Tamil people’s struggle for freedon and justice – beyond our borders
The United Socialist Party (USP) helped to organise a very successful meeting on October 20, 2010. The theme of the meeting was, ‘Tamil people’s struggle for freedom and justice – beyond our borders’. The meeting was a historic event. T.U. Senan, International Coordinator of the Tamil Solidarity campaign, was present at the meeting as the key speaker.
This was the first meeting of its kind since the so-called end of the 30-year long civil war. The meeting openly addressed a number of issues and problems facing the Tamil-speaking minorities in Sri Lanka.
Siritunga Jayasuriya, general secretary of the United Socialist Party, introduced the meeting by outlining its purpose. “So far there is no real discussion taking place in the Tamil-speaking community in the south regarding the brutal war and the way forward for minorities. We intend to use the opportunity of Senan’s presence in Colombo to kick-start this discussion” he explained.
In his lecture, Senan emphasized the need for a united struggle in order to safeguard the rights of the minorities and to defend democratic rights of all. “If the claims of the war, as posed by the current president, were ‘there are no minorities in this country’ then the war is not over.
“Furthermore it has been a major defeat for the government – the president’s statement has meaning in the sense that the minorities are completely silenced”.
Senan also emphasized that, “there is no hope in expecting western governments to act on behalf of the oppressed masses in Sri Lanka as they are too busy attacking the workers in their respective countries who now face a severe crisis amidst the acute global economic crisis”.
Further, he explained the hypocrisy of the Indian policy towards Sri Lanka. “The Indian government and the Tamil Nadu government also have blood on their hands, as much as that of Rajapakse’s regime” said Senan.
He outlined the lack of a political alternative in Sri Lanka – how in a way a political vacuum exists. While exposing the inadequate role of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the hypocrisy of the Janathā Vimukthi Peramuṇa (JVP), Senan welcomed the fact that former MP Mano Ganeshan and the USP call for a uniting of all progressive forces.
Mano Ganeshan, well-known columnist Kumar David, human rights lawyers, Siritunga Jayasuriya and many others contributed to the discussion.
Kumar David stated that we have to work with the TNA in order to put forward a demand that the people should be involved in the development process. Mano Ganeshan proposed that a union of progressive forces be built in order to defeat the current government in the forthcoming northern provincial election. This was welcomed by all.
The meeting then briefly discussed the difficulties of creating a meaningful opposition in the context of a dictatorial state enforcing a military regime.
The meeting concluded with the agreement of working towards the historic task of creating a union of progressive forces to initiate a meaningful fight back.