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Kumar Ponnambalam memorial held in Vavuniya

An event was held in Vavuniya earlier this week, marking 14 years since the assassination of Tamil politician Kumar Ponnambalam.

Held at the Vavuniya Urban Council, the event saw speakers from across the North-East pay tribute to the prominent human rights lawyer, who was gunned down in Colombo. The Sri Lankan government was accused of being behind the murder, and to date no one has been brought to justice.

Amongst those addressing the audience at the event was the Bishop of Mannar Rayappu Joseph, who stated that Ponnambalam’s advocacy and ideologies continues to encourage people to fight for Tamil rights. He went on to say that it was well known that Sri Lankan government won't concede anything to the Tamils, noting that the Tamils are a Nation, they deserve rights and they deserve to rule themselves in their traditional lands.

Hear more of his speech in Tamil below.

The memorial event was organised by the party Kumar Ponnambalam once led, the All Ceylon Tamil Congress, which is now part of the Tamil National People’s Front and led by his son Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam.

The General Secretary of Tamil National People's Front, Selvarajah Kajendran also spoke, stating that whilst the Sri Lankan government claimed they were fighting a “war on terror”, Kumar Ponnambalam appealed to the International community, declaring that genocide was underway, that the armed struggle was justified and that the only solution to the conflict lies in the right to self-determination of the Tamils.

 

Kajendran went on to add that an international investigation into genocide must take place, and highlighted militarisation and colonisation as areas that must be stopped immediately.

Hear more of his speech in Tamil below.

Political analyst Nilanthan and Pirapakarakurukkal Kumar also delivered speeches.

Hear Pirapakarakurukkal Kumar's speech below.

 

 

Photos courtesy of @GGPonnambalam  on Twitter and Global Tamil News.