Outside the European parliament in Brussels, hundreds of Tamils gathered to demand an end to Sri Lanka’s ongoing military occupation of the Tamil homeland.
Despite 13 years passing since the end of the armed conflict Sri Lanka’s military occupation has only intensified with the Oakland Institute reporting in March 2021 that in Mullaitivu alone, the military has “acquired more than 16,910 acres of public and private land” and has set up “at least seven Army camps and five naval bases located just 15 km from the village of Alampil to the village of Kokkilai in Mullaitivu”. Adayaalam Centre for Policy Research has also reported that in Mullaitivu there is at least one Sri Lankan soldier for every two civilians.
“Sri Lankan army gets out of Tamil Eelam” protests chanted as they demanded immediate demilitarisation of the Tamil homeland.
Protesters also demanded an independent international investigation into genocide against Eelam Tamils. Whilst official estimates vary, the International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) has found that the highest estimate of those killed during that final phase could be as large as 169,796. Throughout the final military campaign, the Sri Lankan army would indiscriminately shell hospitals, engage in summary executions, and mass sexual violence.
Demonstrators also called on the international community to respect the rights of Eelam Tamils to self-determination. Protesters were also seen chanting:
'We want Tamil Eelam, We want justice, we want freedom'
“Our leader Prabhakaran. Our nation Tamil Eelam.”
“Sri Lankan Government, terrorist Government”.
“Sri Lankan President, war criminal, genocide”
Protesters were joined by British Tamils who left for Brussels last night.