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British cross-party parliamentary group marks Maaveerar Naal

The All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils called on Sri Lanka’s government to allow Tamils to freely remember their war-dead in the North-East.

Condemning the government’s destruction of cemeteries in the North-East, the cross-party group of British parliamentarians said they stood with the Tamil community as they “rebuild their destroyed cemeteries as part of ongoing remembrance efforts.

In a statement released for Maaveerar Naal, the Chair of the parliamentary group, Paul Scully MP said,

“Despite ongoing intimidation and rights violations this year, Tamils in the North-East have come out to clean and rebuild their destroyed cemeteries as part of ongoing remembrance efforts. Standing with the British Tamil community as it gathers to remember its war dead on the 27th I call on the Sri Lankan government to allow Tamils in Sri Lanka to mourn their war dead in public.”

The statement added,

“Eight years on from the end of the armed conflict in Sri Lanka, the Government has actively curtailed remembrance efforts of Tamils who lost loved ones in the armed ethnic conflict. In the North-East cemeteries to remember the Tamil war-dead were destroyed and occupied by Sri Lanka’s military. Every year in the run up to National Remembrance Day, the heavily militarised Tamil North-East witnesses a spate of arrests and the deployment of security forces as a symbol of intimidation.”

Expressing concern at Sri Lanka’s lack of progress on  delivering accountability for war-time atrocities, the statement, said,

“We also join calls by member states of the UN for Sri Lanka to commit to a time-bound marked action plan on ensuring full implementation of the United Nations Human Rights Council resolution 30/1.”