@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 governments 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 Lankas 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 Lankas 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 islands 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.