Sri Lanka: Nightmare for Tamils

International protest grows

Tamils flee warzone

The ghastly slaughter of Tamils in Sri Lanka continues daily and an official ‘end’ to the war will not mean an end to this nightmare. Last Sunday’s Observer (British Sunday paper) report by Annie Kelly confirms the worst fears of Tamils everywhere and of all who have been campaigning for an end to the bloodletting.

Thousands of civilians have been killed in the fighting of the past few weeks, 200,000 have been ‘internally displaced’, 60,000 forced into government-run Nazi-style concentration camps. Those Tamil people who manage to remain in or near their homes will be plagued by murderous paramilitary groups competing with each other to terrorise them.

Quote From ‘Observer’ newspaper, 5 April 2009

Charu Hogg, associate director at the international think-tank Chatham House, believes that the destruction of the Tigers as a fighting force will only mark the beginning of a new and ugly phase of civil repression. "The end of the territorial fight will undoubtedly lead to a more authoritarian regime. The fighting forces might be wiped out, but the end of the battle will not mean the end of the [Tigers] or their striking potential," said Hogg.

"There will be severe human rights repercussions for any civilians suspected of being affiliated to or sympathetic to the [Tigers]. Disappearances have been an ugly side of this conflict and are likely to continue as a counter-insurgency tactic used by the government and the pro-government armed groups."

The scale of disappearances, already the second highest in the world, is unlikely to diminish. The white van gangsters, who drag people from their homes and kill them, operate unmolested by the official forces of the state. The Rajapakse government dismisses every allegation of its own dictatorial and blood-thirsty behaviour as propaganda from the ‘Tamil Tiger’ forces they are aiming to defeat. There is a mounting number of human rights and refugee bodies, journalists and commentators who have struggled against the odds to establish the truth and break the silence undercover of which this genocide has continued.

The United Socialist Party (affiliated, like the Socialist Party in England and Wales, to the Committee for a Workers’ International) continues to campaign for the rights of Tamil and working people, for a united struggle of Tamil and Sinhala workers to end war, mass poverty and dictatorship. It fights for a socialist alternative to capitalism and imperialism. Campaigning in provincial elections to take place on 25 April, USP activists have been told by Sinhala chauvinists that their party secretary, Siritunga Jayasuriya, should be hanged for the statements he has made criticising the Rajapakse government, including on a recent visit to India.

Wednesday 8 April was designated as a day of international protest against the Rajapakse government, but in particular, against the role of the Indian government of Sonja Ghandi in sustaining that government and its war against the Tamil people of Sri Lanka.

See for reports of those protests as they come in, plus a statement by Arundhati Roy and the Observer article.

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April 2009