N.B: If you are not in the United Kingdom and are having trouble selecting this option when you sign the petition, to the right of the box where it says 'State' there is an option to click, 'Outside the US'. If you click this button, the box then allows you to select United Kingdom as the country. Apologies for any confusion this may have caused.
The U.K Channel 4 documentary "Sri Lanka's Killing Fields" aired on the 14th June 2011, detailing the brutal war crimes carried out by the Sri Lankan government at the close of the civil war in 2009. There is still much left to be done before anything approaching justice is achieved for the victims of murder, rape and brutality at the hands of government forces.
Perhaps one of the most shocking aspect of these war crimes is the relative silence and inaction of the international community, including Britain.
In a letter to the British Tamil Conservatives earlier this year, David Cameron requested help from the Tamil diaspora in the UK for his campaign against the alternative vote system. He wrote "I would... like to acknowledge the significant contribution the Tamil diaspora makes to many aspects of British society".
As the Prime Minister is so comfortable in requesting the help of British Tamils for issues convenient to him, it seems fair that the Tamil community is able to reach out and demand action for issues urgent to them too, as well as other British citizens appalled by the actions of the Sri Lankan government.
There is no room for "neutrality" at this point, and when the government of Sri Lanka has shown such a callous disregard for human life, has shown such disdain for international law and an absolute refusal to admit guilt, responsibility or even the occurrence of these actions, this is no time for just a few 'strong' words.
The aim of this petition is to send a message to the Prime Minister, demanding that action be taken on the following points:
i) Grant asylum to all genuine ethnic Tamil refugees fleeing persecution, ending immediately the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's current policy of the deportation of asylum seekers, whose lives are in real danger if they are forced to return to Sri Lanka.
(see http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/srilanka/8576437/Sri-Lankan-asylum-seekers-to-be-deported-from-Britain.html for further details)
ii) Implement sanctions, effective immediately, in concert with the European Union for the termination of GSP trade benefits and suspension from the commonwealth until the Sri Lankan government allows a truly independent enquiry into allegations that have already been heavily documented by scholars and various human rights organisations.
iii) Take a leading role in the international community's efforts to bring war criminals to justice by recommending to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to trial the Sri Lankan government's political leaders and military commanders for crimes against humanity.
David Cameron also wrote "I am...fully aware that a lasting peace in Sri Lanka still needs to be won.” For a lasting peace to ever be won, for wounds to even begin to heal, justice must be won, and justice requires a true and accurate historical account of the events of 2009. With the Sri Lankan government's appointed "Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission" acting as little more than a revisionist, white-wash commission, real action must be taken by the international community to allow any hope of lasting peace in Sri Lanka, something David Cameron has claimed he is committed to.
Sign this petition to ask David Cameron to prove this commitment and act, now!
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor."
The full documentary is available to view online here:
For those not in the UK and are unable to view the full "Killing Fields" documentary online on the Channel 4 On Demand service, the full documentary has been hosted online:
Part 1: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xjazfk_channel-4-sri-lanka-s-killing-fields-part1-jun-14-2011-at-11-05-p-m_news
Part 2: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xjazh4_channel-4-sri-lanka-s-killing-fields-part2-jun-14-2011-at-11-05-p-m_news
Part 3: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xjazj6_channel-4-sri-lanka-s-killing-fields-part3-jun-14-2011-at-11-05-p-m_news
Please share this petition on facebook, or any other social networking sites you are a member of, email it to friends and family and anyone else that will feel as strongly about this as you do. Every signature will count, and every time this link is shared, the stronger this appeal becomes.
Making this issue a strong topic in Parliament will help this cause a great deal. Please take a look at this note describing how to go about contacting your local MP, posted by the Tamil Youth Organization:
Another extremely important petition has been set up calling for UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to act on war crimes. Please take some time to give your support to this petition too: http://www.srilankacampaign.org/takeaction.htm