Tamil Solidarity participated in the protest in London against the new Sri Lankan president Maithripala Sirisena’s visit to UK.
Reported by JANAHAN SIVANATHAN
The Sri Lankan Government have denied the rights of the Tamil-speaking minorities, including the right to speak and protest and for decades a struggle has been taking place against this. The media is under the control of the Government and is being used as a tool to spread propaganda and to divide the community to keep the Government in power. Heavy military control, disappearances and arrests still continue and no evidence is available of the people detained without charge. Even under these life threatening conditions, the people are still raising their voice against state oppression and fighting for their rights. Many of them are then either arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act or “disappear”.
The Diaspora Tamil community have relatively easier conditions in which to express their voice through protests. Taking part in a protest or demonstration is not a passing act but a way the masses are able to speak out when the Government fails to represent them. Tamil Solidarity condemns Sumanthiran for saying that the Tamil Diaspora shouldn’t protest against Maithripala Srisena coming to UK.
If you and I have committed a crime we are immediately arrested and punished but we see again and again UK Government welcoming war mongers and accused war-criminals. Not only are the welcomed with open arms but they are treated with luxury that majority can only dream of. The protests were against not only Maithripala but also against the UK government for welcoming him. This is another harsh reminder that the Governments are not representing the people. By welcoming someone that helped the massacre to take place in 2009, the UK government is losing the support of the Tamil Community.
TNA Sambanthan declared that he was neither happy nor sad about UN report delayed by six months and Sumanthiran’s comments on the protest were disgraceful. Stating that we should give time to the Sri Lankan government is an insult to the victims that are waiting for some kind of relief to the pain and suffering they are going through. A parliamentarian should represent the people that elected them, by putting forward their demands and rights on their behalf. The TNA Leadership actions are proving that they do not represent the Tamil People in Sri Lanka.
Taking part in protest is vital to putting pressure on both the UK government and the Sri Lankan government. The protest will continue to take place until the justice is given and rights are won.