Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/634/10072
Daily Mail admits guilt over smearing Tamil hunger striker
THE DAILY Mail headline read: "Hunger Striker's £7 million Big Mac". This outrageous attack, printed on 9 October 2009, accused Subramanyam Parameswaran of eating a Big Mac while 'pretending' to be on hunger strike in Parliament Square, London.
A court found the Mail's allegation, repeated in the Sun and London Evening Standard, to be completely false.
Senan, Tamil Solidarity international coordinator
The paper claimed that policing the Tamil community protests in central London against the brutal slaughter of Tamil people by the Sri Lankan government, which the hunger strike was part of, produced a £7 million bill for the Metropolitan Police.
We in Tamil Solidarity immediately opposed this racist attack on the hunger striker and the demonstrators.
In order to highlight this slander Parameswaran was invited to address a Tamil Solidarity meeting held in Queen Mary University on 17 October 2009.
By smearing Parameswaran's courageous action the false media reports were undermining the protests and trying to divide the Tamil diaspora.
A video of the meeting was made available on the Tamil Solidarity website to help him circulate his answer to his attackers.
Unfortunately, and unforgivably, the leaders of some Tamil organisations joined the Mail in spreading its slander.
Their rotten politics also include support for the right-wing British government. In fact some still support the UK government's cooperation with the Rajapakse government in Sri Lanka!
This flawed perspective is constantly challenged by Tamil Solidarity which instead aimed to organise uncompromising fighters against all kind of oppression in every country where they are present.
We repeatedly pointed out that we cannot appeal to those forces who are in the business of oppressing and exploiting minorities in the UK and who are engaged in brutal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Now the Mail has accepted that it lied. It is clear that the Mail's attack was not just aimed at Parameswaran, but was an attack on all Tamil protesters.
Instead of allowing protesters to be attacked, if we are serious about building the fightback against the oppressors, we must unite those forces that are fighting against oppression.
Tamil Solidarity was set up to do just this.
In The Socialist 4 August 2010:
War and occupation
Workplace news and analysis
Youth fight for jobs
Environment and socialism
Socialist Party LGBT
Socialist Party events
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party news and analysis
Review & Comment