Hundreds of thousands of people have fled their homes in recent months as the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) attempts to capture areas of northern Sri Lanka held by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a group that has fought for 30 years for self-determination for the Tamil people.
MELBOURNE A pre-trial hearing began on October 20 in the case of three Tamil men accused of offences under the anti-terror laws.
The trial of 12 Muslim men under the anti-terror laws has ended with seven being found guilty of one or more charges, four found not guilty and the jury unable to decide on one.
MELBOURNE Two hundred Tamils gathered outside Victorias parliament building on August 22 to highlight the plight of hundreds of thousands of Tamils displaced by fighting between the Sri Lankan army and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.
On August 13, Justice Bernard Bongiorno began his summing up in the trial of 12 Muslim men accused of terrorist offences.
Thulasitharan Santhirarajah, the director of a Mebourne business college, was arrested on July 14 by the Australian Federal Police at the request of the US FBI.
One thousand Tamils gathered in Federation Square on July 5 for Pongu Thamil (Tamil upsurge). The event included traditional Tamil dancing, music and speeches on the Tamil peoples struggle for self-determination in Sri Lanka.
Lawyers for Jack Thomas are seeking leave to appeal to the High Court to prevent him being re-tried on charges under the anti-terror laws.
@9point non = MELBOURNE Fifty people attended a rally on May 17 at the Victorian Trades Hall to demand freedom for US political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal. Mumia, a former Black Panther and still a revolutionary, was jailed in 1981 in Philadelphia for allegedly killing a police officer. He remains in jail despite inconsistencies in the police evidence and another man confessing to the murder.
On April 15, 200 people attended a public meeting entitled Putting the terror laws on trial at the Kaleide Theatre, RMIT. The meeting was jointly sponsored by the Civil Rights Defence campaign group and Amnesty International.