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DSP reiterates support for the right of self-determination for the Tamil people

June 18, 2009


International Journal of Socialist Renewal – DSP reiterates support for the right of self-determination for the Tamil people

June 12, 2009 — The Democratic Socialist Perspective (DSP) — a Marxist organisation affiliated to the Socialist Alliance of Australia — supports the right of Tamils to self-determination. We have campaigned in solidarity with the Tamil people for several decades. For example, at the time of the 1983 massacre the DSP worked with the Tamil community in Australia to organise protests. This year too, the DSP, Socialist Alliance and Resistance worked closely with Tamil communities, including helping organise rallies, to highlight the calls for a ceasefire and for self-determination.

We support the right of Tamils to form a separate state or pursue other solutions, as they so choose, that guarantee complete and genuine equality. The Tamil people must freely decide which path to follow.
We condemn the racist and repressive policies of successive Sri Lankan governments as the main source of ethnic conflict. State terrorism is the main source of violence in Sri Lanka. We support the Tamils’ right to take up arms in self-defence. However, the over-reliance by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on a militaristic strategy, which has included violence and repression against non-Tamil civilians and other Tamil groups, has alienated potential allies among Sinhalese workers and peasants, and among the Muslim population. It has also contributed to the international isolation of the LTTE and the Tamil struggle.

Following the LTTE’s military defeat, an interesting discussion around tactics and strategy is opening up, which includes looking at successful national liberation struggles that have used a range of non-military tactics to build broad alliances against national oppression.

The ongoing solidarity campaign with the Tamil people is now focusing on immediate demands, such as freeing the displaced people from imprisonment in the government-camps. They must be allowed to leave the camps if they wish and return to their homes. Access to adequate food, medical care and housing must be guaranteed.

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