Press Release form the British Tamils Forum (pdf document)
"Anyone who dares give any consideration to the prospects of genocidein Sri Lanka is described as a terrorist"– MP at the UK Parliament
10 Members of Parliament from all three main political parties representing the people of the United Kingdom,without exception spoke in favour of Tamils, in the allocated 14 minutes during the adjournment debate securedby the Hon Andrew Pelling MP for Croydon Central.
The fact that many MPs turned up for this debate especially being the final item at the end of parliamentarysession before the Christmas recess was itself commended by MPs, British Tamil Community and politicalobservers.
Varied in their concerns MPs highlighted from the abuses of human rights by the Government of Sri Lanka(GoSL), use of banned cluster bombs by the GoSL, the indiscriminate nature of the aerial bombardment to thegenocidal war that has been perpetrated by the GoSL against the Tamil community in Sri Lanka. Many MPsincluding the Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Hon. Member for Harlow (Bill Rammell)condemned the GoSL and its High Commission here in the UK for its attacks on MPs who raise their genuineconcerns against human rights violations and against the genocidal war that has been waged by the GoSL againstits own people.
MPs also highlighted how British citizens and organisations have been targeted by the Sri Lankan HighCommission here in the UK in falsely accusing them of being aiding and assisting terrorists. They also suggestedthat the proscription of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in this country should at least be partiallylifted for political and humanitarian work to take place. A direct comparison was made with how the ban onPeople’s Mujahedeen was partially lifted for that organisation to conduct political and humanitarian work.The need for international intervention in some form or other (Commonwealth, UN, EU, Norway, India, The US,Japan and G20 were some of the suggestions) was stressed by many MPs including, Hon Andrew Love (Labour),Hon Simon Hughes (Lib Dem), Hon Jeremy Corbyn (Lab), Hon John McDonnell (Lab), Hon Paul Burstow (LibDem), Hon Susan Kramer (Lib Dem), Hon Andrew Dismore (Lab), Hon Andrew Pelling (Independent), Hon LeeScott (Conservative), Rt. Hon Keith Vaz (Lab) and the Hon Minister Bill Rammell (Lab).Mr. Scott MP (Conservative – Ilford, North): "In the past few years, Iraq has put on trial its leader,Saddam Hussein, who bombed and killed his own people. Exactly the same thing is being done bythe Sri Lankan Government now"
Lobbying by the British Tamil community of the UK political establishment, law makers and civil servantshighlighting the plight and suffering of Tamils in Sri Lanka is slowly making progress, it seems. It is evident andcommendable that following the adjournment debate that was secured by Hon Simon Hughes MP in January 2008soon after the unilateral abrogation from the internationally sponsored Ceasefire Agreement by the Governmentof Sri Lanka, there have been many such debates including today’s and many questions written and oral both atthe Houses of Parliament and the House of Lords and Early Day Motions raised by various Hon Members ofParliament and Noble Lords of cross parties.
However, one of the many British Tamil spectators who filled the gallery upstairs said after the debate, outsidethe parliament "It is good to see so many members of parliament speaking so genuinely sharing ourconcerns, but it seems the Civil Servants who advise the Ministers need far more educating of thereal situation and the absolute support that prevails within the Tamils in Sri Lanka and the Diasporafor the Tamil Liberation Movement...They should actually come and see some of the gatherings inLondon, outside London and overseas to realise the sheer number of people who come insupport...It is very disappointing that they forget that the parliament is there to represent thecitizen’s wishes and aspirations"