|The politics of transnational Tamil Eelam Govt|
|Philadelphia & Diaspora|
|Assembly & Pathmanathan|
|Transnational & Vaddukkoddai|
A significant event in Tamil transnational politics occurred a fortnight ago in historic Philadelphia city in the US state of Pennsylvania. About 70 -75 persons gathered on Monday May 17th for a three-day conclave. The venue was the National Convention Center situated on Philadelphia’s Independence Mall at 525 Arch Street.
Both the dates and location were symbolically significant. It was in Mid-May last year that the Sri Lankan Armed Forces defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) militarily at the Karaithuraipatru AGA division in the North – Eastern district of Mullaitheevu.
May 17, 18 and 19 of 2009 were tragic yet important days in LTTE history.
It was on May 17th that the besieged LTTE leader Veluppillai Prabhakaran and a large number of his senior commanders made a desperate attempt to break through the military cordon. It was on May 18th that Prabhakaran and many of his deputies died in a last ditch stand. It was on May 19th that the LTTE supremo’s body was discovered and then Army Commander Sarath Fonseka announced officially that Prabhakaran was dead.
The discovery of Prabhakaran’s body on the banks of Nandhikkadal lagoon signalled the fact that the armed struggle for political liberation conducted by the LTTE for more than three decades was effectively over. The vulgar exhibition of triumphalism that followed in the wake of Prabhakaran’s demise gave rise to an impression that Tamil nationalism itself had died on the Nandhikkadal shores.
That impression however soon proved wrong and various shades of opinion fitting the broad description of “Tamil Ultra- nationalism” continue to be expressed in various forms in Sri Lanka and abroad.
Members of the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora living in democratic Western countries are able to articulate their thoughts freely and exercise their fundamental freedoms such as association, free expression and political opinion. There are few constraints here.
Moreover in the current context some Diaspora circles feel that only they can express Tamil ultra- nationalist opinion freely without fear of adverse repercussions. Unlike their kinsfolk in Sri Lanka the expatriate Tamils need not fear the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) or emergency regulations. As such there is a viewpoint in these circles that only expatriate Tamils can give voice to the suppressed voices in Sri Lanka.