February 24, 2010 Comments Off on David Miliband attends GTF meeting in UK
Jeremy Page, South Asia Correspondent
Relations between Britain and Sri Lanka are likely to hit a new low after David Miliband addresses a meeting of Tamil activists from around the world at the Houses of Parliament today.
The Foreign Secretary is due to make the opening speech at the inaugural meeting of the Global Tamil Forum, which campaigns for selfdetermination for Sri Lanka’s ethnic Tamils and to bring to justice perpetrators of alleged war crimes during the island’s 26-year civil war.
William Hague, the Shadow Foreign Secretary, is to make the closing address to the meeting, which will be attended by several other MPs in an unprecedented display of cross-party support for Sri Lanka’s Tamils after the defeat of the Tamil Tiger rebels last year.
“It’s great support for us,” S. J. Emmanuel, the president of the forum, told The Times. “The British Government, more than any in the world, knows our history and are most competent to understand our situation.”
He said that the group advocated non-violence and an international boycott of Sri Lankan goods and wanted war crimes charges brought against Mahinda Rajapaksa, the President, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the Defence Secretary, and Sarath Fonseka, the former army chief.
Sri Lanka’s Government is sure to be incensed as it regards many of the forum’s members, especially the British Tamils Forum, as fronts for the Tigers, who are banned as a terrorist organisation in the EU. Sri Lankan officials have long accused Britain of secretly supporting the Tigers.
The Foreign Office defended Mr Miliband’s decision to address the meeting. A spokesman said: “The UK firmly believes that the only way to achieve lasting and equitable peace in Sri Lanka is through genuine national reconciliation. The UK will engage with all members of the Sri Lankan community who share this goal, whether overseas or in Sri Lanka.”
The Tigers launched their armed struggle to create an independent homeland for Tamils in northeast Sri Lanka in 1983 to try to protect them from discrimination at the hands of the ethnic Sinhalese majority.
February 24, 2010 Comments Off on Supreme Court says no to Fonseka's release
Radio Australia (22/02) – Detained SLankan presidential candidate not in luxury: wife
The Hindu (22/02) – Sarath Fonseka to lead new alliance
February 24, 2010 Comments Off on ICG on Tamil diaspora
Colombo/Brussels, 23 February 2010:
Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora groups should move away, once and for all, from the failed agenda of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and instead put their energies into the quest for a sustainable and just peace in a united Sri Lanka.
The Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora after the LTTE,* the latest report from the International Crisis Group, examines political dynamics within the Tamil diaspora since May 2009, as Tamils abroad adapt to the LTTE’s defeat. It also looks at the potential for new forms of militancy within the diaspora, especially among the younger generations, radicalised by the deaths of thousands of Tamil civilians in the final months of the war. While there is little chance of the Tamil Tigers regrouping in the diaspora, most Tamils abroad remain profoundly committed to a separate state of Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka.
“New diaspora initiatives attempt to carry forward the struggle for an independent state in more transparent and democratic ways, but they must repudiate the LTTE’s violent methods”, says Robert Templer, Crisis Group’s Asia Program Director. “And they must also recognise that the LTTE’s separatist agenda is out of step with the wishes and needs of Tamils in Sri Lanka”.
The gap between the diaspora and Tamils in Sri Lanka has widened. Most in the country are exhausted by decades of war and are more concerned with rebuilding their lives under difficult circumstances than in continuing the fight for an independent state. Without the LTTE to enforce a common political line, Tamil leaders in Sri Lanka are proposing substantial reforms within a united Sri Lanka. While Tamils have the democratic right to espouse separatism non-violently, Tamil Eelam has virtually no domestic or international backing. With the Sri Lankan government assuming Tamils abroad remain committed to violent means, the diaspora’s continued calls for a separate state feed the fears of the Rajapaksa administration and provid e excuses for maintaining destructive anti-terrorism and emergency laws.
The Sri Lankan government must address the legitimate grievances at the root of the conflict: the political marginalisation and physical insecurity of most Tamils in Sri Lanka. The international community needs to press Colombo much more strongly for political and constitutional reforms. Donors should insist that money given to redevelop the north and east is tied closely to the demilitarisation and democratisation of the region. This should include giving Tamils and Muslims a meaningful role in determining the future of the areas where they have long been the majority. Donor governments and the United Nations must also insist on an independent investigation into the thousands of Tamil civilians killed in the final months of 20fighting in 2009.
“Tamils in Sri Lanka currently have little appetite for a return to armed struggle”, says Robert Templer. “But should the Sri Lankan state continue to fail to respond to their collective aspirations, some may eventually seek a solution through violence and could find willing partners in the diaspora”.
February 24, 2010 Comments Off on Trouble for tamil newspaper in Toronto
Globe and Mail (22/02) –Tamil newspaper vandalized after publisher warned of trouble
CBC.ca (22/02) –Toronto Tamil newspaper office vandalized
Toronto Star (21/02) – Tamil newspaper’s Scarborough office attacked
February 22, 2010 Comments Off on Protest to mark 150 days on Merak boat
February 22, 2010 Comments Off on Top SL cricketer sets sight on Parliament
Sri Lanka’s top runscorer in one-day international cricket is going to contest the forthcoming parliamentary elections scheduled for 8 April
February 22, 2010 Comments Off on Namal Rajapakse
Modesty is apparently not a strong point for Namal Rajapaksa, the 23-year-old son of the Sri Lankan President and scion of Asia’s newest political dynasty.
His website says: “A future leader with a friendly spirit and possessing good values is what comes to mind when meeting the dashing and smashing young Namal Rajapaksa.”
The keen rugby player graduated from London’s City University in September with a third-class law degree. He now clearly plans to follow in the footsteps of his father, Mahinda, who was an MP at 24 and went on to defeat his former army chief, Sarath Fonseka, in a presidential election last month.
Last week, after General Fonseka’s arrest, Namal was accepted by his father’s party as a candidate in parliamentary elections on April 8, joining dozens of other relatives in government and politics. One rumour suggests that he could take over the politically powerful position of Custodian of the Temple of the Tooth, Sri Lanka’s holiest Buddhist shrine. More
February 22, 2010 Comments Off on Sri Lanka Envoy on Fonseka's arrest
ITMNTV – Envoy of Sri Lanka to India, Prasad Kariyawasam, gives the reasons for Fonseka not being arrested earlier and only after his defeat in the Presidential elections.
February 22, 2010 Comments Off on Kevin Rudd's nephew versus Julia Gillard
See previous posts on Tamil Justice about Van Rudd’s support for Tamils
STATEMENT FOR GENERAL DISTRIBUTION & MEDIA
Van Rudd from the Revolutionary Socialist Party Announces Campaign Against Julia Gillard in the Seat of Lalor
The Revolutionary Socialists Party will be running Van Rudd against Julia Gillard in the seat of Lalor for the next federal elections.
Van Rudd’s campaign will take a stand against the failure of both state and federal governments to defend Indian students against racist attacks.
Many young and working people in this country are fed up with Labor and Liberal, and the parliamentary system that guarantees the privileges of the corporate rich and perpetuates social inequality and discrimination.
The Revolutionary Socialist Party believe that we need to bring working people of all colours together in solidarity and unite against social injustice and prejudice. The RSP advocates:
Opposition to all attempts by governments and the corporate media to blame refugees and migrants for growing economic and social problems. Problems such as unemployment and rising housing and living costs are caused by corporations and government policies that put company profits before all else, not by new arrivals.
Calls for Australia to open its borders and build bridges not gates between the people of all nations. We have a responsibility to help the poor nations of the world, especially so when Australia participates in wars that devastate these nations.
Opposition to the federal government’s attacks on Aboriginal communities and their land rights, which seek to guarantee mining company profits above the welfare and democratic rights of the indigenous people of Australia.
For a public-owned, democratic & ecologically sustainable economy
The Revolutionary Socialist Party stands for fundamental social change.
We consider that the problems of inequality, discrimination and ecological destruction, can only be addressed by making fundamental changes to the way the Australian and global economies are organised.
Most importantly decision making has to be put in the hands of ordinary working people and taken away from the corporate rich who presently control the economy and governments. Venezuela’s 21st Century socialism provides an example of how this can be done and how it can benefit the great majority of people – who have nothing to gain from the growing wealth of a shrinking number of super wealthy international corporations. This includes the Australian corporations that try to convince us to “buy Australian” and make them wealthier.
The Revolutionary Socialists believe that working people must unite and fight to build their own movements and organisations and construct this radically different form of government and society – a socialism of the 21st Century.
For solidarity between all working people, of all nations!
Working people keep the country running, working people should run the country!
Support Van Rudd against Julia Gillard and the policies of the Labor government.
For further information contact:
Jorge Jorquera 0435 519 198
Van Rudd 0430 397 074
February 21, 2010 Comments Off on 'Stop war in Eelam and Palestine' – protest in Malaysia