Tamil Eelam - தமிழீழம்

தமிழீழம்,Tamil Eelam, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam , LTTE ,Post-LTTE era,

Tamil Eelam is a proposed independent state that Tamils in Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora aspire to create in the north and east of Sri Lanka. Tamil Eelam has no official status or recognition by world states though sections of the Eelam were under de facto control of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for most of the 2000s.The name is derived from the ancient Tamil name for Sri Lanka, Eelam.
Ancient period

Evidence of a settlement of people with burial practices similar to that found in the Tamil Nadu region in India and further North was excavated at megalithic burial sites at Pomparippu in the western coast and in Kathiraveli in the eastern coast. These are dated between 2nd century BC and 2nd century AD.  Although it is not known when ethnic Tamils first settled in Sri Lanka. The Jaffna Peninsula was referred to in the Manimekalai (5th century AD) as Naga Nadu, inhabitated by the Naga people.  They were early descendant of the Sri Lankan Tamils who adapted Tamil culture and language.  The Pallava dynasty trace their origin back to a fusion between the Chola king Killivalavan and the daughter of the Naga king Pilli Valai.

Tamil royal dynasties in this period are known to have patronized Tamil Saivite culture in the east that paralleled the growth of the community in the area, and by the 6th century, a special coastal route by boat was functioning to the Koneswaram temple of Trincomalee and Thirukkovil Sithira Velayutha Swami Kovil in Batticaloa.

Tamil Eelam

In 1973, Tamil parties' call for regional autonomy was replaced with the demand for a separate state called Tamil Eelam. Two years later, in 1975, all Tamil political parties merged and became known as the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF). In 1976, the first national convention of the Tamil United Liberation Front was held at Vaddukoddai, where the party adopted a unanimous resolution called the Vaddukodai Resolution. This resolution charged that the Sinhalese government, with the use of the constitution of 1972, had used its power to "deprive the Tamil nation of its territory, language, citizenship, economic life, opportunities of employment and education thereby destroying all the attributes of nationhood of the Tamil people." The resolution further called for the "Free, Sovereign, Secular Socialist State of TAMIL EELAM".

As a result of the Vaddukodai resolution, the Tamil United Liberation Front became the first Tamil political party to run its campaign on a separatist platform. It swept the parliamentary elections in the Tamil-dominated districts of the North and East in 1977, winning 18 seats and became the largest opposition in Parliament. The reason for the success of the TULF was seen as the result of growing Tamil agitation for self-determination.

During the time of the Vaddukodai declaration, there were several Tamil militant organizations who believed that armed struggle was the only way to protect the sovereignty of the Tamil areas. TULF, however, believed in peaceful parliamentary ways towards achieving a solution.  Though the TULF had adapted a separatist platform, they were still open to peaceful negotiations and decided to work towards a political agreement with President J.R Jayewardene.

The outcome was the District Development Councils scheme (DDC) passed in 1980. The District Development Councils scheme was based, to some extent, on decentralization of the government within a united Sri Lanka. DDCs were soon abandoned because the two sides were not able to agree to the number of District Ministers in the Tamil districts.  In 1983 the Sixth Amendment was passed and required Tamil members of parliament and Tamils in public office to take the oath of allegiance to the unitary state of Sri Lanka. The Sixth Amendment forbade advocating a separate state even by peaceful means. Consequently, the TULF was expelled from the parliament for refusing to take the oath.

Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam

The parts of northern and eastern Sri Lanka which were formerly under the control of the LTTE were run as a de facto state with its own government in these areas. The Tamil Tigers military included land and naval (the Sea Tigers) forces and an air wing (Tamil Eelam Air Force)., LTTE ran a judicial system complete with local, supreme and high courts.

The US state department alleged that the judges had very little standards or training and acted as agents to the LTTE; it also accused the LTTE of forcing Tamils under their control to accept their judicial system. 

Furthermore, within areas controlled by the LTTE the Tigers performed state functions, including the operation of a civil police force, Human Rights organizations, offices for the coordination of humanitarian assistance board,  health boards and education boards.


It also ran a Bank (Bank of Tamil Eelam), a radio station (Voice of Tigers) and a Television station (National Television of Tamil Eelam).

Following the clearance of Kilinochchi by government troops which had been the administrative capital of the de facto LTTE controlled area on 2 January 2009, the LTTE's civil administration system was suspended as the "state" of Tamil Eelam was gradually crushed by the resurgent Sri Lankan Army. 

The last pocket of territory controlled by the LTTE was captured by the Sri Lankan Army on 18 May 2009.

During this operation almost the entire civil and military leadership of the LTTE were killed. Tens of thousands of LTTE cadres surrendered to government troops.




Post-LTTE era

Following the defeat of LTTE, pro-LTTE political party Tamil National Alliance (TNA), also the largest political group representing Sri Lankan Tamil community, dropped its demand for a Tamil Eelam, in favour of a federal solution. There were ongoing bilateral talks between President Rajapaksa's UPFA government and the TNA, on a viable political solution and devolution of power.  Pro Tamil groups advocating independence for Tamil areas of Sri Lanka continue to run websites and radio telecasts.  Since 19 May 2009 Tamil Eelam has ceased to exist as a physical entity but remains as political aspiration among sections of the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora. In May 2010, New York based lawyer Visvanathan Rudrakumaran formed a Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam intending to use soft power to reach its end.  The Self Proclaimed Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam continues to claim that they represent the Sri Lankan Tamils.


The Northern province is 22 miles (35 km) south of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The Adam's Bridge (Sethu Bridge) is located between the waters of the Mannar islet and the Indian mainland. The North is surrounded by the Gulf of Mannar and Palk Bay to the west, Palk Strait to the north, the Bay of Bengal to the east and the Eastern, North Central and North Western provinces to the south. It has a total area of 8,884 square kilometers (3,430.1 sq mi).

It is divided into two distinct geographic areas: Jaffna peninsula and the central Vanni region.

The Jaffna peninsula has a number of bays and lagoons along its coastline and much of the coast consists of sandy beaches. A chain of both inhabited and uninhabited islands are also found along the Jaffna peninsula.

The sparsely populated Vanni region is covered in tropical forests with numerous rivers flowing through them, making agriculture and forestry the primary industry in the area. The dry-land forests house rare species of trees, such as the satinwood, ebony, ironwood, and mahogany.


The Eastern part of the Tamil Eelam has an area of 9,996 square kilometers (3,859.5 sq mi). The Area is surrounded by land to the north, the Bay of Bengal to the east, and the central highlands to its west, south and southwest.

The Eastern coast is dominated by lagoons, the largest being the Batticaloa Lagoon, Kokkilai Lagoon, Upaar Lagoon and Ullackalie Lagoons.

Much of the coastline has a number of inlets from the sea, making them excellent inland ports and fishing harbours. The East has a rich biodiversity and is the natural habitat to many species.

Capital Trincomalee
Largest City Trincomalee
 • Total 21,952 km2 (8,476 sq mi)
 • Land 20,533 km2 (7,928 sq mi)
 • Water 1,419 km2 (548 sq mi)  6.46%
Population (2009)
 • Total 3,496,000
 • Density 160/km2 (410/sq mi)
 • Eelam Tamil 1,189,000 (1981) – 1,388,828 (2001)
 • Sinhalese 45,000 (1981) – 685,896 (2011)
 • Moor 415,267 (16.11%)
 • Indian Tamil 76,905 (2.98%)
 • Other 10,292 (0.40%)
 • Hindu 1,251,742 (48.57%)
 • Buddhist 498,938 (19.36%)
 • Muslim 422,239 (16.38%)
 • Catholic 381,679 (14.81%)
 • Other 22,590 (0.88%)
Official Languages Tamil


தமிழ் ஈழம் ஆவணப்படம் - Tamil Eelam Full Documentary