Wiley Nickel, called on the members of the House of Representatives to "observe Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day" and acknowledge the "pain and suffering endured by the Tamil people on the Island" of Sri Lanka.
The representative for North Carolina speaking in the House on 17 May called on the speaker, as the "first U.S legislator to officially acknowledge the Tamil Genocide in Sri Lanka" to ensure that the "voices of the survivors are heard to foster healing, justice and reconciliation".
In the congressional record Nickel also commended the "Tamil Americans working tirelessly to promote awareness of the Tamil Genocide and advocate for the rights of the Tamil Community"
Read the full address below,
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize and honor Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day, an important occasion that holds great significance for the Tamil people around the world and for all those who advocate for peace, justice, and human rights around the world. As the first U.S. legislator to officially acknowledge the Tamil Genocide in Sri Lanka and as a steadfast supporter of the Tamil community in North Carolina and Sri Lanka, I'm proud to offer this statement in commemoration of this solemn day.
The Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day is observed on May 18th of each year to mark the events of mass atrocities that unfolded during the final stages of the Sri Lankan Ethnic War in 2009. It serves as a day of remembrance for the tens of thousands of innocent lives lost. It's a reminder that we must express solidarity with the survivors whocontinue to grapple with the painful memories and consequences of this devastating conflict.
The Sri Lankan Ethnic War, which spanned nearly three decades, resulted in immense suffering and loss of life. We must recognize and remember these tragic events to foster healing and justice and to ensure non-recurrence. The final months of the conflict were
particularly brutal. Mullivaikkal, a small coastal strip in the northeastern part of the country, became the site of a large-scale offensive that led to the ethnic slaughter of tens of thousands of Tamil civilians.
We must acknowledge the pain and suffering endured by the Tamil People on the island and ensure that the voices of survivors are heard to foster healing, justice, and reconciliation.
I commend the Tamil Americans working tirelessly to promote awareness of the Tamil Genocide and advocate for the rights of the Tamil community. Their dedication and commitment to justice and peace are commendable.
As we observe Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day, let's remember the lives lost, the families torn apart, and the enduring resilience of the Tamil people. May this day remind us of our responsibility to stand against injustice and work towards a world where everyone can live inpeace, equality, freedom, and dignity.
I ask my colleagues to join me in recognizing Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day.
Tamils Americans United tweeted in support of the Congressional record,
THANK YOU @RepWileyNickel! "As the first U.S. legislator to officially #acknowledge the #TamilGenocide in #SriLanka and as a steadfast supporter of the Tamil community in North Carolina and Sri Lanka, I'm proud to offer this statement in commemoration of this solemn day.....I… pic.twitter.com/djIeV2qDJF
— Tamil Americans United (@Tamils_Action) May 18, 2023
Nickel also tweeted to mark Tamil Genocide Remembrance day stating that "we remember the lives lost, the families torn apart, and the enduring resilience of the Tamil people."
On Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day we remember the lives lost, the families torn apart, and the enduring resilience of the Tamil people.
May this day remind us of our responsibility to stand against injustice and work towards a world where everyone can live in peace and freedom.
— Rep. Wiley Nickel (@RepWileyNickel) May 18, 2023
A bipartisan resolution was also brought forward today on Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day by Deborah Ross and Bill Johnson, calling for the referral of Sri Lanka to the International Criminal Court and a lasting peaceful political solution for Eelam Tamils in the North-East of Sri Lanka.
Today on Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day, I'm proud to re-introduce a resolution recognizing 14 years since the end of the conflict in Sri Lanka and promoting justice & accountability.
Those who violate human rights must be held accountable, & I support Tamil demands for justice.
— Congresswoman Deborah Ross (@RepDeborahRoss) May 18, 2023
Deborah Ross - U.S Representative for North Carolina 2nd District
Bill Johnson - U.S House Representative for Ohio's 6th district
Read more here
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