Marking the 40th anniversary of Black July, an anti-Tamil pogrom that saw the slaughter of over 3,000 Tamils, British MPs are calling on the British government and the international community to recognise the pogrom as an act of genocide.
In a video statement, MP Elliot Colburn, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils stated that:
“The fight for justice, peace, and accountability for those credible accused of war crimes and committing these atrocities is still ongoing today […] We will do all we can to push the British government and international organizations to recognise the genocide for what it was”.
He added that they will act to “bring those credible accused of committing these atrocities to justice, whether that be through sanctions or other means”.
Paul Scully, MP for Sutton and Cheam, marked the anniversary noting that “people still want answers […] What happened to their families? To those who went missing? What happened to those who are allowed to act with impunity despite committing the most atrocious crimes?”
He stressed that the international community must bring pressure to bear on the Sri Lankan government to abide by the UN resolutions and bring about truth, justice, and accountability.
Robert Halfon, MP for Harlow, described Black July as a “truly barbaric time” and noted his sympathies as a member of the Jewish community.
“Black July is a dark chapter that no one should ever forget” he stated.
Steven Baker, MP for Wycombe, noted that Black July is not only a time to commemorate and remember the atrocities commitment but a time to recommit to justice and reconciliation.