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From The Socialist newspaper, 28 October 2009

Tamil Solidarity fights for boat refugees

OVER 250 Tamil-speaking refugees are held on a boat in Merak harbour, Indonesia. So far they have faced rejection and the threat of internment in their quest for refuge from the horror of war and concentration-style camps in Sri Lanka. The vast majority of the international media has placed a veil of silence over this terrible situation.

On Monday 26 October Tamil Solidarity (TS) organised a protest outside Australia House in London to raise awareness of the refugees' plight and to put pressure on the Australian government to grant asylum rights. Martin Powell-Davis, from Lewisham NUT, spoke about how solidarity is being built in the trade unions.

The refugees have spoken with TS about their desperation. "We fled Sri Lanka just to save our lives and to safeguard our future and hoped to seek refuge in Australia, a country we believed would recognise our plight.

"On 11 October 2009 our boat was intercepted in international waters and brought to Merak harbour by the Indonesian navy. From a six month old baby to a 66 year old, including a pregnant woman...we feel we have no choice but to remain on the boat until the UN or any government takes a step to offer us what we so desperately need.

"We appeal to the Indonesian and Australian masses, trade unions, human rights organisations and women's rights organisations to understand our plight and to support our demands.

"We are appealing to all who stand against repression and for human rights to do whatever they can to help us."

TS will continue to campaign in solidarity with those on the boat as well as building the campaign to shut down the camps in Sri Lanka where around 300,000 Tamil-speaking people are forcefully detained.

See www.tamilsolidarity.org for details of how you can get involved.

Tamil Solidarity member
  • TS handed in a letter of protest to the Australian high commission. Protest letters should be sent (with copies to TS) to: High Commissioner Mr John Dauth, Australia House, Strand, London WC2B 4LB
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    In The Socialist 28 October 2009:

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    Support post workers, this is no time to equivocate

    Postal strike reports: Defending the service


    Anti-racism

    BBC Question Time panel - Workers' voice denied against BNP

    BBC Griffin protest: Jobs and homes, not racism!

    Far right shut out of Newport by mass protest


    Socialism 2009

    Socialism 2009 forum - can we build a party for working class people?


    Youth fight for jobs

    Huddersfield march for jobs

    Young musicians support YFJ

    Cardiff Socialist Student elected


    Anti-war

    Afghanistan: anti-war demo

    Tamil Solidarity fights for boat refugees


    Socialist Party news and analysis

    Darling you're talking rubbish!

    Energy giant 'fanciful to the point of paranoia'


    Marxist analysis

    80th anniversary of the Wall Street Crash: Capitalist failure - then and now


    Workplace news and analysis

    Strikes sweep across Yorkshire

    Leeds bin strike: 92% vote to reject council's 'final' offer

    Battle for jobs in Land Registry

    Ex Ford/Visteon pensioners protest in Swansea

    Leicester uni cuts protest


    Socialist Party feature

    Call centres - public services on the cheap


    Marxist analysis: history

    Newport Rising 1839


    Comment

    Daily Mail homophobia


    Socialist Party reviews

    Film review - Capitalism: a love story

    Conspirator: Lenin in Exile


     

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