The arrest of a British Tamil activist on the apparent bidding of Sri Lankan officials, was an ‘outrage’ and an attack on British values, the British Tamil Conservatives (BTC) said.
The remarks come in response to the arrest of Sockalingam Yogalingam, a prominent Tamil political activist, during a protest against the Sri Lankan Prime Minister’s visit in Oxford on Monday.
“It is the equivalent of someone from the Iranian or Burmese mission inciting a UK police force to arrest a peacefully protesting British citizen when a member of their government is visiting,” the group said. “It is an outrage.”
The group criticised the fact that Yogalingam was detained without access to his lawyers and that his home was searched by police.
“These actions attack the heart of rights we enjoy as British citizens including the right to peacefully protest,” the group said.
BTC further said:
“While Mr Yogalingam has now been released, we join our MPs in urging the Home Secretary to investigate the circumstances of this arrest and the undue involvement of Sri Lankan officials.”
“The UK government was instrumental in harnessing international pressure for accountability and justice in Sri Lanka with regards to the crimes that took place during the war, and ongoing violations after.”
“However Sri Lanka has failed to meet its commitments around accountability and justice, about which British Tamils will continue to be vocal, regardless of attacks by Sri Lankan officials.”