British Tamil People gathered in front of Downing street on the 29th of January 2017, to protest against inaction by the Sri Lankan government in finding out the whereabouts of those who surrendered to the Sri Lankan government forces soon after the end of the war in 2009. The event was co-ordinated by British Tamils Forum, as part of their ‘Are they alive?’ campaign and to bring awareness of the plight of relatives whose kith and kin have been disappeared. The relatives have started a hunger strike demanding to know what has happened to their loved ones, who were taken away by the Sri Lankan state.
The Sri Lankan government has so far failed to deliver on the promises they have made to the international community with regard to addressing the missing persons issue. As co-sponsors of the UNHRC resolution, Sri Lankan government has to release a full list of the “surrendees” and also promised to set up an investigating body to find out the whereabouts of these missing persons.
Since coming to power in January 2015, the new Sri Lankan regime made many promises to the international community and has not delivered on any of the promises, with regard to the missing persons.
British Tamils appealed to the Prime Minister Theresa May to pressure Sri lanka to publicise a comprehensive list of people who surrendered during the last phase of the war – listing the names of all who were detained or arrested, those who are still in custody (names, locations of detention centres), those who have been released, and, if released, to whom they were released. It is hoped that the British government will take immediate actions to take the matter with the Sri Lankan government.
BTF Media Coordinator
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