Bay Area Walk highlights "Tamil Genocide" in Sri Lanka
[TamilNet, Monday, 11 April 2011, 11:11 GMT]
For the first annual Bay Area Walk Against Genocide which involved a 3-mile walk conducted in Oakland, California on Sunday April 10th, 2011, nearly 500 protesters turned up, organizers of the event said. "Activities providing a unique opportunity to meet local genocide survivors and their families, hearing their stories, and learning to make a difference by getting involved," participants in the protest campaign said. Several groups including the Darfur Coalition, Enough Project and Coalition of Tamils Against Genocide took part.
The "Genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka" was mentioned by all the speakers at the event. While remembering the Armenian Genocide, the Holocaust, Cambodia and Rwanda genocides, the situation in Darfur and Sri Lanka were highlighted as present day hot spots.
Rebecca Hamilton, a fellow at the New America Foundation, and Omer Ismail, advisor to The Enough Project were the keynote speakers.
At the start of 2009 Rebecca Hamilton left her position at the International Criminal Court in The Hague to work full-time on an investigation into the impact of the U.S. mass movement for Darfur. “It is not enough to put the spot light on Genocide, but we should put the flood light on all the places like Darfur, Chad and Sri Lanka where genocides continue,” said Ms. Hamilton.
More than 25 Tamils participated in the event under the banner of Coalition of Tamils Against Genocide.
"The Coalition expressed solidarity with the survivors of all genocides, and sought support from other participating groups to call for international investigation of the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Sri Lanka where over 40,000 Tamil civilians perished in May 2009. The Coalition members also collected signatures asking the US Congress to act on Sri Lanka," one of the Tamil participants said.