Tamil protests in Westminster – pictures & video


by Sunny
20th April, 2009 at 7:47 pm    

I went to Westminster today to check out the Tamil protest – where they’d taken over the entire area to entirely stop any traffic. A policeman said they had tried to move them several times but the number were too many. I suspect the high numbers of women with kids also made it very difficult for them to take any strong stance.

Tamil protest

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Tamil protest

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Tamil protest

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Tamil protest

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Tamil protest

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Tamil protest

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Filed in: London Politics,South Asia,Sri Lanka






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  1. pickles

    New blog post: Tamil protests in Westminster – pictures & video http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/4316




  1. darth — on 20th April, 2009 at 8:35 pm  

    Gee, only the Tamils, not the sainted Palestinians, nothing to see, move along now. The streets will soon be clear. So revealing to see the ‘anti-war’ types haven’t bestirred themselves for this one. No jews, no smashing of starbucks, no sexy eh?

    Oh and where’s your Sajini W? The one who fellated dear leader Mahinda Rajapakse with this post? http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/157

  2. Sunny — on 20th April, 2009 at 9:11 pm  

    So revealing to see the ‘anti-war’ types haven’t bestirred themselves for this one. No jews, no smashing of starbucks, no sexy eh?

    Wll, there’s no white people there full-stop – SWP types or your ‘decent left’ types. So I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make.

  3. Arif — on 20th April, 2009 at 10:27 pm  

    In the disinformation which comes with war, it is hard to know who is most endangering the people in the war zone. But by not attacking the Government could save those people in the war zone. They have made a calculation to attack to militarily defeat a group which launches its own attacks on others.

    A military solution is being imposed, and it might seem to work – but it thereby legitimises the method it claims to abhor. If the suffering of people is a price worth paying in one case, it is so in another. Both the LTTE and the Government will say the other one started it. Whoever ends it militarily will have to change their mindsets in order to bring about a peace based on justice rather than might.

    It doesn’t look good. Will the government free the prisoners? Compensate those they have tortured? Rehouse those who have become refugees? Hold their own leaders to the same legal responsibilities as those giving orders on the other side? It seems more likely that they will try to claim victory as a form of glory and use it to wipe away the stains of their own guilt.

    President Kumaratunga had Truth commissions about ten years ago. I think they will be needed again.

  4. Tablet — on 21st April, 2009 at 3:28 am  

    Things are getting quite dire.

    Foreign Policy Mag: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=4883

    “The Sri Lankan government has issued a deadline of noon tomorrow for the Tamil Tigers to surrender. With the embattled rebels unlikely to put down their guns before then, only forceful and immediate international action to halt the fighting can prevent the possible deaths of tens of thousands of civilians trapped between the warring parties.”

  5. Arif — on 21st April, 2009 at 6:48 am  

    The article does not explore whether the LTTE are being offered any negotiation on terms of surrender.

    That seems to me to be a key point in evaluating any underlying humane impulses from the Sri Lankan Government to avoid killings. And I also do not know whether the LTTE are seeking any terms for surrender, withdrawal or other kind of peace agreement.

  6. platinum786 — on 21st April, 2009 at 8:57 am  

    The LTTE are a terrorist organisation. The Tamil people may well have some sort of historical claim to those lands, i don’t know the history, but to ask the Sri Lankan government to not defeat the LTTE when they are so close would be a mistake.

  7. SE — on 21st April, 2009 at 9:47 am  

    ["]Wll, there’s no white people there full-stop["]

    Why would fascists attend a pro-sri lankan rally? Especially if these stupid gora numps can’t tell the difference between indians and muslims?

  8. Shafiq — on 21st April, 2009 at 10:37 am  

    SE

    What about if you’re both Indian AND Muslim? ;-)

    ——————————————————-
    I sympathise with the Tamils. The Sinhalese government has persecuted them and treated their language and culture with contempt. I’m not surprised that they want their own country.

  9. Mango — on 21st April, 2009 at 10:52 am  

    Just for the sake of clarity. There may be public calls by the SL govt for the LTTE leadership to surrender, but its never going to happen and their remaining days on this planet can be measured in days and weeks.

    The LTTE ‘peace feelers’ and offers of negotiations will never be taken seriously. They have ‘form’ in declaring ceasefires, re-arming and re-starting the fighting. Never again.

    You have to understand that this govt will not cease the current military operation until the LTTE’s heavy military force and top leadership is destroyed. Low ranking cadres and conscripted civilians will be re-habilitated & eventually released. Programs already exist for doing this. The govt has resisted fierce pressure from the Western bloc intent on preventing a total military defeat of the LTTE.

    As for the UK Eelamtard’s demo, the Met’s defence of their practice of non-interference on the grounds of ‘women and children’ being present is pathetic and shameful. I don’t recall the Met being so understanding when they arrested the British female peace activist for merely reading out a list of the UK’s current Mid-East war dead, at the Cenotaph.

    The Eelamtard demo will not affect the current fighting in in any way whatsoever. If they really want Eelam, they can get to Northern Sri Lanka and fight. Jumping up and down in SW1 won’t stop the SL govt’s offensive. It will be see through to the end.

    For a more nuanced look at the Diaspora demos and what the demonstrators fail to acknowledge, this piece by David Blacker is particularly good: http://tinyurl.com/cn4zaz

    As for the absurd charges of ‘racially based genocide’, Blacker refutes it with this:

    ..”the LTTE is racially motivated — the cleansing of the north was of all non-Tamil ethnic groups — while the SL armed forces are not — the latter will willingly kill anyone, regardless of race, if so ordered.”

    These blogs give a good indication of the current military situation:

    http://ellalanforce.blogspot.com/
    http://defencenet.blogspot.com/
    http://defencewire.blogspot.com/

    The best epitaph for the LTTE is this incident yesterday, caught on camera by a SLAF UAV.

    Three LTTE suicide bombers exploding themselves near a group of Tamil civilians trying to escape to govt. controlled territory.

    Yes, Eelam has definitely been achieved!

  10. StrangelyPsychedelique — on 21st April, 2009 at 12:57 pm  

    Well said Mango. I see the brainwashed diaspora have picked up the fine art of using children as a deterrent. I wonder where they got that idea…

    I sympathise with the Tamils. The Sinhalese government has persecuted them and treated their language and culture with contempt. I’m not surprised that they want their own country.

    You don’t have clue do you? There are issues but they’re issues faced by every minority (including the Sinhalese – a world minority compared to the Tamils) the world over – hardly something you start a war over.

    So why is there a war? One reason is that Sri Lanka is in a strategically significant position for the US, INDIA and China. Another is that great power can be attained by those who start ‘freedom struggles’ – in fact Prabarkaran is the last person on Earth who’d want Eelam – it would mean sacrificing his position as a ‘great (and soon to be departed) military leader’.
    ————————————————–

    There’s a reason the LTTE are banned in 32 countries – because they’re terrorists pure and simple.
    There is no genocide in Sri Lanka – even a blind termite living here can see that. I just wish organizations like the BBC would drop their not so subtle agenda. It’s deliberate and extremely irresponsible journalism – not that journalism actually matters to them…

  11. StrangelyPsychedelique — on 21st April, 2009 at 1:07 pm  

    The article does not explore whether the LTTE are being offered any negotiation on terms of surrender.

    They were. Give up your arms (you have no legal right to bear them) and surrender. Most of you will be rehabilitated; whilst the hierarchy will be prosecuted for a multitude of crimes including the assassination of democratically elected leaders, tens of thousands of civilians(Tamil, Sinhala, Muslim etc), recruitment of child-soldiers (all irrefutable charges) etc.

    Of course they don’t want to be prosecuted.

    They now want to ‘negotiate without conditions’. This is akin to a bank robber who realises he is surrounded asking to be let off the hook AND be allowed to take his gun and stolen cash with him.

    No right minded person would stand for that.

    And so – the Sri Lankan military went in – to get the civilians (who’ve done no harm to anyone) out and to stop the rabid lunatics-with-firearms from doing any more damage to a nation they’ve been attacking for nearly 30 years. Enough is enough.

  12. Arif — on 21st April, 2009 at 5:29 pm  

    Whatever your anger towards the LTTE (and whatever the anger of the LTTE towards the Sri Lankan State), victor’s justice is not real justice.

    I understand that people on the Government side feel no real negotiation is possible with their adversaries, and maybe they are right, but the attempt should be made in a genuine enough way that those in the Tamil community who otherwise doubt the Government’s intentions know that their lives matter to the State.

    A negotiation without conditions binds neither party, so I cannot see why the Governmnet should fear them.

    If there will be prosecutions, surely it should be evenhanded and seen to be so.

    Wishing Tamil grievances would go away or be seen in a different light by Tamil people themselves will not make it so. So many people have been disappeared by the Government, and those who make it away seem to have been tortured. That kind of brutality is the kind of thing which requires truth and reconciliation – just to show that the Government, out of the shadow of the LTTE, now accepts the humanity of the Tamil people – and will not try to press home its advantage by imposing an oppressive “peace”

  13. Mango — on 21st April, 2009 at 10:33 pm  

    Arif,

    Military offensives of this nature aren’t done just out of anger. This has been carefully planned & executed, much to the dismay of the LTTE and their supporters. Negotiations with the LTTE are now not possible because they will not compromise from their demand for a separate state. The rest of Sri Lanka will not give them a separate state. Other ideas like various federal & devolved administration solutions will be sorted out only after the destruction of the LTTE’s top leadership & military potential.

    Think of Berlin ’45. Total & unconditional surrender. No deals, no negotiations, no second chances. As I’ve repeated in a previous posting, the government (and the people) have experienced the result of negotiating with an adversary incapable of compromise.

    Government human rights abuses are well known and acknowledged. But, unfortunately, nobody’s yet devised a counter-insurgency campaign (or a straightforward war) which does not involve abuses. It’s the nature of this type of conflict.

    Do you honestly believe that any government will negotiate, now, with such an intransigent, uncompromising outfit like the LTTE? The Sri Lankan state (for all of its many, many sins) is still under a democratic mandate, responsible to its’ electorate.

    Finally, after almost 30 years of terror, bloodshed, kow-towing to the know-alls in the ‘international community’, NGO-land and lost economic opportunities, the govt., has the LTTE & its’ leadership in its sights. Negotiate? Not a hope in hell.

    How this handles the post-LTTE scenario, will of course, be the ultimate test of its’ integrity and the sacrifice demanded of the armed forces and the general population. I don’t think anyone in Sri Lanka wishes to return to an environment which will, again lead to another round of separatist violence being allowed to fester.

  14. StrangelyPsychedelique — on 22nd April, 2009 at 4:39 am  

    now accepts the humanity of the Tamil people – and will not try to press home its advantage by imposing an oppressive “peace”

    I fear that you’re looking at this as a Sri Lankan Government versus Tamils war. It isn’t.
    It is the Government’s job to reunite the country and prevent any old asshole from forming a militia and blowing things up. Accommodating said assholes simply brings us closer to anarchy.

    Anyone who takes the trouble to actually visit Sri Lanka (sans prejudiced agenda) can see that Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Burghers and other smaller groups live quite well amongst each other. There certainly are grievances and issues from ALL ethnicities but as I said before they don’t require a war to sort out.

    If the Tamil people were really that afraid of the nasty SL Government then they would have supported the LTTE wholeheartedly and joined its ranks en masse. In fact the Tigers should have every Tamil in Sri Lanka ready for war – which isn’t the case. Almost all Tamils here want to live in peace without being used as ammo by the Tigers.

    Bottom line: The Tigers are an illegal armed group with no manifesto to represent any minority other than their own fascist selves. That gives them no rights other than the ones afforded to any other murder suspect.
    And murder suspects are expected to surrender or face the consequences of arrest. Just ask your local police officer what he/she is supposed to do if a suspect resists arrest with armed force.

    Those calling for negotiations would hardly do the same with Al Qaeda or the Taliban.

  15. Mango — on 22nd April, 2009 at 10:09 am  

    StrangelyP’s got it exactly right.

    Looking at this from a London/UK perspective, what’s now going to happen to the LTTE-aligned scammers, petrol station credit card scammers, crooks, criminals and protection racket fund collectors?

    The Met’s ‘Operation Trident’, a near permanent task force is tasked with tackling violent gangs and gun-related crime in London’s black community. I wonder what name they’ll give to tackling violent gangs, fraud and gun-related crime in London’s Tamil community. Operation Bunker Rat?

    http://tinyurl.com/7aelv5

    I hope they’re taking pix of the various Eelamtard demonstrators who’ve endeared themselves to Londoners in the recent weeks. It’ll help to gain a picture of the leaders and emerging players.

    The rumours are of an impending, vicious little war amongst the LTTE tax collectors and their tax-payers. Most of these crimes will go completely unreported unless it happens to spill out into the open. Ah well, interesting times ahead for the UK Eelam project.

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