On Sunday 30 January about 40 people met in Antwerp to discuss the situation of Tamil people in Sri Lanka and the need to campaign on this issue in Belgium. The meeting was organised by Tamil Solidarity with the help of LSP, the Leftwing Socialist Party. Even when the Tamil community in Belgium is rather small, a number of activists are prepared to make the situation of their people in Sri Lanka known.
The key speaker at the meeting was Senan, the international coordinator of Tamil Solidarity. There was an interesting exchange of ideas between Tamils living in Belgium and Belgian activists wanting to support campaigns and activities. It was in this sense that LSP joined a 25 strong protest on Sri Lanka independence day in front of the European parliament on 3 February (the organisers didn’t get permission to protest on the 4th because of a European summit taking place at that moment). The protesters held banners, black flags and also the English and Tamil TS-posters ‘Shut down the camps’.
We have translated some material of Tamil Solidarity in Dutch and put it on a blog: http://tamilsolidariteit.wordpress.com. We now will help organise protest in front of the Sri Lankan embassy in May and we also will continue discussions and will do our best to make sure that the Tamil protest is getting known in and becoming part of the Belgian workers’ movement.
Pictures : Jente Somers