Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Violence in Sri Lanka

The dire and deteriorating human rights situation in Sri Lanka, where hundreds of civilians have reportedly been killed over the past few weeks, including an incident where one hospital was bombed a number of times, has only fleetingly made the news in the UK.

However for the many Tamil residents in Lewisham, including many in Ladywell, it is obviously a grave concern, and I know some are still trying to contact friends and relatives to check they are safe. There have been a couple of recent demonstrations in London, and Jean Lambert, Green MEP for London and former human rights MEP of the year, spoke at one this Saturday and she issued the following statement:

"I am appalled by the human rights violations currently taking place in Sri Lanka. I have been informed by aid workers that hundreds of civilians have been killed in the last week and the fear is that this situation could become far worse than the recent dreadful devastation of Gaza.

"On Thursday next week, a resolution on Sri Lanka is due to be debated in the European Parliament at the request of the Green MEPs. I also call on the UK Government and the international community to respond immediately to help the many innocent people caught in the crossfire.

"I will be attending the protest this Saturday in central London to demand action to alleviate the suffering and provide emergency medical supplies and humanitarian aid, which have so far not been forthcoming. This war demands the attention of the press and world leaders and I will be doing all in my power to raise the alarm and involve decision makers in finding a peaceful outcome."

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