The Weekend Leader - Tamil Braveheart

Such a long journey for justice by our own Mao Tse Tung

Paul Newman   |   Geneva


Vol 4 | Issue 10

Sathiyasivam Sinnaya, a 35-year-old bachelor, started his long walk from London to Geneva on the forenoon of February 20 with the aim of reaching Geneva on March 4 to personally submit a memorandum to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanetham Pillay.

As a Tamil seeking justice to those still suffering in Sri Lanka, Sathi as he is known, felt that he had to do something that could catch the attention of the world.

Sathi (second from left) walked 763 km from London to Geneva in 13 days to demand separate Eelam

His friends were initially reluctant to support his march because of the harsh winter in this part of the world.

Sathi gave his friends two options. He said, you either support me or I have no other choice but to immolate myself to draw the attention of the world to the Tamil cause. His friends got the message and agreed to support his long walk.

Now, apart from the dampening snow all through the journey, the other challenge was to reach Geneva by Mar 4 when Tamils from all over Europe, Malaysia, US and Canada would assemble in front of the UN to press their demands.

Sathi wanted to be there and submit a memorandum to Navanetham Pillay. There were only 13 days left and he had to cover a distance of 763 kilometers (not including the ferry journey to France).

Sathi had the near impossible task of walking 58.69 km per day! But Sathi, the brave heart had made up his mind and he set out on his journey determined to reach Geneva in 13 days.

As he walked day and night, the only thing that went in his mind was the sacrifices made by the women and children back home. The selfless sacrifices of young men and women of the LTTE motivated him to walk.

Though his body could not take this rigorous task, the emotion filled Sathi had a strong will and his mind would never give up.

All through the journey Tamils from towns and villages en route came to encourage him. A fellow Tamil, Amarnath, followed him on a car, and distributed campaign material to curious onlookers all along the route.

Tamils from all over the world gathered in Geneva on March 4

There were times when Sathi slept just two hours in the night. Ultimately after braving the weather and fatigue, Sathi reached Geneva, carrying the Tamil Eelam and United Nations flags on the 4th morning to join over 5,000 other Tamils from all over the world to reiterate that Tamil Eelam was the only solution to the Tamil plight in Sri Lanka.

His memorandum to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights included the following key demands:

1. Initiate an independent international investigation into the systematic genocide of Tamils by successive Sinhala governments in the island of Sri Lanka.

2. Remove the Sinhala military from the Tamil people’s homeland.

3. Conduct a UN sponsored referendum to determine the political aspirations of Tamils in their homeland as well as amongst the Diaspora.

4. Ensure Sri Lanka offers a general amnesty to political prisoners and releases them without delay.

Later, the special emissary of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) to the UN Human Rights Council, Manicka Vasagar, handed over a certificate of appreciation to Sathi who humbly accepted it and raised pro Eelam slogans shouting that the thirst for an Independent Eelam would be alive as long as thousands of youngsters like him were alive.

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