On Thursday 18 March 2010 Tamil Solidarity published an article describing how the British New Labour government chose not to attempt to prevent the bloodbath in Sri Lanka (British government chose not to prevent bloodbath in Sri Lanka).
Now it emerges that both Labour and Conservative MPs lobbied on behalf of the Sri Lankan government, enriching themselves in the process. These very MPs will be trying to convince Tamil-speaking people in Britain to vote for them in the coming general and local elections.
Yet a BBC investigation has unearthed how Conservative Party MP Liam Fox and Labour party MP Andy Love were on the payroll of the brutal Rajapaksa regime.
The BBC reported that: “Shadow defence secretary Liam Fox has admitted breaking the rules on two occasions, having visited Sri Lanka five times in the past three years courtesy of its government. He failed to declare the hospitality when asking ministers how much UK aid had been given to Sri Lanka.” (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8580183.stm)
Tamil Solidarity has repeatedly warned against the hypocrisy of the Labour and Conservative parties. In our review of the Westminster Hall debates on Sri Lanka (IDP Camps) we gave a brief picture of the political bankruptcy of these parties and pointed out that: “All the leading parties would be pleased if they could get electoral support for just shedding some crocodile tears and no action.” (31 October 2009). Since then we have given many examples to show that these pro-big business, pro-rich politicians cannot be trusted.
On Thursday 18 March we wrote: “The reality is that the Conservative Party, which could form the next government, went as far as congratulating the Rajapaksa regime for finishing off the ‘terrorists’. Yet, its shadow foreign secretary, William Hague, made the outrageous claim that the Tories opposed the war! All their members and spokespersons argued for support for Rajapaksa to ‘end the war on terror’. And, to claim that they fully support the EU’s decision to withdraw the GSP+ tax relief to Sri Lanka is also untrue”.
Here is what William Hague said at the GTF Launch meeting: “In addition I would like to say a few words about my colleague Dr Liam Fox’s proposal to establish an independent international fund to help provide basic infrastructure for reconstruction in the northern and eastern areas of the country. Dr Fox is a long-standing friend of Sri Lanka and his plan has the support of religious leaders and parties across the political spectrum in Sri Lanka, in addition to representatives of the Tamil community in this country. A memorandum of understanding has been signed and further details about the fund will be unveiled shortly. It is our hope that this fund will provide a vehicle through which the international diaspora of Sri Lanka are able to contribute and that it will help to provide a better future for those in greatest need.”
As early as 1 July 2009 Tamil Solidarity organised a protest at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office regarding the so-called ‘aid’ that the British government and opposition parties intended to provide! Please read – TS -Protest at FCO
The shadow defence secretary Liam Fox argued for more funding and a better relationship with the Rajapaksa regime. In February he declared: “The president won a huge victory and deserves congratulations”. (http://www.conservatives.com/News/Speeches/2010/02/Liam_Fox_There_must_be_a_civil_trial_for_General_Fonseka.aspx)
The Conservatives aim to strengthen the Rajapaksa regime in order to secure economic advantage for British businesses. But they want to do it under the disguise of ‘aid’. But the oppressed masses of Sri Lanka will not benefit.
Ordinary Tamil-speaking people – working and young people – have nothing to gain from Tory policies, on a national or international scale.
In Britain their plans, should they win the general election, are to slash the funding of the public services we need. University funding is already under attack but the Tories, like New Labour and the LibDems, firmly believe in charging higher and higher fees to students while bailing out the financial system.
All three parties propose international policies that favour the rich and multinational companies. This means the continuing and worsening impoverishment of workers in special economic zones and other areas, the privatisation of vital utilities and the robbing of natural resources.
No one should be fooled by the rhetoric of these politicians. They stand squarely on behalf of British big business rather than of ordinary people suffering in Sri Lanka or in Britain or elsewhere. This latest sleaze comes on top of a mountain of evidence – MPs’ expenses, cash for lobbying and pro-super rich, pro-war policies.
Tamil-speaking people should not be asked to support these parties in the upcoming elections. No improvement will be won for Tamils in Sri Lanka or here.
The task instead is to work together to build an independent force that can be trusted to always defend the interests of oppressed people in Sri Lanka and around the world. We must work with organisations and political parties such as trade unions and genuine human rights activists, socialists etc who have shown they cannot be bought off by money or power.
Building trust in those who will have shown they will always stand by us in our fight against the oppressing forces will help to unite those who are serious about fighting back.
• No trust in the pro-big business, pro-war parties of New Labour, Tories or LibDems
• Solidarity with ordinary people in struggle for their rights around the world
• For a real struggle for the rights of the Tamils and all oppressed people in Sri Lanka and the right to self determination of the Tamil speaking masses.
Note: More on Liam Fox http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/liam_fox/woodspring#register