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Members Statement: Solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka

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Samantha Ratnam
Leader of the Victorian Greens
2 August 2022

Sending love and solidarity to all those people who are going through so much hardship in Sri Lanka.

 

Members Statement given on Tuesday 2 August 2022:

Over the last few weeks and months, my former homeland of Sri Lanka has experienced an unprecedented economic and social crisis plunging the country into dire uncertainty - with shortages of food, fuel and medicine, exorbitant inflation and deep poverty.

Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets, demanding political change. 

At the heart of these troubles has been an abject failure of political leadership and rampant corruption and nepotism. 

This isn’t the first time this tiny island nation has experienced deep troubles. A devastating 30 year civil war led to the deaths of thousands, the oppression of minorities and many of us Tamils having to leave our homes. 

Divisive political leadership was again responsible. Us Tamils found out later that the mobs who came hunting after us had been given access to our personal information through the electoral rolls - and that is how they knew where we lived and whose houses to burn down. 

For years, we have watched the promise of this nation being squandered by self-interest, power and corruption. But the time has come for change. 

The people are speaking, marching and agitating for change like we have not seen before, and a new leadership must emerge that restores public confidence, trust, integrity and stability. 

Many of us have despaired about what comes next for Sri Lanka, but I urge people to remain hopeful. History has shown us that change will come when people stand up. Especially our young people. 

So get organised, mobilised and get elected. 

My solidarity with all those people who are going through hardship in Sri Lanka, the diaspora community supporting family and friends back home, and the activists who have my admiration and respect. 

You are the hope for the future. 

Watch the speech on YouTube.

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Samantha Ratnam
Leader of the Victorian Greens
2 August 2022
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