Chris Slee

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 Victoria’s 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 people’s 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.

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.

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