October 17, 2009 Comments Off on Blog post on PM Rudd
Taken from the Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice blog :
The Australian Government says it enjoys ‘warm’ bilateral relations with Sri Lanka.
Does this mean that Mr Rudd’s Government has used the good relationship between the two countries to make sure Colombo hears a clear “let the near quarter of a million people in the camps go”? After all, even the mild mannered UN has now called for this.
According to TamilNet, the answer is no. It quotes senior Australian officials as saying “Australia is reluctant to call for a closure of these camps and release of the innocent IDPs as soon as possible“.
Rather, it turns out that the Government is using Australian tax dollars to pay for leading ad agency, Saatchi and Saatchi, to help scare off potential asylum seekers to Australia.
Using state of the art “social control” tactics, the campaign uses “street drama to take its message directly to the people. Actors will play people smugglers, and warn locals their efforts to escape from Sri Lanka will end in disappointment.”
9news reports that Catholic Churches are also being targeted, with literature and pamphlets being distributed around parishes warning asylum seekers they will not be welcome in Australia. The push has been dubbed the “Stay the Bloody Hell Away” campaign by media, in reference to Tourism Australia’s much-maligned “Where the Bloody Hell Are You?” campaign.
Saatchi and Saatchi can be expected to do something clever, creative and certainly not cheap. But how effective will this campaign be?
August 17, 2009 Comments Off on FREE300K campaign to conclude tomorrow – buses have been arranged for Sydney siders
Buses have been arranged to leave Homebush and Pendle Hill at 7am. Please call Aravinth asap on 0434 978 085 on or Vimal on 0421 243 620 to book your seats and for any further details.
Tuesday 18th August, 2009
‘300km for 300,000 lives’ the 300km walk from Sydney to Canberra by Seran and Vishna
will conclude at Parliament House, Canberra on Tuesday 18th August, 2009 at 11.30AM
with a meeting inside Federal Parliament House to highlight the need for the Australian government to act
immediately against the detention of 300,000 Tamils.
Seran and Vishna have endured pain, swelling and cramping, yet the
thought of our Tamil brethren suffering behind barbed wire is helping them reach their destination.
In these darkest of times, we call upon the people of Australia to join us on
Tuesday 18 August in Canberra for a gathering.
When the boys are prepared to walk 300km, we should take the time to attend this event and help give weight to the
campaign. Please pass this on to every Tamil and non-Tamil Australian you know, urging them to take part as well.
DATE: Tuesday 18th August 2009
TIME: 11 AM – 2 PM
Venue: Park in front of the Parliament House
Please show your support.
Visit www.free300k.wordpress.com for further details.
February 22, 2009 Comments Off on Tamils Rally Worldwide
Associated Press – Tamil protesters march to embassies
February 19, 2009 Comments Off on In the media today…
Radio Netherlands: Interview with Suren Surendiran from British Tamils Forum
Suren Surendiran from British Tamils Forum speaks on the Tamils’ right for self-determination.
The Canberra Times: Time for Sinhalese ‘victors’ to unclench mailed fist
The greatest mistakes are made on the morrow of the greatest victories. Sri Lanka is now approaching a decisive victory in its 26-year battle against Tamil separatism, and it is about to make a very big mistake.
Inner City Press: In Sri Lanka, UN Has Casualty Estimate But Won’t Release, Why No Cease Fire Call Is “Theoretical Question,” Ban’s Office Says
With civilians dying daily in the conflict between the government of Sri Lanka and the Tamil Tiger militia, on Tuesday Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon’s spokesperson Michele Montas for the UN’s estimate of civilian deaths, and whether it is higher or lower that the 1200 figure used in the Gaza conflict earlier this year. Ms Montas replied that “we are trying to save people, not count bodies.”
The New York Times: Sri Lankan War Nears End, but Peace Remains Distant
Just north of here, after a string of recent victories, the Sri Lankan military is closing in on separatist rebels in what it calls the climactic battles of the country’s long-running civil war. But in this heavily militarized port city, there are no signs of jubilation.
Reuters: Children suffering the most in conflict – UNICEF
Just nine years old, Thevaki was trapped in the crossfire between government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and barely escaped with her life.
Catholic News Agency: Indian priests call for peace and aid for Sri Lanka
The Association of Diocesan Priests in India has issued a call for peace and solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka who are suffering from the war between government forces and Tamil rebels.
The Guardian, UK: Trapped Sri Lankans ‘dying in makeshift hospital’
Doctors treating refugees injured in intense fighting plead for evacuations and medical aid.
February 17, 2009 Comments Off on Protest in Canberra on Friday 20th of February
February 9, 2009 Comments Off on WSWS reports on Canberra rally on the 5th – more than 3000 attended
Protest outside Australian parliament against Sri Lankan war
More than 1,500 people gathered outside federal parliament in Canberra yesterday, demanding an end to the Sri Lankan government’s brutal military offensive in the north of the island. The protest was larger than expected, with hundreds travelling from Sydney and Melbourne and some from as far away as Adelaide in South Australia.
Demonstrators included large numbers of young Tamil people, women and entire families, as well factory employees and labourers, who had taken time off work. Dozens carried placards, some with graphic images: bomb-strafed hospitals; children lying on hospital beds, their limbs amputated; villages and homes ransacked and torched.
February 5, 2009 Comments Off on Aussie House of Reps discussion on SL conflict
Mr Stephen Smith
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Statement to House on Situation in Sri Lanka
– Over recent weeks and months, the Australian government has consistently stated that its strong view remains that Sri Lanka’s conflict cannot be resolved through military means alone.
– Australia considers a political solution to be essential for longterm peace in a country which has suffered so long from bitter conflict.
– Earlier today I announced that Australia will contribute $5 million in additional humanitarian assistance to those affected in the north of Sri Lanka. This is in addition to the $4 million in food aid Australia recently announced for Sri Lanka through the World Food Program.
– We reiterate our call for a political solution to this conflict. The long-term security and prosperity of Sri Lanka will only be achieved through a political solution that meets the legitimate aspirations of all Sri Lankans.
Script – visit page 623
Shadow Minister for Infrastruction and COAG
Statement to House
– In my previous role as shadow minister for foreign affairs for the coalition I became acutely aware of this ongoing conflict taking place in Sri Lanka, a civil conflict which has been raging since July 1983 following the most destructive explosion of communal rioting in the history of that island nation—period in Sri Lanka’s history commonly referred to as Black July’.
– The coalition welcomes any well-targeted measures that extend humanitarian assistance to those innocent victims of this conflict and helps facilitate both parties following the path of a sustainable peace agreement.
– The lessons of history confirm that a political solution is the only effective way to end the violence, resolve the conflict and provide a durable peace in Sri Lanka. The coalition joins the Australian government in calling for peaceful resolution to this conflict as soon as possible for the sake of all the citizens of Sri Lanka.
Script – visit page 625