Muthukumar, a Tamil Nadu activist, who self-immolated in protest against the Indian government's failure to stop the massacre of tens of thousands of Tamils by the Sri Lankan army during the final months of the armed conflict, was commemorated in Jaffna on January 29.
The remembrance event was organised by the National Forum of Tamil Culture and took place in front of the memorial monument devoted to commemorating massacres against Tamil people.
Muthukumar from Thooththukudi, wrote for Pennae Nee feminist magazine. Distressed by the ethnic cleansing of Eelam Tamils that was being perpetrated by Sri Lanka, Muthukumar doused himself with petrol and set himself afire in front of the Shastri Bhavan, the Indian Central Government's Chennai Head office on January 29, 2009.
In a final letter, Muthukumar took the Indian government to task for its complicity in the carnage and implored the international community to intervene and stop the unfolding genocide.
"I am sorry at having to meet you at this juncture when you are hurrying to work. But there is no other option. My name is Muthukumar. I am a journalist and an assistant director. Right now, I am working in a Chennai-based newspaper. I am also one like you. I am just another average person who has been reading newspapers and websites of how fellow Tamils are daily being killed, and like you I am unable to eat, unable to sleep and unable to even think."
While his ancient land of Tamils lets anyone coming here, like the Seths, to flourish, our own blood, the Tamils in Eelam are dying. When we lend our voices to say the killings should be stopped, Indian imperialism maintains a stony silence and does not give out any reply. If India's war is really a justifiable one, they can wage it openly... Why should they do it stealthily?
“As long as you (the international community) remain silent, India will never open its mouth. Perhaps India may break its silence after all the Tamils have been killed. Until then, are you going to keep looking at India's mouth...If India, Pakistan and China are supplying arms, Japan is giving economic aid, and moreover India is supporting Sri Lanka and thus killing Tamils, why don't you realize that you are also committing the same murder by your silence and your blindness?”
See the full letter here.
Muthukumar’s passing provoked an upheaval in Tamil Nadu causing politicians, activists and the youth in the state to mobilise around the cause of a ceasefire and calling for an end to the slaughter of Eelam Tamils.
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), acknowledging Muthukumar’s sacrifice, wrote in a statement,
“Expressing his support for the liberation struggle that Tamil Eelam people are waging against the war of genocide being conducted by the Sinhala chauvinist government...the valorous Tamil Muthukumar has sacrificed his great life by immolating himself in a mainfestation of the sentiment shared by 70 million of our umbilical brethren in Tamil Nadu. On behalf of Tamil Eelam people and our liberation group, we express our revolutionary salute to Muthukumar. Brother Muthukumar will always have an ineffaceable place in the history of the global Tamil race.”
See full statement below:
Image Courtesy: Tamil Nation