(A longer version of this post, with audio files and background material, can be found on Melbourne Indymedia.)
Melbourne’s Tamil community and supporters joined others around Australia and the world in a day of action on 18 January to highlight the plight of 254 Tamil asylum seekers who have now spent 100 days on a boat in Merak, Indonesia, following the Australian Prime Minister’s request to the Indonesian President to have the vessel intercepted in Indonesian waters to prevent it from reaching Australia. Speakers including Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young and Pamela Curr of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, condemned this inhumanity, and organisers, with help from activists in Indonesia, were able broadcast a direct link to the spokesperson of the refugees, “Alex”. Other speakers were Kanchana Senthura of the Australian Tamil Congress (http://www.australiantamilcongress.com/en/) and Setyo Budi of the Indonesia Solidarity Forum, as well as Nicole from the Refugee Action Collective, which organised the event.
Video of extracts from the speeches can be seen on EngageMedia