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Palermo City, Italy recognises the genocide of Eelam Tamils

The Palermo City council has signed a Memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Italian- Tamil community recognising the "Genocide of Eelam Tamils perpetrated by the Sri Lankan state". 

The event took place in the Palazzo delle Aquile in Piazza Pretoria and it was chaired by the Mayor of Palermo Leoluca Orlando. In attendance were the councillor Maria Cinzia Mantegna, the Tamil Union of Italy, members of the Tamil Coordinating Committee - Italy, the youth organisation Giovani Tamil and members of the Tamil community. 

Palermo is home to the largest Eelam Tamil community in Italy and throughout the years a long-lasting relationship based on integration and solidarity has been established between the council and the Tamil community. The city has always shown its support to any project that was undertaken to condemn the genocide of the Eelam Tamil nation. The signing of this Memorandum of Understanding is indeed an important step in the history of the Eelam Tamil community of Italy and the Eelam Tamil nation on their journey towards justice. 

Following a virtual conference “ Eelam Tamil: a nation between genocide and oblivion” held on the 12th May 2021, the Mayor of Palermo Leoluca Orlando stated his intentions to issue an official resolution that recognises and acknowledges the Tamil genocide and urges for an international investigation into war crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes of genocide. 

The agreement was signed on 24 September, with Palermo City committing to holding an "Educational week of the Tamil Genocide" from 11 to 18 of May each year. The list of commitments was as follows: 

1.  Recognise the genocide of Eelam Tamils perpetrated by the Government of Sri Lanka (former Ceylon) since 1948.

2. Promote the "Educational Week of the Tamil Genocide" from 11 to 18 May each year. During which awareness-raising activities and demonstrations in collaboration with Tamil organisations will take place in schools and public environments, to inform and raise awareness among Palermo citizens of the Tamil genocide and other similar realities;

3. Keep promoting a strong network of commutation and solidarity between the City of Palmero and the Tamil Community in order to foster integration and mutual understanding between the two communities; 

4. Promote and support initiatives dedicated to citizens in order to encourage the spread of the Eelam Tamil history, culture and identity. 

Earlier this year The Canadian Ontario legislature has given royal assent to Bill 104, bringing into effect Tamil Genocide Education Week, which establishes May 12-18th as a week in which Ontarians “are encouraged to educate themselves about, and to maintain their awareness of, the Tamil genocide and other genocides that have occurred in world history.”

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