Stamford, CT (PRWEB) February 5, 2010
Protesters concerned about human rights will gather in front of stores that carry clothing "Made in Sri Lanka" on February 6, 2010. Protesters are asking shoppers to check the label and boycott anything "Made in Sri Lanka." Events will take place in 16 major US cities outside GAP and Victoria's Secret stores, where up to half the clothes come from Sri Lanka. Boycott protests will be held in the UK, Canada and Australia as well.
"A boycott and divestment campaign succeeded in changing the racist apartheid government of South Africa, and we believe that Americans will be just as concerned about abuses in Sri Lanka," said the Boycott Campaign's spokesperson, Dr. Ellyn Shander.
In 2009, the Sri Lankan armed forces killed 25,000 Tamil civilians with indiscriminate bombing and forced starvation. Although the civil war ended over six months ago, over 400,000 Tamils have not been allowed to return home and the Tamil areas are saturated with Sri Lankan soldiers, who are Sinhalese. The government has not kept its promises about the resettlement of these Tamil civilians and has ignored repeated pleas by humanitarian agencies, the UN, and the US State Department for adherence to international norms and standards.
Sri Lanka is a highly militarized state with the largest army per capita in Asia and is sustained by exports of garments, its largest source of foreign exchange. With more than 25% of Sri Lanka's total export earnings and half of its garment exports coming from the US, American consumers can have a big role in assuring that human rights are respected. While holding Tamil civilians in internment camps and appealing to aid agencies to provide necessary food and shelter - for which the US has paid $16 million in 2009 - the Sri Lankan government continues to enlarge its army occupying Tamil areas.
News Alert: The Permanent People's Tribunal on Sri Lanka, held at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland in January 2010, has collected clear evidence of war crimes by the government of Sri Lanka and its armed forces.
Protestors want to persuade American corporations to move their production of garments to countries that do not commit serious human rights abuses. The rally organizers have focused on GAP and Victoria's Secret stores as part of a larger boycott campaign against "Made in Sri Lanka" products because these corporations market themselves as socially responsible brands, yet much of their clothing originates in Sri Lanka.
Protestors urge US consumers to check labels, and BOYCOTT "Made in Sri Lanka" to STOP human rights violations against Tamils.
For more information go to http://www.boycottsrilanka.com , or call the BoycottSriLanka spokesperson at 203-561-0414.