Her's a link to my speech: http://youtu.be/qx5BrJrdm3c
In the intervening years, the horrific truth of the massacre of tens of thousands of Tamils - and the mass detention of hundreds more - has finally begun to be admitted by the United Nations and others who stood silent when those atrocities were taking place in 2009.
There may well be politicians who will also be speaking on the platform tonight who will promise support to the Tamil community but big business backed parties will never be a reliable support to any oppressed people. These parties are part of the same British establishment who has invited Sri Lanka's despotic president Rajapaksa to the Queen's Jubilee celebrations! (see the Tamil Solidarity site http://www.tamilsolidarity.org/ for more information on the protest against Rajapaksa's visit)
The trade union movement, fighting for the united struggle of working people against poverty and oppression, is a key force that can make sure that the struggle of Tamil speaking peoples receives the support and publicity it deserves. The united May Day demonstrations across Tamil and Sinhala communities in Sri Lanka this year are an important step forward. (see http://www.socialistworld.net/doc/5742)
In particular, the trade union movement should give its backing to the demand for a independent international inquiry into all war crimes allegations, for the withdrawal of the troops from the North and East of Sri Lanka, and for an end to the settlement programme - in reality an occupation programme - in those areas.
NUT members need to make sure that the issue of Tamil Solidarity is taken up within the Union as widely as possible, building on the example of Bury NUT who recently invited a speaker from the campaign to speak at their general meeting.
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