Maha Veerar Naal Address
மாவீரர் நாள் – National Heroes Day
27 November 1992
“The strength of our struggle arises from the fierce determination of our fighters. Their firm commitment and their courage to act without the fear of death are the force and resource of our struggle. The whole world is providing arms and funds to our enemy. We are not begging from the world… We stand firm on our own legs, on our own soil, relying on our own people and fight with our own hands. .. Since we are firmly rooted in our own strength we stand upright without bowing to the pressures of others.”
My Beloved People of Tamil Eelam,
Today is Heroes Day. It is the sacred day when we cherish in our memory those exceptional beings who, by their sacrifice, have made our freedom struggle a heroic epic in the annals of world history.
Our heroes are supreme idealists. They loved their goal more than their lives. They embraced the liberation of their people as the highest goal in their life and they died for that ideal. Freedom is a noble ideal. It is the highest virtue in human life. It is the basis for human progress and development. It is freedom which gives meaning and wholeness to life. The yearning for freedom arises as the deepest aspiration of the human spirit.
For thousands of years, since the birth of civilisation, human beings have been struggling for freedom. They were struggling to emancipate themselves from the structures of oppression. The innumerable struggles, revolutions and wars that erupted on the face of this planet for centuries are none other than the manifestations of the human passion for freedom.Human beings enslave human beings. They destroy each other. They exploit each other. Man has become the foremost enemy of man. Righteousness is undermined when one infringes on the human world.
As a consequence contradictions emerge in human relationships in the form of caste, class and race. As long as there is oppression and injustice, as long as there are people deprived of freedom, there will be liberation struggles. This is the law of history. The motor of history is propelled by the human will to freedom. As a section of people belonging to the oppressed masses of the world, we too are engaged in a struggle for liberation. Above all the national liberation struggles, our cry for freedom is heard louder in the world arena. Our liberation struggle is unique. It has its specific characteristics and is structurally different from other freedom struggles.
In our homeland, in the course of our struggle, extra-ordinary sacrifices have been made which have not taken place anywhere, at any time in the history of the world. I can proudly say that none can equal our martyrs in their dedication, deep commitment to the goal and tremendous courage that transcends the fear of death. Such magnificent qualities have enabled them to create an unparalleled legend of heroism. Our struggle evolved through these remarkable feats of self-sacrifice, has become a guide and a driving force to the oppressed people of the world.
The strength of our struggle arises from the fierce determination of our fighters. Their firm commitment and their courage to act without the fear of death are the force and resource of our struggle. The whole world is providing arms and funds to our enemy. We are not begging from the world. We do not depend on anybody. We stand firm on our own legs, on our own soil, relying on our own people and fight with our own hands. This is the specificity of our individuality. Since we are firmly rooted in our own strength we stand upright without bowing to the pressures of others.
Today, our liberation struggle is situated in a complex historical conjuncture faced with new challenges and new crises. Our enemy, having firmly closed down the doors of peace, has embarked on a course of escalating the war. The Government is not prepared to put forward any substantial proposals to resolve the Tamil national question.
This year the war has intensified on an unprecedented scale. We were able to work out new strategies and stepped up our military assaults to foil the offensive plans of the enemy. As a consequence, the enemy suffered heavy casualties more than ever before in the history of the war. We have impressed upon the enemy that this land of ours will not tolerate the incursions of an aggressor.
In spite of the fact that the enemy has suffered set-backs in the war front and faced serious economic crisis as a consequence of the war and in spite of the realisation that the LTTE cannot be defeated militarily, the Sri Lankan regime has not given up its militaristic approach. The Government is primarily concerned with modernising the armed forces, escalating the war of aggression and to seek a military solution.
From the strategy of the Government we must be quite clear about one thing. That is, there has been no change in the hegemonic attitude of the Sinhala-Buddhist chauvinism to dominate and rule over the Tamil nation by armed might. As long as the Sinhala nation is buried in the mud of racist politics, we cannot expect a fair and reasonable solution from the Sinhalese ruling class. Our people should realise this bitter political reality.
Our freedom struggle continues for more than forty years amidst tensions, turmoils and crises. Our struggle has taken different forms at different times, from non-violent Gandhian agitations to armed resistance movement. Yet our cry for justice and fair play has not touched the conscience of the Sinhala nation.
The profound suffering of our people, the tragedies they faced in the form of death and destruction, the tears of blood they shed from their anguish, have not touched the compassion of the Buddhist nation.
Our enemy is heartless and committed to war and violence. His objective is to destroy our homeland. We cannot expect justice from the magnanimity of his heart. What can we do in these circumstances?
We have no alternative other than to continue our struggle, to continue to intensify our struggle.
We are not warmongers who love violence. In actual fact, spiritually, we love peace. We want a permanent, stable and honourable peace. It is because of this reason that in spite of this bloody war, we are keeping the doors of peace open.
We have not closed down the path of peace. We have no such intention. One day, when our enemy knocks at our doors of peace, we will extend the hand of friendship.
But our enemy is committed to violence. Therefore, he has imposed an unjust war on us. Today, the enemy’s armed forces have come to our doorstep and are beating war drums. They are bent on devouring our land and to destroy us. He is prepared to shed any amount of blood in this genocidal war.
In this most difficult and critical situation what can we do? Have we got any alternative other than to fight to protect our land and our people? We have to struggle and win our freedom. Freedom is not a commercial commodity that can be bargained. It is a sacred right that can be won by shedding blood.
Let us continue to struggle. Let us continue our journey towards freedom in spite of the obstacles and sufferings we may encounter. Let us continue to struggle so that the sacrifices made by our martyrs and the blood spilled by our people will not be in vain. We have already encountered so many challenges, so many dangers and so many crises in the course of our struggle.
Nothing and nobody can deter us any more. Let us continue our struggle with determination. History will be our guide and truth shall be our witness. Our martyrs are the pillars of our freedom movement, whose blood enriches the history of our freedom struggle, whose ideal makes our struggle supreme, whose sacrifices shape the formation of our nation, whose memories make our determination stronger. We salute our martyrs who are the architects of the freedom of our nation.