‘Failure to confront UK deportations is failing humanity’

[TamilNet, Friday, 23 December 2011, 07:03 GMT]
While various human rights and media outfits across the world are day by day realizing the full extent of the genocidal actions of the Sri Lankan state, whether the United Kingdom’s deportation of around 50 Eelam Tamils despite protests from various organizations is not an endorsement of a war criminal state, wondered diaspora activists in the country. In the same spirit, British journalist Emanuel Stoakes came down on the left parties in the country for not paying the sort of attention the issue deserves, in an article on the New Statesman on Wednesday. Criticising the general silence on the Eelam Tamil issue, he opined that there needs to be more people pushing for accountability of the Rajapaksa regime and for rights of the asylum seekers not to be deported. There are still about 100 Eelam Tamils in the UK who are awaiting deportation, sources in UK told TamilNet.

Extracts from Emanuel Stoakes’ article follow:

“But yet, as the Sri Lankan government publishes its anaemic in-house "Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Committee" report (politely described by Amnesty International on Monday as "ignoring serious evidence of war crimes") and Tamil asylum seekers get deported from this country to face the risk of intimidation -- even death -- at home, the left appears not to be paying the sort of attention the issue deserves.”

“Why? Not only do human rights organisations suspect that tens of thousands of civilians were intentionally shelled into annihilation by the Sri Lankan army's unilaterally declared "no fire zone" in the North East of the Island nation in 2009, it appears that the survivors are being kept in camps not dissimilar to internment centres for prisoners of war. Civilians kept in these places are experiencing rape, brutalisation and malnourishment if reports by rights groups and journalists are to be taken seriously.”

“That hero of the left, Noam Chomsky, described the violence during the endgame of the war as involving a "Rwanda-like atrocity", but as yet there have been no Boycott-Divestment and Sanctions for Sri Lanka, no highly-visible displays of solidarity with the Tamil Sri Lankans, and no mass protests in Britain beyond those organised within the Tamil community.”

“All of these issues should be of serious concern to British journalists, but there has been little of the moral outrage directed at comparable causes found expressed by the usual standard bearers, despite Channel 4's profoundly harrowing Killing Fields documentary, a series of articles in the Guardian, and this week's Telegraph piece.”

“The more people willing to raise their voice and call for accountability for the Rajapaksa regime, the more people standing up for the rights of asylum seekers not to be deported home to risk of torture, the greater the possibility that, at the very least, the issue of Sri Lankan Tamil suffering will become more widely known.”

“It would be a source of disappointment for those who naively assume that it is the province of the left to lead the charge for such causes to discover that this was merely wishful thinking.”


Chronology:


External Links:
NewStatesman: Why has the left neglected the Tamils of Sri Lanka?

 

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