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'Sri Lanka does not deserve more time' - Labour MP

British MPs and local councillors of the London constituency Ilford North met with members of the Tamil community today to discuss the issue of seeking ‘Justice for the Tamil people in Sri Lanka.'

Left to Right: Jim Murphy, Wes Streeting & Mike Gapes                                                     (Photo:John Howard)

Labour’s candidate for Ilford North, Wes Streeting chaired the event with local councillor T Jeyaranjan, the Shadow Secretary for International Development , Jim Murphy and Ilford South MP, Mike Gapes joining his panel.

Opening the event, Mike Gapes outlined that the continued subjugation of Tamils by the Sinhala majority had been the main cause of the ethnic conflict which ended with the brutal atrocities committed against Tamil civilians. Gapes went on to stress that recent documentaries and credible reports proved that an international investigation into war crimes was required as the Sri Lankan government did not have the capacity to perform their own. Arguing that calls for an international investigation should be immediate Gapes said,

“Sri Lanka do not deserve to be given yet more time to perform an independent inquiry by March.”

Jim Murphy went on to reiterate that it was Labour’s responsibility to ensure that David Cameron delivered on his promises to the Tamil people of the North-East, of pushing for an International Investigation into war crimes at the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Streeting outlined the need to continue providing facts and figures about the situation Tamils faced in the North-East to the British government. Highlighting that there were extensive Sri Lanka propaganda efforts to lobby British MPs, he condemned MP’s that had spoken in favour of Sri Lanka after accepting all expenses paid trips and tours of the island.

Responding to questions on what the Labour party would do to stop the on-going land appropriation of Tamil land, rewriting of Tamil history and militarisation of the North-East, Gapes assured that these issues would be pushed strongly by the Foreign Affairs Select Committee.

Murphy expressed extreme concern over the fact that “Tamils were being taught history written by the Victors” and assured to raise the issues of appropriation of Tamil land at the next parliamentary discussion on Sri Lanka.

The event concluded with all three labour panel members reiterating that they took their responsibility of speaking out for the oppressed Tamils very seriously and ensuring that the current government did not falter on pushing for an international investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity. 

See @TamilGuardian Twitter page for live tweets from the event.

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