Martin Powell-Davies, is a member and supporter of Tamil Solidarity. He is also a teacher and a member of the teachers’ union, the National Union of Teachers (NUT). He is now standing for vice national president for NUT. Tamil Solidarity requests all its supporters who are members of NUT to support Martin’s campaign.
If you are a student or a teacher in any school please contact us or Martin immediately to help his fight for teachers’ rights and to find out how you can help to take the Tamil Solidarity campaign in NUT.
With his help, the following motion has been agreed to go forward to the preliminary agenda of next Easter’s annual conference of the NUT.
Martin has raised the plight of the Tamil-speaking people and campaigned against the war in Sri Lanka at the 2009 NUT national conference. The general secretary and the conference, which represents hundreds of thousands of teachers, gave support.
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The motion agreed to go forward to the preliminary agenda of next Easter’s annual conference of the NUT
Conference condemns the imprisonment by the Sri Lankan Government of up to 300,000 Tamil-speaking people, including over 30,000 children, in detention camps following the brutal war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eeelam (LTTE).
We oppose the appalling conditions in the camps and the lack of adequate food supplies and medical facilities. Conditions will have been made intolerable by the monsoon rains, threatening flooding of the camps and the overflowing of the primitive sewage systems.
We congratulate the many thousands of young people, including school students, who mobilised for huge demonstrations in Britain and elsewhere to oppose the war in Sri Lanka. We wish to make clear to those young people that the suffering of Tamils in Sri Lanka has not been forgotten by the National Union of Teachers.
Conference believes that trade unions have a responsibility to speak out against the inhuman treatment of Tamil-speaking people who are being persecuted on the basis of their language and ethnicity. We support the right of Tamil-speaking people to self-determination, and for young people to be educated in their own language.
We denounce Governments across the world that have chosen to ignore the plight of Tamils in order to pursue their own strategic and economic interests in Sri Lanka. We also condemn the kidnappings, disappearances and extra-judicial murders of trade unionists and journalists who are prepared to speak out against its Government.
We recognise the anger and bitterness that Tamil people will feel at their treatment but believe that the best way to combat such oppression is through a united struggle of all of the peoples of Sri Lanka. We support the struggle for independent trade unions in Sri Lanka, free from intimidation and state interference and for united campaigns to secure democratic rights, improved pay and conditions for all, regardless of ethnic, religious or other differences.
Conference calls on the Sri Lankan Government to:
1) End military operations in Sri Lanka and to withdraw the army from all Tamil areas.
2) Shutdown the militarised detention camps and to provide sufficient food, shelter and health facilities to Tamil people, administered under the control of their own elected and accountable representatives.
3) Ensure freedom of speech and the media, freedom of association and the right to free and fair elections with the right of all to vote without interference,
4) Grant full trade union rights, free from intimidation and state interference.