News and Analysis: Sri Lanka
In a blatant act of racism, the Australian government, on Oct. 18, intercepted and turned away a boat with 78 Tamil asylum-seeking refugees. The refugees have been sent to Indonesia. Earlier this month, Australia diverted another ship with over 250 refugees to Indonesia.
According to a recent Unicef report, hunger in South Asia has reached a 40-year high. Four hundred million people are malnourished and hungry in South Asia—this is 100 million more people than two years ago who do not get enough to eat.
On May 18, the Sri Lankan military declared victory in its 26-year civil war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. The LTTE has since confirmed that their leader, Vellupillai Prabhakaran, was killed in the offensive launched by the Sinhalese-dominated Sri Lankan government.
On April 12, the Sri Lankan military declared a two-day temporary ceasefire in its military campaign against the Tamil population. The months-long Sri Lankan military onslaught against the Tamils has led to skyrocketing civilian deaths in the so-called "No Fire Zone" established as a safe area for civilians.
Thousands demonstrated March 28 in Sydney, Australia, against an offensive by Sri Lankan authorities that has killed 2,700 civilians and displaced hundreds of thousands more since January. Following formal independence from the British in 1948, the majority Sinhalese authorities imposed language and cultural restrictions on the Tamil minority.
The article below was first published in Socialism and Liberation in April 2005. The 1917 Russian Revolution was the first time in history that the working class seized and held power, organizing a workers state in the interest of the vast majority of toilers rather than a rich minority elite.
According to the Sri Lankan military, Sri Lanka’s airforce carried out a series of air attacks against Tamil Tiger targets on Nov. 29, including a guerrilla training camp. The latest attacks reaffirm the Sri Lankan government’s commitment to the military path only two days after Tamil Tiger leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran announced that the Sri Lankan government is living in a "dreamland of military victory.
Human rights activist Father M. Karunaratnam was killed on April 20 by a roadside bomb in the Mallavi area in northern Sri Lanka. The region is controlled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. The Peace Secretariat of the LTTE announced that the priest was targeted by the Sri Lankan military’s Deep Penetration Unit.
Sri Lankan officials have announced their withdrawal from a 2002 cease-fire agreement with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the principal Tamil national liberation force in the armed struggle against the Sinhalese-dominated government.
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam have announced that the leader of their political wing, S. P. Thamilselvan, was killed with five colleagues in a Nov. 2 air strike by Sri Lankan forces. The Tigers declared three days of mourning in remembrance of Thamilselvan.