Indonesia: Tamil-speaking refugees on boat in desperate situation

Bombard embassies with protests!

The Committee for a Workers’ International views with great alarm the developments of the last few days in relation to the Tamil-speaking refugees fighting for their rights while virtually imprisoned on their boat in the Indonesian port of Merak. The Tamil Solidarity Campaign, supported by the CWI, is doing all in its power to publicise their plight, while governments in Australia, Britain, Indonesia and Sri Lanka try to argue that there is no problem for these men women and children if they return to Sri Lanka. We know to the contrary. A statement by a British government minister (Des Brown) pretends that everything is OK now in the North of Sri Lanka. The Australian government says much the same and has handed over more than a billion dollars to the Sinhala chauvinist Rajapkse dictatorship. The Indonesian government has deployed the navy once again to prevent any more visits to the refugees’ boat or negotiations through international bodies like United Nations Human Rights’ Commission. See appeals directly from the boat and from Tamil Solidarity on the TS web-site.

We call on all those angered by this callous treatment of fewer than 300 trapped refugees to send protests to the four embassies concerned – Indonesia, Britain, Australia and, of course, Sri Lanka. You can find their e-mails, addresses, and phone numbers on the internet. Someone carrying a letter to them would be most effective. If you have little time to spare, at least copy the appeals into a letter and ask the authorities if they are aware of this scandalous situation.

Please send copies of protests and any brief report of responses and actions to Tamil Solidarity via their web-site and it will be communicated to the organisers of the protests – on the boat and in Indonesia itself.

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November 2009