Hunger strike protests Sri Lankan genocide

Issue 

Nine young Tamil activists staged a hunger strike in Sydney's CBD from January 28. They urged the Australian government to support calls for a ceasefire between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and the Sri Lankan military.

The protest, dubbed the "Fast unto Action" campaign, was organised by Australian Tamil Students (ATS), a national coalition of tertiary students. On January 30, 1000 people rallied in support of the hunger strikers.

A press release posted on the campaign's blog, <http://fastuntoaction.wordpress.com/> stated that the protest aimed to bring light to the intolerable silence and lack of international condemnation to the unfolding genocide against the Tamils in Sri Lanka.

"Hundreds of Tamil civilians caught in the crossfire have already died and the thousands injured will die within days. Yet the world has remained silent. The Sri Lankan government needs to give safe passage for urgently needed medical supplies and food to reach the North", said ATS member Arunn Waran.

The participants called on the Australian government to condemn the attacks on civilian populations and support calls for a ceasefire, as aid organisations and some other governments have.

They also invite people in solidarity with the Tamils to leave a comment on PM Kevin Rudd's website <http://www.pm.gov.au/contact/index.cfm>.

The "Fast unto Action" hunger strike began on the corner of Pitt Street and Martin Place then relocated indoors as those fasting struggled in the heat.

On February 1, the Tamil activists stated on the blog that they had ended their campaign, "after having achieved what we had hoped to".

According to the statement, "The Australian Government has not called for an 'immediate ceasefire', however balls have been set in motion, with many having helped in the background ... This blog site will continue for now as one that campaigns for ACTION."

Visit http://fastuntoaction.wordpress.com for ongoing news on the Tamil solidarity campaign.

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