Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn and big beasts of the party threw their weight behind the Tamil community saying that crimes against the Tamils is still going on in Sri Lanka.
At a meeting held in the House of Commons, to commemorate a series of events connected with crimes against the Tamils, Corbyn promised to make human rights and international justice the centre piece of foreign policy in any future Labour government, that would help further the Tamil ’cause’.
He stressed, the party would back the right of the Tamil people to self determination and agreed with the “Tamils for Labour” agenda, that included an international judicial mechanism to bring to justice those guilty of war crimes and other violations of international law.
The much-hyped, new look Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn that was supposed to swamp the tattered Conservative Government under Theresa May, after its earlier showing at the last general elections here, has not materialised.
Labour made few gains in the May 3 Local Government elections even in London. While Labour has consistently supported the Tamil community and hoped to garner the minority vote, especially in electorates considered marginal, the local elections showed that the Corbyn ‘phenomenon’ which threatened to overwhelm the heavily bruised Tories, since David Cameron’s resignation three years ago, has waned even among Labour supporters, because his old -style leftism has not endeared him to moderate Labourites. So he wants to rally minority support.
The chances of Labour coming to power, to implement its proposed foreign policy, seems slim at the moment, unless the Tories make a hash of things in the coming months.
17 May 2018
Jeremy Corbyn reaffirms the UK Labour Party’s strong support for Tamil self-determination and peace and justice in Sri Lanka
The leader of the UK Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn MP, has said that “the rights of Tamils to decide their own future is central” to resolving many of the post armed conflict issues in Sri Lanka.
Addressing more than 150 guests at a packed event in Parliament, on Wednesday 16 May, to mark the 9th anniversary of Mullivaikal, Mr Corbyn said that a future Labour Government will be committed to“international justice” and that the Labour Party, now and in the future, supports “serious action to bring about peace and justice” in Sri Lanka.
Referring to Tamils for Labour’s four key objectives, Jeremy Corbyn gave his full backing to the establishment of an international judicial mechanism to address the crime of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and other international crimes committed by the Sri Lankan state; and to ensure justice is served to victims of enforced disappearances. He also pledged to continue to bring pressure to bear on the UK Government and the international community to ensure Sri Lanka repeals the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act, demilitarises the Tamil homelands in the North and East of the island and, importantly, delivers a political solution which gives the Tamil people the right to self-determination.
In a strong show of support for the Tamil people by the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn was joined by: John McDonnell MP, the Shadow Chancellor, Kate Osamor MP, Shadow International Development Secretary, Fabian Hamilton MP, Shadow Foreign Affairs Minister, Stephen Pound MP, Shadow Minister for Northern Ireland, Siobhain McDonagh MP, Senior Vice Chair of the Tamil All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), Joan Ryan MP, Vice Chair of the Tamil APPG, Wes Streeting MP, Vice Chair of the Tamil APPG, as well as Gareth Thomas MP, Member of Parliament for Harrow West, Stephen Timms, Member of Parliament for East Ham, and Tan Dhesi, Member of Parliament for Slough.
Sen Kandiah, Chair of Tamils for Labour, said:
“I am delighted that Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and so many other leading figures from the Labour Party were able to join us at our Mullivaikal Remembrance event.
All Tamils should take heart from Jeremy’s message of hope and his rock-solid support for the fundamental rights and freedoms of the Tamil nation, including self-determination.
A future Labour Government, under Jeremy’s leadership, will make sure respect for international law and for human rights is paramount and the Labour Party will continue to hold the Sri Lankan Government accountable for its actions.”
For further information, contact:
Chair, Tamils for Labour
Notes to Editors:
1. A video of Jeremy Corbyn’s speech is available here (courtesy of Tamil Guardian): https://bit.ly/2rPq1pM
2. Pictures from the event are attached, along with this press release.
3. The event, kindly hosted by Siobhain McDonagh MP, took place in the Boothroyd Room, Portcullis House, House of Commons, Westminster, SW1A 2JH.
4. Tamils for Labour was founded in 2006 and is the largest party political Tamil group in the UK.