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Proscription of diaspora orgs 'shameful' says former UK MP, GTF policy advisor

The Sri Lankan government's decision to proscribe all major Tamil diaspora organisations is "shameful" said Joan Ryan, the former MP for Enfield North and currently Global Tamil Forum's (GTF) policy advisor.

"This is the latest attempt by a Government hell-bent on intimidating and silencing those who demand truth, justice and accountability both for the alleged war crimes committed during Sri Lanka’s armed conflict and for the on-going perpetration of human rights abuses," said Ms Ryan Tuesday.

Ms Ryan added,

"As the Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Northern Province states, this claim is a “witch hunt” used for political purposes and as a cover to continue the militarisation and repression of the area."

"By labeling major Tamil diaspora groups as ‘terrorists’, the proscription will forbid Sri Lankan citizens, NGOs and political parties from having any contact with these organisations. Families and friends of representatives who work for these groups will be in even more danger and members of the Tamil diaspora heading to the island will be under closer scrutiny by the state security forces. The Government is not interested in engaging constructively with the diaspora and is not prepared to address the root cause of the armed conflict – the systematic marginalisation of the Tamil people.

This is a blatant measure to attack freedom of expression. It will further undermine the human rights situation on the island and will do yet more damage to the accountability and reconciliation processes."

See related articles:

Diaspora groups reject SL ban, vow to continue struggle (02 Apr 2014)

APPGT deplores diaspora ban, calls on international community to condemn Sri Lanka's actions (02 Apr 2014)

Diaspora ban worsens climate for journalists, NGOs and others working with Tamil groups, says Amnesty (02 Apr 2014)

Proscription of diaspora orgs is to demoralise Tamils in homeland - K. Guruparan (02 Apr 2014)

Sri Lanka aims to cut us off from the diaspora - TNA's Shivajilingham (02 Apr 2014)

The proscription of the Tamil Diaspora: War by other means (01 Apr 2014)