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Tamil MPs 'are not safe' - British politicians condemn arrest of TNPF's leader

British politicians have condemned the arrest of Tamil National People's Front leader Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam and have called for his immediate release. 

Elliot Colburn MP for Carshalton and Wallington and All Party Parliamentary Group Chair for Tamils (APPGT) tweeted:

"This is a chilling reminder even elected representatives of Tamils speaking about justice for mass atrocities & a political solution to the ethnic conflict aren't safe."

Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Ed Davey, has written to the British Foreign Secretary to express his concern and request an update on the situation and what communication the Foreign Secretary has had with his Sri Lankan counterpart.

Read more here: ‘The gravity of the situation could not be clearer’ – UK Lib Dem leader slams arrest of TNPF leader


Siobhain McDonagh MP for Mitcham and Morden echoed Colburn's comments and tweeted:


Sam Tarry MP for Ilford South said that Tamil representatives "are not safe to articulate their people's aspirations of justice for war-crimes and self-determination" and called on the international community to condemn Ponnambalam's arrest. 

Gareth Thomas MP for Harrow West decried the arrest as "profoundly worrying". He further stated on Twitter:


Earlier today, the TNPF leader was arrested at his Colombo home and taken to Kilinochchi police station. 

Mr Ponnambalam was due to table a special motion in Parliament regarding the assault and threats to life issued towards him by Maruthankerny police last week. The police department has since named him as an 'accused person' in the incident where he was assaulted and a loaded gun drawn on him by police officers in plain clothes.

Ponnambalam has since been released.



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