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Tamil MP refuses to meet GTF

The leader of the Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF) refused to meet with the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) this week, after the diaspora organisation signed a declaration with Sinhala Buddhist monks that has been labelled a “whitewash”.

Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam told the Tamil Guardian that he had “nothing to talk” about with the GTF, after the announcement of their initiative this week.

“This government has been one of the most oppressive, if not the most oppressive, since the end of the war,” said Ponnambalam. 

“Just two weeks ago during great hero's week it has unleashed the PTA on the people and are continuing arrests. [The GTF] have chosen to whitewash it by engaging with it especially at a time immense pressure should have been brought on it, and that too without consulting even one organisation from the homeland.”

He went on to state that the “group has done enough over the years to undercut the Tamil people's aspirations and interests.”

“Recent behaviour has only shown nothing has changed.”

His statement comes as various diaspora groups around the world distanced themselves from the Sri Lankan government approved initiative, which saw the GTF sign a declaration with the Sinhala Buddhist clergy. The declaration, made of six brief statements, that call for “a Sri Lanka where every individual can live peacefully with dignity, trust, and no fear or suspicion, enjoying equal rights”.

The launch of the GTF initiative comes just days after the Sri Lankan security forces launched a crackdown on those attempting to commemorate Maaveerar Naal in the North-East, detaining Tamils under much criticised anti-terrorism legislation.

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