The Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF) expressed their solidarity with Ambihai Selvakumar, a British Tamil woman who has reached the 16th day of her hunger strike, and urged the British government to “open its doors to justice in good faith” and exhort the rest of the international community to endeavour towards delivering justice for the Tamil people, in a statement released on Thursday.
“As Tamil people and human rights activists have come together to lend support to her (Ambihai’s) non-violent protest, the TNPF is also working in conjunction with them,” the TNPF stated.
Mrs Selvakumar, who has refused water and only been taking water, has been demanding for the international community to refer Sri Lanka to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
“The TNPF urges the international community to respect the Ammaiyar’s (revered woman) non-violent form of protest and endeavour towards securing justice for the beleaguered Tamil people,” the statement read.
The TNPF stated its endorsement of Ms. Selvakumar’s four demands, including the establishment of an International Independent Investigative Mechanism (IIIM), akin to those established for Syria and Myanmar and the appointment of a Special Rapporteur of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
The statement then went on to express the Tamil people’s disappointment with the British government’s conduct regarding the issue. “For a country that shows itself in the international arena as one that respects democracy, Britain has evinced contempt for the recommendations of the OHCHR and is conducting itself only with its geopolitical self-interest and that of its friendly countries in mind,” the statement read.
“It has caused great disillusionment amongst Eelam Tamil people and the diaspora Tamils,” it added.
The TNPF also cited Britain’s colonial legacy in Sri Lanka as a reason for the Tamil’s plight. “Britain has a responsibility for the situation of the Tamils in the present day. Prior to colonial rule, we Tamils were living as a nation. If Britain had acted responsibly whilst granting independence to Sri Lanka and ensured the position of the Tamils, there would’ve been no necessity for the Tamils to have faced oppression and genocide.”
“However, we Tamils are still living, being mired in a structure of institutionalised ethnic cleansing,” the statement stressed.
Read the full statement in Tamil here.