Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

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 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
  • Donate to the Socialist Party

    Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

    The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

    The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

    The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

    • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
    • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
    • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
    Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
    We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

    Please donate here.

    All payments are made through a secure server.

    My donation


    Your message: 


    In The Socialist 28 October 2009:

    Support postal workers

    Support post workers, this is no time to equivocate

    Postal strike reports: Defending the service


    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


    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


    Daily Mail homophobia

    Socialist Party reviews

    Film review - Capitalism: a love story

    Conspirator: Lenin in Exile


    Home   |   The Socialist 28 October 2009   |   Join the Socialist Party

    Subscribe   |   Donate  

    Related links:

    Tamil Solidarity:

    triangleBuilding a working-class movement for Tamil rights

    triangleProtest against Modi's racist law

    triangleBuilding Tamil Solidarity with youth and the unions

    triangleTamil Solidarity Day: Linking up oppressed people's struggles

    triangleSri Lanka - Ten years after the brutal end of the war


    triangleSri Lanka: Presidential election sees return of dictatorial Rajapaksa clan

    triangleSri Lanka: No to terrorist bombing

    triangleA Tamil Solidarity statement

    triangleHundreds of Tamils protest against death-threat brigadier


    triangleDebenhams: Fighting closures and redundancies

    triangleBangladesh: Stop closure and privatisation of Jute Mills


    triangleGreece-Turkey border refugee crisis

    triangleFilm: Greed directed by Michael Winterbottom


    trianglePalace letters show the monarchy is a weapon for capitalism

    Reports and campaigns

    Reports and campaigns


    Young Socialists

    Young Socialist day of action


    Socialist Party

    Campaign stalls on jobs, pay, NHS and racism


    Black Lives Matter

    North London: Socialist Party speaks at BLM protest



    Engage for Change Hull - trade union youth festival goes online


    Socialist Party

    Why I joined - Covid changed my outlook


    Socialist Party

    Socialist Party meetings: Online and in-person


    Young Socialists

    A-level results day 2020: Fight for our future!



    GE Aviation workers march to save jobs



    80 years since the murder of Leon Trotsky rally



    Fighting to end racism and capitalism



    Doncaster: Vigil for murdered women


    The Socialist

    The Socialist summer schedule



    Unite union branch pledges to support socialist candidates who oppose cuts



    Oppose BT site closures - national strike ballot needed



    Sick pay victory at Homerton hospital!

    triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

    Join the Socialist Party
    Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
    Donate to the Socialist Party
    Socialist Party Facebook page
    Socialist Party on Twitter
    Visit us on Youtube



    Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


    Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

    Regional Socialist Party organisers:

    Eastern: 079 8202 1969

    East Mids: 077 3797 8057

    London: 075 4018 9052

    North East: 078 4114 4890

    North West 079 5437 6096

    South West: 077 5979 6478

    Southern: 078 3368 1910

    Wales: 079 3539 1947

    West Mids: 024 7655 5620

    Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041



    Alphabetical listing

    August 2020

    July 2020

    June 2020

    May 2020

    April 2020

    March 2020

    February 2020

    January 2020