New Organization for Tamil Democracy formed in Britain
by Mrinalini Raghavendhra
In what may prove to be a significant development in the sphere of Eelam Tamil politics a group of dedicated people has come together in London to form a new organization called the Tamil democratic Congress or Tamil Jananayaka Kangiras in Tamil.
The driving force behind the move is a Tamil accountant based in London Rajasingham Jeyadevan who has been elected as interim chairman of the nascent organization. The interim secretary is R. Jeyendrathasan.
The decision to form such a Congress was made at a recent meeting held in London where 23 Tamils from different parts of Europe participated.
Jeyadevan the chief trustee of the Eelap Patheeswara Sivan Temple in Wembley was the focus of much media attention recently after a harrowing experience he underwent in the tiger controlled regions of Northern Sri Lanka.
Jeyadevan and an associate Vivekanandan were inveigled into going to LTTE controlled Kilinochchi and then forcibly kept under detention in Puthukkudiyiruppu.
Jeyadevan was forced under duress to relinquish control of the temple in favour of a tiger henchman Seevaratnam.
After several weeks of mental torture and confinement Jeyadevan was finally released due to pressure exerted by British officials on the LTTE at various levels.
Later the courts in London ruled in favour of Jeyadevan and ordered Seevaratnam to hand the wrongfully acquired temple back.
It appears now that the suffering undergone by Jeyadevan at the hands of the LTTE has inspired and motivated him into forming the Tamil Democratic Congress.
Speaking to the "Tamilweek"on the telephone Mr. Jeyadevan explained in detail the thought process on his part that impelled him to initiate this move.
" Since my return from the LTTE captivity I had a good exposure to the cross section of the expatriate Tamil community. Further, I was able to understand the expectation of the international community which is keen to see an end to the conflict in Sri Lanka. Combination of these two factors made me realize the dire need to stand up on issues and work towards to democratize our community. The Tamil people in Sri Lanka are unable to rise up to challenges they are facing at present. All what is happening there is that Tamil voice is suppressed in every respect in a worst form of totalitarianism " he said.
"There is an urgent need to democratize our community without which a democratic solution cannot be found to our conflict. The military achievement is not only enough. It must pave the way to find a negotiated settlement." Jeyadevan further emphasised.
Continuing Jeyadevan said " Unlike our brethren in Sri Lanka, we the expatriate Tamil community members are enjoying our freedom and the democratic values and have made significant economic progress in the countries we live. A section of the expatriate Tamils contribute finances for the war. They must realize that it is their duty to act responsibly and become accountable to the unfolding events in Sri Lanka. The history must not condemn the expatriate Tamils of conducting a proxy war whilst living comfortably in a peaceful environment unlike our people in Sri Lanka. Majority of the expatriate Tamils have become silent spectators of the unfolding events whilst a minority is able to extend the war". This was the underlying reason, Jeyadevan said, for joining up with others and forming the TDC.
"Tamilweek" then asked Jeyadevan about the procedure adopted in forming the TDC and the future plans. This is what he stated.
" 23 Like minded Tamils met on 19 November 2005. We discussed various issues and came to the consensus that we must be practical in our approach. This paved the way for the formation of Tamil Democratic Congress. We consider that the expatriate Tamils have vital role to play find a peaceful solution to the conflict. Various names were put forward and TDC was accepted unanimously. A sub-committee was appointed to draft the constitution for TDC. Interim Chairman and Secretary were elected. The next meeting is on the 17 December and TDC will take the full shape and form to function. A committee is working on the TDC website and it will officially start shortly".
TDC will be called "Thamil Jananayaka Kangress" in Tamil, Jeyadevan said. The TDC has also issued a formal press release outlining its objectives and giving out contact details.
Interested persons are invited to join up.
The release is reproduced here in full. -
TAMIL DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS 45 Hale Drive, London NW7 3EL Tel: 0208 931 9253
25 November 2005
NEW ORGANIZATION LAUNCHED BY EXPATRIATE SRI LANKAN TAMILS
TAMIL DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS (TDF) HAS BEEN LAUNCHED IN LONDON AT A MEETING OF A GROUP OF LIKE MINDED EXPATRIATE SRI LANKAN TAMILS FROM ALL OVER EUROPE HELD RECENTLY. THE OBJECTIVES OF THIS ORGANIZATION ARE:
TO PROVIDE A FORUM FOR DIVERSE OPINION OF THE TAMILS ON THE "TAMIL NATIONAL QUESTION" TO BE EXPRESSED DEMOCRATICALLY.
TO EVOLVE A CONSENSUS ON THE DIRECTION THE TAMIL QUEST FOR EQUALITY, JUSTICE AND SOCIAL, POLITICAL, ECONOMIC AND TERRITORIAL RIGHTS IN SRI LANKA SHOULD TAKE.
PROMOTE THE RE-ESTABLISHMENT OF A CULTURE OF TOLERANCE, RESPECT FOR CONTRARY OPINION, HUMAN LIFE AND HUMAN RIGHTS AMONGST TAMILS.
TO REPRESENT THE CONCERNS OF THE TAMILS WITHIN SRI LANKA AND INTERNATIONALLY.
TO LIAISE WITH OTHER LIKE MINDED ORGANIZATIONS WITHIN AND OUTSIDE SRI LANKA.
PROMOTE INVESTMENTS AND DEVELOPMENT IN HUMAN RESOURCES, INFRASTRUCTURE, AGRICULTURE AND INDUSTRY IN THE NORTH AND EAST OF SRI LANKA.
PROMOTE THE WELFARE OF THE TAMILS AND FOSTER THEIR LANGUAGE AND CULTURE
THE OFFICE BEARERS OF THE ORGANIZATION ARE:
R JAYADEVAN- INTERIM CHAIRMAN
R JEYENDRATHASAN - INTERIM SECRETARY
INDIVIDUALS INTERESTED IN JOINING THIS ORGANIZATION AND PARTICIPATING IN ITS ACTIVITIES SHOULD CONTACT THE OFFICE BEARERS BY POST AT THE ABOVE ADDRESS OR BY EMAIL. THE EMAIL ADDRESSES ARE: