admin | May 24th, 2016 | No Comments »
The British Tamil people gathered again in large numbers to remember and reflect their kith and kin who were massacred in a genocide by the Sri Lankan state and to demand for justice from the International Community.
As in the past six years, the commemoration event, co-ordinated by British Tamils Forum in the UK, brought together British Tamil people to remember their loved ones who perished in the Mullivaikkal Genocide in 2009.
Following a protest march from Waterloo Place to Richmond Terrace opposite the Prime Minister David Cameron’s residence, a vigil meeting was held and it began with the participants lighting candles in silence to remember those innocent Tamil people killed. Across the world, there were similar events were held to remember this painful time for the families of those killed.
admin | April 29th, 2016 | No Comments »
The Tamil people around the world will be marking the 7th anniversary of the massacre of up to 70000 innocent Tamils civilians including women and children by the Sri Lankan military, leading up to the culmination of the war in Sri Lanka, in May 2009.
The Tamil community in the UK is organising a protest march and a vigil meeting starting from Waterloo Place at 3pm and finish at the Richmond Terrance (opposite the Downing Street) around 7pm, on the 18th May 2016.
The British Tamils Forum is organising this event to remember those innocent Tamil people killed and to call on the international community to deliver justice for the victims of genocidal crimes against our people.
We are expecting a large number of people to participate at the protest march and the vigil meeting.
admin | April 18th, 2016 | No Comments »
Nearly seven years after the end of the war, the Sri Lankan military is still occupying more than 96% of the land belonging to the Tamil people who were driven off their own lands, in the pretext of “national security”.
Field data obtained by British Tamils Forum (BTF), in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka, indicate that as of 1st March 2016, the military is occupying 67,427 acres of land belonging to the Tamil people.
During the previous government of Mahinda Rajapakse, in the North alone, nearly 70,000 acres of land was under occupation. Since the change of government in January 2015, just over 2,500 acres of these lands has been released. This constitutes a mere 3.6% of the total land taken over in the North by the Sri Lankan military.
BTF provides below the breakdown of land occupation, obtained from primary sources in the north. Read More
admin | April 14th, 2016 | No Comments »
Britain’s main Opposition party leader Mr.Jeremy Corbyn on Monday said his Labour Party fully supports Tamils in their prolonged struggle to achieve self-determination and justice in Sri Lanka. Stressing that human rights abuses have not been fully addressed in Sri Lanka despite regime change, he said the British government should not treat countries that abuse human rights as its trade partners. “We as a party are very committed to the issues of human rights and justice. We are very committed to the rights of peoples, the Tamil people in this case to achieve their self-expression and their self-determination. That’s what we are about as a party,” the Labour leader in his address at the Tamils for Labour meeting at the Parliamentary complex on Monday. His pronouncement was welcomed by a spontaneous applause from the audience.
BTF whole heartedly welcomes the principled stand taken by the UK opposition leader and request the UK government and the other major parties in UK to recognise the Tamils right to self-determination, as a first step in finding a permanent solution to the continuing oppression faced by the Tamil people in Sri Lanka. Right to self-determination is a right recognised by the UN charter and a right given to the Scottish people with in UK. Ms. Siobhain Mc Donald ( MP) said ,’ A long term political solution that respects the Tamil right to self-determination is essential for long term stability of the region’. Read More
admin | March 27th, 2016 | No Comments »
The Annual Reception for the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils (APPGT) organised by the British Tamils Forum (BTF) was held on the 23rd March 2016 at the British parliament. British Prime Minister Rt. Hon. David Cameron sent a congratulatory message to the event hosted by the chair of the APPGT Hon. Mr. James Berry, MP and attended by the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Rt. Hon. Mr. Hugo Swire, MP.
The event was graced by many members of parliament across the parties, international diplomats, key government officials, community leaders, international media personnel, representatives of international human rights organisations, Academics and influential leaders from the Indian diaspora community in UK.
In his message Prime Minister David Cameron, extended his best wishes for the event and once again reiterated UK’s stance that Sri Lanka should fulfil the important commitments they made to the international community on accountability, rehabilitation of the war affected and political settlement with the participation and expertise of the international community. Read More
admin | January 31st, 2016 | No Comments »
British Tamils Forum (BTF) joins other Tamil diaspora groups, Sri Lankan civil society and international NGOs in expressing serious concern with and alarm at recent statements by the Sri Lankan Government reneging on their commitments under UNHRC Resolution 30/1, which they co-sponsored in September 2015.
Over the past two weeks, Sri Lankan President, Maithripala Sirisena, has made several statements to the media expressly rejecting inclusion of foreign involvement in accountability mechanisms for mass atrocities committed during the armed conflict. These statements fly directly in the face of the UNHRC resolution, which called for the participation of “Commonwealth and other foreign judges, defence lawyers and authorized prosecutors and investigators.”
For instance, when asked about the Sri Lankan government’s efforts in implementing a United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution on accountability, Sirisena told Frontline Magazine: Read More
admin | January 15th, 2016 | No Comments »
British Tamil People thank our prime minister Rt Hon David Cameron for his Thai Pongal message to the community. We also wish to express our gratitude for the efforts of the UK government under his leadership in finding solutions to the problems faced by our kith and kin in the island of Sri Lanka.
We hope the dawn of Thai (Thai Piranthal Vazhi Pirakkum) will mark the dawn of peace with dignity for the people.
We hope the third visit of Mr. Hugo Swire, minister of state for the foreign & commonwealth office, will make real changes to their lives. We hope the Sri Lankan state will heed the calls to implement the UN resolution it had sponsored in full; setting up a hybrid investigative mechanism in consultation with the victims in Sri Lanka and in the diaspora, demilitarise the Tamil Homeland and allow all those displaced by the military high security zones to return to their original homes without further delay. We also hope that a meaningful political solution will be found this year.
We wish all the Tamils world over a happy and peaceful Thai Pongal.
Thai thiru naal vaazthukkal.
British Tamils Forum Read More
admin | August 13th, 2015 | No Comments »
Yet another election for the Sri Lankan parliament is scheduled for the 17 August 2015. Parliamentary Elections in the Island of Sri Lanka have been of total irrelevance to the Tamil people ever since the island’s independence in 1948.
This parliament of a Sinhala Hegemonic state, since 1948, has been systematically destroying the foundations of the Tamil Nation, behind the cloak of a “democracy”. The very parliament repeatedly orchestrated anti-Tamil pogroms in which thousands of innocent Tamil people were massacred on the streets and in their own homes, by Sinhalese mobs. It was this parliament that sanctioned the genocidal onslaught, massacring over 70,000 Tamil people in Mullivaikkal. It executes the systematic colonisation of the Tamil Homeland with Sinhala settlers, in order to destroy the territorial integrity of Tamil people’s safe haven. This parliament perpetuates impunity and has been standing in the way of justice to the victims of these crimes, since 1948 and continues to do so to this day. Read More
admin | June 23rd, 2015 | No Comments »
During the final stages of the 2009 war between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and the Sri Lanka’s forces, approximately 18,000 Tamils, alongside political leaders of the LTTE Mr. Nadesan and Mr. Pulithevan, surrendered to the Sri Lankan security forces. Six years on, there is still no knowledge to the whereabouts of these Tamils.
Whilst repeatedly disregarding calls to provide a comprehensive list of detainees, the Sri Lankan government has been inconsistent with its figures in relation to the number of detainees involved.
Meanwhile considerable evidence of arbitrary killings of those who surrendered after enduring the mass atrocities committed in Sri Lanka’s No Fire Zone has emerged. This includes the high profileTamil journalist and television broadcaster, Isaipriya, who was pictured alive in Sri Lankan military custody before being found killed.
Sri Lanka’s own updated census records reveal that over 146,679 Tamils remain unaccounted for since the end of the war.
Though a Presidential Commission of inquiry for missing persons has been set up in Sri Lanka, it has been consistently been rejected by the Tamils in the North-East, whilst several reports of families being forced or coerced to sign death certificates for missing family members have emerged.
Any lasting peace on the island of Sri Lanka will require the truth about the fate of those who surrendered at the final stages of the war to come to light.
This event will provide statements from first hand witnesses of the surrendering process during the final stages of the war and contextual analysis of the current situation in Sri Lanka.
PasumaiThayahamFoudnation in association with BTF and USTPAC
Human rights in Sri Lanka: The Case of detainees and disappearances
When: Wednesday 24th June
admin | June 3rd, 2015 | No Comments »
The British Tamils Forum (BTF) has long recognised the important role India plays in the region and in the outcome of Tamil peoples’ struggle for justice and freedom. BTF together with our long term community partner organisation, Hindu Council UK (HC UK) met with Indian High commission officials in London recently to highlight the immediate needs of the people in the North East of the island and measures which ought to be implemented immediately by the new Sri Lankan government.
BTF requested the Indian government to take up these matters urgently with the new Sri Lankan regime. The proposals included urgent measures to address humanitarian issues faced by the Tamil people in their homeland, taking into account the long term strategic interests of the Tamil nation.
Our long term strategy to engage with India through political and diplomatic means recognises the geopolitical significance of India in the region. BTF shares the same strategic vision with India, for a peaceful neighbourhood that ensures stability in the region and protects India’s long term security interests in its southern borders. Tamils in the island of Sri Lanka have a very long historic tie with India through cultural, religious and linguistic affinity are natural allies of India.
We have been continuously engaging with New Delhi based political parties since 2010. This included meeting with the then BJP leader Nitin Gatkari in 2011, senior BJP officials and a Minister in November 2014. Our long standing Indian community partner, the influential HC UK facilitated the recent meeting with the Indian High Commission officials in London. Although Tamils have historic grievances about India’s handling of our struggle in the past, we are moving forward, engaging with India, to address the immediate needs of our people in the North East of Sri Lanka and to find a lasting political solution to enable Tamils in Sri lanka live in peace and dignity.
The diplomatic engagements will continue in London and New Delhi to further develop the understanding between Tamil Diaspora and India in addition to strengthen the strategic ties between India and Tamils in the North East of the island of Sri Lanka.