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From The Socialist newspaper, 25 March 2009

Stop the slaughter of Tamils: London campaign meeting

THE CAMPAIGN to stop the slaughter of Tamils and for democratic and trade union rights in Sri Lanka initiated in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, came to London on Saturday 21 March.

Activists from around the capital, Wales, South West and the Midlands listened to Senan report back from the Chennai meeting, which brought together representatives from 12 groups in India, as well as lawyers who are involved in a bitter strike sparked by anger at the inaction of the Tamil Nadu government over the war in Sri Lanka.

The aim is to build a broad campaign to raise awareness of the plight of 200,000 Tamils who are caught in the war zone in the north of Sri Lanka. These refugees are unable to access safe drinking water, food, decent shelter or medical facilities.

The campaign will also fight for basic democratic rights in Sri Lanka as a whole, to break through the media blackout, resist the severe repression of those speaking out against the military offensive of the Rajapakse government and help to rebuild trade union struggle against public-sector cutbacks and poverty.

Saturday's meeting put in place an initial steering committee whose first task is to organise the Britain part of an international day of action on Wednesday 8 April. This will involve a protest outside the Indian passport office in Aldwych, central London, to protest at the Indian and Tamil Nadu governments' complicity in the tragedy unfolding in Sri Lanka.

Manny Thain

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