Release of all political prisoners in Lanka
- Paul Murphy Socialist Party MEP condemns the arrest of Tamil students
Paul Murphy MEP expressed his solidarity with the protesters worldwide against the arrest of Tamil students in Sri Lanka. In a statement he demanded that the students should be released immediately. He further gave his full support to the ‘Release All Political Prisoners in Lanka Campaign’ and demanded that the Sri Lankan regime should stop its attack on democratic rights. Paul is the most outspoken Member of the European Parliament against the human rights violations taking place in Sri Lanka. Paul said: “I express my solidarity with the protests taking place against the arrest of Tamil students in Jaffna. I demand that the Sri Lankan government release all those arrested immediately. The arrest of these students under the Prevention of Terrorism Act just for participating in a peaceful protest shows the extent of how much the democratic rights are under attack in Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan government must end this immediately and release all political prisoners. This repression also further exposes the false claim of the government that it is improving the conditions for the Tamil speaking people in Sri Lanka. Students should be released without delay.”
- Steve Hedley, assistant general secretary of the RMT transport union, adds his voice
Trade unionists everywhere need to oppose the brutal oppression of the Tamil people. The latest government attack on students is a continuation of the Sri Lankan government’s policy of terrorising the Tamil-speaking people and denying them their rights. Trade unions need to actively support the Tamil rights and oppose Sri Lankan state terrorism.
- Martin Powell-Davies, member of the national executive of the National Union of Teachers, supports new campaign
Martin has been a long-time supporter of Tamil Solidarity and the fight for the rights of the Tamil-speaking people. He addressed crowds of students in Parliament Square in 2009 when the square was under occupation by anti-war protesters.
When Martin spoke at the Mullivaikal massacre commemoration in Trafalgar Square, London last May he pointed out the important role that trade unions can play in informing people of the situation in Sri Lanka, and building support for the struggle of Tamil people. Unlike the politicians under the influence of big business interests, trade unionists are the real allies of the Tamils because their interests are those of other working class people in Britain and internationally. Martin got the biggest cheer of the day when he called for a citizen’s arrest to be made on Rajapaksa if he attends the jubilee