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'We are Eelam Tamil'

"All around us, people search to find their one true hero. In reality we, the Tamil nation, have thousands of heroes who have struggled for our freedom.

Tonight is special. Tonight is the night that we as students are given the opportunity to come together and remember those heroes. For the first time, students from all across London have joined hands to remember those that have made the ultimate sacrifice.

As youth, we are the future of our nation and in the face of genocide, I am proud to say we stand strong and united. This strong bond that we have forged is something that I hope we can maintain and build on for years to come.

Our brothers and sisters have shown bravery that is unmatched. Their struggle, their suffering, their strength, is the reason why we are here today. When faced with a choice that we have never had to make, they did not shy away. They sacrificed their today, for our tomorrow; their present for our future.

They were not some distant people in an unknown island. They were us. The same blood that stains the soil of our homeland, courses through each one of us.

These young men and women were just like us. They were me and you. They had hopes, dreams ambitions. They were the students, the youth. They could have been doctors or lawyers or engineers. But the Sri Lankan state cruelly snatched that opportunity from them. And left facing a horrific genocide, they made the most courageous and selfless decision possible. To sacrifice yourself, for your people, for your homeland and for your identity.

That is something that we, as British Tamil youths, have not and will not forget. Whilst some of us may have been born and bred in Britain, and may not have even been back to our homeland, we have an inextricable link that will never be extinguished.

Our identity is who we are.

In our own homeland, our identity is under threat. But we, the youth in Britain, will never let that perish.

No matter what the Sri Lankan state does, that is something they can never take away from us. No matter how many bombs are dropped, no matter how many camps are built, no matter how many people they ruthlessly slaughter, we will never conform to a racist ideology. We will never forget who we are and where we came from.

We are Eelam Tamil."

- A speech delivered by Inthuja K from King's College London at the "Youth Maaveerar Naal" held by London Universities on Friday the 25th of November.

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