A group of UK MPs have urged that justice be delivered to Tamils in the north of Sri Lanka. They have made the request in their Thai Pongal message.
James Berry, the Chair of the All Parliamentary Group for Tamils, has in his message said:
“Just as the festival marks the start of the sun’s journey northwards, so too must we mark the start of a journey for Sri Lanka and its northern Tamil residents and diaspora community.
After terrible suffering, there is for the first time in many years for the Tamil people, great hope for reconciliation, following the UNHRC Resolution on justice for the victims of the civil war. But there is still much to do before the Tamil people can have confidence that true justice will be served. Where is the consultation on the justice mechanism that was promised? Tamil voices must be heard and as the APPGt we will be submitting our concerns and recommendations for how a suitable justice mechanism with international involvement and safe conditions for witnesses should be developed. We will also be preparing a report on the implementation of the UNHRC resolution one year on later this year.
This is a year for great optimism. But it is also a year where we must accelerate pressure on the Sri Lankan Government so that critical goals to lasting peace and reconciliation are not thrown aside.
We therefore will be looking at ways to compel the Sri Lankan authorities to release prisoners still locked up without trial, demilitarise Tamil lands so they can flourish as a people and economy, and to put far greater investment in the Northern Province. The UNHRC Resolution and elections last year were the first exciting steps towards justice. This year we must make sure the Tamil community feels its effects.”