On Tuesday 14th April, up to 50 people gathered in the heart of Dublin’s city centre in protest against the horrors being visited upon the Tamil population in Sri Lanka at the hands of the murderous Rajapaksa regime. The protest was organised at short notice by the Socialist Party and Socialist Youth in response to the call from socialists and activists worldwide to spread the Stop the Slaughter of Tamils campaign.
The Tamil community in Ireland is small. However the majority of those who attended the protest were from the Sri Lankan Tamil community living in Ireland. They travelled from the length and breadth of the country in order to attend the protest. Protesters came from as far as Derry in the north, Cork in the south and Athlone in the Midlands just to mention a few.
We used the protest as an opportunity to raise awareness about the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka as there is an effective media boycott on reporting on this atrocity in this country. Hundreds of people signed our petition as a result, many stopping to join the protest and some volunteering to assist in the campaign.
Socialist Party representative and candidate for the Euro elections, Joe Higgins, addressed the protest, detailing his abhorrence of the poverty, deprivation and super-exploitation he saw when he visited Tamils working on a tea plantation in northern Sri Lanka a number of years ago. Joe outlined the need for a mass struggle in Sri Lanka for the right for Tamils to determine their own future, and he raised the need for unity of Tamil and Sinhalese workers in fighting the undemocratic and war-mongering capitalist Rajapaksa regime. Joe also condemned the western imperialist powers for aiding and abetting a regime which uses hired thugs to silence dissent.
The protest was a tremendous success. We signed many people up to the Stop the Slaughter of Tamils campaign and are now working together with a view to organising further actions.