‘Take-over of private lands of Tamils in North’ discussed at London Forum
The Sri Lankan army’s "take-over of private land belonging to Tamils in the North of Sri Lanka" was a key issue at the International Conference of the British Tamil Forum and All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils, on Friday in Committee Room 14 of the British Houses of Parliament.
The Conservative MP for Illford North, Lee Scot and Labour Party MP for Mitcham & Morden, Siobhain McDonagh opened the proceedings.
Among the Sri Lankan politicians who addressed the parley were Tamil National Alliance MPs Mavi Senathirajah, Suresh Premachandran, Pakkiyaselvam Ariyanethiran, Selvam Adikkalanathan, Sivagnanam Sritharan, S. Thandayuthapani and the Leader of the Tamil National People’s Front, Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam.
National Sama Samaja Party’s Internal Secretary, Ranath Kumarasinghe also spoke.
There were many academics/activists and journalists from the world over who also addressed the conference.
There were many common themes in the speeches of the activists, with particular emphasis on what they called "the urgent nature of the crisis and the need to understand the land grabs issue within the context of the long-running campaign of structural genocide being waged by the Sri Lankan state".
Professor Oren Yiftachel from Israel’s Ben Gurion University pointed out how Sri Lanka and other oppressive states use the language of democracy and rule of law to enable, legitimise and conceal the state’s seizure of oppressed peoples’ lands and livelihoods.