TCC-UK observes Black July in London,Gobi Sivanthan on hunger protest
London, July 23 (TruthDive): Gobi Sivanthan, a Tamil youth activist, started his hunger-strike protest that will go on till August 12,the day London Olympics comes to a close.
Sivanthan demands Sri Lanka to immediately stop the illegal land grabs in the Tamil homeland. His high-priority demands are: IOC to suspend Sri Lanka from the Olympics; UN to initiate independent international investigation into war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed by Sri Lanka; urging international community to force Sri Lanka to halt the genocidal land grabs escalating in the Tamil homeland; demanding the international community to pressure Sri Lanka to release all Eelam Tamil Prisoners of War (POWs) and appeal to the international community not to deport Eelam Tamil refugees.
The Black July remembrance event, observed in London on July 22 organized by the Tamil Coordinating Committee-UK (TCC-UK) started as a procession from West Ham Park, and concluded at the site at Stratford where Mr. Sivanthan will be carrying out his hunger-strike. The protest addressed the organized and methodical injustices meted out to Eelam Tamils in Sri Lanka.
Black July tributes are offered by Tamils across the world every year to remember over 4000 Tamils who were killed in a anti-Tamil pogrom organized by the UNP regime in 1983 in Sri Lanka.
TCC-UK has submitted petitions to the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG), Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) of UK, and the IOC demanding to bar Sri Lanka’s participation in the London Olympics.
Feeling in harmony with the demonstrators, Kurdish and British activists too joined the event. They urged the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to immediately suspend Sri Lanka from the 2012 London Olympics. Akif Wan, a representative from the Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) said, “States committing genocide should not be part of Olympic games.”
Mr Wan focussed on the similarities between the regimes in Turkey and Sri Lanka; he stressed that Tamils should have the right to self-determination, the choice to decide their political future by themselves.
Dr. Andrew Higginbottom, lecturer in Politics and Human Rights at Kingston University slammed the brutal treatment of Tamil political prisoners and argued for the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners. He also urged the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to defer Sri Lanka from the Olympics and the UK government to ban Sri Lankan state officials from attending either the inaugural or closing ceremonies.
Mr. Sivanthan told TamilNet that the most important thing now is to raise attention on and to halt the genocidal land grabs in the Tamil homeland which the Sri Lankan state is systematically doing with the intention of breaking the territorial integrity of the nation.
Organizers of Sunday’s demonstration said that another protest is scheduled on 27th July, the day of the opening ceremony of the London Olympics, to protest against the presence of Sri Lanka at the event.