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Tamil families of the disappeared, students and civil society reject ‘Himalaya Declaration’

Tamil families of the disappeared marched in Kilinochchi last year.

A collection of Tamil civil society groups which includes families of the disappeared, women’s organisations, students and clergy from across the North-East rejected an initiative led by the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) and Sinhala Buddhist monks for “totally ignoring Tamil grievances and the pain and suffering Tamils have undergone since independence”.

In a statement released this week, the various organisations said they were “disappointed” in the initiative, which has already come under widespread criticism in the diaspora and across the Tamil homeland.

“Since the war ended fourteen years ago, we have expressed our grievances directly through mass rallies like P2P,” said the organisation, referring to a 2021 mass rally that saw hundreds of thousands march across the North-East, despite attacks by Sri Lankan security forces.

“Tamil University Students and victim groups like Families of the disappeared and others also held numerous protests, hunger strikes and marches to express Tamil grievances,” it continued.

“None of their grievances were addressed in this “Declaration.””

The statement went on to highlight various demands, including Sri Lanka being referred to the International Criminal Court, demiltiarisation of the Tamil homeland, an end to state-sponsored colonisation, and reiterating their call for an internationally monitored referendum.

See the full statement and a list of signatories here.

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