Tamil Eelam does exist already - Anita Pratap

(September 19, Oslo, Sri Lanka Guardian) “I think Tamil Eelam does exist already. It exists in the hearts and minds of every single Tamil expatriate. It is a reality.” Anita Pratap, a well known Indian journalist who have covered all the conflicts in South Asia in the last three decades, told this at a book launch event in Oslo, Norway.

The book “Tamils in Sri Lanka - A Comprehensive History (C.300 B.C. - 2000 A.D.)” written by Murugar Gunasingham Ph.D was launched in Oslo, Norway on 14 September 2008.

Praising the excellent work of Dr. Gunasingham and emphasising the importance of Sri Lankan Tamil history, Anita Pratap said “Tamil identity is strong. Tamil nationhood is strong. No one can take that away from you”

She continued “But the question is what it is you can give back to this identity. Not everyone can be an LTTE and sacrifice his life. In lot of countries it is proscribed and you can’t do that. It is even not necessary. What you as a citizen of Norway or other country can do, what you can give back to the Tamil identity, to the Tamil nation?”

“It is your excellence. Whatever you do, whatever field, branch you are in, it is that quality of excellence in that field. It is to bring professionalism. It is to bring scholarship as this book has done. That is your greatest contribution. As for Jews for instance who have extraordinarily accomplished in different fields wherever in the countries they were – it is arts, science, music, medicine whatever it is who were the one who were excel in that.”

“The tragedy of Tamils in Sri Lanka has been that since 1983 large number of Tamils had to leave Sri Lanka, because it is unsafe to be a Tamil in Sri Lanka. They had to leave their country. So, there is today a missing generation, a last generation, my generation – they were all in their twenties when they left Sri Lanka and now in their fifties and sixties. Then it was a matter of survival. They were running. It was a question of saving their lives, saving their families.”

“But today their children are growing up. They are in open, democratic countries – in Norway, in UK, in USA, in Canada, in Australia, in other parts of Europe. These children are leading a much more secure life than their parents or grand parents. They have enrolled in good universities. They can bring the quality of excellence. The time has come for this generation to rise and show what they are capable of. The history has shown what the Tamils are capable of.”
- Sri Lanka Guardian