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Melbourne Tamils march against Sri Lanka’s concentration camps

July 5, 2009

MEDIA RELEASE –  Tamils peaceful march against Sri Lanka’s concentration camps


Thousands of Australian Tamils will rally at Federation Square (Melbourne) on 5th July 2009, from 1.30pm in another plea to the Australian Government to help Tamil refugees being held in government controlled concentration camps.


The recent end to the violent conflict in Sri Lanka has left over 300,000 Tamil refugees displaced. Forcibly detained in government camps, refugees are facing shortages in food, water and medical supplies and poor sanitation. Disturbing reports of disappearances, torture and other human rights abuses committed by Sri Lankan forces, continuous to emerge from within the camps.


“Many people are in the camps not because they have no other place to go,” said Brian Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “They are in the camps because the government does not allow them to leave.”


After speaking to few of his relatives in the camp, Haran Thanabalasingam, 30 said.“Few of my relatives were killed during the war and all my relatives that I spoke to in the concentration camp fear of their safety and they are facing great danger”.


Students and young professionals are leading the Melbourne rally to voice their concern for the people being held within the government camps.


“The conditions faced by detained refugees are reminiscent of Nazi-style concentration camps during the Holocaust” says Nisha Navaratnam, 20, an organiser of the Melbourne rally.


“We call on Kevin Rudd to join us in pressuring the Sri Lankan government to release Tamil refugees immediately, so that they may return home and start rebuilding their lives.”

Federation Square peaceful march will start at 1.30pm.


Media contacts:

George Barani – 0450 477 455

Haran Thanabalasingam – 0402 078 430

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