Terence Bunch

Photojournalist & Writer

A banner calling for the boycott of companies engaged in trading with the Sri Lankan regime on display in London opposite the Parliament building. 30th November 2009. All pictures © Terence Bunch.

Sri Lanka Boycott Tesco Campaign, Parliament Square. London. 30th November 2009.

By Published Last Edited 2009-11-30 00:00:00

Peace campaigners and supporters gather in Parliament Square to unveil a new campaign, the boycotting of companies supporting the violent Sri Lankan Government while hundreds of thousands of Tamil people remain locked into concentration camps on the island of Sri Lanka.

Despite scores of press reports appearing around the world in various media carrying promises that the Tamils will be released, the Sri Lankan Government continue to hold them.

The Tamils are expected to remain in the camps primarily because the Government do not want to release them into the general population for fear they will consolidate themselves into a new opposition.

As a result of the recently ended war, prejudices remain chronic against the incarcerated Tamils and Nationalist Government staff are now facing strong accusations that they are suspected of the commission and execution of war crimes on the Island during the final military assault in the North.

The newly unveiled campaign draws attention to British companies involved in the Sri Lankan textile industry including Tesco, Next, Primark and GAP, all now facing pressure from the EU to withdraw their operations from Sri Lanka.

London. 30th November 2009.

Long time peace campaigner, Maria Gallastegui, pins placards to a large wooden box erected in the square while waiting for supporters to arrive prior to the unveiling of the campaign.

Long time peace campaigner, Maria Gallastegui, pins placards to a large wooden box erected in the square while waiting for supporters to arrive prior to the unveiling of the campaign.

A child lays wounded alongside a sibling in the arms of their father while inside one of the so-called rescue centres during the fighting on the island earlier in the year. Many of those who were dumped into the rescue camps are still imprisoned and at the mercy of severe violence and prejudice. Reports of rapes continue to emerge.

A child lays wounded alongside a sibling in the arms of their father while inside one of the so-called rescue centres during the fighting on the island earlier in the year. Many of those who were dumped into the rescue camps are still imprisoned and at the mercy of severe violence and prejudice. Reports of rapes continue to emerge.

A body inside the one of the camps is prepared for disposal.

A body inside the one of the camps is prepared for disposal.

Maria Gallestegui pins up a notice urging the boycotting of Tesco stores. Tesco is a large bulk production and distribution corporation primarily operating in the United Kingdom but producing some of its raw textile produce within Sri Lanka. Like many other companies including Next, Primark, GAP and Marks and Spencer, the company conducts its business under the GSP (Generalised System of Preferences) provision as part of the GSP plus sceme, which infers preferential trading status to Sri Lanka. The EU are now under chronic pressure to halt the schemes operation in Sri Lanka in order to prevent the Nationalist Sri Lankan Government from continuing to use profits to further degrade the Tamil population.

Maria Gallestegui pins up a notice urging the boycotting of Tesco stores. Tesco is a large bulk production and distribution corporation primarily operating in the United Kingdom but producing some of its raw textile produce within Sri Lanka. Like many other companies including Next, Primark, GAP and Marks and Spencer, the company conducts its business under the GSP (Generalised System of Preferences) provision as part of the GSP plus sceme, which infers preferential trading status to Sri Lanka. The EU are now under chronic pressure to halt the schemes operation in Sri Lanka in order to prevent the Nationalist Sri Lankan Government from continuing to use profits to further degrade the Tamil population.

Long-time Tamil supporter and Labour MP, John McDonnell arrives as a guest to take part in the unveiling of the new campaign.

Long-time Tamil supporter and Labour MP, John McDonnell arrives as a guest to take part in the unveiling of the new campaign.

The obelisk is unveiled and the campaign begins. Parliament Square.

The obelisk is unveiled and the campaign begins. Parliament Square.

John McDonnell holds up a placard publicising the Act Now campaign group, long time advocates of the Tamil cause for self-determination.

John McDonnell holds up a placard publicising the Act Now campaign group, long time advocates of the Tamil cause for self-determination.

Despite complex and large scale media operations appearing around the world in the defence of the Nationalist Government of Sri Lanka, its military operation that has claimed the lives of up to 30,000 civilians, the continuing statements by the Sri Lankan Government that it will release those held in concentration camps, and the ongoing persecution of Tamils in Canada, the UK and India, the Sri Lankan Government continue to stumble toward a now inevitable end...International War Crimes Tribunals.

Despite complex and large scale media operations appearing around the world in the defence of the Nationalist Government of Sri Lanka, its military operation that has claimed the lives of up to 30,000 civilians, the continuing statements by the Sri Lankan Government that it will release those held in concentration camps, and the ongoing persecution of Tamils in Canada, the UK and India, the Sri Lankan Government continue to stumble toward a now inevitable end...International War Crimes Tribunals.