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TGTE’s ‘Thai Pongal’ Festival Message – OpEd

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The Tamil Race is endowed with an age old tradition, culture and a prestigious ancient language, Tamil that had earned the recognition of a classical language.

Worldwide only six languages, out of seven thousands spoken globally, have been classified as classical languages. It is an honor for all of us that Tamil is as one of them due to its antiquity, literary richness, and well defined grammatical rules. Besides, in terms of the most widely spoken languages in the world, Tamil ranks in 17th place. This is another aspect to be proud of. It is also said that around twenty three languages could be traced to their origin from Tamil. Tamil has also contributed immeasurably to the development of Sinhalese language. Let us recall that one of the former Prime Ministers S.W.R.D. Bandaranayake himself had referred to this.

The food habits and living styles of Tamils are based on science. They drink anything by raising tumbler little high without touching the lips. They take cooked vegetables and meat along with food. Nowadays they are given scientific explanations. Today medical world says that “Food itself is medicine” and “Physical exercises are the best remedies for the diseases.” Tamils have known this and have been following it for almost 2500 years. The famous two-line poetry of Thiruvalluvar, the Thirkkural, gives testimony for this fact as it says, “If we take food only which suits our health, there will be no need for medicine.”

We hear nowadays the slogans such as “Let us hail the Nature” all over the world and also see conferences held on these topics. However, even before 2500 years, our ancestors revered and worshipped the Nature and have been celebrating ‘PONGAL’ festival in praise of the nature, as a thanksgiving to Sun that sustains everything on earth. Since then we follow the tradition.

On the day of ‘Pongal’ we worship the Sun with high spirits of gratitude in our hearts of hearts, which raises the water on the sea as clouds in the sky, and shower the same as rains on the earth, and helps to raise the green crops by giving light and thus all other wealth and prosperity for the humanity.

We see the celebration of Pongal festival in “Objective Four hundred” (Puranaanooru poems of Sangam Period) as eating the newest.

As far as Eelam is concerned, all these cultural values are destroyed by the Singhalese Governments. The sociologists know well that all that happened after the Sri Lanka got freedom from the British and until now is the destruction of all the arts and cultural life of Tamils. For example, there had been a tradition that both men and women of Tamils used to pierce the ear with a needle and wear ear rings. This is similar to the acupuncture. During the 1956 racial attacks Tamils were identified with their ear piercing and tortured or killed. Consequently Tamils gave up the tradition of ear piercing. Thus the customs and traditions of Tamils eroded one by one.

Forty years have gone since the Vaddukkoddai Resolution passed which declared that the only way for redemption is to attain freedom for Tamils by winning separate Tamil Eelam. Now, in this year again we are celebrating Thai Pongal with the hope that Tamil Eelam will be a reality soon.

At this juncture, the strategy of Transnational Govt. of Tamil Eelam to make a draft constitution for Tamil Eelam under the leadership of its Hon. Prime Minster Mr.V.Rudrakumaran will accelerate our resolve to establish an independent state of Tamil Eelam which is the aspiration of the people of Tamil Eelam in the homeland and in the Tamil Diaspora.

If the goal of attaining the independent state of Tamil Eelam is to be achieved, it is crucial for all the organizations among the Tamils, especially in the Tamil Diaspora, to build up solidarity and work in union.

In Canada, the month of ‘Thai’ is being celebrated as the ‘Tamil Heritage Month’. This is made possible due to esteemed tradition of multiculturalism in Canada. It helps to promote the growth of the Tamil community as an influential force to be reckoned with. At the provincial level, the Province of Ontario had officially declared the month of ‘Thai’ as the Tamil Heritage Month. We are happy and proud that many municipalities and school boards have also passed resolutions to this effect. I am happy to announce that, in an earnest hope to popularize this concept of ‘Tamil Heritage Month’ worldwide, the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) also has passed a resolution recently.

Therefore, in this month of ‘Thai’ let us all resolve to promote Tamil language, Tamil culture, its values and noble traditions.

Let the ‘Thai Pongal Day’ bring hopes and prosperity for all the Tamil people, Also, I wish to extend my best wishes to everyone for a “Happy and Prosperous Thai Pongal”. Let us hope that all our problems will be resolved and we shall live peacefully.

The thirst of Tamils is Tamil Eelam

Thank you.

*Nimal Vinayagamoorthy, TGTE Minister for Diaspora Affaires

The TGTE is a political formation to win fundamental civil, political and human rights including the right to self determination for the Tamil people in the North and East of the island of Sri Lanka, providing a political space to articulate and realize their aspirations, that’s not available to them in the island. The TGTE upholds democratic values, non-violence and abides by the laws of the countries that its elected members and the Senate represent.

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