Sunday, May 20, 2012

Tamil Remembrance Vigil

On Saturday evening I joined local MP Lee Scott and Deputy Mayor Victoria Borwick in Trafalgar Square for a gathering to remember the Tamil people who were the victims of ethnic cleansing in northern Sri Lanka. I attended last year and there was a large crowd despite the rain - yesterday the crowd was if anything even larger.

The Tamils pledged to return to the square every year and to campaign for an independent international investigation of the atrocities perpetrated against civilians by Sri Lankan government forces. Without that independent element any investigation will inevitably be seen as a whitewash.

Sharing a stage with Simon Hughes and human rights lawyers is an unusual experience for me but my visit to Srebrenica in 2009 - which I blogged about at the time - left me convinced that it is vital to uphold international law and bring war criminals to justice, wherever they are and however long it takes. Just last week former General Ratko Mladic went on trial for the massacre committed at Srebrenica.

Victoria delivered a message of support from Boris Johnson which also thanked the Tamils for their contribution to London's culture and economy.

We all hope that those responsible for flagrantly abusing human rights in Sri Lanka will soon be brought to justice.

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