In a rare collaboration, two groups espousing the cause of separatism came together at a marriage hall in Cuddalore in northern Tamil Nadu.
Striking a chord with pro-Tamil activists, Kashmir separatist leader Yasin Malik spoke about the ‘Eelam dream’ on the eve of the death anniversary of LTTE leader VelupillaiPrabhakaran. This is the first time that a Kashmiri separatist leader has been invited to Tamil Nadu to talk about the emotive Eelam (Tamil land) issue, the Times of India reported.
Addressing the gathering, mostly members of Naam Tamilar, a pro-LTTE outfit, Malik said the Sri Lankan government might have wiped out the LTTE but not its dream of a separate Tamil Eelam. “Tamil Eelam is the goal of each and every Tamil person,” he said. He regretted that India failed to intervene and stop the genocide in the island nation. Malik came down heavily on the Sri Lankan government for foiling the international community’s mediation efforts with the LTTE and its attempts to restore peace during the final stages of the ethnic war. He urged the people to join the protest against countries indulging in racial discrimination and genocide.
Malik said he spent several years in jails in Rajasthan, Kashmir and Delhi for helping the victims of atrocities unleashed by the Indian Army. He regretted that none of the Indian states expressed solidarity with the people of Kashmir, who have been struggling and suffering for several years, he said.
Earlier, police removed the posters and banners of Naam Tamilar at the Manjakuppam grounds after permission to hold the public meeting was withdrawn. A heavy posse of policemen was deployed at the grounds and at the wedding hall where the organisers hosted ‘remembrance meeting’ to mark Prabhakaran’s death anniversary.
High drama preceded the visit of Malik, who is the chairman of one of the two factions of the separatist group Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front. A wary district police, just recovering from arson and violence unleashed by PMK cadres across the state until a week ago, withdrew the permission granted to Naam Tamilar to organise the public meeting at Manjakuppam grounds at the last minute. But the organisation, launched started by film director-turned-activist Seeman, quickly shifted the venue of the meeting to a marriage hall in the town. Later, addressing the gathering, Malik slammed the Tamil Nadu government for withdrawing permission for the public meeting at the eleventh hour.
Police also denied permission to Naam Tamilar to take out a rally to mark the LTTE leader’s death anniversary, observed as ‘remembrance day’. Prabhakaran was killed in the final phase of the Eelam war in Mullivaikal in northern Sri Lanka on May 19, 2009.