Tamils’ cause finds support amongst candidates of all main British parties - paper
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 04 May 2010, 13:34 GMT]
Dozens of parliamentary candidates from all three major British parties responded this weekend to inquiries by the Tamil Guardian newspaper regarding their stance on the Tamil question in Sri Lanka. The responses from, or on behalf of, eighteen Labour, fifteen Liberal Democrat and twenty four Conservative candidates reflects increasing engagement in Britain’s political spaces with Sri Lanka’s protracted and entrenched ethnic crisis, the paper’s researchers said.
As Britain goes to the polls on Thursday, a key issue for many British Tamil voters is UK policy on Sri Lanka and the Tamil question there. In this regard, the Tamil Guardian contacted the offices of several candidates last week seeking their views.
Several candidates from all three parties responded promptly with individual comments while. campaigners responded for other candidates, the paper said. The British Tamil Conservatives (BTC) group issued a statement on behalf of the campaigns of fifteen Conservative MPs and candidates they have been working with. Meanwhile, coinciding with Tamil Guardian’s inquiry, eight Labour MPs issued a joint statement to Tamil media.
“Several candidates were readily more forthright in their views than their respective party’s official stances,” the Tamil Guardian’s research summary said. “Many more were clearly engaged closely with the details of the Tamils’ hardships in Sri Lanka and with the foundations of the Tamil demand for self-determination.”
The paper has published the candidates’ responses and statements on its website.
A TamilNet political commentator in UK last week argued that in the absence of a clear policy position from any of the three main parties, British Tamils should not make their decision on the basis of party platforms, but should instead pick the candidate in each constituency who is the best on the Tamil issue.