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Conference in Danish parliament calls for independent, international investigation

TNPF Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam addresses conference

Danish and Eelam Tamil politicians, as well as activists called for an independent, international investigation into the allegations of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide at a conference in Denmark - "A forgotten conflict: Conference on Human Rights in Sri Lanka".

The conference, which took place on Wednesday inside Denmark's parliamentary building, included a speakers from all four main parties of Danish politics, as well as TNPF (Tamil National People’s Front) President, Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam from the North-East. The welcome address was given by the Social Democratic MP Troels Ravn - a member of the ruling coalition.

Cons MP and former Foreign Minister, Per Stig Møller

Conservative MP and former Foreign Minister from 2001 to 2010, Per Stig Møller said, "during the battle’s most intensive period in 2009, I was making efforts in my capacity as foreign minister to stop the war, however it was to no avail."

"We maintained links with the UN security council with regards to our concerns," said Møller. "We were hoping that at least after the war, the Sri Lankan government would fulfil its promises, but we have only been disappointed."

TNPF Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam

Highlighting the structural genocide that continues to take place on the island, TNPF President Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam, detailed the state's programme of militarisation and Sinhala colonisation of the Tamil homeland. Referring to the two resolutions adopted by the UN Human Rights Council, Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam said they were "gravely inadequate" and completely failed to address the dismantling of the Tamil nation and its homeland. The on-going "systematic dismantling" of the Tamil nation could only be curtailed through the formation of a transitional administration in the North-East, he argued.

Speaker, Mogens Lykketoft

Giving an overview of conflict on the island, the Speaker of the Danish Parliament Mogens Lykketoft stressed that even though the armed conflict has ended in Sri Lanka, the ethnic conflict continues, and pointed out that criticisms of the Sri Lankan government are increasing. Stating that India's participation in the issue is vital, Lykketoft called on India to take a stronger position.

Other speakers included Jeyashanker Murugiah from the TGTE, Maheswaran Ponnambalam from the Denmark Federation of Tamil Associations (DFTA), Mikkel W Kaargaard – author of Sri Lanka: 'From Independence to Suicide Terrorism', and the exiled Sinhala journalist Bashana Abeywardene.

Panel discussion at the end

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