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British MPs call for recognition of self-determination of the Tamil people

The Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils (APPGt) called for a political solution that recognises the Tamils people's right to self determination and stated the British government are “looking for action” from Colombo, in a message released to mark Tamil New Year on Wednesday.

James Berry said in a statement that the cross-party group of parliamentarians had “been working tirelessly to represent the rights of the Tamil population in the UK and the victims of war crimes and human rights violations in Sri Lanka – a task which to this day remains a priority for our government, especially in light of evidence which suggests that many serious abuses continue”.

“I am proud that there has been some progress, but as the recent 2016 reception of the APPGt clearly illustrated, a lot more work remains,” said Mr Berry. “As the Chair for the APPGt, I know that now is not the time to rest on our laurels.”

“Going forward into this New Year, we need to ensure that the justice mechanism agreed in the latest UNHRC resolution is reliable and independent. Above all we need to achieve a political situation in Sri Lanka that fulfils the aspirations of the Tamil people and recognises the right to self-determination.”

Mr Berry also added,

“We also need to ensure that promises President Sirisena is making on the world stage about returning lands seized from Tamil people, and the long-term demilitarisation of the North and East, are honoured. The Tamil community and the British government are looking for action, not just warm words.”

See his full statement here.

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