Tamils in UK lobby MPs for recognition after war
February 25, 2010 12:00 am
Sri Lankan activists are meeting senior British politicians
Foreign Secretary David Miliband and his shadow counterpart William Hague are among the MPs in what is a cross-party sign of support for Tamil attempts for recognition following the bloody end to the conflict last year.
For decades, the Tamil Tigers fought a separatist war in
The conflict penetrated the heart of the country with the Tamil Tigers carrying out devastating suicide bombings in the 1990s.
But, in May last year, government forces seized the last areas controlled by Tamil Tiger rebels.
The Tamils claim tens of thousands were killed by government forces, although nobody can independently verify exactly how many people died and the government disputes this figure.
But tens of thousands were driven into makeshift camps or
fled from the country, including a woman Sky News spoke to who escaped to
Lochana - Sky News is withholding her real name for fear of
reprisals against her family in
The forum wants international recognition for Tamils who she said have been “broken” by the way they were crushed by government forces at the end of the civil war. Lochana said she was forced into a camp with her two daughters and contemplated suicide because conditions were so bad.
In the end, the mother managed to escape by bribing her way out of the camp.
She admitted to being a member of the Tamil Tigers, who are banned in the EU as a terrorist organisation.
But the new Global Tamil Forum says it is a non-violent
organisation which wants to campaign for self-determination for
A Foreign Office spokesman said: “The