British Tamil students held an event at London South Bank University on Friday, dedicated to remembering to the young men and women who sacrificed their lives in the struggle for Eelam.
Around 70 students gathered at the venue, with representatives from universities across London commencing the evening by lighting the traditional lamp, followed by the raising of both the British and Tamil Eelam flag.
Students then lit candles and observed a moment silence to remember those that had passed.
The event was attended by Deputy Leader of the ruling coalition Liberal Democrat Party, Simon Hughes, who gave a speech urging the students to continue in the struggle for justice in their homeland.
Citing the cases of East Timor and South Sudan, Hughes stated the Eelam was “not impossible” and that
“In (the British) government, there are lively and concerned debates to ensure things do not continue the way they are.
You have many friends in Parliament.
I am here to salute your continuing commitment. Be proud of where you come from.”
The call was echoed by Inthuja K from King’s College London who told the audience,
“The same blood that stains the soil of our homeland, courses through each one of us.
And left facing a horrific genocide, they made the most courageous and selfless decision possible. To sacrifice yourself, for your people, for your homeland and for your identity.
That is something that we, as British Tamil youths, have not and will not forget. Whilst some of us may have been born and bred in Britain, and may not have even been back to our homeland, we have an inextricable link that will never be extinguished.
Our identity is who we are.
In our own homeland, our identity is under threat. But we, the youth in Britain, will never let that perish.”
See the full text of her speech here.
Students lined up to pay their respects by placing Karthigaipoo flowers (The national flower of Eelam Tamils) on a memorial dedicated to those who had given their life to the struggle.
Imperial College London and City University sang a touching medley of songs that they thought of, when envisaging their homeland, singing “Vidai kodu engal naade” “Thozvhi Nilai Yena” “Vallai Pookal” and “Imagine”by John Lennon.
Queen Mary’s University of London then performed a drama depicting the anguish that a mother felt on hearing that her son had been killed, but the pride in knowing that his death was a sacrifice made for the freedom of their people.
Poems in Tamil were also read by students from University College London and London South Bank University, before the Tamil Youth Organisation delivered a speech to close the remembrance event.