Britain’s main Opposition party leader Jeremy Corbyn pledged his continued support to the cause of self-determination of the Tamil people in the Island of Sri Lanka.
Jeremy Corbyn, who is facing Owen Smith in the party’s leadership contest, issued a written statement on Wednesday appealing to the Tamil people in the UK to support him in the leadership election.
“As Leader of the Labour Party, I will continue to argue for the Tamil right to self-determination on the Island of Sri Lanka, for which I have consistently advocated” Corbyn said.
Corbin also iterated his call for an international independent inquiry into all crimes committed during the final stages of the civil war in Sri Lanka.
Praising the Indian diaspora, Corbin said “British Tamils have made an enormous contribution to the UK, and London in particular. In the fields of medicine to finance your contributions are valued”.
His full statement is available below:
Labour is now the biggest political party in Europe with over half a million members. Our Party has begun an exciting process of revitalisation to become, once again, a mass party, active in every community.
Labour looks to the future. That’s why I’ve announced a plan for how our next Labour government will rebuild and transform Britain so no one and nowhere is left behind.
With another leadership election this summer, we have an opportunity to engage our members and to listen to their ideas, hopes and concerns.
British Tamils have made an enormous contribution to the UK, and London in particular. In the fields of medicine to finance your contributions are valued.
I also know the pain and suffering some of you have gone through from 1983 onwards, when much of the Tamil community came to the UK, fleeing a bloody civil war that has its roots in our colonial past. Many thousands of you have made Britain your home and enriched our country, but I share your feelings of continued loss and suffering in Sri Lanka.
As Leader of the Labour Party, I will continue to argue for the Tamil right to self-determination on the Island of Sri Lanka, for which I have consistently advocated.
We need an international investigation into all crimes committed during the final stages of the civil war, which left 40,000 dead, an estimated over 100,000 missing, and 1,000,000 displaced since the armed conflict started.
I will continue to support Tamil asylum seekers from Sri Lanka. The cases of arrest and torture of those whose have been forced to return to Sri Lanka are too numerous and a stain on our national conscience.
We must, and we can build an inclusive country that makes our diversity a strength. To make this a reality, we must rebuild and transform Britain, so no one and nowhere is left behind. I have attached to this email my 10 pledges for how Labour will make this vision a reality in government.
Ballot papers started going out in the post and by email on 22 August.
I hope you will vote for me so I can continue providing strong opposition to the Tories and building our alternative plan for a government that will ensure no one and nowhere is left behind.
Jeremy Corbyn MP
10 pledges to re build and transform Britain
1 FULL EMPLOYMENT AND AN ECONOMY THAT WORKS FOR ALL
We will create a million good quality jobs across our regions and nations and guarantee a decent job for all. By investing £500 billion in infrastructure, manufacturing and new industries backed up by a publicly-owned National Investment Bank and regional banks we will build a high skilled, high tech, low carbon economy that ends austerity and leaves no one and nowhere left behind. We will invest in the high speed broadband, energy, transport and homes that our country needs and allow good businesses to thrive, and support a new generation of co-operative enterprises.
2 A SECURE HOMES GUARANTEE
We will build a million new homes in five years, with at least half a million council homes, through our public investment strategy. We will end insecurity for private renters by introducing rent controls, secure tenancies and a charter of private tenants’ rights, and increase access to affordable home ownership.
3 SECURITY AT WORK
We will give people stronger employment rights from day one in a job, end exploitative zero hours contracts and create new sectoral collective bargaining rights, including mandatory collective bargaining for companies with 250 or more employees. We will create new employment and trade union rights to bring security to the workplace and win better pay and conditions for everyone. We will strengthen working people’s representation at work and the ability of trade unions to organise so that working people have a real voice at work. And we will put the defence of social and employment rights, as well as action against undercutting of pay and conditions through the exploitation of migrant labour, at the centre of the Brexit negotiations agenda for a new relationship with Europe.
4 SECURE OUR NHS AND SOCIAL CARE
We will end health service privatisation and bring services into a secure, publicly-provided NHS. We will integrate the NHS and social care for older and disabled people, funding dignity across the board and ensure parity for mental health services.
5 A NATIONAL EDUCATION SERVICE, OPEN TO ALL
We will build a new National Education Service, open to all throughout their lives. We will create universal public childcare to give all children a good start in life, allowing greater sharing of caring responsibilities and removing barriers to women participating in the labour market. We will bring about the progressive restoration of free education for all; and guarantee quality apprenticeships and adult skills training.
6 ACTION TO SECURE OUR ENVIRONMENT
We will act to protect the future of our planet, with social justice at the heart of our environment policies, and take our fair share of action to meet the Paris climate agreement – starting by getting on track with our Climate Change Act goals. We will accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy, and drive the expansion of the green industries and jobs of the future, using our National Investment Bank to invest in public and community-owned renewable energy. We will deliver clean energy and curb energy bill rises for households – energy for the 60 million, not the big 6 energy companies. We will defend and extend the environmental protections gained from the EU.
7 PUT THE PUBLIC BACK INTO OUR ECONOMY AND SERVICES
We will rebuild public services and expand democratic participation, put the public back into our economy, give people a real say in their local communities, and increase local and regional democracy. We will rebuild our economy with public investment to deliver wealth for all, across our regions and nations in a genuinely mixed economy. We will act to ‘insource’ our public and local council services, increase access to leisure, arts and sports across the country and expand our publicly-controlled bus network. We will bring our railways into public ownership and build democratic social control over our energy.
8 CUT INCOME AND WEALTH INEQUALITY
We will build a progressive tax system so that wealth and the highest earners are fairly taxed, act against executive pay excess and shrink the gap between the highest and lowest paid – FTSE 100 CEOs are now paid 183 times the wage of the average UK worker, and Britain’s wages are the most unequal in Europe. We will act to create a more equal society, boost the incomes of the poorest and close the gender pay gap.
9 ACTION TO SECURE AN EQUAL SOCIETY
We will ensure that the human rights of all citizens are respected and all are protected from discrimination and prejudice. We will take action to tackle violence against women and girls, racism and discrimination on the basis of faith, and secure real equality for LGBT and disabled people. We will defend the Human Rights Act and we will guarantee full rights for EU citizens living and working in Britain – and not allow them to be used as pawns in Brexit negotiations.
10 PEACE AND JUSTICE AT THE HEART OF FOREIGN POLICY
We will put conflict resolution and human rights at the heart of foreign policy, commit to working through the United Nations, end support for aggressive wars of intervention and back effective action to alleviate the refugee crisis. British foreign policy has long failed to be either truly independent or internationally co-operative, making the country less safe and reducing our diplomatic and moral authority. We will build human rights and social justice into trade policy, honour our international treaty obligations on nuclear disarmament and encourage others to do the same.