The Tamil National People's Front (TNPF) paid tribute to Lt Col Thileepan in Nallur today, to remember the hunger strike he undertook in protest against the failure of the Indian government to honour the pledges made to the Tamil people.
On this day 34 years ago, Thileepan, a political wing leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) began his hunger strike surrounded by hundreds of thousands of supporters at Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil.
On the September 13, 1987, Thileepan put forward five demands to the Indian government:
1) All Tamils detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act should be released.
2) The colonisation by Sinhalese in Tamil areas under the guise of rehabilitation should be stopped.
3) All such rehabilitation should be stopped until an interim government is formed.
4) The Sri Lankan government should stop opening new Police stations and camps in the North-eastern province.
5) The Sri Lankan army and Police should withdraw from schools in Tamil villages and the weapons given by the Sri Lankan government to ‘homeguards’ should be withdrawn under the supervision of the Indian army.
Thileepan passed away after refusing food and water for 11 days.
The remembrance event was attended by TNPF's General Secretary Selvarajah Kajendran and spokesperson Kanagaratnam Sugash.