admin | September 23rd, 2013 | Comments Off
The Tamil people have once again stated loud and clear their desire to determine their own future by voting for the Tamil National Alliance in overwhelming numbers in the Northern Provincial Council Election. British Tamils Forum calls on the international community to take heed of the message delivered by the voters of the Northern Province; the Tamil national question and Sri Lanka’s perpetual human rights crisis will only ever be resolved by giving the Tamil people the chance to decide for themselves how, and by whom, they wish to be governed.
It is widely agreed that the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) will be a largely ineffectual body, with negligible executive power.
Furthermore, in the past few months the Sri Lankan government has openly stated its intention to even further limit the power of the council by stripping it of land and police powers.
admin | September 12th, 2013 | Comments Off
Members of British Tamils Forum’s (BTF) Human Rights Team arrived in Geneva earlier this week for the start of the 24th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). Building on British Tamils Forum’s advocacy efforts at previous sessions of the Council, the Human Rights Team hopes to further develop its links with council Member States and other participating non-governmental organisations. As is customary, BTF has taken new young members to participate in its activities at Geneva, mentored by the senior members of the team.
Prior to the session, BTF made written submissions on the ongoing human rights abuses in Sri Lanka, as well as on the accelerating land grabs that have been taking place since the end of the war in 2009. Several requests for oral submissions to the council have also been made. The team will be distributing a situation update and other supporting material to member countries and other NGOs. Making reference to the international community’s frustrated hope that the Sri Lankan State would – post-2009 – instigate measures that promote reconciliation on the island, the report examines how the state has instead taken several steps in recent years that strengthen the Tamils’ case that Sri Lanka is perpetrating a structural genocide against them: most pertinently, the overwhelming militarisation of Tamil areas, the seizure of Tamil lands and construction of Sinhalese colonies in the North and East. Read More
admin | September 12th, 2013 | Comments Off
All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamil in the UK has called UK Government, to reconsider its’ position on the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Sri Lanka, The call comes after the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay’s visit to Sri Lanka. Full text of the press release is attached below:
The All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils (APPGT) welcomes the visit by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay and we acknowledge the observations she made during her mission in Sri Lanka.
On 31st of August 2013, in an initial media statement, High Commissioner Pillay said “It is important everyone realises that, although the fighting is over, the suffering is not”. This is also the message which members of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils are hearing from Tamils in the UK, as their loved ones continue to suffer under the military control of the North and East by the Sri Lankan Armed Forces.
admin | September 11th, 2013 | No Comments »
British Tamils Forum is saddened by the death of Senthilkumaran Ratnasingam who self-immolated himself in front of the United Nations office in Geneva on 5th of September 2013.
British Tamils Forum urges the international community to prevent further martyrdom of this and the past by their inability to enact the Responsibility to Protect Tamils even to date or even to conduct a full International Independent Investigation in to the continuing crimes of War crimes, Crimes against humanity and the crime of Genocide in Sri Lanka. This is causing extreme frustration among Tamils around the world. Once again this is not the first time Tamils have committed self immolation.
The ignorance and selectiveness in applying the international laws will make people to lose faith in the international safeguards on a race undergoing genocide. Read More
admin | September 11th, 2013 | No Comments »
British Tamils Forum (BTF) is deeply saddened to hear the demise of veteran Human Rights activist Sunila Abeysekera who died on 09 September 2013 in Colombo. Sunila’s death is an irreparable loss to the human rights community and victims of human rights violations in the island of Sri Lanka.
Despite the continuous threats to her life, she continued to voice and act against human rights violations and the democratic deficit in Sri Lanka. She dedicated all her life to serve the people she loved beyond politics.
Sunila has always believed that human rights and peace are mutually dependent in a manner that peace cannot be achieved if human rights are not respected and addressed, while at the same time human rights cannot be realised if peace is absent.
Sunila will be deeply missed by human rights community
admin | August 4th, 2013 | No Comments »
Having accepted that the Thirteenth Amendment cannot fulfil the legitimate aspirations of the Tamil people, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has nevertheless decided to participate in the forthcoming election for the new Northern Provincial Council. In light of this decision, British Tamils Forum seeks reassurance that the TNA is fully aware of the significant risks posed to the Tamil people by its decision to participate and that it has taken all reasonable steps to mitigate these risks. Furthermore, British Tamils Forum calls on the TNA to set out clearly and accountably how it intends to use its participation in the council for the benefit of the Tamil people.
admin | July 31st, 2013 | Comments Off
In a recent meeting with Rt. Hon Alistair Burt MP – the Foreign Office Minister responsible for South Asia, British Tamils expressed their disappointment at the Prime Minister David Cameron’s decision to visit Sri Lanka in November 2013, for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).
In the meeting, which was facilitated by the British Tamils Forum, Tamil representatives from a number of Tamil groups based in the UK explained to the minister the reasons why the UK Government should reconsider its decision to attend CHOGM in Sri Lanka. They further reasoned that this Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka would be against the fundamental political values of the Commonwealth and the Commonwealth charter signed by the Queen on Commonwealth Day this year.
admin | July 24th, 2013 | Comments Off
British Tamils gathered at a rally opposite Downing Street in London on Tuesday 23 July to remember the thirtieth anniversary of the Black July anti-Tamil pogrom, in which 3,000 Tamils were killed.
Although not the first pogrom to be unleashed against the Tamils, Black July was a watershed moment in Tamil history. As Tamils across the island were forced to realise that they would never be safe within a Sinhala-dominated state, hundreds of thousands fled the island to find safety on foreign shores. As the dust settled, the history of the Tamil people had begun a new chapter – one of unprecedented suffering and destruction which continues to this day.
British Tamils gathered opposite Downing Street to commemorate the innocent civilians who were killed in 1983, as well as the hundreds of thousands of Tamils who have died since at the hands of the Sinhalese state and mobs. Placards and slogans decried the absence of justice for all these victims of Sri Lanka’s genocide of the Tamils. Banners at the rally also highlighted other tactics that continue to be employed by the Sri Lankan state to gradually destroy the Tamil nation: including the militarisation of the north and east of the island; illegal state grabs of Tamil land; and sexual violence against Tamil men and women. The rally attracted positive attention from passers-by; many had been unaware of the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka and gave words of encouragement to the crowd. Read More
admin | July 19th, 2013 | Comments Off
British Tamils Forum will hold a mass rally opposite Downing Street from 4pm to 7pm on Tuesday 23 July 2013 to mark the 30th anniversary of the Black July anti-Tamil pogrom of 1983.
An estimated 3000 Tamils were killed in July 1983 at the hands of Sinhalese mobs and military personnel, in an island-wide pogrom that was initiated and aided by the Sri Lankan state. Although Black July was not the first anti-Tamil pogrom to occur since Sri Lankan Independence, it marked a turning point in the history of the island – as the unprecedented frenzy of violence forced Tamils across Sri Lanka to confront the reality that they would never be safe within a Sinhala-dominated state. Read More
admin | July 5th, 2013 | Comments Off
Toronto –The International Council of Eelam Tamils (ICET), with the participation of the British Tamils Forum (BTF) met with parliamentarians from both the opposition and ruling parties in Norway to discuss the ongoing crisis of military occupation and Sinhala-settler colonialism. In light of Norway’s role as a peace facilitator, Tamil representatives discussed the problematic role of Mr. Solheim in tilting the parity of status against the LTTE during the peace process. They spoke to parliamentarians about how Norway can make a more constructive contribution to a sustainable peace in the island by taking direct action against the ongoing structural genocide of the Tamil Nation.
“Four years after the war, the Tamil Nation is facing severe crisis through total military occupation and Sinhala settlements in the North and East,” The destruction of the LTTE and the de facto state-an expression of earned sovereignty-has accelerated a decades old policy of militarization and state sponsored settlements in the Tamil homeland,” said Krisna Saravanamuttu, spokesperson of the ICET. Parliamentarians from both the ruling and opposition parties agreed that Norway can, and must, do more to rectify its own mistakes in the peace process through restrictive sanctions on all individuals and companies involved with the occupation.