Tamil forum calls for boycott of Sri Lanka

March 24, 2010

suren surendiran- Suren Surendiran is a senior member of the British Tamils Forum and the official spokesperson for the Global Tamil Forum. The opinions expressed are his own. -

“Some governments try to dodge criticism by claiming that human rights are ‘western values’. But people all over the world prove them wrong by demanding and suffering for their human rights – be they imprisoned protesters in Iran, or murdered journalists in Russia, or civilians caught up in conflicts in Sri Lanka or Gaza. We must continue to support people who demand their human rights across the world.” – David Miliband, Foreign Secretary, Statement to mark International Human Rights Day, 10 December 2009 -

Sri Lanka’s president is pressing forward with parliamentary elections on April 8, 2010 despite allegations of electoral malpractice surrounding his own presidential election victory in January, the country facing economic crisis and growing international criticisms for the State’s callous disregard for human rights, general governance and lack of political will to resolve the 62 years long conflict.

The U.S. State Department, in its Annual Report on Human Rights for 2009, has been highly critical of the Sri Lankan government. It says the government or paramilitary groups close to it were involved in summary killings and disappearances and that lawyers and journalists were harassed and victimised. It says the war-affected parts of the country saw the greatest number of political disappearances, estimated to be in the hundreds.

Britain has also named Sri Lanka a “country of concern” in the latest Foreign and Commonwealth Office Human Rights Report 2009. “This reflects our concern about allegations of serious conflict violations, as well as the deteriorating status of the rule of law and freedom of expression…” – United Kingdom Foreign & Commonwealth Office Annual Report on Human Rights 2009

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on March 8, 2010 expressed “concerns about the lack of progress on political reconciliation, the treatment of Internally Displaced Persons and the setting up of an accountability process in Sri Lanka”.

The prospect of a panel of experts being appointed to advise the Secretary General on accountability issues relating to Sri Lanka was not welcomed by President Rajapakse who said it was “uncalled for and unwarranted”.

Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the United Nations Sir Mark Lyall Grant has said that UK disagrees with the argument put forward by the Non-Aligned Movement and that “[Secretary General] does have a mandate through the U.N. charter to uphold human rights and humanitarian international law, and therefore he is entirely within his rights to set up a group of experts who will advise him on taking forward his concerns about some of the allegations that have been made in the recent months in Sri Lanka”. – Colombopage, 20 Mar 2010

“Sri Lanka’s government has sought an additional 39.6 billion rupees ($345 million) to fund its military, a 20 percent increase from the original defence budget despite the end of a 25-year war against Tamil Tigers in May.

“Sri Lanka has a public sector of around 6 percent of the population. Maintaining loss-making public institutions without reforms, high and unproductive subsidies, a government with over 110 Ministers and expenditures that make more political than economic sense are other factors in the deficit.” – Reuters, March 4, 2010

It is no surprise that the International Monetary Fund has delayed the third tranche of a $2.6 billion loan after Sri Lanka failed to achieve its budget deficit target to reduce deficit to 7 percent of GDP.

An IMF mission to Sri Lanka in February concluded that they were unable to “complete” its review until the pending parliamentary elections in April. It is however important to note that Sri Lanka’s last two IMF programs ended with missions that were unable to “complete reviews”, effectively staying suspended. – Lanka Business Online, 25 Feb 2010.

Despite Sri Lanka’s claims that it can overcome suspension of IMF loan, the country is already fearing the affects of the temporary suspension of General Scheme of Preference (GSP+) trade concessions due to come into effect in August 2010.

“Western countries, and groups in the Tamil Diaspora, are pressing for some kind of accountability for thousands of civilian deaths at the end of the war. Sri Lanka is adamant its soldiers did not violate international law, and that for now has cost it enhanced European Union trade preferences known as GSP+ worth $136 million a year.” – Reuters, 2 Mar 2010

Some of these above quotes and links stand as evidence that credible independent media organisations, institutions and foreign governments have highlighted facts, which I have used to illustrate my argument that the Rajapaksha regime is driving Sri Lanka into economic ruin for the sake of power at the cost of humanity itself.

It is hoped that all donors including China, Japan and India will follow precedence set by Britain and the U.S. in persuading Sri Lanka to address its human rights record.

It is against this backdrop and as part of its campaign to create worldwide awareness of the real human rights situation in Sri Lanka, the Global Tamil Forum has called for a worldwide boycott of Sri Lankan products and services – www.boycottsrilanka.com


Stated in an earlier post >> “What’s all the fuss about? Minorities are discriminated even in America, UK, Canada, Australia,….. indeed all over the world!” So that makes discrimination right? There is also a big difference between discrimination and what the Sri Lankan government did to the Tamils.

Posted by Eric | Report as abusive

These Tamils will scuttle their own ship. No need to worry about their cry for boycotting. Kolla

Posted by Kollla | Report as abusive

Some here call Global Tamil Forum as a terrorist organization. These are the same Sinhala Buddhists use the terrorist word for elected Tamil members and whoever voiced separate state. All the states around the world called Sinhala Buddhist government as a human rights violator and suppress minority rights. That means Sinhala Buddhist want to eliminate the original inhabitant Tamils from the Sri Lanka.

Posted by Karri De Silva | Report as abusive

I support the comments expressed by Mr.Jason E.S on March 24th and that of Dr.C.P. Thiyagarajah on March 25th.

Posted by Christian | Report as abusive

The boycott should continue until the Tamils receive their justice, rights, and peacefull life in Srilanka.

Posted by yasee | Report as abusive

Since Srilanka has not responded for the human rights violations the strongest way to send our message would be boycott. At least after this they will give our people the justice they needed and wanted and stop their torture/injustice/abuse towards them.

Posted by Arathi | Report as abusive

Sri Lankan government is not worried about these boycott because they always believe that they can get aid from CHina, India, Iran etc. So, along with boycotting their products, countries around the world must ban SL cricket team from playing in their soil. That will make them think twice before killing another Tamil.

Posted by Singam | Report as abusive

I kana supporting the Boycott should continue until the Tamils receive their Civil Rights and peacefull freedom in their home land Srilanka (Ceylon)

Posted by Sivapalan | Report as abusive

It is time that the world start listening to those who have recently escaped from Sri Lanka. These stories speak for themselves and explain why the world must pay attention to what is going on against Tamils in Sri Lanka.

If not in 20 years time, the same torture, rape and murder will continue against Tamils, political opponments of the Sri LAnkan government and journalists and no-one will even remember who the “LTTE” or “Tiger” were.

Posted by Rajani | Report as abusive

It is a recognized fact that there are Human rights violations of both Sinhalese and Tamils.
The rule of law has been conspicuos by its abscence on an escalating scale since Ceylon gained independance.
The boycott is one component of a greater message for Democratic Process which unfortunately continues to elude the citizenry from long before independance.

Posted by Rasan P | Report as abusive

There is no freedom in Sri Lanka; no free press, no free election, no free speach. People are scared to say what they really feel. But, the world say there is democracy in Sri Lanka. Please help to bring real democracy to Sri Lanka, and to help Tamils in Sri Lanka to live with dignity by:
- not buying anything made in Sri Lanka
- not going to Sri Lanka as tourists
- not having any sportive activities, particularly by banning cricket with Sri Lanka
This worked in South Africa. It will work in Sri Lanka.

Posted by Sutha | Report as abusive

The world run on $$. There is no such a think called Human rights in any government’s ajanda. Its all about whcih side who stands.

Posted by suren | Report as abusive

Srilankan Government’s direct and indirect anti-Tamil activities should monitered and brought before the people of world, and countries regularly for justice.

Posted by RAJ | Report as abusive