Sri Lanka

Part of Orders of the Day – in the House of Commons at 4:30 pm on 2nd May 2007.

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Photo of Peter Luff Peter Luff Chair, Trade & Industry Committee 4:30 pm, 2nd May 2007

I am sure that my hon. Friend is right. I sincerely hope that that process is already happening.

Fundraising is an important issue for the LTTE. Two Tamil fundraisers were recently prosecuted in Australia, which is causing great controversy in the Tamil community there. The purposes of their fundraising activity must be properly established by due judicial process in Australia. It is unhelpful to see people who are, I am sure, perfectly honourable Tamil nationalists attacking the Australian Government for daring to challenge those people's fundraising activities. When I think of the recent protests in Paris and Zurich by Tamil communities in France and Switzerland, I worry about the presumption that anyone who dares to attack the LTTE is in some sense attacking the Tamil people. I do not see that connection. Similarly, those who dared to attack Sinn Fein were not attacking the Catholic cause in Northern Ireland.

The fact is that violence is always wrong morally, and also politically, because it never produces the outcome that one seeks. When we attack the LTTE for its violence, we are doing so for sound reasons. It is in the Tamil people's own interests that the LTTE abandon its violence. I entirely agree with the hon. Member for North Southwark and Bermondsey that the blame is far from being on one side. I have here the Human Rights Watch report on human rights in Sri Lanka, which graphically details the shortcomings of the LTTE and of the Sri Lankan Government.