More than a dozen British Tamil student organisations and the Tamil Youth Organisation (TYO) have written to UK’s foreign secretary Dominic Raab, urging Britain to “take a principled stand” and “safeguard the victims – Tamils, from the state-sponsored genocide in Sri Lanka”.
Thanking the foreign secretary for his tweet to mark 11 years since the massacres, the organisations said “whilst 11 years have passed since the genocide, there has still been little progress made in terms of justice, and accountability for the Tamil victims in Sri Lanka”.
“In fact, you will be aware of the United Kingdom’s concern regarding Sri Lanka’s withdrawal from the UN Resolution 30/1 which promotes reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka,” it added. “As such, your tweet regarding UK’s close relationship with the Sri Lankan government, is bittersweet to the Tamil Community.”
Raab was one of twenty-five British politicians to issue statements on May 18th. He said his “thoughts are with those who lost loved ones” and reiterated his government’s “support for reconciliation & accountability in Sri Lanka to build peace & prosperity for all”. His tweeted message though also spoke of the “close friendship” between Britain and Sri Lanka, as Raab confirmed he spoke to Sri Lanka’s foreign minister recently.
In November last year, officials from the Royal British Navy visited a Sri Lankan military base in Trincomalee, as British training for Sri Lankan troops has continued despite reports of human rights abuses.
“Tamils have witnessed the painful history of deceit by successive Sri Lankan governments over the course of our struggle for freedom for over a century,” the student statement continued. “We urge, the United Kingdom, to take a principled stance based on evidence and facts to bring forth a just solution to the Tamil people.”
Read the full text of the statement, submitted by the Tamil Youth Organisation which consists of students and professionals, here.