The deputy chief minister of Penang in Malaysia, P. Ramasamy, will take his fight for Sri Lankan Tamils to Britain at the end of this month with a paper he will present at a conference organised by the British Tamils Forum (BTF), Free Malaysia Today (FMT) reported.
He told FMT he would speak on “structural genocide” in Sri Lanka as his contribution to the international conference, which will focus on the allegation that the government in Colombo is engaged in grabbing land owned by Tamils.
He said the act of uprooting a community from its traditional lands was a form of genocide. He affirmed that the issue of Tamil rights in Sri Lanka was close to his heart and vowed that he would continue to speak out on it on the international platform.
He said the Malaysian government could not be depended on to champion the rights of displaced Tamils in Sri Lanka because “it is run by a bunch of cowards.”
Ramasamy sat in the six-member Constitutional Affairs Committee of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). It was this committee that produced the blueprint of LTTE’s proposal for an interim self-governing authority in the northeastern part of Sri Lanka. It was submitted to the Sri Lankan government in 2003, when the civil war in that country was still raging.
The war, which began in 1983, came to an end in May 2009 with the defeat of the LTTE.
“Since then,” Ramasamy said, “the Sri Lankan government has not committed itself to reconciliation.”
Referring to the theme of this month’s conference, he said it was unfortunate that the issue of land grabs in Sri Lanka had not received the press coverage it deserved.
“Putting a Buddhist temple on a Hindu temple, even though not physically but culturally and geographically, is part of structural genocide,” he said.
He maintained that the only way to resolve the Sri Lanka issue was to grant the Tamils the right to govern themselves in a state separate from the Singhalese-majority country.
“The Tamils should have an independent state,” he said. “ It’s impossible for the two races to stay together.”