Former Home Secretary David Blunkett supports international inquiry into war crimes and believes genocide has occurred in Sri Lanka

admin | September 14th, 2014 | No Comments »

British Tamils Forum members and a constituent met former UK Home Secretary David Blunkett MP last Saturday to garner support for UK Tamil organisations and individuals that have been targeted by Sri Lanka’s efforts to silence dissent through the use of UN Security Council Resolution 1373.

During the meeting, Mr Blunkett told the delegation that he believed genocide had taken place on the island of Sri Lanka and that evidence that human rights violations had occurred during the armed conflict in 2009 must be properly investigated.

Mr Blunkett expressed disappointment at Sri Lanka’s obstruction of the currently ongoing UN Human Rights Council mandated investigation into human rights abuses in Sri Lanka and lent his support to the need for an independent international investigation on abuses that have happened in Sri Lanka.

APPG for Tamils Demands Sri Lanka Government Adhere to UNHRC Resolution and cooperate with OISL

admin | September 12th, 2014 | No Comments »

On behalf of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils (APPG for Tamils), the Chair, Lee Scott MP and Vice Chair, Siobhain McDonagh MP have jointly asked the UK government to strongly condemn the Sri Lankan authorities for rejecting the United Nations Human Rights Council resolution (A/HRC/25/L.1/Rev.1) and refusing to cooperate with the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL). We request the UK government to consider all actions including sanctions until the Government of Sri Lanka agrees to cooperate with OISL.

Lee Scott MP and Siobhain McDonagh MP said “it is completely unacceptable that after the resolution was passed in March of this year, the Sri Lankan government is still unwilling to participate in this investigation; and is finding ways to regularly prolong and avoid this.

The APPG for Tamils welcomes the speech by ZeidRa’ad Al Hussein, the new High Commissioner for Human Rights Council pledging his commitment to the investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL); who stated “I encourage the Sri Lankan authorities to cooperate with this process in the interests of justice and reconciliation. I am alarmed at threats currently being levelled against the human rights community in Sri Lanka, as well as prospective victims and witnesses.”

As the investigation is being conducted from outside of Sri Lanka by the Office of High Commissioner for Human Right (OHCHR) – we call for an urgent moratorium on deportation of Tamil asylum seekers and potential witnesses to the OISL.  The APPG for Tamils calls on the UK government to ensure the safety of very vulnerable war crime witnesses and rape victims, who are already in the UK and under threat of deportation.

We also request the UK Government to take up the matter of Sri Lanka proscribing organisations and individuals abusing UN Security Council Resolution 1373 and to work with others in the international community to ensure the proscription is rescinded.

We call upon the British government to continue to give the Government of Sri Lanka a clear message denouncing their defiance against an inquiry for accountability and justice.

APPG for Tamil press statement

Response to Times of India article: “Tamil body wants India help to find Lanka solution”

admin | August 26th, 2014 | No Comments »

BTF would like to state publicly that it has been misquoted by a Times of India correspondent in that newspaper’s recent article “Tamil body wants India help to find Lanka solution”, which appeared on its online edition dated Aug 26, 2014.

The article implies that Mr Nirmalan, representing BTF, said that “the diaspora can’t be an advocate for Eelam”; however, Mr Nirmalan refutes this allegation, which is in contradiction with BTF’s well-known and longstanding position in support of Tamil Eelam. Mr Nirmalan during his interview specifically mentioned that every Tamil’s dream is an independent Tamil Eelam, as was extensively reported by other media. All the democratic referendums conducted in the diaspora have overwhelmingly given support to an independent Tamil Eelam, and any diaspora organisation representing the wishes of the people cannot go against such a popular mandate of the Tamil people. Furthermore, BTF has stated on many occasions that the Tamils living on the island of Sri Lanka and those living around the world must be seen as part of a single community, whose wishes and aspirations must be considered as a whole.

We request that the Times of India amends its news report and publishes this objection with equal prominence to the original article.

Rally to Remember Black July

admin | July 11th, 2014 | Comments Off

BTF Human Rights Team follows up on the HRC Resolution in Geneva

admin | June 19th, 2014 | Comments Off

Members of the Human Rights Team of BTF are currently present in Geneva attending the 26th Session of the UN Human Rights Council. The Human Rights Team persistently work for justice for the suffering Tamils in our homeland in the North and East of the Island of Sri Lanka. Read More

BTF condemns recent attacks on Muslims in Sri Lanka

admin | June 17th, 2014 | Comments Off

British Tamils Forum joins the international community in condemning the violence that is currently being targeted at the Muslim community in Sri Lanka. A Sri Lankan state supported organisation, the Bodu Bala Sena, which has very close links with the Defence Secretary Mr Gotabaya Rajapakse, is directly involved in the violence. On 15 June, the General Secretary of this organisation delivered an openly racist speech citing Muslims as a threat to the Sri Lanka’s Sinhala identity. Consequently, Sinhala thugs have attacked Muslim owned shops and houses in southern towns and cities. Read More

British Tamils Mark Fifth Anniversary of Mullivaikkal Massacre with Rally at Trafalgar Square

admin | May 18th, 2014 | No Comments »

Several thousand British Tamils attended a rally organised by British Tamils Forum at Trafalgar Square on Sunday 18 May 2014 to mark the fifth anniversary of the Mullivaikkal Massacre. The event commemorated the tens of thousands of Tamil people who were killed, and many more injured, at Mullivaikkal and drew together many of those who spent weeks in Parliament Square in 2009 warning the world of the impending catastrophe.

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BTF and APPG for Tamils to hold conference on structural violence against Tamil women

admin | May 7th, 2014 | No Comments »

Following the horrific end to the armed conflict 5 years ago in May 2009, in which Tamil women became victims of sexual violence and rape as a weapon of war, they continue to be subjected to many forms of structural sexual violence perpetrated by the Sri Lankan military occupying the Tamil Homeland. The social stigma attached to the victims afflicted by sexual violence, is preventing them escaping from one of the most persistent and most neglected injustices in the world. They remain vulnerable and exposed to further violence and exploitation by predators.

While we remember this May the deaths of over 70,000 innocent Tamil civilians who were killed during the final 5 months of that armed conflict, and 146,679 people who still remain unaccounted for, we must not forget the over 90,000 Tamil war widows. The structural violence against these women is destroying individuals, families and the Tamil Nation in the Island of Sri Lanka.

To shine a spotlight on these issues, British Tamils Forum and the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils will hold a conference at the UK Houses of Parliament on 13 May 2014, bringing together civil society experts, MPs from UK and Sri Lanka, witnesses, and victims to speak of the structural violence against Tamil women in the Island of Sri Lanka.

Rally to commemorate fifth anniversary of Mullivaikkal Massacre

admin | May 7th, 2014 | 122 Comments »

Venue: Trafalgar Square, London (nearest station: Charing Cross)
Time: 4-8pm, Sunday 18 May 2014

Five years on from May 2009, when Sri Lanka’s decades-long persecution of the Tamil people reached its violent climax on the shores of Mullivaikkal, British Tamils will commemorate the tens of thousands of Tamils who were killed and the many more who were injured, disappeared or raped.

The rally, which will be held in Trafalgar Square, London, will not only remember those who were killed and wounded in 2009, but also the thousands of Tamils who continue to be killed, tortured, abused and harassed every day in Sri Lanka, in what the Tamil people believe to be a continuing programme of structural genocide.

British Tamils will also press world leaders to honour their promise to obtain justice for the victims of Sri Lanka’s oppression of the Tamil people.

British Tamils Forum encourages both Tamils and the wider British community to join us in remembrance of the victims of this ongoing conflict on the island of Sri Lanka.

Land grabs conference report published

admin | May 5th, 2014 | No Comments »

BTF has published its report on the International Conference on State Grabs of Tamil Land in the Island of Sri Lanka, which took place between 31 January and 2 February 2014 in London, organised jointly by BTF and the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils.