Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

NZ Has a Part to Play Bringing Peace to Sri Lanka

MEDIA RELEASE
16 July 2008


“New Zealand Has a Part to Play in Bringing Peace to Sri Lanka”


Friday 25 July is an important anniversary for the New Zealand Tamil Community. It marks the 25th anniversary of the pogrom which saw over three thousand Tamils killed, billions of dollars worth of property destroyed, industries abandoned and approximately one million Tamils leave Sri Lanka to find a refuge in other countries.

Twenty five years ago, New Zealand was one of a host of nations which accepted a number of Tamil families and allowed them to live in peace. Today, a thriving Tamil community suggests that New Zealand has an important part to play in bringing peace to Sri Lanka.

Today, you will find over one thousand Tamil families living in New Zealand where they make a significant contribution to New Zealand’s society and to the economy. Tamils place a high value on education and their presence is likely to be seen across a range of professions, including medicine, accountancy and the IT industry. The picture that this paints is that in New Zealand Tamils have established happy and fulfilling lives, but this is not the entire story. The reality for many is that they still carry deep emotional scars.

The events of 1983 so polarised the Sri Lankan people into violent factions, that the course of the nation’s history changed forever.

What happened 25 years ago was an acceleration of a political disintegration that started 60 years previously when the country gained independence. Since 1983, human rights abuses and a breakdown in law and order throughout Sri Lanka have taken the country into an abyss of civil chaos. The war between the Sri Lankan government and Tamil militants has been particularly brutal towards civilians. There are estimates of between 70,000 and 215,000 civilians killed, 95% of them Tamils and a smaller number of Sinhalese and Muslims. Today, living in Sri Lanka remains for many, unbearable.

Wellington-based Tamil Society President, Mani Maniparathy says, “We see the way in which New Zealand is able to accept its history and discuss how it wants the country to be shaped in the future. In being honest about past hurts, New Zealand is able to face the future with optimism and that, more than anything, is what we want for Sri Lanka. We know that in Sri Lanka, bad things still happen, but we also believe that great things are possible.”

To explore this further, the Wellington Tamil Society is organising a workshop on 25 July 2008 at Wellington calling the international community to play a role in bringing peace to the Tamils of Sri Lanka.

The speakers in the workshop include:
• Marian Hobbs (MP Wellington Central),
• Rae Julian (former Executive Director of Council of International Development) and
• Pauline Horrill (formerly with Medicin Sans Frontiers).

The event will also include first-hand information from a number of New Zealand Tamils.

ENDS

Note:
The Wellington Tamil Society is a community organisation that supports the language and cultural needs of Tamils living in the Wellington area.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Back Again: Government Approves TPP11 Mandate

The Government has approved a negotiating mandate for Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP11), which will ensure New Zealand businesses remain competitive in overseas markets.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand will be pushing for the minimal number of changes possible to the original TPP agreement, something that the remaining TPP11 countries have agreed on. More>>

ALSO:

.

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>

ALSO:

Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty: Agreement In Principle Signed With Moriori

“The Crown acknowledges Moriori was left virtually landless from 1870, hindering its cultural, social and economic development. The Crown also acknowledges its contribution to the myths that the people of Moriori were racially inferior and became extinct." More>>

ALSO:

Susan Devoy: Call For Inquiry Into State Abuse Reaches UN

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is in Geneva and has asked a United Nations committee to urge the New Zealand government to initiate an inquiry into the physical and sexual abuse of children and disabled people held in state institutions. More>>

ALSO:

(Not National): Cross-Party Agreement On Pike River Re-Entry

The commitment was signed this afternoon by the leaders of Labour, United Future, The Maori Party, and the Green Party and, together with the earlier commitment by New Zealand First, means that there is now a Parliamentary majority behind the families’ fight for truth and justice. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election