South Africans demonstrate against Sri Lanka's Genocide of Tamils
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 04 February 2009, 17:19 GMT]
Representatives of the African National Congress (ANC) and South African Communist Party (SACP) Wednesday took part in a demonstration that called for an immediate end to the Sri Lankan military aggression against Eezham Tamils. The demonstration was held around the Durban City Hall on February 04, 2009, coinciding with Sri Lanka’s independence day. South African Muslim Network, Minority Front and members of the South African community also rallied against the war in Sri Lanka.
The protesters carried placards and banners and shouted slogans of solidarity with Eelam Tamils and condemned the Sri Lankan Government (GoSL) for its genocidal attacks on Tamil civilians, as well condemning the Indian Government for supplying arms and assistance to the GoSL.“India stop supplying arms to Sri Lanka”, “Vaazhga Tamil Eelam!”,“Sri Lanka stop killing Tamils”, “Sri Lanka stop Genocide of Tamils” were some of the calls from the public.
Moulana Ismail Cassimjee from the South African Muslim Network, Mrs Shameem Rajbansi of the Minority Front, Mr Sizwe Langa from the SACP, Mr Roy Chetty of the Socialist Movement Indaba, Mr Mickey Chetty of the South African Tamil Federation, Mr Saber Jazbai called for the immediate cessation of the war on Tamils in Sri Lanka.
Mr Roy Chetty, who referred to the Up-Country Tamils in Sri Lanka said the Tamil working class was living there "in a sub-human level”.
Moulana Cassimjee drew parallels with the Palestinian issue and condemned the Sri Lankan Government for killing innocent mothers and children and bombing medical institutions. He questioned the silence of the world.
Mr Mickey Chetty of the South African Tamil Federation conveyed to the crowd that India has a responsibility to stop the killings of Tamils carried out by the government of Sri Lanka.
Mr M.K Eelaventhan, a former Tamil National Alliance parliamentarian, criticised the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s manifesto that does not recognise the Tamils as an entity and quoted South Africa’s icon Nelson Mandela. “The time comes in the life of any nation when there remain only two choices: submit or fight”, he then added, “We will fight”.
Mr Jazbai, an expert on international law charged that the Rajapaksa regime should be tried for war crimes and raised a doubt whether South Africa was supplying Rooivolk helicopters to the Sri Lankan Government. He appealed to the South African Government to stop all trade and act immediately.
A letter of solidarity on behalf of the Mayor of Mgungundlovu, Mr Yusuf Bhamjee was read by Mr Ajen Bookhan, ANC member of Moses Madiba Region. A memorandum issued by the Solidarity Group for Peace and Justice in Sri Lanka was handed over to Ethekweni Deputy Mayor Logie Naidoo, representing the South African Department of Foreign Affairs who expressed his concern over human rights violations against Tamils in Sri Lanka.
The Solidarity Group for Peace and Justice in Sri Lanka, Tamil Co-ordinating Committee of South Africa, South African Tamil Federation, The Arutpa Kazhagam of South Africa were the Tamil organisations that took part in the demonstration.