In a significant virtual meeting on January 19, 2024, Alex Norris MP, the Shadow Minister of British Police and Member of Parliament for Nottingham North, supported the call to ban Sri Lankan Army Commander General Shavendra Silva under the Global Human Rights Sanction Regime. The meeting, chaired by legal adviser and human rights activist Geeth Kulasegaram, was attended by several prominent figures including Benjamin Kumar Morris, Director of the Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice, Sen Gandiah, Chairman of Tamils For Labour, and Roy Ickson from the International Center for the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide (ICPPG).

Key issues raised during the meeting focused on Britain’s historical responsibility in Sri Lanka’s genocide and the failure of the British Foreign Office (FCDO) to act on submitted evidence of war crimes and human rights violations, including those under the command of Shavendra Silva. The meeting highlighted Silva’s implication in war crimes as per United Nations reports and the existing travel bans against him by the United States and Canada. Attendees urged the UK to follow suit, aligning with the continuous protests by Tamil activists in Britain.

Kulasegaram emphasized the ongoing human trafficking and torture in Sri Lanka, while Morris detailed the war crimes committed by Silva. Kandiah expressed disappointment over the FCDO’s response to parliamentary demands for Silva’s ban and called for Britain to recognize the genocide in Sri Lanka and support an investigation by the International Criminal Court.

MP Norris, attentive to the discussions, acknowledged his growing understanding of the Sri Lankan issue and the Tamil community’s plight. He committed to advocating for the Tamils’ right to self-determination and to pressuring the FCDO to ban Silva. Norris also pledged to join the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils (APPGT) and the All Party Parliamentary Group for Magnitsky Sanctions (APPG), showing gratitude for the enlightening meeting and information shared.

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