Mancs to stand up for Tamil speakers

A HUMAN rights organization is holding a conference in Manchester to discuss how Tamil speaking people are treated in Sri Lanka.

Tamil Solidarity (TS), which was set up to protest about the treatment and slaughter of Tamil speakers in Sri Lanka, is hosting Northern Conference on Saturday 6 February 2010 at Methodist Central Hall, Oldham Street, to raise awareness and consider what Brits can do to help.

Senan, TS’s international coordinator who has also spoke in the European Parliament, will be chairing the event and urging the Sri Lankan Rajapakse government to withdraw troops, eradicate concentration camps, establish democratic rights for all, support independent trade unions and defend the right to self-determination.

He will also be urging other world leaders to stop arming and funding the Sri Lankan government.

Yolanda Foster, an Amnesty International researcher in Sri Lanka, said: “Recent fighting has placed more than a quarter of a million civilians at great risk.

“People displaced by the conflict are experiencing acute shortages of humanitarian aid, especially food, shelter and medical care.”

The Sri Lankan government  is known for abusing the human rights of its citizens. In 2007 Amnesty reported that three Tamil men, Sujith Gunapala, Sasikaran Thevarajah and Satyaphavan Aseervatham, were arrested for no reason and illegally held in incommunicado detention after they returned to Sri Lanka from Thailand.

The Independent has previously reported that Tamil people were tortured by being “suspended upside down by ropes, while being beaten around the testicles and made to inhale noxious fumes”.

It said that others were “held in camps by the Sri Lankan army and have been the victims of repeated male rape and having lighted cigarettes extinguished on their genitalia”.

The conference, which is being supported by Salford Trades Council and Manchester National Union of Journalists, takes place from 12 to 4pm at the hall in Manchester City Centre, M1 1JQ. Visit www.tamilsolidarity.org for more details.

If you want to show your solidarity but can’t make it to the conference you can donate by contacting Senan at 07908 050217 or info@tamilsolidarity.org.

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