Friday, 1 January 2010

Sri Lanka - What they don't show you in the brochures...

Queen Mary Students' Union Adopts Tamil Cause

December 18th 2009

Last night Queen Mary Students' Union passed a motion proposed by members of its Tamil Society in association with SAGT to get behind a campaign to promote rights for Tamils in Sri Lanka.

The motion (entitled 'Free The Tamils') committed the QMSU to a number of lobbying activities including letters to institutions such the EU, Commonwealth, British Government and British stores in relation to their involvement with Sri Lanka. QMSU will therefore support moves to suspend Sri Lanka from the Commonwealth, oppose the extension of the EU's GSP+ and to condemn the British Government's sale of arms to that regime. QMSU will also use its media to highlight the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka and the campaign in general.

Attendees at the Union's meeting listened to and read the facts of Sri Lanka's genocide against the Tamil community ever since Independence in 1948. This includes the exclusion of the Tamil language from Government bodies (1956), countless pogroms targetting innocent civilians (1983 et al), seeming impunity from prosecution of murders and rapists where the victim is Tamil, ethnic cleansing of ancient Tamil lands and the recent holding of civilians in concentration camps.

The motion was passed by 68 votes.

This is believed to be the first ever British Student Union to adopt the Tamil cause.

Graham Williamson, a Director of the human rights group ACT NOW who attended the meeting as a guest said "This is great news since it is not only Tamils who are backing their just cause but an institution representing ALL students. The Tamil students and their supporters including the Amnesty International students should be proud that all their hard work has paid off and are to be congratulated on their famous victory. Let us hope that other University Student Unions and ultimately the NUS adopt similar motions and I would urge all Tamils and their supporters to work towards that"

Full motion:

SAGT - Students Against Genocide of Tamils (Imperial College London)

Imperial College London - Breaking The Silence day II (Nov 2009)

SAGT - Students Against Genocide of Tamils - “Breaking the Silence” - Humanitarian Awareness Fortnight.

(Pictures from Queen Mary: University of London)

The 2nd–13th November 2009 has been proposed as S.A.G.T’s Humanitarian Awareness Fortnight.

Its purpose is to inform students in the UK of Sri Lanka’ s current humanitarian crisis due to the aftermath of war and its illegal concentration camps, enlighten those who were originally unaware, and give others that are willing to help the chance to do so.

Every day during those weeks, a different university in the UK will be holding an exhibition in their main university campus, where flyers and booklets will be handed out and photo information displayed of the plight of the civilians imprisoned in the concentration camps.

This launch meeting will give an opportunity for those students willing to help prepare themselves for the forthcoming activities to raise awareness and ensure that the fortnight is a success, and will include various informative talks.

SAGT - Students Against Genocide of Tamils

S.A.G.T is a coalition of student groups from various universities dedicated to take a stand against the ongoing genocide in Sri Lanka.

Throughout history students have been at the forefront of protests worldwide. These urgent times call for the thousands of students here in the UK to do the same.

We have the numbers and abilities to make a difference but first we must be united.

So for the sake of a brutalized people, we urge you to lend us your voice and protest now.

Tomorrow might be too late for the Tamils of the North and East of Sri Lanka.

Protest now, or watch the Genocide of the Tamil people.

The choice is yours.