British duplicity of proscribing LTTE, inaction to Colombo’s war questioned

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 28 January 2009, 18:55 GMT]
When the British Foreign Minister, Lord Mark Malloch Brown told a room-packed audience of the British Tamil Forum on Tuesday that the British government cannot interfere in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka, a member of the audience asked him then why did they proscribe the LTTE, which did nothing to Britain. The Minister had no answer. The British Foreign Secretary Mr. Miliband who attended the gathering reiterated the British Prime Ministers assurance two weeks ago to work for an immediate ceasefire and said that he would speak to EU foreign ministers in the next few days. He also said that Britain would consider sending a Special Envoy to Sri Lanka.

Around 100 members of the British Tamil diaspora and members of All Party Parliamentary Group of Tamils (APPG-T) met the Foreign Secretary and the Foreign Office Minister at the Committee Room 9 of the British Parliament on Tuesday. A short video of 10 minutes was shown at the beginning of the meeting on the current situation in the island.

Ms Siobhan McDonough MP (Labour) chaired the meeting.

The spokesperson for the British Tamil Forum, Mr. Suren Surendiran was blunt in his speech in conveying the anger and hurt feelings of British Tamils.

“Foreign Secretary, if you talk to any Tamil man or woman in the streets of Britain today – their message to you will be a blunt one too – the Labour Government’s and particularly the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s role in the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka is unforgivable”, he said.

One among the audience reminded that Britain has an important role to play as more number of Eezham Tamils lives in Britain than in India.

When another from the audience remarked that by withdrawing UN and other international agencies from the conflict zone the world has lost the opportunity of monitoring the true situation, the Foreign Secretary accepted that the Sri Lankan government didn’t permit them.

However many of the audience felt that the answers to a barrage of questions on the pressing situation were either verbose or evasive and nothing concrete has come out of the meeting.

Whenever the British or any other government comes out with anything against Colombo’s war, the Sri Lankan government and their diplomats react aggressively to extract silence of them. The British Tamils pleading British government will not work. It will act only when its duplicity, injustice and inhuman policies on the Tamil question are boldly exposed to British public opinion, remarked a British Tamil who attended the meeting.

The British Tamils also should focus working for the recognition of the democratic right of the Eezham Tamils seeking their nation state. The British public opinion has to be enlightened and the politicians have to be convinced of the emerging realties that nothing shorter than secession can really diffuse tension and end the conflict in the island of Sri Lanka, he added.



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