Australian Tamils protest against Sri Lanka government

27 Apr

I was on a bus yesterday when I saw a procession in Sydney’s George Street. My estimate is that at least five hundred people are in this protest against the Sri Lanka government for its military campaign which has seen at least 6,500 Tamil civilians killed and 20,000 injured according to the UN.

Human Rights Watch has noted that the Sri Lanka government and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are obliged to protect civilians in the Vanni region in northeastern Sri Lanka where the fighting took place. The human rights organisation also noted:

… The LTTE has violated the laws of war by using civilians as “human shields,” by preventing civilians from fleeing the combat zone, and by deliberately deploying their forces close to densely populated civilian areas. The Sri Lankan armed forces have indiscriminately shelled densely populated areas, including hospitals, in violation of the laws of war…

An Australian Tamil student group has issued a crisis statement early March, urging the Australian government to intervene and call for an immediate ceasefire between the Sri Lankan authorities and the LTTE. To date, the signatories include prominent human rights Queens Counsel, Mr. Julian Burnside; Greens NSW MP, Lee Rhiannon; and independent journalist, Antony Loewenstein amongst others. You can still add your name to the list by e-mailing fastuntoaction@hotmail.com in the following format:

[title] [first name] [second name] [professional or student status] [academic or professional background] [state].

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