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‘Oppression of Tamils should be recognised as attempt at genocide’ - John McDonnell

The brutal oppression in Sri Lanka “should be recognised as an attempt at genocide against the Tamils,” says UK Labour Party’s Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell, in a video statement earlier today.

Speaking on the military occupation of the Tamil homeland, Mr McDonnell, urged the Sri Lankan military to be withdrawn from the North-East.

“We believe that the British government has a specific role to play; both in terms of ensuring that our relationship with Sri Lanka, trading relationship, in particular, are based upon human rights but also on progress with implementation of the UN resolution,” he added.

Mr McDonnell said that the British High Commission must monitor the human rights situation in Sri Lanka as the newly elected President, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, has a record which “presents us with real concerns and fears for the future.”

“The Labour Party will always stand with the Tamil community, both in terms of here in this country but also supporting them and their families in their homeland. We stand with the Tamils.”

Earlier this week, The Labour Party pledged to work for the “protection of human rights for Sri Lanka’s minority Tamil and Muslim populations” in its manifesto for the upcoming British elections.

Speaking on the Tamil people, the manifesto states:

“We will work through the UN and the Commonwealth to insist on the protection of human rights for Sri Lanka’s minority Tamil and Muslim populations.”