Ilankai Tamil Sangam

24th Year on the Web

Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

Diaspora Youths Should Lead

by Cheliyan, TamilCanadian, July 13, 2009

Sri Lanka is extremely vulnerable to a sustained attack on its economic activity across its borders. One need not be concerned about the Chinese and Indians who will continue to spend their rupees and yuans in Sri Lanka, in the disaster areas they helped to create.

While the political activists among the Tamil diaspora are busy planning and setting up procedures for a future course of action, the Sri Lanka Government is busy making the internment camps, where more than 300,000 Tamil civilians are being held, permanent. The West has been reduced to a mere spectator, and the U.N. is disabled by the World’s worst rights violator nations. Sri Lanka continues to egregiously violate international norms on handling the internment camps, especially following the satellite-monitored killing of more than 20,000 Tamil civilians. Youths of Tamil Diaspora are called to shoulder the burden to exhibit the diaspora’s latent energy and power, hence their leverage, the way that was demonstrated at the Gardener Expressway and Westminister Bridge.

Diaspora youth have to give the Sri Lanka Government an ultimatum: Resettle the internment camp civilians, and propose a just and fair approach to resolve the Tamil political question.

Or face the wrath of the diaspora.

Economic Boycott is what the diaspora can do effectively; Youths should lead.

Plans appear to be already afoot, but more co-ordination is necessary for maximum effect.

The Canadian youth, through the www.notoSriLanka.com should join the youths in the US, UK, Europe and Australia, and co-ordinate the efforts.

Sri Lanka is extremely vulnerable to a sustained attack on its economic activity across its borders. One need not be concerned about the Chinese and Indians who will continue to spend their rupees and yuans in Sri Lanka, in the disaster areas they helped to create.

View the possibilities:

  • Boycott Sri Lanka products --- this is self-initiated, but can work on slowly spreading to non-Sri Lanka friends and neighbors
  • Target Big-Label companies: Picketing, Letter writing to the Management shift operations to Rights-compliant South Asian countries, or face street protests…Nike, Victoria Secret, Marks and Spencer. Learn the local laws. Many states prohibit picketing inside the Malls. Outside Mall entrance is State property; A few 8’x2’ banners saying “Nike funds Ethnic Cleansing in Sri Lanka” will draw attention to the shoppers, and Nike Management. Imagine a group of 10 youths each, standing in front of 10,000 stores across the world all at once.
  • Stick a bad label on Sri Lanka Tea
  • Similarly, stick a bad label on tourism industry; “Wish to sunbathe in blood soaked beaches?”

Without much co-ordination, all Tamil expatriates can participate in one or more of the above.

A few youth leaders should rise up and take on the task; and make some noise.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Comment from Leon: I agree totally with the suggestions made by Cheliyan. Sri Lanka is economically vulnerable. Boycott made South Africa give up on apatheid.The Tamil Dispora should make a concerted effort not to buy products made in Sri Lanka. The Tamil Canadians have decided not to buy products manufactured in SL. These include products imported from the SL marketing Department and Larich products. The Tamils living in England and Australia as well as Europe should do the same. Wherever possible the Tamils should persuade non Tamils to do likewise. We cannot expect any assistance from the International Community. In the circumstances it is the Diaspora Tamils who will have to continue to fight for the rights.