Meeting supports Tamil trio

Issue 

On September 9, 300 people met in a community hall in the east Melbourne suburb of Scoresby to show their support for three Tamil community members who were arrested in May under the "anti-terror" laws.

The three arrestees, who are out on bail, are Aruran Vinayagamoorthy, Sivarajah Yathavan and Arumugam Rajeevan. The meeting heard them give thanks for community support.

Their lawyer, Rob Stary, spoke about the case and condemned what he sees as the misapplication of the "anti-terror" laws to his clients. Police claim the men had raised "significant" funds for the Liberation Tigers of Talim Eelam (LTTE), a guerrilla army that has fought for an independent Tamil state in north-eastern Sri Lanka for 30 years.

Stary pointed out that apart from not having committed any acts of terrorism, the three had every right to support the movement for Tamil national self-determination in Sri Lanka. He argued that by singling out these three men for prosecution as "terrorists", the Australian government had taken sides in Sri Lanka's civil war in favour of the Sri Lankan government.