Tamil Genocide Remembrance marked in Melbourne opposing Australia's deportations

[TamilNet, Sunday, 26 May 2019, 17:25 GMT]
Australian Tamil diaspora marking the tenth Tamil Genocide Remembrance was supported by the Australian, Filipino and aboriginal progressive and internationalist solidarity activists, who took part in the vigil and delivered messages of support to the remembrance event. The protesters gathered in the city on 15 May, and the Tamils marked the commemoration event on 18 May. “What happened to Eelam Tamils was not just war crimes - it was genocide,” said one placard carried by the solidarity activists while a banner stated: “Keep away from bloodstained Sri Lankan military”. “Don’t deport to danger. Let them stay” was their message. The son of a war-dead LTTE commander addressed the participants of the commemoration event on 18 May, sharing his experiences of the genocidal onslaught as a 12-year-old boy at Mu’l’ li-vaaykkaal in 2009.

Melbourne, Australia
Participants at the vigil held on 15 May, 2019


Melbourne, Australia
The political parties expressing solidarity with Tamils, Australian Greens, Victorian Socialists, attended the vigil which was organised by the Tamil Refugee Council.

Activists from the Philippines Australia Solidarity Association (PASA) and indigenous Australian activists took part.

Ben Hillier, the editor of Australia’s leading socialist publication, Red Flag, and Brad Coath, who is an activist as well as a friend of a Tamil family facing deportation, addressed the participants.

Melbourne, Australia
Mu'l'livaaykkaal Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day held in Melbourne on 18 May


Melbourne, Australia
Brad Coath, an activist and a friend of a Tamil family facing deportation, addressing the participants of the vigil
The editor of the Red Flag had travelled to occupied Tamil Eelam during the Heroes Day week in 2017.

Ben Hillier is currently working on a book about a former LTTE female cadre, Santhiya, who perished in the Indonesian detention centre as a result of the anti-refugee and anti-Tamil struggle policies that persecute the Eezham Tamils who were fleeing the grip of the unitary state of genocidal Sri Lanka.

“The Tamils were hurdled into No Fire Zones, where the [Sri Lankan government] indiscriminately shelled them killing tens of thousands,” Ben Hillier said.

Melbourne, Australia
Ben Hillier, the Editor of Redflag newspaper, addressing the vigil held on 15th May in the city of Melbourne


Melbourne, Australia
Melbourne, Australia
“Today there are still tens of thousands who are missing; over tens of thousands are internally displaced. The north of Sri Lanka remains unsafe for Tamils, and this is not simply a war crime, it is an act genocide. It is not simply the culmination of the war of national liberation waged by the LTTE since the 1970s,” Mr Hillier continued.

“It is the culmination of more than six decades of Sinhala chauvinism, encompassed in successive Sinhala governments. The Tamil population in Sri Lanka, was continually and continues to be economically and socially marginalised, it is vilified, repressed and oppressed.

“The right-wing elements, the Sinhala chauvinists, they view the Tamils as a fifth column, they say Tamils are not welcomed at all in the island; they think Tamils should either be sent back to India or wiped out entirely. This is a mainstream discourse in Sri Lanka. This is what led to the genocide in 2009. Today military continues to occupy Tamil Lands. In Mullaithivu, there is one soldier to every two civilians,” he said.

Melbourne, Australia


Melbourne, Australia
David Feith, a political analyst, Dr Liam Ward, a lecturer at the RMIT University and a member of the Refugee Action Collective, and Aspara Sabaratnam, the second candidate of the political party, Australian Greens, were present.

Exiled Sinhala journalist and activist Bashana Abeywardane addressed the participants of the commemorative event from Bremen, Germany, through online video.


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