All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils responds to Sri Lanka’s move to proscribe diaspora organisations

admin | Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014 | 70 Comments »

The All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils has released the following statement today in response to the Sri Lankan government’s decision to proscribe a number of diaspora organisations, including British Tamils Forum.

Click here to download this statement (pdf).

The All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils is deeply concerned by reports that The Sri Lankan government has reacted in anger after the passing last week of the UNHRC resolution calling for an International Independent Investigation. The reports state that using UN Security Council Resolution 1373 they have tried to proscribe 15 diaspora organisations including a number based in the UK. This will have a very serious effect on the human rights struggle undertaken by these organisations and could enable Sri Lanka to extend the reach of its harassment of human rights defenders and Tamil activists beyond the shores of the island. It could also pave the way for the government to detain and harass Tamils living in Sri Lanka under the pretext of association with one of these organisations.

The All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils is a democratic, transparent and accountable group of UK cross-party politicians. We work alongside legitimate organisations to achieve peace and justice for all. We find this reported attempt to neutralise Human Rights Groups and others completely unacceptable. We have worked continually for the International Independent Investigation which the UNHRC agreed only last week; and condemn this attempt to restrict freedom of anyone, especially those who might have been called as witnesses, and whose opportunity to do so may now be seriously curtailed.

The All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils works closely with some of the organisations that are reported to have been proscribed. We have seen at first-hand the dedication, commitment and integrity of their campaigners, and have worked with them for several years. APPG for Tamils believes that these organisations have done much to raise awareness in the UK of Sri Lanka’s oppression of the Tamil people and have been key partners in our effort to hold Sri Lanka to account through an international inquiry.

If confirmed, we deplore Sri Lanka’s reported move to bring these organisations and other genuine activists into disrepute and threaten all those associated with them with arrest; and will join with others to call upon the international community to condemn in strongest terms this attempt by Sri Lanka to restrict the Human Rights of people and the organisations that they wish to proscribe.

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