Global Tamil Forum ‘disappointed’ with ban

  • Not all Tamil Diaspora separatist: MP Rasamanickam


The Global Tamil Forum (GTF) expressed its disappointment at the proscription of a number of Diaspora groups and individuals, including the GTF, by the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) last week.

“We are thoroughly disappointed by the banning of several Diaspora groups and individuals by the GoSL since this action has no legal, political, or moral basis and is an outright abuse of the United Nations Regulations for self-serving purposes,” GTF Spokesman Suren Surendiran told The Morning yesterday (29).

Surendiran added that the GTF is involved in furthering the political rights of the Tamil people in the country, and the provision of relief and engagement in rehabilitation efforts in all areas of Sri Lanka, including past collaborations with South-based nongovernmental organisations. As such, Surendiran said that the ban’s impact on reconciliation would be “immense”.

Meanwhile, Illankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK) Parliamentarian Shanakiyan Rasamanickam, speaking in his capacity as a Tamil MP and not reflecting the Tamil National Alliance’s (TNA) official stance in this regard, told The Morning that not all Tamil Diaspora groups have separatist agendas.

“This is merely the Government looking for a scapegoat for its defeat at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Session,” Rasamanickam further said.

At the recently concluded UNHRC Session in Geneva, Switzerland, a resolution was passed against Sri Lanka, renewing the Council’s call for accountability for alleged human rights violations in the country and stricter monitoring in the future.

The Gazette issued on 25 March recognised seven Diaspora groups and 379 individuals on the new proscription list. The United National Front (UNF)-led Government de-listed a number of Diaspora groups which it considered were moderate in its views in 2015.