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The Tamil Struggle - Lucie Brown at ECF Europe 2018

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(c) Lucie Brown, http://www.tamilsolidarity.org/

The Tamil Struggle: my experience in Sri Lanka in 2013 and Tamil solidarity today, including how you can help.

Presented at ECF Europe 2018. Join the Campaigning Forum and find out more about its upcoming events here: http://fairsay.com/events

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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The Tamil Struggle - Lucie Brown at ECF Europe 2018

  1. 1. The Tamil Struggle; my experience in Sri Lanka in 2013 and Tamil solidarity today Lucie Brown
  2. 2. What drew me to the struggle? • Parallels with Palestinian solidarity • British involvement = sense of responsibility • Curiosity for the trade union movement approach
  3. 3. Why did I go? • Useful experience as an activist ‘on the ground’ in Palestine • Looking for a thesis idea for my Masters and was open to moving to Sri Lanka • Guilt at having visited the south as a tourist
  4. 4. What happened?
  5. 5. I found myself working within an underground network of Catholic Priests
  6. 6. I was invited to multiple secret meetings with widows of LTTE commanders
  7. 7. I learnt about land occupation and government lies relating to a displaced population
  8. 8. I discovered that the Sinhalese majority in the south didn’t know what was happening
  9. 9. And when I came home? • I spoke at a few local events, I shared stories and content with solidarity organisations • I (sort of) maintained my blog • I didn’t do enough to honour the risks taken by the Tamils I met
  10. 10. What is the situation in 2018? • Military land occupation continues • Confirmation that the commanders who surrendered were executed (and media didn’t report) • Ongoing rigging of elections and eroding of civil rights • Military aggression • All the while, big push for tourism in the south • Not the support we see for Palestine, Burma, Tibet and other occupied / oppressed people
  11. 11. What can we do? Campaign for: • An independent war crimes investigation • Withdrawal of troops and closure of detention camps • Stop our governments arming the Sri Lankan regime • Defend the right to self-determination for all
  12. 12. Easy ways to help? LEARN: Human Rights Watch report ‘Why Can’t We Go Home?’ Channel 4 ‘No Fire Zone’ SUPPORT: http://www.tamilsolidarity.org and their platform of demands rooted in democratic rights for all and the trade union movement ACT: Don’t go on holiday to Sri Lanka. If you do, then boycott the nationally owned airlines and hotels and talk to people about what is happening. Be sure to visit the north and east Tamil areas.

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