Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/616/9031

From The Socialist newspaper, 17 March 2010

Free the Tamil refugees

'WE WILL not remain silent while Tamil refugees suffer out of the sight of the world's media'. That was the message to the Australian High Commission in London on Wednesday 10 March.

Manny Thain, Tamil Solidarity national secretary

That date marked the 150th day that 254 Tamils have spent on board a boat in Merak harbour, Indonesia.

That is, five months in cramped conditions with access to only one toilet, lacking adequate supplies of drinking water, food and medical facilities. One woman is due to give birth soon. Outbreaks of skin diseases have infected the children.

The protest was called by Tamil Solidarity, and was supported by other Tamil groups, including the British Tamils Forum.

It was part of a worldwide day of action which included Tamil rights campaigns, and trade union, socialist and human rights groups from Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Australia and New Zealand. Coordinated protests took place in all these countries, as well as in Hong Kong, several European states and North America.

We hand delivered a letter to the High Commission which urged immediate action to alleviate the suffering of the refugees, and called on the Australian government to grant them asylum.

The refugees were attempting to sail to Australia having fled the aftermath of the Sri Lankan army's offensive in the first half of 2009. In those final months of the war between the Sri Lankan regime and Tamil Tiger fighters, over 20,000 Tamil-speaking people were massacred. Subsequently, hundreds of thousands were rounded up and held in open prison camps under armed guard.

Today, thousands are still held in 'secret' camps, while the Tamil-speaking people who have been released are left to return to shattered villages and wrecked homes. Schools and hospitals, small businesses, fishing boats and land have been destroyed.

It was from that situation that these refugees fled, to try to salvage some kind of future for their children. But the Australian and Indonesian governments did a deal and the boat was intercepted by the Indonesian navy and taken to Merak.

Ever since, the people on board have been in limbo, with no rights and no status. Provisions are delivered sporadically and inadequately by the navy.

The only access to supplementary aid, legal advice and solidarity has been through the courageous efforts of trade union-based and humanitarian campaigns in Indonesia, supported by groups in Australia and Malaysia.

Tamil Solidarity has been an integral part of this campaigning work and has highlighted this case internationally.

We will continue to do all we can to highlight this gross injustice - and to fight for the rights of Tamil-speaking people, and for all workers and oppressed people in Sri Lanka.

See: www.tamilsolidarity.org

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 17 March 2010:

BA workers, civil servants: Defending jobs and conditions


Socialist Party workplace news and analysis

Support British Airways cabin crew

PCS Budget Day action

'Winners' and losers in Royal Mail deal

Workplace news in brief


The state

State infiltration - a warning to the workers' movement


Youth fight for jobs

Youth Fight for Jobs day of action


Unison witchhunt

Unison leadership's "scorched earth policy"


Socialist Party news and analysis

Coventry: Voters need socialist fighters - not service cutters

Free the Tamil refugees

Tube Lines: Another fine mess

News in brief


Socialist Students

Defend higher education

Defending public education in the USA


International socialist news and analysis

Another general strike brings Greece to a halt


Socialist Party inteview

Iceland: 93% reject bankers' bailout


Marxist analysis: history

Thatcher's enemy within: 25 years after the end of the miners' strike


Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition


Workplace news and analysis

Surrey workers fight cuts

Fighting the cuts at Leeds University

Unite to save Northcott Theatre


Socialist Party feature

Cuts mean poorest people priced out of the legal system


 

Home   |   The Socialist 17 March 2010   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Tamil:

triangleTamil Solidarity AGM & public meeting

triangleInterview: Refugee Rights Campaign

triangleTamil Solidarity Day

triangleTamil Nadu mass protests against state repression

Refugees:

triangleRoyal wedding exposes them-and-us visa system

triangleHundreds of torture victims wrongly detained

triangleGerman elections: rise of the far right and right-wing government will provoke resistance

triangleBrutal repression of Rohingya people sparks massive humanitarian crisis

Solidarity:

triangleManchester Socialist Party: Solidarity meeting - hear from Manchester strikers

triangleNSSN meeting brings together workers in struggle

triangleRoyal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

Indonesia:

triangleWhen the world economic crisis makes landfall in S Asia

Tamil Solidarity:

triangleMass rally to commemorate 1917 Russian Revolution

Australia:

triangleAustralia: massive yes vote for marriage equality

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

7/12/17

RMT

Anti-DOO lobby of Liverpool's transport committee

7/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite protest against blacklisting

6/12/17

Donald Trump

Mobilise to stop bigoted billionaire Donald Trump's state visit to Britain

6/12/17

Transport

Arriva bus strikers stand firm

6/12/17

Pensions

BT pensions review - oppose the attacks on the pension schemes

6/12/17

PCS

Driving examiners walkout hits first day of new test

6/12/17

Newham

School staff strike against privatisation

6/12/17

Rail

Brutal rail privateer Abellio takes over Midlands rail services

6/12/17

PCS

PCS Left Unity celebrates 40th anniversary at annual conference

6/12/17

North Yorkshire

Court maintains injunction against fracking protesters

6/12/17

Waltham Forest

Waltham Forest Universal Credit protest

6/12/17

Coventry

Coventry Socialist sales hit 1,000

6/12/17

TUSC

TUSC conference to debate 2018 elections

6/12/17

Liverpool

Liverpool John Moores Uni landslide for Socialist Students

6/12/17

Kirklees

Plans to launch no-cuts campaign at Kirklees College

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle8 Dec Local government pay: fight for the full 5% claim

triangle6 Dec Strikers rally in Liverpool

triangle6 Dec Corbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

triangle5 Dec Victory at Glenfield shows people power can save our NHS

triangle5 Dec Labour council Blairites deselected

triangle30 Nov Victory: Glenfield Children's Heart Centre saved!

triangle30 Nov Dramatic retelling of Grunwick strike

More ...

triangle11 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Campaigning workshop

triangle11 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas Quiz

triangle12 Dec Birmingham South East Socialist Party: Can the Labour Party be changed?

triangle12 Dec Liverpool Socialist Party: Fighting council cuts

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2