Sri Lanka: Solidarity with Jaffna students

Protests outside Sri Lankan embassies against the brutal suppression of Tamil students in Jaffna, have taken place around the world.

An emergency protest outside the Sri Lankan High Commission in London to demand the immediate release of Jaffna University students was organised on Friday 7 December at less than 24 hours’ notice by Tamil Solidarity.

The protest launched a new campaign, Release All Political Prisoners in Lanka. A campaign is also being rolled out by the United Socialist Party (the Socialist Party’s sister party in Sri Lanka), along with other left groups, in Sri Lanka called Movement for the Release of Political Prisoners.

At the London protest Socialist Students national organiser Claire Laker-Mansfield explained that students in the UK were shocked at the brutal treatment meted out to students in Jaffna after they tried to organise a memorial event to remember the people who lost their lives in the 30 years of bloody war.

Paul Murphy, Irish Socialist Party MEP, in a statement, demanded the immediate release of the arrested Tamil students and all political prisoners.

Paul continued: “The arrest of these students under the Prevention of Terrorism Act just for participating in a peaceful protest shows how much democratic rights are under attack in Sri Lanka.

“The Sri Lankan government must end this immediately and release all political prisoners.

“This repression also further exposes the false claim of the government that it is improving the conditions for the Tamil-speaking people in Sri Lanka. Students should be released without delay.”

Rob Williams, chair of the National Shop Stewards Network, pledged to build solidarity and support for further protests in the trade unions.

He added that those Tory MPs who are happy to accept hospitality from the blood-soaked Rajapaksa regime, would be exposed.

Leading trade unionists in Britain have also given support to the campaign.

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