After generating high levels of interest at 6 other London universities, the ‘Breaking the Silence’ genocide awareness campaign reached St George’s University on the 26th of November.
Situated in a student hub outside St George’s Library, the exhibition attracted students and staff from all disciplines and members of the adjacent St George’s Hospital.
Evocative paintings and posters outlining the ongoing genocide and human rights abuses of the Tamil nation caused many passers-by to stop and discuss the situation in Sir Lanka with members of the St George’s Tamil Society.
Passers-by where asked if they had watched the recent Channel 4 documentary ‘No Fire Zone’, and asked to provide their reactions to the documentary that suggested that people at the highest levels in Sri Lanka were responsible for the atrocities committed against Tamils.
“The documentary overall was excellent at raising awareness of what happened during the war. The grim pictures and videos show how gruesome the attacks were and how they were directed.”
Another expressed the need for justice and a political solution that stopped the continued atrocities, stating,
“Awful human rights abuses taken place, this is deeply disturbing. The perpetrators must be put to justice and a political solution needs to be put on the table to promote equality in Sri Lanka Tamils.”
Several students were stunned by the magnitude of the genocidal atrocities committed against the Tamil people and stressed that the international community had to act to resolve the situation.
Reflecting on the ‘Breaking the Silence' exhibition, the St George’s University Tamil Society president, outlined the importance of holding such exhibitions, stating,
“Throughout the day, many have asked me about what we were hoping to achieve by holding this exhibition and how we believe we can make an impact. My opinion is that, our main prerogative is to raise awareness and seek justice for what has happened as a matter of urgency."
“Callum Macrae eloquently phrases the importance of raising awareness in one of his interviews: ‘Getting the truth out is a precondition for justice, justice is a precondition for peace and reconciliation.”
“It is important to raise awareness that the people in Sri Lanka have suffered so much in the past and are still suffering. There must be hope for a peaceful future. It is imperative that justice must be sought and we can hopefully contribute to this process by revealing the truth to the general public”
The campaign can be followed on twitter using ‘#BreakTheSilence’. Keep an eye out on Tamil Guardian for the next entry into the Breaking the Silence Journal.
Catch up on previous entries form this year’s Breaking The Silence campaign below:
Breaking The Silence Journal: City University (02 December 2013)
Breaking The Silence Journal: SOAS (26 November 2013)
Breaking The Silence Journal: UCL (23 November 2013)
Breaking The Silence Journal: LSE (17 November 2013)