PRESS STATEMENT BY GLOBAL TAMIL FORUM, July 6th 2011 - A packed reception in the British Parliament on July 5th highlighted the level of support amongst parliamentarians and key decision-makers for truth, accountability and justice in Sri Lanka.
Hosted by Hon. Lee Scott MP and Hon. Siobhain McDonagh MP, Chair and Vice-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils (APPG – T), and facilitated by the Global Tamil Forum (GTF), the event was attended by over 40 Members of Parliament including Government Ministers, Shadow Ministers, MPs and Lords. A number of representatives from leading NGOs, Embassies and High Commissions in London, as well as British, Tamil, Sinhala and Indian media organisations were also in attendance. Many senior figures from the Tamil community in the UK and around the world were present also.
A background slideshow displayed photos and quotes depicting the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka since the end of the war in 2009 and international responses to the prevailing situation and emerging evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Commenting on the powerful images and messages on those screens, one senior foreign diplomat remarked that the captions are a testament of her country's commitment to pressing the Government of Sri Lanka on issues concerning accountability and reconciliation in order to achieve lasting peace on the island.
Speaking on behalf of the Government, Hon. Alistair Burt MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, emphasised that reconciliation and long-lasting peace in Sri Lanka could only be achieved through a credible and independent investigation into the allegations of war crimes committed during the final stages of Sri Lanka’s military conflict.