Lord Malloch Brown warned the Tamils in London
not to take Kosovo as a precedent in a bid to claim
He said Kosovo was a unique case and a number of
European and Asian countries are concerned about it.
In a lighter vein Lord Brown said the British
Government was also worried that Scotland might claim
Addressing a group of Tamils, from the British
Tamil Forum, in Room 4, of the committee corridor in the House
of Lords on 25th February, Lord Brown said that the British
Government could not push the Commonwealth to impose sanctions
against Sri Lanka since the Sri Lankan Government had not
committed any offence like Pakistan.
However, the British Government could push
Norway and the European countries to have a dialogue with Sri
Lanka to go for a negotiated settlement, he said.
He said they could support the efforts of Louis
Arbour, Radhika Kumaraswamy and John Holmes to address the human
He said that former Prime Minister Tony Blair
had taken President Mahinda Rajapakse to Northern Ireland to
show him how he could help Sri Lanka achieve a political
solution, but the Sri Lankan Government had placed more emphasis
on its war effort than on the peace process.
Lord Brown said that Norwegian Government's
influence had failed to take the desired impact because of the
change of government.
He said it was in order for the Tamils in
Britain to ask the British Government to pressure the Sri Lanka
Government to stop bombing in the North but the LTTE should also
stop terrorist attacks in the South. He was referring to the bus
bombing in Mount Lavinia the day before.
He said the Tamil Diaspora should not fund the
Speaking at the meeting Lord Neasby said he had
to Sri Lanka recently and he could not see any
indiscriminate bombing in the North. However, in
a war it is difficult to avoid civilians being killed, he said.
He said that there was no point enforcing economic sanctions
against Sri Lanka since it was not going to work.
Lord Neasby also said that the Sri Lanka
government put forward the All Party Representative Committee
proposals for the problem and neighbouring India too was also
supportive of them.
He said the British Tamil Forum did not
represent all Tamils.
The other MPs like Simon Hughes, Barry Gardiner,
Jeromy Corbyn, David Burrows, Susan Kramer and Edward Davy also
spoke. Most of them were of the view that the Sri Lanka
Government should be questioned about the human rights
violations and the International Community should bring pressure
to bear on the Sri Lankan government. Andy Love, MP, was present
but did not speak. The notable absentee was Keith Vass MP.
Before the discussion started a member of the
British Tamil Forum presented a slide show titled "Concerns and
Moving Forward". There he tried to portray the Sri Lanka
Government indiscriminately bombing and that the Kosovo example
should be taken and Tamils be given independence.
TNA MP Gajan Ponnambalam, who was also there,
said that majority of Tamils were now seeking independence.
He said although he was an elected member of
Parliament he could not talk about independence which most
Tamils wanted because of the Sixth Amendment to the Sri Lanka
He urged the British Government to impose a
Trade and Travel ban on Sri Lanka.