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‘Only those who are forgotten are dead’ – German Tamils remember the sacrifice of Thileepan

In Germany’s capital, Tamils have gathered to commemorate the sacrifice of Lt. Col. Thileepan on the 35th anniversary of his hunger strike.

Starting at Murugan temple, a van carrying a memorial to Thileepan drove across the city, including past Berlin’s parliament, to remember his sacrifice.

Thileepan began his hunger strike at Nallur Kandaswamy Temple 35 years ago, demanding that the Indian government honour its pledges to the Tamil people. Starting his hunger strike on the 15th of September 1987, surrounded by over 100,000 supporters, and died 11 days later, on the 26th of September 1987.

His demands were:

A sign on the van reads:

“Only those who are forgotten are dead.

In memory of Thiyaka Theepam Thileepan who died while still on strike for justice and became a symbol of the Tamil freedom movement”.

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