Breaking The Silence, a campaign conducted by students across the nation to raise awareness about the Sri Lankan Civil War, made a return this year to Cardiff University, raising £218.60 for an orphanage in Sri Lanka. Cardiff University’s Tamil Society launched this year’s campaign with a two-day exhibition, on the 14th of November at the Cathays campus in the Students Union and on the 16th of November at the Heath campus in the IV Lounge. The exhibition comprised of members of Tamil Society educating and informing students and the general public about the Sri Lankan Civil War, a civil battle between the government and its civilians in an attempt to achieve an independent state. The Sri Lankan Civil War, a 26 yearlong combat which started in 1983 and ended in 2009, has seen an outrageous death toll of over 100,000, with civilians having to flee their countries to escape the terrors of the war. From the bombings in ‘No Fire Zones’ to the rapes of innocent women, the aftermath of the war still impacts many people to this day. In the efforts to raise awareness about such atrocities, the members of Tamil Society held these exhibitions, which invoked reactions of shock and horror amongst the students. Moreover, Tamil Society wanted to have a direct impact on those affected by the war and so held bake sales during the exhibitions which collected a huge sum of £218.60. This was donated to the children’s orphanage Serendip, who provide for children affected from the war, by aiding with their educations, supporting children with special needs and constantly conducting projects to help create a stable future for those children. In addition to the successful exhibitions, Tamil Society held a talk, called ‘A Tale from Eelam’ on the 22nd of November presented by Boris Hamilton, an MA Photography student from South Wales University, who has been capturing post-conflict landscapes. This talk aimed to present the history of the war and its aftermath, through a presentation of his photography work, and invoke a discussion about identity amongst second generation children, whose parents had fled the war. This eye-opening experience led to many though provoking discussions and was deemed a success amongst all those present. Tamil Society is proud of the success of the Breaking The Silence campaign this year, as this year marks their highest sum of money fundraised yet. Furthermore, Tamil Society would like to extend its gratitude to Amnesty International Society, who partnered up to advertise the talk and to all the volunteers who took part in the exhibitions to break the silence and spread awareness.
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