Shri K Annamalai, President of the Bharatiya Janata Party, visited the United Kingdom on 23-06-2023 to engage with the Global Tamil Civil Society and the 600,000-strong British Tamil community. During his visit, he participated in a significant event where he was given a warm welcome by the Tamil community. The event highlighted the strong bond between the Tamils of Eelam, Malayaga Tamils and Tamil Nadu, emphasizing their shared history, language, and culture. The meeting was first for combing the issues of both Malayaga Tamils and North-East Tamils and also addressing the plight of Tamil refugees in Tamil Nadu and other parts of India.
In light of this event, the Global Tamil Civil Society brought attention to three important requests that address the challenges faced by the Tamils in Sri Lanka. These requests were shared with Shri Annamalai, and the Global Tamil Civil Society urges him to advocate for them within the Bharatiya Janata Party leadership. The three key points are as follows:
Political Solution and Lasting Peace: The Tamils in Sri Lanka have an inherent right to self-determination, as recognized in the 1987 Indo-Lanka agreement. The Global Tamil Civil Society emphasizes the need for a political solution that ensures lasting peace and is acceptable not only to the Tamils in Sri Lanka but also to India, considering India’s growing strategic interests. The Tamils believe that a federal system, based on the Thimbu principles, would provide the necessary political power and resources to address their grievances, to protect their language, culture, religion, identity, and interests while fostering reconciliation and peace on the island.
Empowering Malayaha Tamils: The Global Tamil Civil Society highlights the historical grievances, discriminations and challenges faced by the Malayaha Tamil community in Sri Lanka, including obtaining meaningful citizenship, political participation, and access to education and land . They have also experienced discrimination and limited opportunities for economic development. The Global Tamil Civil Society urges the Government of India to provide economic support to the Malayaha Tamils, empowering them as a community to promote development and address their specific needs and concerns.
Refugee Support and Integration: The Tamil refugees who sought protection in Tamil Nadu after fleeing the brutal war in Sri Lanka have faced significant challenges in obtaining legal status, citizenship, and integration into the local society. Limited access to education and employment has hindered their prospects for development and economic security. The Global Tamil Civil Society requests that the Government of India expedite the return of those who wish to go back to Sri Lanka and provide legal status and integration opportunities to those who wish to remain in Tamil Nadu. This will enable them to build a brighter future in their host country.
The Global Tamil Civil Society deeply appreciates the support of the Indian Government, the Tamil Nadu State Government, and the magnanimity of the people of Tamil Nadu for providing shelter and assistance to Tamil refugees over the years. However, they emphasize the need to address the challenges faced by the refugees, including legal status, integration, education, and employment opportunities.
The Global Tamil Civil Society looks forward to building a continuing dialogue with Shri K Annamalai, President of the Bharatiya Janata Party, and the party leadership to address the concerns and aspirations of the Tamil community in Sri Lanka. They express their gratitude for his engagement and urge his continuous support in the future.