Several revolutionary movements, from Venezuela, Ireland, Palestine, Fiji, Tonga the Philippines and Sri Lanka have active New Zealand support networks.
All work closely with the local extreme left and tend to be mutually supportive of one another.
A young Sri Lankan born New Zealander, Nirupa George is proving an able dedicated advocate of the Tamil cause.
Nirupa George was born in the Tamil stronghold of Sri lanka’s northernmost city, Jaffna and was educated in Auckland. George came to prominence in 2004 when she “entered parliament” as the Youth MP for Marxist Green MP, Keith Locke.
George has maintained an interest in the youth MP system and this year is a member of the Youth Reference Group for Youth Parliament 2007. She lists her concerns as
“Climate change and global warming, poverty, Sri Lankan civil war”
In 2004 George was commended by the Human Rights Commission for contributing to the “Voice of Tamil Youth”. “Seven young Tamil New Zealanders, ranging from senior secondary school to university students, spoke about their experiences of settling into New Zealand at a forum in Auckland in March, as part of Race Relations Week.”
By 2006, George was a student at Auckland University and involved in the radical “Voice of the Youth for Justice and Peace”.
In December 2006 George, representing the Consortium of Tamil Associations in New Zealand spoke at a forum organised by Global Peace and Justice Auckland on the history and current situation of the Tamil community in Sri Lanka.
Earlier this year, George was one of 15 candidates nominated for the inaugural Youth for Human Rights Awards…
“..Tamils in Sri Lanka are suffering on a daily basis- that is a well-known fact. Life is very hard for those that live there. Firstly, they are living in a nation that has been wrecked by civil war for over two decades. Tamils are a race of people that have been suffering for over 50 years at the hands of a majority Sinhalese government. They live in constant fear of the Sri Lankan security forces. So many of our people have been murdered, assassinated, disappeared, tortured, raped, beaten and had the will to live taken away form them…”
For several weeks, revolutionary Tamil students at Jaffna University and local high schools have boycotted lectures and classes. The boycott was allegedly sparked when armed men invaded the campus destroying memorial photographs of students killed in the fighting and stealing funds raised by students, allegedly to support refugees.
Nirupa George has been actively supporting the boycotting Sri Lankan students in her work at Auckland University.
She has just succeeded in getting the Student Representative Council (SRC) of the Auckland University Students Association (AUSA) to vote in support of the boycott.
Two motions were put forward to the SRC by Nirupa George the Media Liaison Officer for Tamil Youth Organization New Zealand (TYONZ). Before the motion was put forward she spoke about the boycott, explaining the issues facing the students in Jaffna and how although New Zealand was halfway across the world, it is important to recognize human rights for the Tamil students involved and for fellow tertiary students to support each other.
The motion put forward by the chair “That AUSA supports the actions and intentions of the students and staff involved in the Jaffna University and schools boycott and that AUSA believe the students have a right to express their opinions and views without the threat of violence or death” was carried.
Good stuff. Who could oppose a resolution like that? Sri Lanka’s Tamil revolutionaries will no doubt be pleased.