World Socialist Web Site launches Tamil-language site

By the Editorial Board
1 May 2000

The World Socialist Web Site is proud to announce the inauguration of a Tamil area of its web site available at http://www.wsws.org/tamil.

Beginning with the translation of important documents already published in English and other languages, the site will provide regular coverage of the Indian subcontinent together with news and analysis from around the world. As with the English language version, the Tamil WSWS will provide a broad range of coverage of politics, arts and culture, science and technology, historical material and commentary on important philosophical and ideological trends.

The Tamil area of WSWS will also publish documents relating to the program and history of the Sri Lankan Trotskyist party—the Socialist Equality Party—and the world movement of which it is a part, the International Committee of the Fourth International.

The launch of the Tamil-language site will bring to eight the number of languages other than English in which the WSWS publishes material on a daily or near-daily basis. Other languages in which material is posted regularly are German, French, Spanish, Serbo-Croatian, Indonesian, Russian and Sinhala. The publication in Tamil has enormous significance for the WSWS, given the widespread use of the Tamil language internationally.

It is estimated that over 80 million people across 65 countries currently speak Tamil, and it is projected that the global Tamil population will pass 100 million over the next three decades. Tamil is one of the official languages in Malaysia, Singapore and Sri Lanka. There are over 40 million Tamil speakers in the Tamil Nadu area of India alone.

There are millions of Tamils living in countries from Australia (30,000) to the US (35,000). An estimated 160,000 Tamils live in Canada and there are tens of thousands living in Europe. These include Denmark (7,000), France (60,000), Germany (50,000), Netherlands (20,000), Norway (8,000), Sweden (2,000), Switzerland (40,000) and 100,000 in the United Kingdom. In addition to this, over one million Tamils live in Malaysia, 200,000 in Singapore and 250,000 in South Africa. Around three million Tamils continue to live in the war-torn areas in the north and east of Sri Lanka.

Many of the Tamils living around the world have been forced into political exile by the reactionary war against the Tamil minority pursued by the Sri Lankan government. The development of the Internet makes it possible for these displaced Tamils to communicate on a far greater scale than ever before. Already it is estimated that there are over one million Tamils using the Internet, and this figure is set to grow as the standardisation of type faces make it easier to view sites in their own language.

Under these conditions the Tamil area of the WSWS will provide a powerful impetus for a renaissance of socialist culture within the international world working class and among the oppressed masses of the world.

The Tamil WSWS will provide daily access to the socialist perspective fought for by the International Committee of the Fourth International and its Sri Lankan section, as well as the Trotskyist Socialist Labour League of India, and will play an important role in unifying the Sinhala and Tamil workers in Sri Lanka as part of a united movement of workers throughout the Indian subcontinent.

For more information about the Tamil WSWS and the work of the Sri Lankan Socialist Equality Party, write to: tamil@wsws.org.