The Tamil Youth Organisation (TYO), Canadian Tamil Youth Alliance (CTYA) and a collective of Tamil Canadian student organisations across the country have released statements condemning the destruction of the Mullivaikkal memorial monument at the University of Jaffna, in an act of solidarity with the Jaffna University Students' Union.
TYO highlighted the continued “structural genocide” that the Tamil nation face, in a statement released this weekend;
“Emboldened by the lack of a firm and strong international response in support of justice, the Sri Lankan state has currently intensified its structural genocide policies against the Tamil Nation… The destruction of the Mullivaikkal Tamil Genocide Memorial Monument is a strategy by the Sri Lankan State to continue to deny the Tamil Genocide and an act to erase the history and live experiences of the Tamil nation.”
TYO called upon the international community and the United Nations to take meaningful action as the destruction of the memorial joins a long list of genocidal acts perpetrated by the Sri Lankan state.
Read the full statement TYO here.
CTYA condemned the ongoing “memoricide” being committed by the Sri Lankan state against the Tamil people.
“This is not the first time. The Sri Lankan state has systematically destroyed Tamil memorials and monuments throughout the North-East since 2009, and have been deliberately replacing the Tamil memorials with the state’s own victory monuments as a means to taunt the Tamil community.”
CTYA concluded the statement imploring the Canadian federal and provincial governments to:
1. Intervene and ensure the safety and protection of the students enrolled in Jaffna University, the members of the Tamil community engaged in peaceful demonstrations, and those students involved in the construction of this monument.
2. Proceed with an international investigation, and hold parties responsible for genocide against the Tamil community, accountable for their injustices and atrocities.
3. In Ontario, pass Bill 104 - Tamil Genocide Education Week Act, which will help provide a safe space for Tamil Ontarians that are suffering from the trauma and intergenerational trauma caused by the genocide
Read the full statement CTYA here.
A joint statement released by 15 Tamil Student Associations (TSA) highlighted the continued “cultural genocide” that Tamil people face, drawing reference to the 1981 Sri Lankan state sponsored burning of the Jaffna Library.
“The destruction of the Mullivaikkal monument is another step in the Sri Lankan state’s attempt to erase our cultural identity and history. From the burning of the Jaffna Public Library in 1981, to the destruction of the Mullivaikal Memorial in 2021, the Sri Lankan state continues to actively engage in cultural genocide against the Tamil people. As Eelam Tamils, it is important that in moments like these, we show that although our memorials can be demolished, our burning desire for justice can never be extinguished.”
They concluded that statement calling on “Tamil Youth around to world to continue to share and educate others on our story, history and identity” and pledged that “together, as united students in the Tamil Diaspora, we will continue to fight for justice and the right to honour the lives of loved ones who were unjustly taken from us”
The 15 student organisations that signed : University of Ottawa Tamil Student Association, Western Tamil Student Association, Tamil Student Association of Guelph, Queen’s Tamil Student Association, Carelton University Tamil Student Association, McMaster Tamil Student Association, Tamil Networking Association, York Tamil Student Association, Laurier University Tamil Student Association, University of Toronto St.George Tamil Student Association , Brock University Tamil Student Association , Trent University Tamil Student Organisation, Ontario Tech Tamil Student Association, University of Waterloo Tamil Networking Association and University of Toronto Mississauga Tamil Student Association.
Read the Tamil Canadian Students full statement here