Socialist Worker

Thousands of Tamils march as queen dines with Sri Lankan president

by Ken Olende
Issue No. 2307

Tamils on the march in London (Pic: Socialist Worker)

Tamils on the march in London (Pic: Socialist Worker)

Thousands of Tamils marched through central London yesterday (Wednesday) to protest at the queen lunching with the Sri Lankan president who presided over war crimes.

The queen dined with Commonwealth leaders as part of her jubilee celebrations. Among the guests was president Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was in office when the Sri Lankan state brutally crushed Tamil resistance in 2009.

Tens of thousands of Tamils were killed. Footage has emerged showing rape and torture by Sri Lankan forces.

The protesters chanted “Sri Lanka’s president is a war criminal” and shouted at limousines as they took guests in.

Police asked them to take down Tamil Tiger flags as flying them is “rude” to the queen. But the demonstrators refused.

Annu is a student who grew up in Britain. She told Socialist Worker, “I’m grateful my family were allowed to flee here. I’ve got nothing against the queen. We don’t want to be rude to her. But she’d being rude to us—inviting a war criminal to dinner.

“I went on all the protests in 2009. I will go on protesting until we get justice.”

Another demonstrator, Raj Kumar, said, “They tell us the war is over. A friend of mine went back from Canada to Parathan in the Jaffna peninsula [the Tamil area in Sri Lanka]. He found part of his home occupied by soldiers.

“He had never been involved in politics and arranged a meeting with the local military commander to ask that the soldiers would leave.

“But the night before the appointment, armed men came to his house and killed and mutilated him. That’s how things are for Tamils in Sri Lanka.”

Thousands joined the protest

Thousands joined the protest

They are angry at president Mahinda Rajapaksa

They are angry at president Mahinda Rajapaksa's brutality

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Article information

Thu 7 Jun 2012, 12:41 BST
Issue No. 2307
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