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From The Socialist newspaper, 26 May 2010

Sri Lanka: One year after the war

A CONSTANT stream of Tamils flowed into Parliament Square, London, on Tuesday 18 May. Many thousands assembled to mark the first anniversary of the Sri Lankan government's declaration of victory in the brutal civil war that had raged for nearly 30 years. This was an important event, bringing people together in solidarity - and also defiance. Unfortunately, it was hardly covered in the mainstream media.

Manny Thain, Tamil Solidarity national secretary

Several of the speakers in the Square were MPs from Britain's establishment political parties. But none of them have any solutions for the Tamil-speaking people. On the contrary, successive governments have strengthened economic and military links with Sri Lanka.

The leaflet distributed by Tamil Solidarity, for the rights of workers and all oppressed people in Sri Lanka, was very well received.

We put forward he importance of drawing together Tamil-speaking people alongside other working-class and poor who are suffering at the hands of Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa's authoritarian rule.

In Britain, an important part of that is taking the issues into the trade union movement, with the aim of developing direct links between workers.

There has been some media coverage of a report, published on 17 May by the International Crisis Group, which calls for Rajapaksa's regime to be investigated for war crimes, such as the repeated shelling of civilians, hospitals and humanitarian operations. And Tamil Solidarity will continue to do all we can to expose and campaign against the government hypocrisy and repression in Sri Lanka.

For a longer statement on the ICG report: www.tamilsolidarity.org
For the report itself: www.crisisgroup.org

Manchester day of action

TAMIL SOLIDARITY leafleted Manchester city centre on 19 May. With placards demanding human rights and the closure of the detention camps in Sri Lanka, we gave out several hundred leaflets.

Paul Gerrard

A Tamil Solidarity meeting in the evening started with a minute's silence in memory of the tens of thousands of Tamils killed in the civil war.

Lawrence, a Tamil comrade, reported on the magnificent commemorative event outside parliament the day before (see left). He also recalled the highlights in the activity of Tamil Solidarity over the last year - protesting at embassies worldwide, taking the struggle to the European parliament and challenging New Labour government ministers.

A lively and wide-ranging discussion followed, covering the key role of the working class in the so-called developing countries, the prospects for Tamil self-determination, and many other issues.

Our work in the North West continues. We are determined to follow up on trade union affiliations, especially NUT, PCS, Unison and RMT branches.

We will use freshers' week at Manchester University to re-launch our solidarity work there and with the help of a Tamil comrade in Unite, we will organise a photographic and video display of the struggle in Sri Lanka.

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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.
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  • 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.
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In The Socialist 26 May 2010:

Millionaire ministers butcher public services

Con-Dem cuts - 'only the beginning'


National Shop Stewards Network

National Shop Stewards Network conference: Time to organise against con/dem attacks

Support BA Cabin Crew


Socialist Party news and analysis

Royal Mail not for sale

NHS cuts: The Con-Dem sting in the tail

Fast News

Sri Lanka: One year after the war

Socialist Party national committee discusses building the fightback


Socialist Party workplace news

PCS conference: Preparing for action

Local government: Where's our pay award for 2010?

Fighting university cuts

Workplace news in brief


Youth

Young people: organise to fight the cuts

Socialist Party National Youth meeting

School student socialist

'Sussex Six' result

Students must pay, say the rich

Pamphlet: Our Education Under Attack: why a mass campaign is needed


Socialist Party feature

London 2012 Olympics: A big business spectacle


International socialist news and analysis

Greece: 2,500 hear Socialist MEP Joe Higgins declare week of action

Romania: Mass protests against EU/IMF deal

Puerto Rico: Students and workers fight austerity cuts


Education

Education under attack: Con-Dem government prepares for battle

Unions must defend public services

Tory government says rich must pay less


Comment

Diane Abbott and the Labour Party leadership battle


 

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