Australia must condemn Sri Lankan Government slaughter! End the silence!
Rally Monday April 20th, 4.30pm
State Parliament, George Street, City (outside QUT Gardens Point)
On Tuesday night the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) commenced the slaughter of Tamils in the so-called “safe zone”, directing massive firepower towards civilians. Independent witnesses have confirmed the SLA’s use of chemical weapons, with Phosgene and Triethanolamine being found on the dead.
According to Human Rights Watch: “Sri Lanka’s so-called ‘no-fire zone’ is now one of the most dangerous places in the world,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The Security Council has quibbled over protocol when it should be acting to bring an end to this ghastly loss of life.”
The International Committee of the Red Cross has warned of “an impending humanitarian catastrophe”. Doctors Without Borders (MSF) reported on March 3 that 200,000 civilians were “living under desperate conditions”.
The civilian death toll from army’s assault is greater even than that during Israel’s recent assault on Gaza. According to Tamil sources, 2018 civilians were killed by the army in January and February, including 728 children. Human Rights Watch has corroborated these figures. The figures now are unknown but reports state that a “Mass human tragedy possible any moment in the ‘safety zone’”.
As at Wednesday, three young Australian Tamil hunger strikers had gone for 106 hours without food or water, and their conditions are becoming critical, with one approaching kidney failure (http://fastuntoaction.wordpress.com/2009/04/15/four-demands/). Urgent calls are currently underway for Greens Senators to meet with the strikers. PM Rudd continues to ignore their plight.
The hunger strikers are demanding that the Australian government to use its diplomatic powers to push the Sri Lankan government:
* to allow food, medicine and aid into the conflict zone;
* to allow medical and other vital services into the conflict zone; and
* 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
Internationally, hunger strikers’ conditions are rapidly deteriorating.
The silence around the ongoing racist slaughter, the genocide, of the Tamil ethnic minority in Sri Lanka is deafening. With attacks on news outlets and assassinations of journalists in Sri Lanka part of Sri Lankan Government strategy, almost no reporting is emerging. A statement by 23 international journalists’ associations and trade unions can be found at http://www.freemediasrilanka.org/English/news.php?id=1179§ion=news
The world must act now to stop this genocide. Join the global protests.
Since January 2009, more than 2,000 Tamils have been killed and 7,000 wounded by Sri Lankan troops. More than 200,000 are trapped inside a barren and shadeless 12-kilometre strip of land, without drinking water. Food and medicines are not allowed in. Forced hysterectomies and abortions of Tamil women make the genocidal aim of the Sri Lankan government’s offensive unmistakable. This is another Gaza, but concealed from world view.
For the past half century, the Sri Lankan state has persecuted the Tamil people, and over the past 25 years has carried out a military campaign to drive them from their homeland, Tamil Eelam, in the country’s north and east. Because of the area’s strategic importance, global and regional powers — including the United States, Israel, Pakistan and India — have backed this brutal offensive. In an effort to demonise and isolate the Tamils’ just resistance, the U.S. and European Union listed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) as a terrorist organisation.
A detailed background to the genocide can be found at http://www.genocide.org.uk/genocide/
The Guardian – Arundhati Roy on the genocide in Sri Lanka: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/apr/01/sri-lanka-india-tamil-tigers
Green Left Weekly – Sri Lanka: Genocide against Tamils – http://www.greenleft.org.au/2009/779/40161
Sponsored by the Tamil Coordination Committee
Info call Ewan 0401 234 610