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 the “Mullivaikal massacre”, 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 he was delighted that Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and so many other leading figures from the Labour Party were able to join them at the Mullivaikal Remembrance event.
He said that all Tamils should take heart from Jeremy Corbyn’s message of hope and his rock-solid support for the fundamental rights and freedoms of the Tamil nation, including self-determination.
Kandiah noted that a future Labour Government, under Jeremy Corbyn’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.