CHENNAI : Backing the creation of an independent, sovereign Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka, Member of Parliament and president of the Lok Janshakthi Party, Ram Vilas Paswan, on Sunday called upon the international community to ensure that a referendum is conducted to determine the emotions of the Tamil population.
Speaking to reporters at a memorial event on the Marina to mark what is now termed the ‘Mullivaykal Massacre’ that occurred during the final stages of the civil war in May 2009, Paswan said Tamils in Sri Lanka had voted in favour of a separate state as early as in 1977, when Tamil parties fought the elections on the plank of secession. However, their demand had been ignored by successive Sinhala governments which had unleashed violence against minorities.
Tracing the history of the Tamil movement in Sri Lanka, he said over 1,40,000 were killed in the genocide in May 2009, for which the Rajapaksha government was responsible. “We demand that Rajapaksha must stand trial in the international criminal court and all those involved in the massacre be punished,” he said. Also, Tamils in the camps and prisons must be released without any condition and rehabilitated, he said.
On the plight of Santhan, Murugan and Perarivalan, the three convicts facing death sentence in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, Paswan observed that the Socialist movement he belonged to had been against capital punishment since 1960s. He said it was not a matter of an individual case but an entire policy and that death sentence should be abolished in total.
Later, Paswan, along with MDMK general secretary Vaiko, who led the event, paid homage to a temporary structure erected on the sands of Marina in memory of the people slain during the war. Hundreds of people participated in the event which culminated with a candle light vigil.