Sonia Gandhi: We are with the Tamils and I am very concerned about Sri Lanka

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19 March, 2011

Women's March - 05 March 2011

In an opportunity to speak with Mrs Gandhi following her Commonwealth lecture, at the reception for invited guests, senior members of the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) raised issues regarding the plight of Tamil women in Sri Lanka.

Mrs. Gandhi said that she is very concerned about the situation in Sri Lanka. She said that the Congress lead coalition government has asserted their serious concerns to the Government of Sri Lanka. Continue reading

British Tamil Women Fight for Justice by Suren Surendiran

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6 March, 2011

Women's March - 05 March 2011

British Tamil women joined hundreds of thousands of women marching through London to mark the 100th year of international women’s day to call an end to violence against women, highlighting the suffering of Tamil women and children in Sri Lanka and demanding justice for the victims.

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Photos allege Sri Lanka massacre

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Warning

This article may contain images depicting the reality and horror of war/violence and should only be viewed by a mature audience.

Al Jazeera English
10 Nov 2010

Al Jazeera has obtained photographs that appear to show Sri Lankan army soldiers abusing Tamil civilians in the final days of the Sri Lankan civil war.

The pictures show various graphic scenes, with dead bodies blindfolded and hands bound, shot through the head and mounds of bodies on the back of a farmer’s trailer.

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British Prime Minister Supports An Independent Inquiry by Suren Surendiran

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27 October, 2010

An enlargeable basic map of Sri Lanka

Image via Wikipedia

Please find below the link to BBC iPlayer showing Prime Minister’s Questions from yesterday. Ms McDonagh asks her question at 21:02.

http://www.bbc.co.uk

The voice recording is also attached of the question and the PM’s reply.

[Note: the BBC video is not available for viewers in the US.]

A full transcript on the official parliamentary record, Hansard is as follows:

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New Sri Lankan civil war photos threaten to overshadow Britain visit + Call for investigation into Sri Lanka war deaths

Updated: Oct. 20, 2010

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19 October, 2010

An enlargeable basic map of Sri Lanka

Image via Wikipedia

New Sri Lankan civil war photos threaten to overshadow Britain visit

By Dean Nelson, South Asia Editor
Telegraph
18 Oct 2010

The campaign for a war-crimes tribunal to investigate alleged atrocities in the Sri Lankan civil war has intensified following the release of photographs which appeared to show a massacre of Tamils.

The photographs, which showed blood stained bodies of young men and women who had been blindfolded and had their hands tied behind their backs, were released by the Global Tamil Forum (GTF), a group which includes former supporters of the Tamil Tiger rebels.

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British Parliamentarians to Raise Issue of Sri Lanka in House of Commons

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12 September, 2010

PRESS ALERT
September 12th 2010

“The first Foreign and Commonwealth Office Oral Questions session since summer recess will throw a spotlight onto the current human rights situation in Sri Lanka. Taking place on 14th September, the Foreign Secretary Rt. Hon William Hague MP and other Foreign Office Ministers will be answering questions on Sri Lanka. Amongst others, on the access to alleged ex-combatants by the International Committee of the Red Cross, when the last time discussions were held between the British government and her Sri Lankan counterparts on human rights issues and when discussions last took place between the British government and the UN High Representative for Human Rights on the situation of Tamils in detention camps.

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Global Tamil Forum on Sri Lanka Election

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25 April, 2010

Low Tamil turnout reflects their disillusion in the Sri Lankan political system

London April 24, 2010 — The Global Tamil Forum views the parliamentary election in Sri Lanka conducted on April 8, as an election that was imposed on the Tamil speaking people of the island. The Tamils living in a highly militarized oppressive condition continue to undergo many forms of immense suffering, depravation of the basic necessities of life, denial of freedom, fear and intimidation. There are still about 100,000 Tamils housed in military run internment camps and their rights have been denied. Thousands of Tamils have been denied their rights to vote in this election.

The very low turn-out at the polls by the Tamils in Northeast Sri Lanka, clearly due to fear, mistrust and despise for these elections, have sent a clear message to the international community that they have hardly any faith in this Sri Lankan form of ethnic-majoritarian democracy and its mode of elections. The government of Sri Lanka in its attempt to justify it as a democratic government and to deceive the international community, imposed the election on Tamil people in an environment of oppression and occupation.

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A worldwide boycott of Sri Lanka by Suren Surendiran

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11 April, 2010

crossposted on guardian.co.uk

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The island’s tyrannical government cannot continue to ignore international law – the world must stop supporting it

David Miliband, the foreign secretary, said in his speech at the Global Tamil Forum conference in February: “It [political reconciliation] will require you to speak up for a vision of a decent Sri Lanka that respects all its people and it will require you to speak up for a spirit that recognises that if people can not find a way to live together they will drift apart.”

However, Sri Lanka’s president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, at one of his election campaign rallies in the north of Sri Lanka – which is part of the Tamil homeland – raised his voice in anger last week and shouted in Sinhala: “We are Sinhalese and I am Sinhalese – you listen Tamils!”, as the crowd hooted at him to express their frustration and despair about his policies.

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Tamil Forum calls for boycott of Sri Lanka by Suren Surendiran

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25 March, 2010

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crossposted on http://blogs.reuters.com

Suren Surendiran is a senior member of the British Tamils Forum and the official spokesperson for the Global Tamil Forum. The opinions expressed are his own.

“Some governments try to dodge criticism by claiming that human rights are ‘western values’. But people all over the world prove them wrong by demanding and suffering for their human rights – be they imprisoned protesters in Iran, or murdered journalists in Russia, or civilians caught up in conflicts in Sri Lanka or Gaza. We must continue to support people who demand their human rights across the world.” – David Miliband, Foreign Secretary, Statement to mark International Human Rights Day, 10 December 2009 –

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Tamils aren’t voting for change by Suren Surendiran

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16 March, 2010

crossposted on guardian.co.uk

The Sri Lankan minority wants autonomy, but persecution in their homeland stopped Tamils voting in the election to effect it

The Tamil National Alliance‘s current manifesto prefers a federal structure in Sri Lanka to a separate state. It claims shared sovereignty, and that the north and east provinces are the historical habitations of Tamil-speaking people. It further states that the Tamil people are a distinct nationality and are entitled to the right of self-determination. Power-sharing arrangements must be established in a unit of merged Northern and Eastern provinces based on a federal structure, in a manner also acceptable to the Tamil-speaking Muslim people. Devolution of power should be in the areas of land, law and order, socioeconomic development including health and education, resources and fiscal powers.

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Over 64,000 British Tamils say yes to Tamil Eelam

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1 February 2010

Press Release

The British Tamil Diaspora overwhelmingly endorsed the principle of Tamil Eelam in two days of polling this weekend. With over 64,000 votes cast, over 99% voted in favour of an independent and separate state of Tamil Eelam.

British Tamils were asked if they endorsed the principles contained in the Vadukkoddai Resolution that was first put to a democratic mandate in 1977. In that historic election the Tamil polity in Sri Lanka voted overwhelmingly for an independent and sovereign state of Tamil Eelam in the traditional Tamil homelands.

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Trampled Tamils lack election appetite by Suren Surendiran

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crossposted on guardian.co.uk
8 January 2010

As video footage prompts UN calls for an inquiry into war crimes by Sri Lankan troops, Tamils are in no mood to play kingmaker

On Thursday, UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings Philip Alston called for “an independent inquiry to be established to carry out an impartial investigation into war crimes” in Sri Lanka. In particular, Alston has given the UN’s imprimatur to the authenticity of video footage apparently showing summary executions of prisoners in January 2009 in the final stages of the civil war.

The Sri Lankan government has, unsurprisingly, rejected the video as “fabricated”, despite the UN’s reliance on three independent experts in assessing it, accusing Alston of bias and a personal crusade. Any investigation would have to involve both main presidential candidates: sitting president Mahinda Rajapaksa, who has been the commander-in-chief of the defence forces, and General Sarath Fonseka, who was in charge of the army.

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These candidates are largely to blame for destroying our people by Suren Surendiran

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crossposted on The Independent
7 January 2010

As far as we Tamils are concerned, this is not the right time for any sort of election, regardless of who the candidates are.

Those in the traditional homeland are still recovering from the woes of the war; there has been no time for proper healing, rehabilitation or reconstruction. Most do not know where their loved ones are and whether they are still living or dead. They live in fear under a heavy military presence, with restricted freedom of movement.

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GSP+ Latest Statement by EU + Radio Netherlands Worldwide Newsline Program by Suren Surendiran

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16 December 2009

Radio Netherlands Worldwide ran a headline story regarding the allegations of war crimes reignited by General Sarath Fonseka’s interview to a Sri Lankan broadsheet news paper at the weekend. RNW interviewed me and requested response from the Sri Lankan High Commission at the Hague this afternoon.

Full Newsline programme can be heard by clicking on the link below and choosing Newsline under Listen Again area at the top left corner. Sri Lanka is the second headline news after the Copenhagen Summit news, which will begin from 5.57 on the time-line indicator:

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Noam Chomsky: West’s self-interest reduces R2P to “noble rhetoric” + Break through the Silence

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TamilNet
[TamilNet, Saturday, 31 October 2009, 20:13 GMT]

During an invited lecture at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) of London University, Noam Chomsky, one of the world’s well known intellectual and professor emeritus of linguistics at MIT, said on Sri Lanka, that although there’s “a lot of noble rhetoric about Responsibility to Protect (R2P), there is no particular Western advantage in protecting people who are being slaughtered, and are being thrown into concentration camps. Somehow these didn’t make it in the noble rhetoric,” and added Sri Lanka was a “horror story, especially towards the end.”

Chomsky added that in the way West acts, “there is no protection for any people who it doesn’t do any good [to the West] to protect, and basically Sri Lankans [Tamils] are in that unfortunate position.”

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