Socialist MEP discusses way forward for Tamils struggle

The Tamil Solidarity meeting – Way Forward for the Eelam Struggle: what’s the Role of the Diaspora? – was a great success. The headline speaker was Paul Murphy, Socialist Party Ireland Member of the European Parliament. Having a proud record of standing up for the rights of Tamil-speaking people, including in the European parliament, he received a great reception.

Paul tirelessly campaigns for Tamil rights and self-determination. But, as he explained, one of the key ways to increase pressure is through building grassroots campaigns, such as Tamil Solidarity. This is what Paul describes as “the other international community”, the natural allies of the Tamil-speaking people, the workers and oppressed around the world.

Manny Thain, Tamil Solidarity national secretary, outlined the work we have been doing in helping to build and sustain the movement, and link it to the workers’ movement. Trade unions organise millions of members, and can add their voice and weight against Sri Lanka’s brutal regime that has slaughtered thousands of Tamils. Solidarity, after all, is about action, not just words.

Steve Hedley, London transport organiser of the RMT union and a TUSC London-wide list candidate, gave the solidarity greetings of his union.

NUT executive member Martin Powell-Davies also spoke. Martin is well known to Tamil activists, having addressed the Parliament Square occupation in 2009 and last year’s Trafalgar Square commemoration of those killed in the 2009 Mullivaikal massacre. Martin has been putting his words into action by raising the issue of Tamil rights in his union.

Keerthikan, a Tamil Solidarity organiser, listed the day-to-day campaigning work we are involved in. He made an appeal for help with publishing information, and with the work of activists in South Asia.

Anyone who supports this work should get in touch on our website and see if they can make a financial donation to Tamil Solidarity.