Responding to the death of anti-apartheid activist Bishop Desmond Tutu, Global Tamil Forum (GTF) has released a statement mourning his passing and remembering his support for “justice, reconciliation and prosperity” in Sri Lanka.
In their statement, they highlighted that the Nobel laureate closely followed the brutal massacres that concluded the armed conflict in Sri Lanka and the continued abuses that followed in the years that came.
“Your journey has many parallels to the one that we travelled in South Africa, in our quest for equality”, Tutu reportedly told GTF. He further recognised that “Sri Lanka was going to need help from the international community to get back on track, just as they needed in South Africa. I stand in solidarity with the many Sri Lankans, who want just that – to get back on track!”
Tutu made these remarks in March 2016 when the Sirisena administration was in power. Tutu expressed optimism over the administration’s pledge to introducing a “new constitution”; establishing “a credible accountability mechanism”; and noted his “delight at Sri Lanka co-sponsoring the resolution passed by the United Nations Human Right Council”. The Sirisena administration would go on to fail in producing a credible accountability and subsequent years would see the Rajapaksa government renege its support for the UN resolution.
GTF conclude their statement maintaining its commitment to “genuine and meaningful effort to achieve equality, justice, peace, dignity, and reconciliation”.
Read the full statement here.