Maha Veerar Naal Address
மாவீரர் நாள் – National Heroes Day
27 November 1995
“This is our land, the land in which we were born, grew and live, the land which bears the foot prints of our forefathers, the land in which our culture and history are rooted…The LTTE will not participate in peace negotiations imposed at the point of a gun …This is the message we wish to address to the Chandrika regime”
My beloved people of Tamil Eelam,
Today is Martyrs’ Day, a sacred day in which we cherish the memory of our heroes who have sacrificed their precious lives for the cause of the freedom of our nation.
Our martyrs have died for the liberation of this land so that our people could live in our land with freedom, dignity and security.
Our martyrs have died for the objective that this land should belong to us. They have died for the cause of liberating this land from the shackles of alien domination and transforming it into an independent sovereign nation.
In the sacred war of liberating our homeland our heroes have made supreme sacrifices which cannot be described in words. Extraordinary deeds never before happened in the history of the world have taken place in this land, for the freedom of this land. The ideal dream, the spiritual yearning of those thousands of martyrs who have created this heroic legend will be actualised one day.
Today the war of aggression against our land by the enemy has reached a phenomenal scale. Having mobilised all its military power and having utilised all its national resources, the enemy has launched a massive invasion on the Jaffna soil.
Our traditional land of ancient historical glory is being systematically destroyed by the enemy’s firepower. The intense shelling that rains down unabatingly has wiped out the face of Jaffna. The fundamental objective of this war of aggression is to destroy the economic resources and the cultural heritage of Jaffna thereby uprooting the national life of the people.
This war is not, as the government claims, against the LTTE. This war is against the Tamil people, against the Tamil Nation. The objective of this war is to destroy the Tamil Nation. This racist war of Sinhala chauvinism has a long history.
It has been going on before the birth of the LTTE. It has started by Chandrika’s father. Now, Chandrika’s government has given total expression to this racist war. The strategic objective of this war is to annihilate the national identity of the Tamils by destroying their life and property and their land and resources.
Wearing a peace mask and pretending that she was committed to a peaceful resolution of this conflict, Chandrika was able to cheat the Sinhala people and the world and assumed political power. Having taken the reins of power she staged a drama of peace negotiations. We extended our hands of friendship seeking a peaceful solution to the Tamil National question. To promote the peace process, we released the prisoners of war as a gesture of goodwill. During the peace negotiations we neither put forward stringent conditions nor rigid demands.
We requested Chandrika government to lift the economic embargo and the restrictions on travelling and to create conditions of normalcy. We requested the government to alleviate the suffering of our people who have been subjected to extreme difficulties without the basic needs of life.
But Chandrika government was not prepared to concede even these meagre concessions. As the talks prolonged fruitlessly for over a period of six months we realised an important fact – that Chandrika government was not interested in peace nor in a peaceful resolution of the conflict. Since primacy was given to military concerns throughout the negotiations it became very apparent to us that Chandrika regime was seriously considering the military option.
The monumental scale in which the invasion has been launched on Jaffna amply illustrates the politico-military objective of the government. The strategy aims at the encirclement and occupation of the densely populated vital area of the Tamil homeland and to proclaim to the world that Jaffna society is ‘liberated’. But this strategy of Chandrika government has turned out to be a disaster since the people of Jaffna city and Valigamam region evacuated the area before the encirclement of the army.
This massive exodus has demonstrated the fact that the people of Jaffna, in a unanimous stand, have expressed their opposition to the government war effort and absurd reasons attributed to it. This mass exodus has impressed upon the Sinhala Nation and the world that the Tamil people are no more prepared to be subjected to Sinhala state administration and that the people and the LTTE could not be separated. Therefore, Chandrika regime has failed to achieve the political objective behind the Jaffna offensive.
We are relieved that our people have safely escaped from the military siege and the political trap behind it, yet we are deeply sad about the enormous suffering and pain they are subjected to as a consequence of this mass displacement. It distresses us deeply that our people have had to vacate their traditional villages where they lived for centuries and leave their houses, lands and property and become destitutes.
Yet, we consider such tragic experience and suffering as a tremendous contribution by our people to the cause of national emancipation. This mass exodus proclaims to the world that our people are determined to live as free beings with self-dignity and that they are prepared to face any form of suffering to be independent rather than subjecting themselves to the domination of the aggressor.
The Sinhala military devils may hoist victory flags in depopulated Jaffna which has been reduced to rubble. The Sinhala chauvinistic gangs in the South may light crackers in jubilation assuming that they have captured the kingdom of Jaffna. Chandrika may send peace signals believing that military hegemony has been achieved. In these circumstances we wish to make it absolutely clear that as long as the Sinhala army is occupying Jaffna the doors for peace will be firmly closed.
The LTTE will not participate in peace negotiations imposed at the point of a gun subjecting itself to military pressure. This is the message we wish to address to Chandrika regime. It will be nothing other than political stupidity if Chandrika government thinks that it can bring about peace and political settlement by occupying Jaffna and uprooting hundreds of thousands of people.
The invasion of Jaffna is a gigantic historical blunder made by Chandrika regime. As a consequence of this act the Colombo government has closed all avenues for peace and plunged the entire island into grave conflictual situation.
There is absolutely no truth in claims made by the government controlled media that the LTTE has suffered heavy casualties and that it has been weakened by the offensive on Jaffna. In the battle of Jaffna, we have neither suffered heavy casualties nor been weakened. It is the armed forces that have suffered more casualties than the LTTE.
We have fought efficiently within our capability against huge military formations with formidable manpower and firepower which advanced along a geographical terrain advantageous to them. Though we fought under extremely difficult and dangerous conditions we did not suffer heavy casualties. Neither our manpower nor our military structure is affected in anyway.
The army’s strategy to entice us into a conventional war to destroy our manpower did not work. In the battle of Jaffna we faced a set-back. It is a temporary set-back. We faced serious set-back during the Indian military occupation. But we were not defeated. In the end, it was the Indian army which faced defeat. Therefore, today’s set-back will turn out to be a victory tomorrow.
Sri Lankan army has over-stretched its feet on the Jaffna soil. It is not a difficult task to conquer territories by mobilising large formations of troops. But it will be a difficult task to hold the territories captured. This is the historical reality faced by the aggressive armies all over the world. The Sri Lankan army will soon learn this historical truth.
Sri Lankan state is attempting to determine the political destiny of the Tamils on the basis of military power. It assumes that it can impose an inadequate solution on the Tamils by military hegemony and territorial aggression. Such a military solution underlies Chandrika’s conception of ‘war for peace’.
Any Tamil with self-dignity will not accept such a solution. To frustrate this government’s scheme and to advance our liberation struggle, we are left with only one alternative. We have to strengthen our military structure and intensify our struggle. It is only by strengthening the military power the Tamils could freely determine their political destiny. It is only by strengthening our military power we could live with security; we could gain our lost territories; we could return to our homes as free men.
The task of building the military power of the Tamil Nation has become the inevitable historical necessity today. This is crucial for the survival of the Tamil Nation. Our Nation has been forced into a necessity to struggle for survival. The young generation of Tamils cannot escape from this national duty, from this call of history. Any delay in this task will endanger the existence of our Nation. Therefore, I call upon the younger generation to join our liberation movement without delay. The earlier the youth join our movement the quicker we can achieve the objectives of our struggle.
We call for the support and solidarity of the world Tamil community at this critical time when we are faced with a genocidal war all alone without any external assistance. We appeal to the people of Tamil Eelam living abroad to champion the cause of our struggle and assist us in all possible ways.
On this sacred day when we remember our martyrs who have sacrificed their lives for national freedom and attained historical immortality, let us pledge to commit ourselves to the cause for which thousands of our freedom fighters laid down their lives.