Building Tamil Solidarity with youth and the trade unions

Tamil Solidarity hosted its annual general meeting (AGM) on 11 January. The meeting was
well attended, despite a few apologies, mainly due to the meeting clashing with arrangements
for Tamil harvest festival.

The meeting was started by Lawanya – a Socialist Party member and Tamil Solidarity rep on
the National Shop Stewards Network steering committee. Union representatives included
Socialist Party member April Asheley from public sector union Unison, there in a personal

It is evident that young people have begun playing leading roles in the campaign, with new
would-be members showing great interest in the campaign. A political discussion followed –
led by Senan, another Socialist Party member.

Tamil Solidarity was not surprised by the appointment of Gotabaya Rajapaksa – head of the
ministry of defence during the 2009 bloody genocide against Tamils – as president of Sri
Lanka in March 2019. Tamil Solidarity, the Socialist Party and other diaspora members
protested against the racist meeting hosted by Rajapaksa’s army generals in the UK.
The political discussion also focused on India. The new citizenship law singles out Muslims
from certain countries as not eligible for citizenship. Tamil Solidarity will protest with others
in London on 25 January.

The meeting concluded by agreeing that this year the emphasis is to work with trade union
affiliates and put forward motions at trade union conferences, develop the youth arm of Tamil
Solidarity and the Refugee Rights campaign and finally invest in our own media.