Sir Ed Davey, a long-time of the British Tamil community, has been elected leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, after having secured 63.5% of the vote.
In the past, Davey has spoken in favour of recognising Tamil genocide and against the restoration of GSP+ status to Sri Lanka. GSP+ grants Sri Lanka favourable trade preferences with the European Union but was conditional on Sri Lanka’s human rights record.
In 2010 Sri Lanka lost GSP+ status due to the country’s deteriorating human rights situation however in 2017, this status was restored. This lead to widespread criticism including by then Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Ed Davey.
With respects to the issue of genocide, he stated that, whilst initially hesitant, as more and more evidence was unearthed of the atrocities that took place in Sri Lanka it became clear to him that it, in fact, was a genocide.
Marking the 11th anniversary of Mullivaikkal, Davey stated:
“We cannot allow this horrific, horrific incident and the events leading up to it, to be forgotten. And we cannot end the search for justice. The call for an international independent judicial investigation needs to continue. I think the actions of the Sri Lankan government in the United Nations Human Rights Council (are) unacceptable”.
He has further stated on the during the final stages of the war:
“Civilians, men, women and children were told to go to the beach, to the No Fire Zones. They were bombed. The criminals who carried it out must be held to account."
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