Leading Tamil diaspora organisations have extended their full support for the general strike (hartal) taking place in the North & East of Sri Lanka on Tuesday (25).
Issuing a joint statement, the Australian Tamil Congress (ATC), British Tamils Forum (BTF), Center for the Protection for the rights of Tamil People (CPTR - France), Irish Tamils Forum (ITF), Solidarity Group for Peace and Justice (SGPJ - South Africa), Swiss Tamil Action Group (STAG), United States Tamil Action Group (USTAG) called on all other diaspora organisations to provide support leaving behind their differences aside at this crucial time.
The purposes of the hartal
# To reject the Anti-terrorism Bill that is to be submitted in the Sri Lankan parliament for ratification, because it is worse than the current Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).
# To oppose the racist state’s premediated actions of committing structural genocide and denying the Tamil people of their inalienable right to self-determination by carrying out:
- Land grab
- Colonisation of the traditional homeland of the Tamil people with Sinhala people from the south
- Destruction of evidence on Tamil heritage
- Demolition of historical Hindu temples and replacing them with Buddhist viharas, all aimed at distorting and denying the long history of the Tamil people in their traditional homeland in the North-East of the island.
Extending their gratitude and appreciation of all political parties, religious groups, trade unions, university students and other civil society groups who have initiated and are conducting this hartal, the diaspora organisations encouraged them to continue with organising similar integrated and coordinated actions in future.
"We call upon all Tamil people living in Sri Lanka and the Tamil political parties to unite and participate in this hartal to demonstrate our unified strength to the Sinhala-Buddhist state, Sinhala majority and to the international community," they added.