In welcoming to its official homepage of The Australian Tamil Congress (ATC), a national organization that has been set up to actively serve Australia’s Tamil community the founding member Dr. R T Rajeswaran states that as the unified voice of Australian Tamils, the ATC will avidly work to integrate various community service organizations and individuals across the states in an effort to better represent and serve the nationwide community. [Eelam Nation]
The need of the hour is for our people, in each and every country that we have taken refuge in throughout the world, to unite and form country organisations that can constructively engage in diplomatic political dialogue with the governments of those countries to bring peace, dignity and freedom to our people wherever they may reside.
The immediate situation that needs to be resolved as a matter of prime urgency is the desperate plight of our brothers and sisters in Sri Lanka. Here in Australia we must engage as Tamils with one voice, through political dialogue and awareness campaigns, with the Australian government, political leaders of every persuasion, trade unions, eminent Australians and the general public to bring to their attention the dire humanitarian, human rights and self sufficiency issues that the Tamils in Sri Lanka are now facing.
Upholding Human rights
This process of engagement must be a democratic one and as such we must unite and speak as one. The current plight of our people warrants that we must expeditiously explore all political avenues we can engage in to bring immediate relief and protection under international law and independent supervision, and guarantee the upholding of human rights for the Tamil people in Sri Lanka.
Global awareness of our conflict
The current problem we are facing with the International Community is twofold. Through lack of understanding of the problems the Tamils have faced in Sri Lanka since the country’s independence from Britain in 1948 many simply ignore the issue as unimportant. Others, who are perhaps better informed, nevertheless feel that their individual geopolitical interests will be better served by the current Sri Lankan Government, and as such raise no objection to what is happening.
To begin with we must find out why we did not have one single friendly nation standing up for us, even with all the protests by our Diaspora throughout the world, during our time of desperate need and despair which unfortunately is still continuing without any signs of respite. It is our solemn duty to make sure that the International Community is made aware and then accepts that genocide of the Tamil People has taken place in Sri Lanka, and that ethnic cleansing of the areas traditionally occupied by the Tamil people was carefully orchestrated soon after independence and is being carried out at an even greater pace today than ever before. Families are being forcefully separated based on age and gender, our people are being abused and many go missing routinely. This is undoubtedly ethnic cleansing and must be stopped through the engagement of the International Community and the United Nations.
Importance of Tamil unity
We have no choice but to establish a single organisation that represents the political aspirations of the Tamils in Sri Lanka and speak for them as they have been made voiceless through harassment and imprisonment. This must be our top priority. The age old Tamil proverb “Adampan Kodium Thirandal Miduku” seems a very logical statement however somehow we are failing to grasp this concept which has been successfully embraced by those faced with similar situations in the past. We must start afresh with no baggage from the past.
Remember our heroes
Please do not forget our men and women who fought bravely to the end and effectively left us, the Tamil Diaspora, with a clean slate to work out, in our own way, how to carry on the struggle to fulfill the aspirations of the Tamil people left in Sri Lanka. We must not desert them in their desperate hour of need and we cannot forget those heroes who laid down their lives so that we may lead a better life.
Australian Tamil Congress
Ideally we would like to unite all the existing Australian Tamil organisations, however, starting a fresh organisation with clearly stated political goals under one umbrella will help us move forward without any unwanted and unfair labels attached to it and this would also encourage all Tamil people to participate in a free and democratic manner. We appeal to you all to rid yourselves of all petty aspirations and think exclusively about our people in need who are voiceless and are looking to us for help. We must establish an inclusive single entity built from grassroots support through which everyone can make a statement. The time is right for such an organisation to be created and we are appealing for your support.
Need to prove
To this end we have formed the Australian Tamil Congress. We can and will make this Congress function effectively and thereby show the world that Tamils throughout Australia can unite and that they can be unselfish for the sake of their kith and kin languishing in concentration camps wondering “will our people ever come to our aid”.
Lead by example
If we in Australia can demonstrate that through unity we can move a mountain, then it is to be hoped that other Tamils living throughout the world will follow this example and collectively we can form a world body that will take care of the needs of all Tamils in the world.
The Australian Tamil Congress encourages the positive participation of Tamils in Australian society, highlights issues of importance to Tamils, upholds core Australian values and engages other communities, governments and organisations in addressing the socio-cultural and political concerns of Tamils.
Through ‘Collective Global Tamil’ action it is hoped that an international Human Rights and Political Organisation can be established in the not too distant future to represent the voice of the Tamil people,
This organization will attempt to educate people on the Tamils’ right to survival and self-determination, and to promote the safety, welfare, and economic development of Tamils worldwide. It will also ensure that the genocide that has taken place in Sri Lanka is acknowledged by the International Community, that perpetrators are brought to justice and that future generations are never allowed to forget.
Make a Stand
On behalf of the Australian Tamil Congress, we invite you to join us and work with us to bring lasting justice and peace to our people. This work must start today; it cannot wait until tomorrow. Please join with us and make a difference and we shall rise from the ashes like the phoenix.
"You died when you refuse to stand up for right... You died when you refuse to stand up for truth... You died when you refuse to stand up for justice..."Martin Luther King Jr.