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Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
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Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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& the Struggle for Tamil Eelam

British Tamil Forum is Puzzled

27 September 2008

Comment by tamilnation.org  See UK Foreign Minister Lord Mark Malloch Brown meets British Tamils: Three Reports - One Meeting... 17 September 2008;  Sathyam Commentary: Who is Lobbying Whom?;  and also Report of 20 February 2008 by The International Crisis Group co-chaired by  Lord Patten of Barnes, Former UK Cabinet Minister and by Ambassador Thomas R Pickering, Former U.S. Ambassador to the UN; and with Gareth Evans, Former Foreign Minister of Australia as President.

" Western governments� policies on Sri Lanka should consciously include attempts to open up political space within their Tamil communities for non-Tiger political voices. Those governments with significant Tamil populations should engage representative civil society groups directly, expressing sympathy for the legitimate grievances of minorities in Sri Lanka, while challenging them to reject the LTTE�s destructive politics and actively guarding against any intimidation of anti-Tiger Tamil groups...Peace supporters should consider setting a deadline for renunciation of a separate state, after which they would actively pursue prosecutions of current LTTE leaders for war crimes and crimes against humanity.... ....Countries should develop step-by-step benchmarks for progress towards revoking the terrorist designationin part to encourage Prabhakaran�s removal...


The British Tamil Community is puzzled by HM�s Government�s Statement on Sri Lanka

The British Tamil Community whilst appreciating the government�s public acknowledgement of the current dire humanitarian situation in the Tamil areas of Sri Lanka also notes with great regret and displeasure of some of the contents of the joint statement issued yesterday, Friday 26 September 2008, by the Department for International Development (DFID) Minister Rt. Hon Shahid Malik MP and Rt. Hon Lord Malloch Brown � Foreign Minister responsible for Africa, Asia and UN.

Instead of strongly condemning the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) for the infliction of this current humanitarian catastrophe and the military action against the Tamil Nation for fundamentally a political problem, the joint statement shares its �acute concern�.

The British Tamil Community and the British Tamils Forum have for a long period, by way of continuous engagement with the British Political Establishments and Civil Servants in various formal and informal meetings, letters and through their respective Parliamentarians have shared their strong feelings and dissatisfaction of the lack of credible and substantial action by HM�s Government against GoSL.

We regret the inability of the current Labour Government and the Civil Servants to understand the feelings of the British Tamils.

This opportunity missed to publicly condemn the GoSL for its indiscriminate aerial bombardment of its own citizens, the military action that has internally displaced 200,000 to 230,000 (UN Estimation) Tamil people, the expulsion of the UN Aid Workers and International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGO) from the worst affected areas, other gross violations of human rights such as abductions, killings, restrictions of mobility of people and restrictions placed on journalists has puzzled the Tamil community around the world.

The Community feels confused by the joint statement which acknowledges the apparent �recognition by GoSL of its responsibility to provide humanitarian assistance to civilians affected by the conflict and its continued co-ordination with humanitarian agencies�. This is in direct contradiction to the recent statements made by the Sri Lankan Government Agents of Mullaitivu and Kilinochi and by other International Aid Agencies which clearly stated that there are acute shortages of food, medical supplies, shelter, drinking water, sanitation, fuel, specialised staff including medical doctors and nurses.

The British Tamil Community greatly appreciates the Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the Secretary of State for DFID for making the time to highlight the concerns of the International Community to the President of Sri Lanka. However, the indifference that is reflected in the statement by avoiding to condemn the GoSL for restricting free movement of civilians within and out of Jaffna Peninsula where the Sinhala Army is an occupying force, the degrading restrictions laid on the Tamil Community living in and around Colombo, restrictions placed on Journalists to travel around Sri Lanka to report on current security situation and human rights violations and the inhuman treatment of internally displaced people by restricting their mobility by placing them in �detention centres� (e.g. in Mannar) in contravention of humanitarian practices, human rights laws, UN Charters and Geneva Conventions.


Statement by UK Government on Sri Lanka, 26 September 2008

The following is a joint statement from DFID Minister Shahid Malik and Lord Malloch Brown in response to the emerging situation in Sri Lanka:

"The recent increased hostilities in the north of Sri Lanka are of acute concern to the UK Government. We welcome the Government of Sri Lanka recognising its responsibility to provide humanitarian assistance to civilians affected by the conflict and its continued co-ordination with humanitarian agencies.

"Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Secretary of State for Department for International Development Douglas Alexander met with President Mahinda Rajapakse of Sri Lanka in New York today to discuss this situation.

"We urge the Liberation Tiger of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to take urgent action to allow free movement of civilians. We call on both parties to respect their obligations under International Humanitarian Law to enable free access for humanitarian agencies and the protection of civilians affected by the conflict."



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