Raleigh-Durham Fight Imperialism Stand Together (FIST)

Revolutionary socialist youth in the US South

Statement in support of Tamil Tigers struggle for liberation in Sri Lanka

Posted by raleighfist on June 6, 2009

Fight Imperialism, Stand Together (FIST) calls for the immediate end to the U.S.-supported campaign against the Tamil population of Sri Lanka and stands in solidarity with the struggle of the Tamil people for liberation.

The Sri Lankan government’s latest effort to annihilate the Tamil population was labeled a “final offensive” against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

The strife between the primarily Sinhalese ruling class and the Tamils is not, as it has been presented by popular media, a struggle between ancient religious forces. It is a struggle of class and for liberation of an oppressed nationality.

About a million Tamils were forcibly brought to the land presently known as Sri Lanka from Tamil Nadu, a state in the southern tip of India. British imperialists used the Tamil people as indentured slaves in the country’s tea plantations. In 1948, when British imperialists lost control of Southeast Asia, they handed the country to the Sinhalese majority. The Sinhalese continued their chauvinist tactics, making Sinhalese the only official language and restricting access to resources and services, such as health care, schools, civil service and political participation

The Western capitalist media depict Tamil suicide bombers as terrorists who kill civilians. However, they fail to report on the horrible atrocities carried out on the Tamils by the Sri Lankan government on a daily basis and the conditions that forced the Tamil people into armed struggle to defend themselves.

All peaceful attempts by Tamils to effect change and end oppressive government practices have been met with senseless violence. The government has destroyed Tamil homes, schools, hospitals and even entire villages in retaliation against the Tamil people. The ruling class has been determined to keep the Tamil people in destitution, if not to absolutely eliminate them. The bleak outlook for Tamils under the Sinhalese regime has forced Tamil youth into taking up armed struggle as a means of acquiring a better life for their people.

The U.S. government has provided the Sri Lankan army with napalm, white phosphorus, cluster bombs, artillery shells and other weapons along with satellite technology and other miscellaneous military aid. Without the intervention and aid of the U.S., this genocide would not have been possible. The United Nations estimated that 60 Tamils were being slaughtered per day inside a “no-fire” zone alone. The Times of London has reported that the Sri Lankan Army killed more than 20,000 Tamil civilians in the last weeks of its offensive. The Sri Lankan government has also destroyed evidence of its genocidal tactics, and independent journalists, human rights monitors and international aid groups have been banned from Tamil villages in the northern part of the country.

On May 2, one day after the military declared that their troops had cornered Tamil Tiger rebels, the Sri Lankan Army fired artillery shells on the only remaining hospital at Mu’l’li-vaaykkaal, a Tamil village. At least 64 civilians were killed, and 87 were wounded. Yet this was not reported on by the mainstream Western media.

On May 18, 2009, the Tigers’ leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, was reportedly killed by the Sri Lankan army. Sinhala mobs paraded through the streets of Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, and through Tamil villages raising Sri Lankan flags and claiming victory while harassing and humiliating Tamils in the streets.

The struggle of the Tamil people will not end, and though it may take other forms, ultimately the struggle of an oppressed people holds the moral authority in relation to the daily violence perpetrated upon them by the oppressor. The struggle of the Tamils for sovereignty and self-determination will continue.

Support and solidarity have poured in from Tamils and various others across the globe, and FIST stands in solidarity with the Tamil people and the resistance movement.

FIST supports the right to self-determination of the Tamil people and calls for an end to U.S. intervention in Sri Lanka. We demand that Tamil refugees be permitted to leave the barren, substandard refugee camps and return to their lands; that the Sinhalese ruling class immediately cease the genocide of Tamils; that reparations be paid to the impoverished Tamil community of Sri Lanka for the years of imperialist intervention; that the U.S. cease the supplying of illegal weapons to aid ethnic cleansing efforts in Sri Lanka; and that there be no further imperialist intervention by the U.S. or Indian governments.

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