- British Tamils Call For Justice For War Crimes In Sri Lanka
By Faraz Shauketaly
British Tamils on Friday, July 23 embarked on a rally through London calling for justice for victims of war crimes in Sri Lanka. In an effort to appeal to the wider public and make a symbolic peaceful show of unity and hope, a “midnight vigil” took place at 9 pm from Tothill Street (behind Westminster Methodist Church) to Downing Street.
Organisers of the march said, from here a “Walk for Justice” will commence from the UK, through France and Switzerland to the UN.
The first of its kind to be held by a minority group in London, thousands were expected to attend the vigil, to appeal for an independent international investigation into war crimes in Sri Lanka.
The vigil coincides with the recent appointment of a UN advisory panel by Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. The Sri Lankan government has shown clear opposition to any prospect of independent monitors investigating alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka.
Government backed blockade outside UN office in Sri Lanka and possible denial of visas to the appointed UN advisory panel reflect a hostile reaction to a body that only has an advisory role, organisers told The Sunday Leader.
Sri Lanka must be reminded it is a democratic country which has subscribed to UN covenants and Geneva Conventions and is obliged to comply with the obligations to which it has signed up to, they said. British
Tamils reiterated their calls for boycott of Sri Lanka until it respects international laws.
The two-week walk to the UN aims to raise calls for the UN to instigate an independent international probe into war crimes committed in Sri Lanka, allow access to prisoners of war and for all internally displaced persons to be resettled into their own homes in Sri Lanka. Tamils across the UK and Europe hope the wider community will join with them to highlight the need for UN to uphold international laws to ensure universal justice.
Cross-party MPs, councillors, solidarity groups and well-wishers attended the vigil on Friday and signed the ‘war crimes book’ to pledge their support for an international independent investigation.