Tamil flag flown high in Geelong

Tamil national liberation movement flag flies over Geelong Trades Hall building.

Members of the Tamil community and Socialist Alliance joined Geelong Trades Hall secretary, Tim Gooden, in raising the Tamil Eelam flag over the Trades Hall on April 20.

This was the first official raising of the flag in the southern hemisphere outside of Tamil Eelam. Spokesperson for the Tamil community, Sabsh Sanmugam, described how the flag has come to represent the aspirations of many Tamils around the world in their desire to break free of oppression.

The group then viewed the British Channel 4 video, Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields, a truly graphic account of the genocide carried out by the Sri Lankan army against unarmed Tamil civilians in the last days of the 1983-2009 civil war.

The flag remained flying over the Trades Hall for a week and was reported by Tamil.win.com website and Lankasri News. Tamil representatives in Victoria received phone calls from India, Europe and North America to congratulate them.

The flag raising has so inspired the Tamil community that they have now decided to approach the Victorian Trades Hall Council and the other Victorian regional trades’ halls to see if they might also undertake the ceremony.

The Geelong Trades Hall Council had endorsed the ceremony, but it received criticism from unknown sources appearing to support the Sri Lankan government and accusing the council of supporting terrorism.

Gooden told Green Left Weekly: “Silence over this issue is not an option. It’s been three years since the alleged slaughter took place and the international community continues to turn a blind eye.

“If raising the Tamil Eelam flag draws attention to the Tamil community’s demand for a war crimes investigation, then Geelong Trades Hall is only too happy to help with the campaign.”