30th remembrance of Lt Col Thileepan strengthens resolve among Eezham Tamils

[TamilNet, Friday, 15 September 2017, 23:30 GMT]
Lt Col Thileepan (Rasaiah Parthipan), who was LTTE's political head in Jaffna, sacrificed his life through a 12-day long fast-unto-death without food and water in September 1987. He had put forward five demands to the Indian Establishment following the signing of Indo-Lanka accord in July 1987 and his fast-unto-death exposed New Delhi and its Colombo-centric geopolitical dealings with the SL State among the grassroots of Eezham Tamils. Three decades on, Eezham Tamils are still dealing with almost the same demands as that were put forward by Thileepan in 1987. The Eezham Tamils waging protests demanding whereabouts of their kith and kin subjected to enforced disappearances and the protests demanding de-militarisation, resettlement and release of political prisoners, are again exposing the Colombo-centric geopolitics of the ‘Strategic partners’, political observers in Jaffna said.

Thileepan, 30-year remembrance
Thileepan, 30-year remembrance
Students paying tribute to Lt Col Thileepan at the University of Jaffna
Thileepan, 30-year remembrance
Thileepan, 30-year remembrance
Thileepan, 30-year remembrance
Thileepan, 30-year remembrance
The remembrance event held at Nalloor by TNPF and Democratic Combatants’ Party
Thileepan, 30-year remembrance
Thileepan, 30-year remembrance
Remembrance event held at Puthukkudiyiruppu in Mullaiththeevu was organised by the TNPF
University students, political parties such as the Tamil National Peoples’ Front and Democratic Combatants Party as well as grassroots Tamil activists are actively engaged in marking the 12 days with remembrance activities in the occupied country of Eezham Tamils.

Remembrance events were held at the University of Jaffna and at the destroyed memorial site in Nalloor. Another event was also held at Puthuk-kudiyiruppu in Mullaiththeevu by the TNPF.

Hundreds of students at the University were paying tribute to Thileepan.

Thileepan's fast-unto-death in September 1987 demystified the Indian propaganda of ‘peace accord’ among the Eezham Tamils at the grassroots level.

The Indo-Lanka Accord, as it was known, was an unprincipled one as far as the Eezham Tamils were concerned.

The accord was between India, which was led by the late Rajiv Gandhi and genocidal Sri Lanka, which was led by the late J.R. Jayewardene.

The Indo-Lanka Accord was primarily a move by New Delhi to secure its geopolitical interests in the island using the Tamil national question as a pawn to make a deal with unitary ‘Sri Lanka’.

The accord also paved way for an Indian military intervention dubbed as ‘Indian Peace Keeping Force’.

The LTTE, which refused to provide unconditional support to the accord as demanded by New Delhi, was under heavy pressure from New Delhi and the IPKF military commanders on the ground.

It was at that time, Thileepan, who was LTTE's Political Head in Jaffna launched fast-unto-death, without food and water, on 15 September 1987 in front of the Nalloor temple.

A massive mobilisation of Eezham Tamils was witnessed in country of Eezham Tamils, particularly in Jaffna where the fast took place for 12 days.

Thileepan passed away on September 26.

The five demands put forward by Thileepan in September 1987 were:

  • Put an immediate end to the colonisation schemes [of the Sinhalese] that take place under the guise of resettlement in the North-East
  • Release all Tamil political prisoners from the prisons and those detained in the camps operated by the SL military and police
  • Scrap the Emergency Regulations
  • Disarm the so-called home guards paramilitary [operated by the SL State]
  • End the activities of launching new [Sinhala] police stations in Tamil areas


The demands thus constituted an acid test for the Indian Establishment and the IPKF.

New Delhi's agenda stood exposed among the Eezham Tamils after the demise of Lt. Col. Thileepan.

Two decades later, Eezham Tamils faced a genocidal war by the SL State, which was primarily sustained by the geopolitics of the US-bandwagon and its ‘strategic partnership’ with the New Delhi Establishment.

As the demands put forward by Thileepan exposed the New Delhi Establishment in 1987, the uprooted Eezham Tamils now waging continuous protests across their occupied homeland, are exposing the nature of hostility being deployed against them by the geopolitics of the ultimate culprits, commented Tamil political activists in Jaffna.

It is under these circumstances, the 30th remembrance of Lt. Col. Thileepan's fast-unto-death is being marked with a reinvigoration of interest on the ground, the activists further said.


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