No to deportation of Tamils to Sri Lanka

Protest at the Home Office on 26/10/2011

Location: 2 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DF

Time: 4pm – 6pm

On Wednesday 28 September the UK Border Agency (UKBA) forcefully deported over 50 Tamil-speaking people who were held in detention centres to Sri Lanka. The UKBA has made its decision even after warnings from several organisations that these people would face the risk of being tortured and mistreated should they be returned. Tamil Solidarity calls the UKBA to immediately stop deporting Tamils to Sri Lanka.

While the Sri Lanka government is doing its best to paint a beautiful portrait of Sri Lanka, more and more evidence shows that the situation is getting worst. There are more disappearances, more unexplained deaths and suicides and innocent civilians are being wrongly arrested and killed.

The recent UN advisory panel report detailed ‘credible allegations of war crimes’. It is now widely accepted that the Sri Lankan government committed mass murder and that gross human rights violations took place during the war.

  • Over 40,000 people were massacred in the final phase of the war alone.
  • Up to 150,000 are still unaccounted for.
  • Over 20,000 young people are still held in horrific prison camps.

The only measure that is being taken by UKBA to ensure the safety of these people is to give them a telephone number and address of British high Commission in Colombo! But we should not expect anything else from the Tories. Top Tories such as Home Secretary Teresa May are calling for the end of the Human Rights Act.

Liam Fox,disgraced and recentle resigned secretary of state for defence, visited Sri Lanka this year. His trip included meetings with president Mahinda Rajapaksa, and other top-level representatives of the regime at the centre of war crime allegations following the end in 2009 of the 30-year conflict against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

Channel 4’s recent documentary, Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields, and April’s report by a United Nations advisory panel both detailed shocking and brutal evidence of summary executions, rape and torture, alongside the bombardment of civilian field hospitals, refugee camps and food lines.

Liam Fox even held a private meeting with Rajapaksa as recently as December 2010 in London– at the same time as calls for a war crimes inquiry were increasing. Nicknamed the ‘flying Fox’ for his many trips abroad (150,000 air miles in the first 14 months in the coalition government), of course his recent visit was paid for by British taxpayers.

This is at a time when he was backing the government’s massive spending cuts on public services, pensions, pay and conditions. It should also be remembered that he voted to increase tuition fees to £9,000.

Join the protest at the Home Office against any deportations to Sri Lanka.

Tamil Solidarity, an international campaign, was set up in 2009 during the last months of the Sri Lankan government’s brutal war. We stand with all those whose rights and lives are being attacked.

Build solidarity

Britain’s Con-Dem government is targeting public sector pensions. But so is the Sri Lankan government attacking pensions. It is helping Chinese and Indian big businesses to set up Free Trade Zones (FTZs), areas of concentrated exploitation. In the name of so-called ‘rehabilitation’ they aim to provide the people in the detention camps and prisons as a cheap workforce.

This year an FTZ worker was shot dead by the regime’s security forces while he was protesting for decent pay, working conditions and pension rights.

We particularly appeal to trade union activists fighting for pensions here to lend their support to those fighting back in Sri Lanka.

Tamil Solidarity is campaigning to defend the rights of all workers. This includes defending hard-won trade union rights as well as helping to build new trade unions in areas decimated by the war and its aftermath.

Our record

Tamil Solidarity also campaigns against the Sri Lankan government’s war crimes and its attack on all democratic rights. We recently organised a successful hearing at the European Parliament where a resolution was passed agreeing plans for a fact-finding delegation to be sent to Sri Lanka. See for video and reports.

Your role!

In order to continue all this important work the Tamil Solidarity needs all the support it can get from the trade union movement and activists in Britain. We appeal to all trade unionists to:

  • Sign up individually to the Tamil Solidarity campaign
  • Raise a motion in your branch urging support for the Tamil Solidarity campaign
  • Take the motion to your union nationally
  • Fill in a standing order form and donate money towards this important work
  • Spread the support