Wednesday, December 2, 2009

National Heroes Day (November 1987)

When Eelam war was raging with fury, every day liberation fighters were laying down their lives at the altar of Tamil Eelam liberation. On November 27, 1989 from his dense jungle hideout, Tamil Eelam National Leader Pirabaharan proclaimed that “November 27” on which day the first liberation fighter attained martyrdom in the cause of Tamil Eelam will be commemorated as “ National Heroes Day.” He said ,

"Today is a very important day in the history of our liberation struggle. We have proclaimed this day as the National Heroes Day to remember the 1307 martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the noble cause of liberating Tamil Eelam. For the first time we are commemorating National Heroes Day. It is customary for Remembrance Day to be commemorated in many countries in the world in memory of soldiers who fought and died for the liberation of their motherland and soldiers who died in battle defending their countries' freedom.

You know that all these days we have been commemorating days when individual fighters attained martyrdom. But from this year onwards we have proclaimed one particular day of the year to remember and commemorate the death of all the heroes who attained martyrdom. Hence we have declared November 27 as the National Heroes Day, the day our first LTTE fighter Shankar sacrificed his life on the battle field. So we have proclaimed this day as our National Heroes Day.

There is a tradition among our people. It is to give prominence to those who hold high positions and those who are wealthy. Likewise in our liberation struggle in order not to separate the leaders and praise their accomplishments only, we have taken a decision to celebrate National Heroes Day with the objective of treating every fighter on an equal footing.

So by commemorating all the fallen heroes on a sepcified day not only we treat the leaders as well as the ordinary fighters equally, we also commemorate jointly all the fighters who laid down their lives. Otherwise in course of time only the leaders will be remembered and honoured while the rest will fade into oblivion. So to avoid giving prominence to a selected few and to remember all on the same day we decided to celebrate this National Heroes Day.

As far as a Nation is concerned, if it does not honour its heroes, intellectuals and women it will become barbaric and destroy itself. We have in our country great intellectuals. When compared with other countries our Tamil women are highly venerated in our society. At the same time there was a paucity for brave warriors. But today on this National Heroes Day we have accomplished a sea change in our society. Yes we have started to honour our heroes as well."

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