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From The Socialist newspaper, 14 February 2018

Tamil youth march for justice: sack the 'cut-throat' brigadier

Tamils and supporters marching on 9 February, photo Nadesan

Tamils and supporters marching on 9 February, photo Nadesan   (Click to enlarge)

Isai Priya, national chair, Tamil Solidarity

Brigadier Priyankara Fernando's cut-throat threat to peaceful protesters outside the Sri Lankan High Commission on 4 February caused massive outrage. It has increased the determination of Tamil youth to bring the war criminals to account.

Leading Tamil Nadu news outlet News7 had over 100,000 views and 4,000 shares of the footage - on the day of the protest alone! Tamil Solidarity's online petitions of complaint to the foreign ministries in Sri Lanka and Britain have reached over 1,500 signatures.

This mass action won a temporary victory on 6 February when the Sri Lankan foreign ministry suspended Brigadier Fernando. However, within a day, the Sri Lankan president, after talks with army chiefs, got involved to remove his suspension - causing more outrage.

Tamil Solidarity appealed to other groups and organised a joint protest 9 February. Over two thousand mainly young Tamils and their supporters took part in another mass demonstration.

The Sri Lankan military's alleged crimes include summary execution of Tamils by throat slitting. Brigadier Fernando himself was reportedly involved in an alleged shelling of a hospital.

We demanded the immediate dismissal of Brigadier Fernando for drawing his finger across his throat in a deliberate threat against peaceful Tamil protesters.

The demo gathered outside the Sri Lankan High Commission with banners, placards and chants calling for immediate action. We then marched to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office with drums and chants.

Solidarity messages and speeches were given outside Foreign Office, including from Brian Debus of Hackney trade union council, and Helen Pattison of London Socialist Party.

Tamil Solidarity placards demanding an end to the land grab, release of political prisoners, information on the disappeared, and the right to self-determination, stood out. Our leaflets and petition got a great response.

We were the only Tamil organisation doing this, with leaflets in Tamil and English, discussing what needs to be done next and how to take the movement forward. Ten Socialist Party members took part in the protest and we sold 85 copies of the Socialist.

The vast majority of young people there were open to our ideas and understood the need to build a united struggle with other oppressed communities, students and the working class, who are all our natural allies - people who will stand with us. Fighting together we can win our rights.

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In The Socialist 14 February 2018:


Socialist Party news and analysis

We can win the fight for the NHS

Stop press: victory - campaign saves NHS rehab ward

McDonnell says Labour would put services 'irreversibly' in workers' hands

Tamil youth march for justice

Rent doubles in a decade: cap rents, build council homes!

What we saw: Tory-Blairite EU love-in


Oxfam scandal

Oxfam scandal: we need democratic aid and working class solidarity


Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

How should TUSC approach the local elections and Brexit negotiations?


Socialist history

Czechoslovakia 1968: 'Prague Spring' challenges Stalinism


International socialist news and analysis

Cape Town drought

Brazil: Lula conviction confirmed

Big political strike against Finnish government's attack on unemployed

France: rallies in support of oppressed Kurdish people


Workplace news and analysis

UCU uni strike: coordinate public sector fightback

Sadiq Khan's bus drivers' London licence doesn't go far enough

Newham teachers strike again as anti-academy pressure mounts

Woolwich Crossrail walkouts to demand promised bonuses

Threat of action defeats pay cut at Surrey council


Socialist Party campaigns

Haringey protests HDV - but Labour fails to kill it off completely

Staines fire services saved

Carlisle debate - socialism or social democracy?

Enjoyable and successful Cardiff Refugee Rights gig


Opinion

I'm now a 'manager' and I can barely manage!

In Windsor none of us want to see homeless people on the street


 

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Related links:

Tamil Solidarity:

triangleArrest Brigadier Fernando - defend the right to protest

triangleA key task - strengthen Tamil Solidarity campaign

triangleJoin the fight for refugee rights

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Tamil:

triangleEast London Socialist Party: Sri Lanka, national liberation and Tamil rights

triangleEast London Socialist Party: Lessons of the 1976 Trico women's strike

trianglePolitical turmoil in Sri Lanka

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