admin | March 24th, 2015 | No Comments »
UN Discuss Tamil Human Rights Case
Last week (19th March) Ilford North Member of Parliament Lee Scott joined members of the British Tamil Forum in Geneva Switzerland at a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council.
The BTF was seeking to gather support for the international independent investigation into war crimes, crimes against humanity and the crime of genocide against Tamil people in the island of Sri Lanka. Previous ‘inquiries’ put in place by the Sri Lankan Government have lacked credibility and impartiality being too easily influenced by the local politicians and the military.
On his trip Mr Scott, who is chairman of APPG for Tamils, met with ambassadors from the United States, Norway, Germany and the UK as well as speaking with senior UN officials.
Commenting on his experience Lee said ‘It is all too clear that the Sri Lankan Government are not going to deal with these issues in a meaningful manner and so a comprehensive international investigation is the only way forward.’ He continued ‘It was disappointed that the initial report was delayed by six months but is clear we must now press ahead. In conclusion Lee said ‘This process must look at not just the appalling crimes committed up to 2009 but also during the following years and that those responsible must be brought to justice.’
admin | March 8th, 2015 | No Comments »
The British Tamils Forum rejects circulating allegations that we will be holding talks with the Sri Lankan President Maithiripala Sirisena in London.
The British Tamils Forum has called for a protest in front of the Westminster Abbey by the Parliament Square tomorrow, 09.03.2015 from 2 pm until 5 pm to convey our message to her Majesty the Queen as the head of Commonwealth and the Commonwealth Leaders that Sri Lanka has violated the founding principles of the Commonwealth and continues to deny genocidal crimes committed against the Tamil people in the island of Sri Lanka.
British Tamils Forum also calls on Commonwealth Leaders to establish an independent international investigation into the genocidal crimes committed against the Tamil people in the island of Sri Lanka.
We demand the release of all political prisoners and removal of the Sri Lankan Military occupying the lands of the Tamil people.
The British Tamils Forum will continue the campaign in the UK and around the world for justice and freedom for the Tamil people in our homeland in the North and East of the island of Sri Lanka.
admin | March 8th, 2015 | No Comments »
Protest against Sri Lanka’s new President Maithripala Sirisena visiting London.
He was the Sri Lanka’s defence minister in Mahinda Rajapakse’s government responsible for the killing of over 70, 000 Tamil civilians in just few weeks. He will be attending a Commonwealth event at the Westminster Abbey.
Please join us:
Date: Monday, 09th March 2015|Time: 2 PM to 5 PM| Location: Westminster Abbey (SW1P 3PA)/Parliament Sq| Nearest tube: Westminster Station.
admin | February 17th, 2015 | No Comments »
British Tamils Forum shares the deep disappointment and anguish felt by Tamil people across the world on learning that the OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL) report, scheduled to be released in March 2015, will be deferred by another six months.
Tamil Diaspora organisations and Tamil parties in the island of Sri Lanka and India, together representing Tamil people across the world, have repeatedly requested that this long awaited report be released in March 2015 as mandated. The victims and the witnesses of this genocide have already waited far too long.
In his explanation for this unprecedented move, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Dr Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, states that there are “strong arguments for deferring the report’s consideration a bit longer, given the changing context in Sri Lanka, and the possibility that important new information may emerge which will strengthen the report.” However, legal sources familiar with the evidence already collected have indicated that there is enough hard evidence to prosecute the perpetrators. The High Commissioner further states, “I have received clear commitments from the new Government of Sri Lanka indicating it is prepared to cooperate with my Office on a whole range of important human rights issues – which the previous Government had absolutely refused to do – and I need to engage with them to ensure those commitments translate into reality.” We, as victims, too have a right to know what these commitments are and how these will facilitate the emergence of new information. Read More
admin | February 15th, 2015 | No Comments »
February 14, 2015
The Honorable Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Palais Wilson, 52 rue des Pâquis
CH-1201 Geneva, Switzerland
Dear High Commissioner Zeid:
On behalf of a network of Tamil organizations around the world, we write to you in regards to the OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL). We are grateful to you for your strong leadership pursuing accountability for past atrocities in Sri Lanka and ending ongoing human rights abuses against the Tamil community. We respectfully urge you to continue this principled and strong leadership.
The Human Rights Council’s (HRC) dedication to the universality of human rights was very clear when it established the OHCHR investigation. The work of the OISL is tremendously important in bringing accountability for past atrocities, setting a benchmark for the issues that need to be addressed, and giving hope to the victims who have waited years for the truth to be validated.
admin | February 10th, 2015 | No Comments »
Today, the Northern Provincial Council in Jaffna passed a historic resolution, setting out evidence demonstrating that successive Sri Lankan governments have perpetrated genocide against Tamils and calling for the ongoing United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL) to investigate the claim of genocide and recommend appropriate investigations and prosecutions by the International Criminal Court. This significant development has come about in the wake of an attempt by the current Sri Lankan government to delay and derail the submission of the UN investigation report at the UNHRC meeting in Geneva in March.
admin | February 6th, 2015 | No Comments »
Today Sri Lankan state celebrates its 67th year of Independence from the British colonial rule, but it is not a day celebrated by Tamils in the island. Post-independent Sri Lanka has been constructed based on a clear genocidal agenda by the state. Right throughout the post independent history the State has been instigating attacks on the Tamil people in which they were massacred on the streets and in their own homes. The state has been plundering land belonging to the Tamil people and settling Sinhala people in them. It instigated burning down of the Jaffna library which also was the repository of manuscripts of Tamil history and literature. This was part of its scheme to destroy the identity of the Tamil people. Read More
admin | February 4th, 2015 | No Comments »
The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Theresa Villiers MP, has released a message of support for the Tamil Community following her attendance of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils Annual Dinner on 29 January 2015.
admin | January 30th, 2015 | No Comments »
Activists, journalists, religious leaders, politicians of all parties and prominent members of the British Tamil community arrived at the Royal Horseguards Hotel in London on the 29th of January 2015 for the annual dinner of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils (APPGT).
The event began with a minute silent to remember those killed in the conflict in Sri Lanka and a traditional Bharatanatyam dance performance and welcome speeches by Mr V Ravi Kumar, General Secretary of BTF, and Lee Scott MP for Ilford North and the chair of the APPGT who apologised to the Tamil Community for not heeding their cries in 2009 and failing to prevent the genocide.
admin | January 29th, 2015 | No Comments »
Lee Scott, chairperson of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils opened the meeting, stating that the present government headed by the new President Sirisena is not a new government but the old government with new faces.
Several MPs present raised the point that the many of the ministers in the new government were from the old government including the President. Lee Scott raised his concern regarding the inclusion of General Sarath Fonseka in the new government, who is an alleged war criminal named by a UN report. One of the MPs present inquired whether the minister in charge of Sri lankan affairs, Hugo Swire, who is currently visiting Sri Lanka would raise these concerns with the new government and persuade it to accede to the Rome Statute, the UN convention on International Criminal Court.