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Tamil Solidarity: Gearing up for 2012
Manny Thain, Tamil Solidarity national secretary
Tamil Solidarity in Britain took the opportunity on Sunday to take stock of the campaign's progress and outline a plan for the year ahead. International coordinator, Senan, introduced a far-ranging discussion on the geopolitical situation in South Asia, as well as tracing the development of Tamil Solidarity which has established itself as a well-respected campaign among Tamil activists.
We will continue to strengthen our links with activists in Tamil Nadu, southern India, which were made in a visit earlier in the year. A petition and finance appeal are being launched to help with that work.
The meeting highlighted the incredibly successful hearing in the European parliament, organised in June alongside Paul Murphy, MEP for the Socialist Party in Ireland, and the left/green GUE/NGL group of MEPs.
The downfall of Liam Fox, former Tory defence minister, was also good to see, given his close connections with the Sri Lankan regime which was responsible for the massacre of tens of thousands of Tamils in 2009. Over a long period of time, Tamil Solidarity had drawn attention to Fox - including hand-delivering thousands of leaflets to Fox's constituents months before he resigned.
Our 700-strong protest in September outside the Indian high commission against the death penalty was also a landmark, as was the participation at the National Shop Stewards Network conference - an important link with leading trade union activists.
Keerthikan gave a brief report of his visit to Sri Lanka and the extremely difficult conditions faced by Tamil-speaking people there, effectively living in militarised zones. He has also been responsible for developing model campaigning activity in the northwest of England, something we aim to spread further afield.
Further reports can be found on the Tamil Solidarity website: www.tamilsolidarity.org
Check it out, and get union/community group donations to our important campaigning work.
In The Socialist 7 December 2011:
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