Facebook icon
Twitter icon
e-mail icon

'A demilitarisation of the traditional Tamil speaking homelands...a political settlement that respects the right to self-determination' - Sam Tarry MP

Speaking at the Mullivaikkal Remembrance event in London Sam Tarry, Labour MP and shadow minister for Buses and Local Transport, called on the UK government to apply targeted sanctions on those responsible for human rights abuses and stressed the need for demilitarisation across the Tamil homelands. 

He added,

"We know that Sri Lanka is engulfed in its worst economic crisis in its entire history... one of the reasons the economic crisis is so severe is because the government of Sri Lanka billions of billions of pounds to keep one of the world's largest standing army in post and why do they have such an army? To of course suppress the people in the Tamil homelands. The economic success in Sri Lanka is linked in my mind to peace and justice to the Tamil people"

Speaking on the UK government's approach to foreign policy he added,

"We should not be cutting deals with any autocratic regime on any part of this globe without making sure human rights are central to deals...there is an opportunity now as Sri Lanka seeks a deal with the IMF to get them out of the emergency crisis that they are in, that we can apply pressure to the IMF to ensure that strong conditions around respecting Tamil rights, respecting humans and respecting minority rights on the island are apart of that economic rebuilding" 

Commenting on Britain's role in ensuring justice, he noted

"it's high time the British government listens to the calls from the UNHRC and the Tamil community which have requested increased bilateral pressure on Sri Lanka...we must apply targeted Magnitsky sanctions on Sri Lanka, on the war criminals... We must also ensure that strict human rights reform conditions are placed on any further trade tariff concessions as the EU are already considering"

Closing off he reiterated the Labour party's commitment to protecting the Tamil and Muslim communities in Sri Lanka and a need for a political settlement which respects the Tamil people's right to justice and self-determination.

"Lastly I would like to say I am incredibly proud to represent an active and prominent Tamil community in Ilford South...I have stood and will continue to stand by the Tamil community in their pursuit of international justice against the mass atrocities which took place against their people. A demilitirisation of the traditional Tamil speaking homelands...importantly for the future of everybody on the island a constitutional political settlement that respects the right to self-determination of all people on the island including the Tamil people.... We remember we will not forget, we must march onwards and hold our government here in Britain to account to take action to make a difference in Sri Lanka" 

Watch the full speech here

We need your support

Sri Lanka is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist. Tamil journalists are particularly at threat, with at least 41 media workers known to have been killed by the Sri Lankan state or its paramilitaries during and after the armed conflict.

Despite the risks, our team on the ground remain committed to providing detailed and accurate reporting of developments in the Tamil homeland, across the island and around the world, as well as providing expert analysis and insight from the Tamil point of view

We need your support in keeping our journalism going. Support our work today.

For more ways to donate visit https://donate.tamilguardian.com.