– ICPPG continues to canvass British Parliamentarians –
Another British Member of Parliament, Hon. Mohammad Yasin MP, has agreed to join a number of British MPs, human rights organizations and Tamil activists who have been calling on the British Foreign Secretary to impose Sanctions against the Sri Lankan War Criminals including , the notorious General Shavendra Silva, the current chief of Sri Lankan Army.
On behalf of the victims, ICPPG continues to meet and campaign British Members of Parliament to support the call to the British Government to impose sanctions upon the Sri Lankan War Criminals under the Global Human Rights Sanctions Regulations 2020 and prove its commitment to deliver Justice to the Tamil victims.
As part of this on going campaign, on Friday, 14 March 2022, a very productive meeting was held with Hon. Mohammad Yasin MP, who is the Member of Parliament for Bedford and Kempston area via zoom. In this meeting, the Member of Parliament was briefed in detail on the Genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka and shared the first hand experiences of the recent torture victims.
Mr Geeth Kulasegaram, a legal adviser who represents the Tamils victims chaired the meeting set out the historical background to the on going Genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka and the moral obligation of the British government to deliver justice to the Tamils due to the fact that the British not only caused the issue but also continue to supply training and weapons to the Sri Lankan army to be used against Tamils. He also briefed the MP on the dossier submitted to the FCDO by the ITJP in April 2021 detailing the evidence of Shavendra Silva’s involvement in the war crimes during the last war that ended in May 2009 and the submissions made by the ICPPG in May 2021 setting out the on going torture and sexual violence by the armed forces under the command of Shavdendra Silva. He pointed out that the FCDO has failed to take appropriate action on the evidence submitted which is disappointing.
Mr Sen Kandiah, Chair of the Tamils For Labour set out the contribution of the Tamil community in the UK economy and highlighted the importance of the Labour Party to take into account of their demand and insist the government to take meaningful action in line of the ban imposed against Shavendra Silva and his family members by the US state department last year.
Mrs. Ambihai K. Selvakumar, Executive Director of the ICPPG said in her speech that the Sri Lankan government has not yet been held accountable for their human rights abuses in Sri Lanka and still the torture continues with impunity. She also mentioned that the ICPPG is receiving testimonies from victims who are tortured very recently as within the last two months. She also stated that the torture and sexual abuse is committed without age discrimination and the youngest victim she has documented is 10 years and the oldest is 65 years. On behalf of all the victims, she requested Hon. Mohammed Yasin MP to arrange a meeting with the British Foreign Minister to meet the victims in person and listen to their accounts first hand, which she suggested would make the FCDO realise the seriousness of the issue.
Some of the recent torture victims from Sri Lanka also took part in the meeting and shared their horrific accounts with the MP in order to enlighten him of the gravity of the on going violations and the necessity for the UK government to take immediate action not only to deliver justice to the historical crimes but also to prevent on going violations.
After taking into consideration of the information provided, the MP expressed his full support to the victims and pledged to demand the FCDO to sanction Chief Army Commander Shavendra Silva on behalf of his Tamil constituents.