For press release click here.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE on 30 July 2009 9.00 AM – http://www.blackjuly.info http://www.australiansfortamiljustice.com
Women for Justice launched in Sydney
A social justice group, Women for Justice will be launched tonight at a dinner titled ‘Ahimsai’ at Balmain to raise awareness about the atrocities faced by Tamil women at the hands of the Sri Lankan state at present and over the past 60 years.
The group formed by concerned Australian women aims to advocate for the rights and dignity of Tamil women in the war-torn North-Eastern provinces of the island of Sri Lanka who have been traumatised by sexual abuse, torture, forced prostitution and discrimination at the hands of the Sri Lankan government.
The event will feature speeches by guest speaker Ms Bartolomei of the Australian National Committee on Refugee Women (ANCORW) and testimonies from women who have been affected by the war and experienced abuse at the hands of the Sri Lankan government.
Prostitution rings are now rife in Sri Lanka within the military run internment camps with many of the Tamil women forced into them by military personnel [The Australia, 02/07/09]. Rape and other forms of psychological and mental abuse against women, amongst whom many have lost their children and loved ones, are also prevalent within the these camps where Tamils are being forcibly detained indefinitely [Channel 4, 05/05/09].
Ms Bartolomei, a women’s rights activist, has expressed her concern for refugee women who are being subjected to violence and abuse. “Rape and sexual violence in armed conflict continues in epidemic proportions the world over. Refugee and IDP camps should be safe places but all too often they are not,” said Ms. Bartolemei. “It is essential that we prioritise the protection of women and girls from rape in camps in the same way we do the urgent need for better health care, sanitation, food and water,” she added.
“The word Ahimsai means non-violence in Tamil,” said Lavinya Theva, a member of the group. “The event is aimed at creating awareness amongst the wider community concerning the violent acts of rape, torture and murder endured by Tamil women at the hands of the Sri Lankan military,” she added.
The event is to commence tonight at 6:30pm at Balmain Town Hall, Balmain.
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