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Tamil Solidarity Day: intense, lively, thought-provoking
Isai Priya, Tamil Solidarity
On 16 June in central London Socialist Party members took part in Solidarity Day 2018 - an annual event organised by Tamil Solidarity.
The success of the event has shown once again the growing support of the Tamil Solidarity (TS) campaign for the unique approach it has taken amongst the Tamil diaspora organisations. The intense, lively and thought-provoking event lay down a strong foundation to build a movement for the rights of the Tamil-speaking people.
It began with a debate with the other Tamil Diaspora organisation on 'What way forward?' This session was chaired by Nadesan Balenthran, joint national coordinator for TS, with speakers from Tamil Solidarity, Tamil Coordinating Committee (TCC) and Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE), the latter two speaking in a personal capacity.
TU Senan introduced the discussion outlining some key points relating to political strategy of TS. Since 2009 TS has argued the need to link the Tamil struggle with our natural allies - other oppressed community, youth and the working class. TS has also in a number of occasion outlined the failure of the United Nations as a means of delivering justice - as it is an institution that operates in the interest of big business and oppressive nations.
Sathya Rajan reported on the recent struggles and movements that have taken place in Tamil Nadu and the importance of linking up that struggle with our own. She highlighted those involved or leading these movements are looking for a political lead.
She was followed by Satha Kanasan from TCC and Manivannan from TGTE. The political differences between TS and the other Tamil organisations were sharply revealed during the debate that followed. There were also time for some questions and contribution from the floor.
Lawanya Chantra, TS national coordinating committee (NCC) and Refugee Rights committee member chaired the second part of the event. This session brought out the essence of Tamil Solidarity..
This session included speakers Hugo Pierre from Unison's national executive council and Austin Harney, national executive committee and international committee of PCS - unions both affiliated to TS.
Chris Baugh, assistant general secretary of the PCS sent his greetings and solidarity - read out by Lawanya.
Other rally speakers included Claire Laker-Mansfield, a Socialist Party organiser involved in Youth Fight for Jobs. She referenced the Donald Trump visit on 13 July and appealed to the audience to join the walkouts and mass protests against Trump.
Mathan Nathan, TS NCC and Refugee Rights committee member, spoke passionately about the plight of the refugees and the asylum seekers in Britain. He concluded by emphasising the need to build a united struggle to fight for jobs, homes and services for everyone.
He also mentioned the Windrush scandal and how that exposed the racist immigration policies of the current right wing government.
Manny Thain, TS NCC and campaign organiser, concluded the rally and outlined the work of TS and showed how TS is successfully building the struggle.
Tamil Solidarity doesn't shy away from public debates and organises numerous discussions to politically arm our members. TS proudly orientates towards the working class.
TS is a small but growing campaign that punches above its weight and links up the struggles against oppression at each opportunity. Solidarity Day is, and will continue to be, an important event in our calendar.
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