SL High Commission in UK differentiates Tamil students from Sri Lankans

[TamilNet, Thursday, 02 April 2009, 02:20 GMT]
“We are also being informed by Sri Lankan diaspora [in UK] that Tamil students in schools, attended by their children, have made presentations titled ‘Stop Tamil Genocide’ during their citizenship class,” complained a recent letter signed by Sri Lanka’s Deputy High Commissioner, Sumith Nakandala, sent to head teachers of schools in Britain. Responding to the letter, the Chairman of British Tamils Forum (BTF) said: “British MPs and even a minister have recently expressed apprehension in British Parliament over impending genocide of Tamils at the hands of the Sri Lankan government and its armed forces. But the Sri Lankan High Commission is attempting to bully the democratic rights of the school students in London learning and voicing against the genocide in Sri Lanka.”

What has obviously irked the High Commission is the embarrassment of Sinhala students, said N. Sukanthakumaran of the BTF.

SL High Commission letter
The letter sent by the Sri Lankan High Commission in UK to the head teachers of schools in London
Meanwhile, a head teacher, who sent to TamilNet a copy of the letter he had received from the High Commission, expressed his puzzle and astonishment at the way the letter differentiated the students of the ‘Sri Lankan diaspora’ from the ‘Tamil students’.

“It is of course true and also ideal that students need to be orientated to look at contemporary issues from an academic point of view, shunning emotions, even if such issues are of personal concern to them. But there are universally acknowledged humanitarian issues such as genocide, which however hard one may try to conceal, will only miserably embarrass the one who tries at concealing it,” the head teacher said.

Commenting on the accusations found in the letter, the BTF member said: “Rather than justifying the subject matter, which obviously they can't, the letter of the High Commission was accusing the British Tamil Forum (BTF) and the Tamils Against Genocide (TAG) as front organizations of the LTTE, propagating wrong information in schools. By this accusation of calling anyone who voices for Tamil rights as the LTTE, the High Commission was only exhibiting the typical ‘cheap attribute’ of the state it represents."

Further responses of BTF Chairman Mr. Sukanthakumaran follow:

“It is amusing to see the High Commission, which was blatantly lying in its letter on the actual number and plight of the miserable civilians of Vanni, advocating neutrality in information to schools, quoting from the sections of the education act of UK.

“This High Commission, known for conducting disinformation exhibitions in London, is almost intimidating in its letter the head teachers of London schools into desist from receiving any information from Tamil sources.

“Such intimidation and arm-twisting through criticism are tested tactics of the Sri Lankan diplomatic missions, especially when it comes to Tamil issues. The High Commission in London was recently condemned in the British Parliament by members and by a minister for this habitual mischief.

“What authority the High commission has in writing such a letter directly to school head teachers of UK is a matter to be questioned. No foreign mission can do this directly in Sri Lanka.

“The letter is self-explanatory for anyone to understand that if a Sri Lankan mission can do this to Tamils in London, what its government is capable of doing to Tamils in Sri Lanka.”

 

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