Sydney Protester on Hunger Strike After Fortnight of Inaction by Aussie Gov't

May 4, 2009 § 1 Comment

Three weeks ago, disheartened by the lack of response of the Australian government to try save hundreds of thousands of Tamil civilians being persecuted by the Sri Lankan state, Sutha embarked on a hunger strike.

On the seventh day, the Australian government gave him assurances that they would act and believing those promises would be met he ceased his hunger strike.

On 3 May 2009, after waiting for more than a fortnight and seeing no concrete action by the Australian government, Sutha has recommenced his hunger strike.

As the Australian government continues to keep silent, the Government of Sri Lanka continues to bomb Tamil civilian areas, including hospitals.

Sutha will continue his hunger strike until there is constructive action taken by the Government of Australia.

Read full press release here.

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§ One Response to Sydney Protester on Hunger Strike After Fortnight of Inaction by Aussie Gov't

  • fastuntoactionaust says:

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE on 4 May 2009 – http://fastuntoaction.com/

    Australian Tamil Protester Recommences Hunger Strike After
    Fortnight of Inaction by Australian Government

    A hunger striker hospitalised last month resumed his campaign on 3 May at 12 noon to urge the Australian government to support calls for a cease-fire and condemn Sri Lanka’s military for deliberate attacks on Tamil civilians that has killed over 7500 since January.

    Sutha Thanbalasingam, who was sent to hospital in critical condition in April after blood tests revealed signs of muscle breakdown on his 106th hour without food or water, has vowed to resume his efforts after promises made by the Australian government officials failed to materialise.

    “We stepped away from the brink of death because the Australian government promised affirmative action. Days have passed, people continue to be slaughtered, and nothing has been done” said Sutha.

    Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary David Holly had promised the six hunger strikers that Australia would do “everything in its power” to end hostilities, however Prime Minister Rudd has remained tight lipped on the issue despite a series of protests outside his residences in Sydney and Canberra.

    “We have urged our Prime Minister to open his heart and his ears and listen to the cries of an entire race pleading for his help. Yet he remains silent. Now we will begin again, and this time we will starve until any promise is actually followed through” said Sutha.

    The campaign comes only hours after the Sri Lankan military bombed the last remaining hospital in Tamil Tiger held territory, killing 94 civilians and injuring 100 according to the BBC.

    British Foreign Minister David Milliband and his French counterpart Bernard Kouchner earlier this week reiterated that the “[Sri Lanka’s] refusal to allow the UN, the aid agencies, and the media full and proper access is quite wrong”.

    The statement followed a sharp exchange between the two and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse, who refused to halt attacks and allow aid to civilians in the war zone before saying that he did not want “lectures from Western representatives”.

    The fast commenced at Parramatta’s Church Street Mall and plans are for Sutha to remain there for the near future.

    The four demands which Sutha wants met through the actions of the Government of Australia, which has the ability to use its diplomatic powers to push the Government of Sri Lanka:
    1. to enter an immediate ceasefire with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam;
    2. to immediately allow food, medicine and aid into the conflict zone;
    3. to allow vital services, including medical services into the conflict zone;
    4. and the international community to allow the Tamil people, both in the conflict zone and those indefinitely detained in concentration camps in government-held areas, to decide independently where they wish to reside.

    Media Contacts:
    Mr Adrian Francis – 0420 522 099
    Geetha Mano: 0433 452 981

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