Press release for immediate use
Joe Higgins MEP condemns Sri Lankan government brutality at the European Parliament.
view the video at Tamilsolidarity website
Joe Higgins, Socialist Party member and Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for Dublin, Ireland voted yes on the joint motion for a resolution (JMR) on Sri Lanka on 22 October 2009 at the European parliament. This JMR criticised the Sri Lankan government’s treatment of Tamil-speaking people.
While attacking the chauvinist Sri Lankan government, Joe also voiced his reservations about paragraph 4 which: “Calls on all Tamil leaders to commit to a political settlement and to renounce terrorism and violence once and for all”. He pointed out that the blame lies with the horrific Rajapakse regime which he described as a “dictatorship with a very thin democratic veneer”.
Joe said that the “main terrorism factor came from the Rajapakse government against people” and added that “the Tamil-speaking people have the right to defend themselves against military aggression”. He added “the best way to defend the rights of the Tamil people is through a united struggle of Tamil-speaking people and Sinhala working class and poor”.
He also expressed solidarity with the United Socialist Party (USP) in Sri Lanka which has been fighting for the rights of the Tamil-speaking masses, including their right to self determination for a long time. The USP helped to set up the Civil Monitoring Commission and other campaigns against killings and kidnappings and has always vociferously opposed the brutal war. Its members, including the secretary Siritunga Jayasuria, have received numerous death threats and have been forced to work underground.
Joe Higgins MEP, and as a councillor and as an MP (TD) previously, has consistently defended the rights of the Tamil-speaking masses in Sri Lanka. He helped to organise protests around the world and participated in them in Ireland. He is the only high profile politician in Europe campaigning for the rights of the oppressed people in Sri Lanka. He is also an honorary president of Tamil Solidarity: for the rights of all workers and oppressed people in Sri Lanka.