genocide, stating,

“Tonight is special. It is a night that we as students are given the opportunity to come together and appreciate our very own heroes.”

“To cause the premature deaths of large numbers of innocent people on racial and ethnic grounds… to destroy the very fabric of a nation.. that is genocide.”

“As students, we are the future of our nation, and in the face of genocide, we are honoured to be able to say that we stand united.”

“Whilst some of us may have been born and raised in the UK, we have an inextricable link wit hour homeland that will never be eradicated.”

“No matter how many bombs are dropped, no matter how many temples are replaced, and no matter how many people they ruthlessly slaughter, we will never conform to a racist ideology. We will never forget who we are and, more importantly, we will never forget were we came from.”

The event concluded with the release of MC Ellaalan's latest song ‘Her Yesterday’, leaving the crowd moved and lost for words by the end of the track.

Speaking to Tamil Guardian about his experience of Youth Maaveerar Naal, Ellaalan said,

“It is moving to see such a large gathering to students at Youth Maaveerar Naal, which shows that the second generation of Tamil diaspora are very much politically aware of their Eelam Tamil identity.”