PRESS RELEASE FROM: Tamil Solidarity
Contact: ketheswaran Date: as of now
Guilty verdict and arrest order
A mass protest organised by Tamil Solidarity and it’s members and activists last year on the 4th of February 2018 outside the Sri lankan High commission gained a lot of momentum and support from the Tamil speaking community of this country.
This led to the defence attache signalling death threats to the protesters and activists in an attempt to silence them. This subsequently led to Tamil Solidarity members and activists filing in a complaint with the local police over the actions of the Defence attache Priyanka Fernando. On the 21st of January this year Westminster magistrates found the defence attache guilty of breaching the public order act by intending to cause harassment, alarm and distress with the gestures, which were made after he had taken photos and videoed the tamil protestors.
Mathan A and Ketheswaran S, both activists and NCC members of Tamil solidarity witnessed the actions of the Brigadier as they played a pivotal role in putting forward the demands laid out by Tamil Solidarity. They believe the throat cutting gesture was a direct threat aimed at the protesters including themselves and vehemently believe all who took part in this protest have been documented by Sri Lankan personnel and diplomats who were there in the vicinity. ‘What other need is there for them to document us if it were not for future reference by their impunity ridden security forces of Sri lanka.’ In other words silence or you will be silenced was what he meant according to one of the activists.
Lawyers from the public interest law centre plan to approach the British Parliament to seek help in bringing the Brigadier Fernando to the UK. Paul Heron now a hero in the eyes of the Tamils from PILC played a pivotal role in addressing this issue brought by the recent private prosecution that led to the guilty verdict of the alleged war criminal, which in itself brings hope and some kind of closure for many of the victims that were threatened on that day.
What is startling is that the victim’s families have been threatened in Sri Lanka by plain clothed CID officers in an attempt to drop the charges against the Brigadier. This is a very good example for the British government to witness the impunitive behaviour of the security forces of Sri Lanka on its ethnic minorities. What started with a few activists from Tamil solidarity has unravelled the true nature of the sri Lankan government and it’s security personnel who himself is alleged to be complicit of war crimes including targeted bombing of hospitals in Sri Lanka during the bloody war that led to the death of over 70,000 civilian lives.
Tamil solidarity is an organisation that was formed in 2009 at the end of the bloody civil war of sri lanka. It’s aim is to keep the plight of the Tamil-speaking people in Sri Lanka on the radar, and to make it clear that, while the UK government and other western governments have turned a blind eye, ordinary people – workers and young people, stand in solidarity and demand rights for the oppressed people.