British Tamil Forum response to the election results and the new government in Sri Lanka.

btf -1The presidential election in Sri Lanka has just concluded and the present government has lost the elections, but this will not still resolve the immediate issues faced by the Tamil people nor address the fundamental issue that has affected the Tamils in Sri Lanka for a very long time.

As stated by the newly sworn in president in his election manifesto, the policy towards giving autonomy to the Tamil people, de-militarisation of the Tamil areas and cooperation with the UNHRC’s international inquiry will remain the same. The fundamental issue that has fuelled this conflict for well over 60 years since the independence of Sri Lanka or Ceylon is the nature of the state, which needs to be structurally reformed.

Only a political solution recognising the right to self-determination of the Tamil nation in Sri Lanka can address these core issues. The immediate existential problems of Tamils with respect to their daily lives can only be relieved, and justice for the people who have suffered immense hardships can only be delivered, by international pressure.

As both sides’ campaigns during the presidential elections have highlighted, neither candidate has the appetite to offer respite or justice to the Tamil people. Both candidates have rejected the ongoing UN Human Rights Council mandated international investigation and both have refused to put a stop the continuing structural genocide of the Tamil people and reduce the influence of the Sri Lankan military on the daily civilian life of the Tamil people.

BTF urges the UK government to immediately request the new government in Sri Lanka to comply with the UNHRC resolutions, to request the removal of military establishments from the civilian population and to call on the new government to reverse all land grabs perpetrated by the previous regime and form an interim civilian governing structure in the North-East of Sri Lanka.

working together for peace with justice and dignity

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