Tamil Solidarity activists marching for refugees' rights, 17.9.16, photo by Senan

Tamil Solidarity activists marching for refugees’ rights, 17.9.16, photo by Senan   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

Refugee rights campaigners took part in a ‘Refugees Welcome’ demonstration on 17 September which demanded many democratic rights for refugees. Supported by Tamil Solidarity, a number of refugees from Sri Lanka took part, putting forward demands like the right to work for all refugees, providing adequate medical help including mental health facilities, stop treating refugees as criminals, end the detention of refugees and close down all detention centres.

We called for jobs, homes and services, not racism. Mathan Arunthavanathan, organiser of the Tamil refugees, said: “Horrendous genocidal slaughter in Sri Lanka, committed by government authorities, has displaced many Tamils. Discrimination, detentions and killing of political activists continue to this day. Those who fled these conditions to find a safe home in Britain are treated by the Home Office as criminals. This is why we have begun to organise as a group and will continue to build support for our demands.”