29 May, 2023


Solidarity Day To Foster Closer Ties Between The Tamil Community And UK Unions

British Tamils Forum (BTF) and Tamil Solidarity (TSol) are jointly organising a solidarity day, to be held on Saturday 8 June 2013, from 4pm, at SOAS, London. The event is aimed at fostering closer ties between the Tamil Community and unions in the UK.

“The British Tamil Community is a vibrant, hard-working and politically active community group. It is estimated that over 300,000 Tamils live in the UK, most of them residing in London. With a large proportion of these Tamils working in the public and service sectors, there is tremendous potential for unions to engage with this community.” says the BTF.

BTF says;”Many British Tamils, with their roots in the traditional Tamil homelands – Tamil Eelam – in the North and East of the island of Sri Lanka, arrived in the UK to escape the decades-long persecution they faced there. British Tamils continue to maintain a strong interest in current events in Sri Lanka, where their relatives are still treated as second class citizens and denied their fundamental rights.

“Tamils have faced employment discrimination, harassment, individual violence and state-sponsored pogroms since the independence of Sri Lanka – and they have long maintained that the oppression they face constitutes genocide. However, their claims were largely ignored by the international community until the persecution reached its bloody climax in 2009, when over 100,000 Tamils were killed by Sri Lankan security forces, and countless more uprooted and injured. Even since 2009, the Tamils continue to face oppression in many forms – including government seizures of Tamil-owned land; sexual and physical violence by military personnel; overwhelming militarisation of Tamil homelands; farmers losing their land to Sinhalese colonisers; and further political disenfranchisement.

“Although the international community has become more vocally critical of the Sri Lankan state since the events of 2009, it has failed to carry through with any actions that meaningfully help the Tamil people. Moreover, it has even taken steps that increase the power and legitimacy of the Sri Lankan state: a highly topical case in point is the Commonwealth’s decision to hold its next Heads of Government Meeting in Sri Lanka in November 2013 – despite condemnation from several international human rights groups. British Tamils were further saddened to hear that the UK government plans to participate in this summit.

British Tamils, who play a significant role in the cultural and economic life of this country, hope to take their story and struggle to every corner of British society. British unions, which represent a large part of this society, have a long and honourable history of expressing solidarity with oppressed people around the world. This Solidarity Day provides an opportunity for British workers to stand shoulder to shoulder with their oppressed Tamil brethren – and in particular register their opposition to Sri Lanka hosting the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in November 2013.

“The primary objectives of this solidarity day are as follows:

·       Exchange political initiatives between the Tamil Community and the unions

·       Oppose CHOGM 2013 in Sri Lanka

·       Stand against impunity and call for an International Independent Investigation into the Genocide against Tamils in Sri Lanka

·       Call for press freedom and freedom of speech in Sri Lanka

·       Establish solidarity with unions in support of the Tamils’ right to self-determination in Sri Lanka

We call on all Tamils in the UK to join us and support this networking event for establishing closer relationships with union members and solidarity organisations.”

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Latest comments

  • 0

    Be careful my dear British nationals. These crafty Tamils with separatist minds will ask for a separate Tamil Ealam in a province in UK.

    • 0

      Sunil Dahanayake

      “These crafty Tamils with separatist minds will ask for a separate Tamil Ealam in a province in UK.”

      Don’t you think it is a good idea so that we will have less people to deal with.

      I mean we will have less Kallathonies in this island hence kicking the rest out of my ancestral island can be achieved in no time.

  • 0

    Great. We are all for an Eelam state in the UK.

    • 0

      The others are in Canadian Eelam (and believe it or not, they have more political clout than the indigent who live in reservations or Bantustans to use a more familiar term). The reason why they could come to these countries and obtain well paid jobs initially was because they had enjoyed the benefits of a FREE education in Sri Lanka, paid for by the poor rural peasants, while claiming discrimination even in the 70s on arrival on foreign soil. They could not, however, explain away why the Sinhala and the Muslims too were leaving, and yet the uninquisitive, believed them. The later migrants were not so fortunate as the terrorist run administration had destroyed the educational facilities and there were few teachers who were willing to remain under the LTTE.

    • 0

      Imaginative name!

  • 0

    “Solidarity Day To Foster Closer Ties Between The Tamil Community And UK Unions”

    Translation –

    “Day To Try And Get The Trade Unions To Support The Call For Tamil Eelam”

    Meaning –

    The unions know nothing about Sri Lanka but their officials are, like most people, against genocide, torture etc. If we can convince them that we are victims and have a lot in common with them, we can get their support, which will be very useful to our cause.

  • 0

    And…………. they want devolution in Sri Lanka as well.

    Harper and Baird of Canada boycotting the Com Con to devote time to learn Tamil to overcome the threat.

  • 0

    Closer ties between the UK trades unions and the British Tamils Forum, we are told. There’s more to this than meets the eye. In fact, it seems to show a desperation and state of confusion in the BTF. When the BTF held their day of commemoration in London last month they failed for the first time since 2009 to receive messages of support from any of the leaders of the four main political parties in the UK (I’m including UKIP as the 4th party here). The nearest they got to that was a few words from Simon Hughes, deputy leader of the LibDems, and a message from the mayor of London, Boris Johnson, thanking Tamils for their contribution to London’s culture and economy.

    Growing suspicion in the UK towards the BTF is hardly surprising. The BTF’s failure to expel terrorist supporters from its ranks or to ban the Tamil Tiger flag from its marches and meetings has led to serious disruptions with both the Conservative and Labour parties. This is exemplified by Tamil separatists being the only organisation to disrupt the UK queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations last year and the recent re-affirmation by the UK prime minister to attend the Commonwealth conference in Colombo later this year.

    These days the British trade unions have half the membership that they had 30 years and they are a declining force with what energy they have going on campaigns against austerity and unemployment in the UK. By attempting to turn towards the UK trades unions the BTF is not exactly trying to join a sinking ship, but its certainly trying to board one that is leaking badly near the water line.

    So they won’t make much headway with the unions in the UK, especially as there’s now much wider alertness in the UK about the ideology and methods of terrorism since the recent murder of a British soldier in London. Fortunately, the younger generation of British Tamils show little interest in this nonsense from some of the older generation.

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