While the Inaugural Session of the 2nd Parliament of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam was being convened in New Jersey, USA, we received news of the passing of the great icon, Nelson Mandela, the embodiment of the aspirations of people yearning for freedom. He was not only a liberator of South Africa, but a liberator of humanity from the shackles of hate, oppression and racial prejudice.
The TGTE salutes and conveys its respect to a transcendental man who thrust human rights into the vernacular of the International Community. The TGTE also identifies with the mourning international community.
Nelson Mandela has been a symbol of the liberation struggle and its sentiments. He stands as testimony to the triumph of peoples’ struggles. He was a strong and resolute figure who fought against racism and discrimination, the evils of human nature that persist even until this day.
The man was labeled as a “terrorist” and sentenced to prison for twenty-seven years, but he succeeded in pushing the struggle of the South African people to the International community. Through his uncompromising style, he awoke the conscience of the world to the inequalities occurring in South Africa.
Even though Nelson Mandela was elected as the first black President of South Africa in 1994 and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and considered as a world leader, his name was not removed from the “Terrorist Watch List” by the US Government until 2008. Why was there such a long delay? This demonstrates to us that the walk for change, walk for justice and walk for freedom is a long one.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) set up by President Nelson Mandela in South Africa under the chairmanship of Archbishop Desmond Tutu was a mechanism to achieve a peaceful transition towards a race neutral democracy. However, as US President Obama mentioned in eulogy, “reconciliation is not a matter of ignoring a cruel past”, we firmly believe that TRC should not serve as an escape mechanism for accountability.
With this in mind, the TGTE passed a resolution in its Parliament on Sunday 8th December, stating that ‘in view of the primacy of accountability under International Law espoused by the International Criminal Court, calling for the establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Sri Lanka should come after the birth of an independent and sovereign State of Tamil Eelam’.
However insurmountable the obstacles had been for him, Nelson Mandela’s life demonstrated to the rest of us that through fierce commitment to the cause, sacrifice, and determination, eventually we too shall prevail.
We, the people of Tamil Eelam, hold our hands in solidarity with all who yearn for freedom around the world. Let us rededicate ourselves to the long walk to freedom.in the footsteps of Madiba.
Long live his memory!
The thirst of Tamils is Tamil Eelam!!