- For safe and legal passage for refugees
- Fight for jobs, homes and services for all
Sathya Rajan, Refugee Rights Campaign and Tamil Solidarity
I, being a refugee from Sri Lanka, a victim of civil war, find it disheartening when I read the news about 90 migrants thought dead after a boat capsized off the coast of Libya.
It has become regular and common news in the areas of the Mediterranean. When dozens or sometimes hundreds of lives drown on the EU’s doorstep, while the Nato countries are just having a watch.
This is the period of greatest refugee crisis since World War Two. People leave their country of origin because of war, persecution or natural calamities. They leave only to save their lives.
However, these people are treated as criminals and denied basic rights. The governments of the big capitalist countries which have pledged to take in refugees are failing.
These countries are among the world’s most powerful and rank at the top of the list for military spending. But they do not let the migrants in or help in resettling them. Rather their governments start building fences, apply cuts to rescue services, and tighten their border security to control the influx of migrants.
The super-rich in these countries get even richer while all the rest suffer, migrants or not.
I relate with the hopes and aspirations of the young men and women in that boat. Like everyone, they would have had goals and love for their life and family. Nobody wants that to be ended so soon.
I imagine what they would have thought as they were drowning. They might have lived a little longer if only they didn’t make this voyage; some would have thought of their family and their lost life in the homeland.
The memories would have been a slideshow in their minds. And what about the children who couldn’t even understand the happenings and the reason for their voyage?
Right-wing governments which share responsibility for the conflicts causing the refugee crisis are refusing any further funding for rescue boats. It is their action – and inaction – that is ending these people’s lives. Well done them!
I worry about what the end of this will be. We need an end to capitalist military intervention, making conflicts worse in the name of power and profit. We need safe and legal passage for refugees.
The Refugee Rights Campaign also demands the right to work, closure of the detention centres, a £10-an-hour minimum wage without exemptions, and jobs, homes and services for all.