Chris Slee

On March 6, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) member of parliament K. Sivanesan was killed by a claymore mine while driving through a village in northern Sri Lanka on his way home from a parliamentary sitting in Colombo. Sivanesan had voted against a further extension of the state of emergency currently in place.
The Australian Federation of Tamil Associations (AFTA) has called on the Australian government to impose sanctions on Sri Lanka, following the Sri Lankan government’s decision to abrogate the 2002 Cease Fire Agreement (CFA) with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.
Speakers at a meeting of 100 people at the Fitzroy Town Hall on November 15 slammed the “anti-terror” laws.
Twenty-four aircraft of the Sri Lankan air force were damaged or destroyed during an attack on the Anuradhapura air base, in Sri Lanka’s North Central Province, carried out by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam on October 22. The LTTE has for several decades been fighting for self-determination for Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority, in response to the discrimination and violent repression carried out against the Tamil people by a series of racist Sri Lankan governments that have drawn their support from the island’s Sinhalese majority.
On September 21 about 200 people attended a forum on Sri Lanka organised by People for Human Rights and Racial Equality, a group comprising Sri Lankans of different ethnic groups living in Australia.
The committal hearing for three Tamil activists charged under the “anti-terror” laws began on October 1. Aruran Vinayagamoorthy, Sivarajah Yathavan and Arumugam Rajeevan are accused of raising money for and giving other assistance to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a group fighting for self-determination for the Tamil people of north-east Sri Lanka, who are oppressed by the racist Sri Lankan government.
The committal hearing for three Tamil men accused of offences under the “anti-terror” laws began in Melbourne on September 24. Aruran Vinayagamoorthy, Sivarajah Yathavan and Arumugam Rajeevan were arrested in May and are accused of raising funds for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, a group fighting for self-determination for the Tamil people who are oppressed by the racist Sri Lankan government.
About 400 Tamils gathered in the city square on July 25 to commemorate the death of an estimated 4000 people in the anti-Tamil riots that occurred throughout Sri Lanka in July 1983.
Two Tamil men, Sivarajah Yathavan and Aruran Vinayagamoorthy, who were arrested in Melbourne in May under the “anti-terrorism” laws, were granted bail by Justice Bernard Bongiorno on July 17.
Arumugam Rajeevan, an Australian cirizen of Sri Lankan Tamil origin, was arrested in Sydney on July 10 on terrorism charges. This follows the May 1 arrest of two Tamils in Melbourne on similar charges.
The Sri Lankan Army (SLA) has met strong resistance in its attempts to seize areas of the island country that are controlled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. The LTTE are fighting for an independent state in the predominantly Tamil inhabited north and east of Sri Lanka.
Two leaders of Melbourne’s Tamil community have been arrested and charged with terrorism offenses. Aruran Vinayagamoorthy and Sivarajah Yathavan have been accused of diverting funds raised to help tsunami victims to assist the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
The arrival in February of 85 refugees from Sri Lanka, most of them members of the island’s Tamil minority, in Australian waters near Christmas Island highlights the situation of war and racial oppression in Sri Lanka.
Azad Arman, a socialist from the Kurdish region of northern Iraq who fled his homeland in 1991 and is now living in Australia, said life in Iraqi Kurdistan today is “miserable”.
Fifteen-thousand people fled from the town of Vaharai in eastern Sri Lanka following heavy shelling by the Sri Lankan army on January 18. According to the Tamilnet website, the shelling was intensified in the evening despite an urgent message sent to the International Committee of the Red Cross from Vaharai hospital authorities saying that the area around the hospital, where many displaced people had sought refuge, was under attack.
Workers at the Braeside bolt-making factory of Ajax Fasteners are waging a struggle to protect their redundancy entitlements. The company has gone into liquidation. The workers have been stood down and fear they will soon be sacked.

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