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Vigil at Martin Place

May 15, 2009

Vigil
Friday 15 May
Gather at 5.30pm
Martin Place Amphitheatre, Sydney
Union leaders are expected to speak.

Read press release here.

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  1. fastuntoactionaust permalink
    May 15, 2009 6:31 am

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE on 15 May 2009 5:00 AM – http://www.fastuntoaction.com

    Labor Government Plays Double Game with Tamils as Greens Highlight Issues;
    Hunger Striker Enters 13th Day of Protest; Vigil Tonight

    Despite the Foreign Minister Stephen Smith stating in Parliament on Tuesday that the Australian government was concerned of the loss of civilian life in Sri Lanka, it was revealed that the Rudd Labor government opposed a motion moved in the Senate by Greens Senator Bob Brown on the issue the very same day. The motion, which called on the Rudd Government to take decisive action to immediately halt the unnecessary bloodshed of civilians in Sri Lanka was passed the next day with the support of the Liberal Party.

    “Why is the Rudd government saying they want the bloodshed to stop, but refusing to take action to stop it?” asks Jay Nathan, a young Tamil activist.

    In a speech to NSW Parliament on Tuesday 12 May, Greens Parliamentarian Lee Rhiannon said the decision to provide aid to Sri Lanka needs to be assessed “because Sri Lanka’s dependence on foreign aid means it has more money to spend on war”. “Would it have been possible for Sri Lanka to continue the war against the Tamil people if they did not have this level of foreign aid?…We should not draw comfort that because we give millions of dollars to Sri Lanka we are undertaking humanitarian work. In fact, the opposite could be the case,” she said in her speech.

    A young Tamil man will enter the 13th day of his hunger-strike today, urging the Australian government to take action to push the Sri Lankan government into entering an immediate and permanent ceasefire.

    The Australian Tamil community will converge again tonight at 6.30PM at Martin Place to remember the 10,000 Tamil civilian lives lost in the past 100 days due to the Sri Lankan State genocide. Union leaders are expected to address the gathering. The Australian Tamil community will also be calling on the Rudd government to consider its legal and moral obligation to take action to stop the genocide of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka.

    Despite continuing rallies and increasing numbers of their relatives being killed in Northern Sri Lanka, the Foreign Minister has not yet met with any representatives of the Australian Tamil community. Leaders of various Australian Tamil community groups have repeatedly attempted at a formal appointment with Mr Stephen Smith since the Rudd government was elected into power.

    Despite USA, UK, EU and the UN calling on the Sri Lankan government to cease hostilities, the last 48 hours has seen over 1700 Tamil civilians killed due to the Sri Lankan military’s continuous bombing and shelling of hospitals and civilian refugee populations in the no fire zone.

    Media Contacts:
    Dr Sam Pari – 0433 428 967
    Mr Adrian Francis – 0420 522 099

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