Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Australians to vote on landmark Tamil Referendum

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE on 14 April 2010

Australians to vote on landmark Tamil Referendum

Thousands of Australians will convene on ballot boxes across the country this weekend to express their desire for an independent Tamil homeland.

Human rights advocates and political figures have thrown their support behind the initiative organised by the Tamil Referendum Council of Australia (TRCA) and based on the Vaddukoddai Resolution (VKR), a mandate for independence drafted in Sri Lanka in 1976 by Tamil leaders that was rejected by the Government and led to full scale civil war.

“The Australian government has done nothing to educate the public regarding the repression of the Tamils in Sri Lanka. The VKR referendum can help raise awareness of the situation that the Tamils have faced for decades” said Ian Rintoul, head of the Refugee Action Coalition (RAC).

Over 10,000 voters have registered to vote, with thousands more to enrol in the coming days, according to CPI Strategic spokesperson Stephen Newnhman, a consultancy firm hired by the TRCA to co-ordinate the voting process.

Polling booths will be set up in locations across NSW, Victoria and Queensland on April 17 and 18 with large numbers of voters from other states to submit postal votes.

Pip Hinman, federal election candidate for Grayndler in NSW, described the event as an opportunity to “add to the pressure on the Australian government, which is currently turning a blind eye to the ongoing repression of the Tamil people”.

“Together, we must use these polls to push the Rudd government to break completely from the former Howard government's racist refugee policy in which Tamils (and others) are being denied their basic human rights,” Miss Hinman urged citing the recent political furore surrounding Tamil asylum seekers.

The referendum will be the first of its kind in the Southern-hemisphere, following democratically held referenda across Europe and Canada that have established an overwhelming mandate supporting the formation of a sovereign Tamil homeland in the island of Sri Lanka.

The event takes place almost a year since the Sri Lankan government launched a brutal campaign in the island’s North East, slaughtering up to 40,000 Tamil civilians en-route to a crushing defeat against Tamil Tiger rebels.

Seran Sribalan: 0406 123 503 www.vkr1976.com.au

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