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  • The Australian Tamil Congress (ATC) expresses its disappointment on the shortcomings of resolution 40/1 ‘Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka’ adopted at the UN Human Rights Council (HRC), as it fails to set a clear pathway for accelerated progress on achieving transitional justice and accountability for mass atrocity crimes committed in Sri Lanka. There have been seven such resolutions with Sri Lanka itself co-sponsoring the last three. However, ten years since the war which saw the peak of mass atrocity crimes committed against the Tamil population,...
  • As we approach the tenth year since the war in the island of Sri Lanka came to a bloody end, there still exist discrepancies as to number of dead. The Australian Tamil Congress (ATC) will be assisting in a project launched by two international NGO’s, the International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) and the Human Rights Data Analysis Group (HRDAG), which aims to estimate the number of dead and disappeared.  Volunteers from ATC will assist those wishing to provide the relevant information required to record the deceased or disappeared due to war, and coordinate the project in Australia....

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  • 11-01-2019
    Yet another New Year dawns almost 10 years since the worst of the genocidal onslaught against the Tamil people by the Sri Lankan state with no sign of the victims receiving justice in the near future. More than three years after UN Human Rights Council (HRC) Resolution 30/1 on Sri Lanka, to-date Sri Lanka has taken very few steps to fulfil its obligations and none of those implemented have produced any substantive outcomes for those most affected by the war. The current President and the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka have made repeated statements rejecting some of the most important...
  • 05-06-2017
    The Australian Tamil Congress (ATC) expresses deep concern over the lack of concerted actions by the Government of Sri Lanka on addressing the issue of the missing persons, as the continuous protest by their relatives has gone past one hundred days. The reports of intimidation and disruption of the peaceful protests by the Sri Lankan armed forces is deeply troubling. Despite its commitments made to the member states of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and the High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein at this year’s session in March, the Government of Sri Lanka has...

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In Solidarity with People of Tamil Nadu

n Solidarity with the people of Tamil Nadu

Dear Fellow Tamils

As most of you are aware, Chennai has been devastated by the worst torrential rains in history and flash-floods have caused hundreds of deaths and untold misery to millions of people in several parts of Tamil Nadu.

While more rain is expected over the week, thousands of people still remain stranded. And despite the best efforts of the TN Government and NGOs, many are left without basic supplies of food, drinking water, clothes, blankets, etc.

Even as we pray for an end to this unforseen natural calamity, we believe we should do the least we can to bring some immediate relief to the affected.  

For decades the people of Tamil Nadu had continued to rise in support of the Tamils in Sri Lanka, and many of our people have taken refuge in Tamil Nadu for so long. It is now our chance to help them in whatever measure we can.

The Australian Tamil Congress (ATC) urges all Australian Tamils to be generous enough to donate and show our solidarity with our Tamil Nadu brethren at a time of their dire need.

Please use the below link to donate immediately to this urgent relief fund. ATC will donate the funds to Gandhiya Makkal Iyakkam* in Chennai who is already involved in coordinating the relief work. We will provide the donors with feedback as we receive.

A friend in need is a friend indeed.

Please click here to donate and show our solidarity.

With great expectations,

Executive Committee
Australian Tamil Congress

*Gandhiya Makkal Iyakkam is a non-governmental organisation, whose President - Thamilaruvi Maniyan - had visited Australia a few times before. 

A Unified Voice for All Tamils

Her assessment is borne out by others. A BBC crew following returning Tamil refugees observed a marked distinction between the poor institutional support they received and the support that Sinhala settlers in the same regions enjoyed from military, government and Buddhist authorities.

Mahinda Rajapaksa’s new powers are unnecessary and dangerous

NATIONAL constitutions come in two main types. Some are prescriptive, enshrining freedoms, curtailing the powers of the state and generally hampering would-be dictators. Others, however, tend to the descriptive, and are often revised to catch up with changes that have already happened. Into this class can be put Sri Lanka‘s 1978 constitution, this week amended for the 18th time, with unseemly haste.

      The Sri Lanka described in the revised charter is not a pretty place. It is one where the forms of parliamentary democracy are preserved but the substance has become subordinated to almost untrammelled presidential power.

Meeting with DFAT

A NSW political team representative met with some officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). The officials were updated on the impact of the 18th amendment and the need for the Australian government to push for international NGOs to be present in order for any foreign aid be-ing pledged for development. ATC‘s Blueprint docu-ment was appreciated by the officials.

Work with asylum seekers

Last week, in an act of desperation Tamil asylum seekers climbed on to the roof of the Villawood De-tention Centre. There was widespread media cover-age of this issue. The ATC National Coordinator for Refugees and Migrants made himself available and worked with DIAC officials and the Tamil asylum seekers.

      He also gave several media interviews to ex-press the legitimate fear of persecution faced by Tamils in Sri Lanka. Media personnel present had mentioned how his participation in interviews was very useful in explaining the concerns of the Tamil asylum seekers to the wider public.

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