Hundreds of Tamil youth attended a protest on Sri Lanka’s Independence Day outside the Sri Lankan High commission, London. It was a lively, energetic and inspiring protest of young people chanting and making the point that Sri Lankan Independence Day does not represent the Independence of ordinary Tamil-speaking people.
The protesters chanted slogans demanding information on the disappeared, an end to the land grab and the right to self-determination of the Tamil people.
The peaceful protesters were mocked, laughed at and photographed by Sri Lankan authorities who came out of the High Commission. One military officer wearing the much hated military uniform ran a finger across his neck as to gesture that he would slit our neck. This outrageous action was photographed and filmed by the protesters and is widely being shared on Social Media.
It is important to say that the High Commission personnel came out and acted like this because they could not ignore the protests. What brought Brigadier Priyankara Fernando out was his need to try to intimidate this new generation of fighters for justice. Through the brave young people in Tamil Solidarity the idea of continuing the struggle after the 2009 genocidal slaughter has been nurtured and it has given confidence to others.
Tamil Solidarity has written an official complaint to the High Commission and submitted evidence. We demand that this officer is removed from his position. His attitude echoes those of the Sri Lankan government who continue to oppress the Tamil people.
Tamil Solidarity played a key role in organising this protest and appealed for other organisations to take part as well. The 70th year of so-called independence has not brought independence from suffering for ordinary people in Sri Lanka. The protest yesterday was one of anger and determination – against the oppression, to fight for justice and the rights of the Tamil-speaking people.
Please sign the petition here to make a complaint –
Dismiss Brigadier Priyankara Fernando, Sri Lankan Army officer for making death threats at peaceful protesters on the 4th February 2018 outside Sri Lankan High Commission.Read the petition