Holding aloft placards that read ‘Conduct referendum for Tamil Eelam’, ‘Create interim administration for Tamils in Tamil Eelam,’ and ‘Conduct international investigation into war crimes committed by Sri Lanka,’ around 1,000 people on Sunday gathered on the Marina Beach on Kamarajar Salai inChennai, India to protest against the alleged atrocities committed against Tamils in Sri Lanka.
Led by Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) general secretary Vaiko, the protestors comprising students, activists from Tamil groups such as the May 17 Movement, party workers and pro-Eelam sympathisers, vociferously opposed the United States-sponsored resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council, calling it an “eyewash”.
Demanding a UN referendum for Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka, they also called for an independent, international probe against the alleged atrocities committed against the Tamils by the Lankan Government.
“Don’t call it war crimes, call it genocide,” the protestors said.
Addressing the large gathering, comprising mainly youth and students, Vaiko vowed to continue to pressure the Centre to vote against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC.
“We will also put pressure on the international community to get justice for the Lankan Tamils and one day we will achieve it,” he said.
The MDMK leader pointed out that prompt action was taken by the Centre when two Kerala fishermen were killed by Italian marines. “But when Tamil fishermen are killed by the Lankan navy, the government does not take it seriously,” he said.
On Sunday morning, Vaiko addressed around 250 workers, employees of Ashok Leyland, at Ennore. The workers, hailing from different trade unions, political, religious and community outfits, staged a fast in support of the Sri Lankan Tamils outside their office premises.
College students across Tamil Nadu have intensified their protests, demanding that India move a resolution against Sri Lanka at the UN’s human rights body meet to press Colombo to acknowledge commission of genocide against its Tamil population.