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Demonstration At the Sri Lanka High Commission by Sri Lankan Solidarity Movement - By Rasika Silva

The Sri Lankan communities in the UK, and around the world, have become disheartened by the current political instability taking place in their country of origin. After a 30-year war between government forces and the separatist group, the LTTE terrorists, the country had finally become liberated from the clutches of the terrorist group, but any chances of peace had become short-lived, as old memories began to reform again. 

A number of key issues have arisen, after proposed plans put forward by the government, which have become apparent to members of the Sri Lankan community. Such proposals include the establishment of hybrid courts inclusive of foreign judges to prosecute soldiers from the war. The need for such action is absurd considering the many lives of armed forces men lost during the war, totalling in at around 33,000, including 20,000 left disabled since the wars end.

Another issue concerning expatriates is the plan to split Sri Lanka into different federal states, or the handing over of land, fiscal powers and police to provincial councils, which would undermine the country's already secure state.

An avenue that would open itself to more danger is the proposed plans to sign the CEPA/ETCA agreement with India. The building of a bridge and tunnel between India and Sri Lanka was also something that had come to the attention of the defiant expatriates, primarily because it would give undue attention and invitation to poorer Indian communities looking to come and settle on Sri Lanka's small nation, including Indian Tamils with a desire to cause havoc.

The recent recording of a national anthem in Tamil has also caused outrage amongst the Sinhalese majority, which goes against it's very principles of 'One Nation, One Country, One National Anthem', which has been the case for centuries and is also a staple of any country around the world.

This was the reason behind the demonstration and protest organised by the Sri Lankan Solidarity Movement, held on Friday 12th February outside the Sri Lankan High Commission in Lancaster Gate, London. A huge crowd of expatriates from their motherland came to show their support for the cause and defiance of the governments proposed plans. More than 20 organisations participated according to the organisers and showed their support on the day for this most pressing issue. After a day of protest and shared belief, a petition was finally given to the Sri Lankan High Commissioner that afternoon.

We hope that immediate action will be taken in this regard, with steps following proceedings outlined on the petition.

By Rasika Silva




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