On the International Day of Enforced Disappearance, the second-generation Tamil Youth in the UK released a video requesting support to their demand urging the UK government to prove its commitment to deliver justice to Tamils victims by taking steps to sanction the notorious war criminal General Shavendra Silva.
In the video, they demanded that “We are the Tamil Youth in the United Kingdom and we call the UK to sanction Sri Lankan War criminals, including the notorious Shavendra Silva, the Sri Lanka`s Chief Army commander under UK’s Global Human Rights Sanction Regime (GHR).”
Last year, the US imposed a travel ban on Shavendra Silva and his family members on credible evidence that he was involved in war crimes and crimes against humanity during the final war in Sri Lanka.
In April 2021, the ITJP, a highly respected Human Rights Organization submitted a 50-page dossier consisting evidence of Shavendra Silva’s involvement in the war crimes to the Sanctions Department of the UK’s FCDO and demanded his ban in the UK.
Similarly, in May 2021, the ICPPG, another Human Rights Organization submitted a report based on the testimonies of more than 100 people who had been tortured recently in Sri Lanka since Shavendra Silva assumed duty as the commander of the army and demanded that Shavendra Silva be banned by the British government for his involvement in on going torture and sexual violence.
Moreover, on the initiative of the Tamil youth, an Early Day Motion (EDM 64) was tabled in the British Parliament on 18th May 2021 by Hon. McLaughlin Anne, Member of Parliament of the Scottish National Party MP calling for international investigations into the war crimes in Sri Lanka and sanctions on war criminals including Shavendra Silva, putting forward UK’s firm stand on international human rights.
Following this, the second-generation Tamil youth in the UK, who have taken this campaign fully into their own hands, have been meeting the British Parliamentarians and urging them all to put pressure on the FCDO to taken serious steps to sanction Shavendra Silva and to show their support by signing the EDM 64. As a result of their relentless efforts, they have managed to successfully convince 29 MPs to sign the EDM so far. https://edm.parliament.uk/early-day-motion/58497
They also held a meeting with Labour’s Shadow Minister for Asia and Pacific regions, Rt Hon. Stephen Kinnock, and made him to write to the FCDO demanding the sanctions on Shavendra Silva, including a travel ban under GSR.
On the 23rd of July 2021, marking the 30th Anniversary of Black July 1983 Genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka, with the help of the ICPPG, the Tamil Youth submitted a petition to the British Prime Minister urging the UK government to prove its commitment to deliver justice to Tamils victims by taking steps to sanction Shavendra Silva. On the 4th of August 2021, the British Prime Minister responded to the petition via the FCDO However the respond from the FCDO is not satisfactory and this led the Tamil youth to take this campaign further. Accordingly, they said they have decided to call for the public support to put pressure on the UK government. They have also appealed to all the Tamil Diaspora Organizations as well as all International Human Rights Organizations and individual human rights activist to unite and call the UK to prove their commitment to human rights by taking meaningful steps to sanction Shavendra Silva and other war criminal.
They request everyone in the UK to extend their support by signing their online petition and by writing to their MP`s in this regard.