London World Tamil Conference endorses a momentous resolution in the UK Parliament
The World Tamil Conference held in London in the British Houses of parliament this week endorsed a historic resolution, stressing “the United Nation member states to urgently set up an ‘international independent investigation’ into the complete conduct of the Sri Lankan State against the Tamil Nation and specifically call upon the investigation Of War Crimes, Crimes against Humanity, and the Crime of Genocide against the Tamil people”.
The Resolution was unanimously passed by the attendees of the conference who are leaders and senior party members of Tamilnadu political parties, Parliamentarians of Tamil National Alliance, members of Tamil National People’s Front, Members of Tamil Civil Society and Tamil Diaspora Organisations. The conference was attended by a large number of UK parliamentarians, Human Rights Activists and journalists.
The resolution also urged the leaders of the international community and the global civil society to: 1) Take immediate steps to create for free flow of information that would bring to light the ground realities prevailing in the North and East of the Island of Sri Lanka. 2) To stop decimation of the Tamil Nation by the Sri Lankan State. 3) To stop Sinhalisation of the Tamil traditional Homeland. 4) To demilitarize the Tamil People’s Homeland of the people to exercise their democratic rights free from fear of persecution.
The British MPs who addressed the gathering accused the United Nations and the International community for failing to fulfill their obligation in not invoking the “responsibility to protect” provisions to avert the humanitarian crisis of the Tamils in Sri Lanka. Describing what has happened in Sri Lanka against Tamils as a genocide, the Vice Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils ( APPGT) Mr. Robert Halfon condemned the international community for not recognizing the genocide of Tamils. Meanwhile, the chairman of the APPGT Mr. Lee Scot urged the international community to set up an independent investigation into the crimes committed by the Sri Lankan government and pledged his support for Tamils until they achieve their aspirations in Sri Lanka.
Liberal Democrat MP and the Vice Chairman of the APPGT Mr. Simon Hughes highlighted the state’s primary responsibility for protecting populations from war crimes and accused the Sri Lankan government for not abiding to this responsibility and committing serious war crimes during the final war. He also condemned the international community for not fulfilling its obligation to prevent this crime in Sri Lanka and described it as a “fundamental failure on the part of international community”.
Labour MP Mr. Jeremy Corbyn in his speech urged the international community to recognize Tamils’ aspirations and their right to self determination in Sri Lanka. Labour MPs Sibhain McDonagh and Garath Thomas urged the international community and the UN to urgently set up an international independent inquiry into the war in Sri Lanka. Several other MPs including Conservative MPs Mr. Steve Baker,Mr. Gavin Barwell, Mr. Bob Blackman, Mr. Alok Sharma, Ms .Caroline Nokkes, Mr. Stephen Hammond, Ms. Ann Main, Rt. Hon Grant Shapps, Mr. Mike Freer, Mr. Iain Stewart, Labour MPs Mr. Mike Gapes, Mr. Barry Gardiner , Ms. Seema Malhotra and Libral Democrats MPs R thon Tom Brake attended the conference.
Senior political leaders of Tamilnadu who addressed the conference unanimously iterated the urgency of setting up an international independent inquiry and pledged to work together hand in hand with the Eelam Tamil people.
The leaders who addressed the gathering were: Mr. M.K. Stalin, Mr. Rathakrishnan, Mr. Illankovan and Mr. T.R.Balu of Dravida Munnetra Kalakam, Mr. D.K. Mani of Paddali Makkal Kadchi, Mr. Arul of Pasumai Thayakam, Mr. Iyanar of Nam Thamilar Kadchi, Mr. Viduthalai Rajendran of Thiravida Viduthalai Kalakam, Mr. D.K. Rajah, Mr. T. Pandyan of Communist Party of India, Mr. Thol Tirumavalavan of Viduthalai Chiruthaikal, Mr. Arjun Sampath of Inthu Makkal Kadchi, Dr. Krishnasuamy of Puthiya Thamilakam, Mr. Kumaraiya of Ganthiya Makkal Iyakkam, Mr. Saravanan of Save Tamil Movement, Mr. Thirukumaran of May 17th Movement and Mr. Ram Shankar of Delhi Tamil Advocates association. Parliamentarians of Tamil National Alliance Mr. Mavai Senathirajah, Mr. Suresh Premachandran, Mr. Sritharan and Mr. Yokesvaran and Former MP and the General Secretary of the Tamil National People Front Mr. Gajendrakumar Ponnampalam.
TNA MP Suresh Premachandran and TNPLF Secretary General Gandrakumar Ponnampalam commended the conference as a timely and forward step. Suresh Premachandran emphasized that the international independent investigation is the way to resolve the conflict in Sri Lanka and stressed that peace is impossible without resolving the issue of justice. Meanwhile, Mr. Gajendrakumar Ponnampalam emphasized that the investigation in Sri Lanka should be focused on the genocide that was committed and continues to be committed against the Tamil people.
The following is the resolution adopted by the Conference
Expressing our appreciation for their report on Sri Lanka by the Panel of Experts appointed by the UN Secretary General and noting in particular the report’s acknowledgment of the persecution and extermination of the Tamil people for political reasons on ethnic grounds,
Expressing our appreciation for the findings and recommendations of the Permanent Peoples Tribunal on Sri Lanka held in Dublin
Noting with concern the continuing destruction of the Tamil Nation in the North and East of the Island of Sri Lanka, despite the end of war in May 2009, and the need for an immediate arrest to the present conditions of persecution of the Tamil people
Reminding the responsibilities of the international community under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and under the doctrine of the responsibility to protect (R2P)
We call upon the member states of the United Nations to urgently set up an international independent investigation into the complete conduct of the Sri Lankan State against the Tamil Nation and specifically call for an investigation of War Crimes, Crimes against Humanity, and the Crime of Genocide against the Tamil people.
We urge the leaders of the international community and the global civil society to: 1) Take immediate steps to provide for space for free flow of information that would bring to light as to the ground realities prevailing in the North and East of the Island of Sri Lanka. 2) To stop decimation of the Tamil Nation by the Sri Lankan State. 3) To stop Sinhalisation of the Tamil traditional Homeland. 4) To demilitarize the Tamil People’s Homeland for the people to exercise their democratic rights free from fear of persecution.
Several organizations representing diaspora Tamils including The US Tamil Political Action Council , Canadian Tamil Congress, Tamil Centre for Human Rights, France Makkal Avai, Global Tamil Forum, Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam, Tamil Information Center, Tamil Youth Organisation , Norwegian Council of Eelam Tamils , South African-based Solidarity Group for Peace and Justice in Sri Lanka (SGPJ and Global Peace Support Group participated in the conference.