The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Let Them Stay

The Somasundram Family

Davy Carlin, Chair, Anti Racism Network

We have seen the increase of the brutal and overt racist attacks now being reflected around towns and cities of Northern Ireland. I have spoken out in condemnation of such on many occasions, as well as raising important factors that need to be addressed in order to attempt to tackle the increasing rise of racism and racist attacks. These factors include that of ‘Fortress Europe’; the issue of addressing the socio and economic deprivation in working class areas; the ‘criminalising’ of people seeking asylum by being locked up and detained in prisons; and the issue of paramilitarism etc. This as well as the legislation, and at times the words, used by some governmental leaders and political representatives ‘directed’ at the poor, the vulnerable and at the minority ethnic communities, more especially within and behind the ‘War on Terror’. This, and much more, I have raised over the last several months both local and internationally, and on many occasions.

As the Anti Racism Network (ARN), we have actively stood against the still increasing and continuing racist attacks, and have sought the mobilising of local communities and trade unionists to stand firm against such. Apart from city centre rallies, we have sought and seek also a local response (which we have seen to date initiated in some local communities). This is needed in response to such attacks, as it both shows that a local community is not only collectively opposed to the attacks, but also as importantly that it will stand shoulder to shoulder with the victims of them.

As stated, the ARN has both raised and to date has been involved in various campaign issues, all of which are important. Yet I would like to take this chance to raise a serious developing situation in relation to a local family. The family is the Somasundram family who are in real danger of being deported and have a genuine and justified fear for their lives if they are deported. This due to the break down of peace talks in their ‘home country’ of Sri Lanka, which still sees regular conflict-related murders. This is especially important as the family, firstly, had seen their son murdered, then they themselves had been tortured, terrorised and threatened with death by those same forces still doing the killing; thus they had to flee for their lives.

Although both personally and as Chair of the ARN being active in support of this human rights issue, the campaign is also supported across the political spectrum by the main parties, by churches, human rights organisations etc, with the family having much support and respect across all sections of ‘our communities’. I would urge those that believe in justice and human rights to lend your support to this human rights case and as stated, to stand shoulder to shoulder, in whatever way, with them at this very difficult and worrying time.

For more information e-mail me at








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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



All censorships exist to prevent any one from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships.
- George Bernard Shaw

Index: Current Articles

30 August 2004

Other Articles From This Issue:

The Knackers Yard
Anthony McIntyre

Spin Cycle
Mick Hall

Reality Check
Patrick Lismore

32 CSM Pays Tribute to Memory of Republican Socialist Volunteers
Marian Price

Let Them Stay
Davy Carlin

"Fine Words"

27 August 2004

"Every Editor's Nightmare"
Carrie Twomey

Topsy Turvy World
Eamon McCann

A Quarter of a Century Ago
Anthony McIntyre

Gali Beaarda and the 40 Thieves
Harri Kaharazad

Nuclear Solutions Lost in Ambiguity
Mary La Rosa



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The Blanket Magazine Winter 2002
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