Tamil Solidarity plans for 2014
Report of the Annual General Meeting
On Saturday 14 December 2013 Tamil Solidarity held a very successful annual general meeting in London.
With a review of 2013, youth and finance reports, the election of a new National Coordinating Committee, as well as a discussion on our plans for 2014, it was an excellent way to round off a very important year for the campaign.
The success of the Solidarity Day in June – bringing together trade unionists with the Tamil community, and with other community-based campaigns – as well as the huge amount of work done in the run-up to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in November were the key focus points of an extremely busy year.
To build on that work in 2014 we have identified a number of key campaign priorities:
• Trade unions: To strengthen our links with the unions and the further development of the ‘join a union’ initiative, both to spread awareness in the trade union movement, and to encourage workers from the Tamil community to get involved in campaigns in defence of jobs and wages, and in opposition to government and council cut-backs. A centrepiece of this will be the Solidarity Day 2014.
• Student rights campaign: In solidarity with an ongoing student movement in Tamil Nadu, India, and Jaffna, Sri Lanka, both of which have faced harsh repression by state forces. Part of that will involve linking the issues to campaigns in Britain against cut-backs in education, and rising student debt.
• Financial appeal: It is incredible to think that all the pioneering work of Tamil Solidarity has been done by a team of determined volunteers, fitting campaign organisation and activity around busy work and study commitments. But we now need to take the work forward to a whole new level, with the aim of taking on at least one full-time worker and developing our organisation facilities. With that in mind, we have launched an appeal for regular standing order donations from our members and supporters, as well as from our affiliates.
Of course, alongside these campaign priorities we will continue to take up issues as they arise in Sri Lanka: after all, there is no sign of any let up in the oppression of the Tamils or in the regime’s attacks on public services and living standards, and on democratic rights, backed up by repression and media censorship.
We are confident that, with your support, we can continue to take the campaign forward: to raise awareness of the injustice and oppression of the Tamils and to take up the rights of workers and all oppressed people in Sri Lanka.
We would also like to thank everyone and anyone who has helped and supported Tamil Solidarity in any way this year. If you have organised an event, come to a meeting, given out a leaflet, held a placard, made a phone call on our behalf or donated to our campaign, you have made a valuable contribution to this important work.
So, thank you for all your support in 2013 and we look forward to continuing to work together in 2014.
Manny Thain and Keerthikan Thennavan, Tamil Solidarity joint national secretaries, on behalf of the National Coordinating Committee.