We want a real, independent, public, workers-led inquiry
Piriyasha, Birmingham South West Socialist Party
The Metropolitan Police are investigating British mercenaries’ hand in the massacre of over 100,000 civilians and the brutal defeat of the LTTE (Tamil Tigers), who fought an armed struggle for an independent Tamil Eelam nation.
Keenie Meenie Services (KMS), formed in 1975, were mercenaries that offered military aid to places in conflict, in support of British imperialism. In Sri Lanka, KMS trained the Special Tasks Force (STF) of the Sri Lankan Police, to battle the Tamil Tigers in the 1980s. The STF committed atrocious crimes against Tamil civilians, condoned by the British government.
Tamil civilians were detained, tortured, and killed by the STF as the Sri Lankan government tried to suppress the Tamil independence movement. One of the most dreadful recollections include the 1987 massacre of 85 Tamil civilians at a prawn farm in Kokkadicholai.
Classified documents came to fruition as a result of Freedom of Information requests by investigative journalist and author Phil Miller. They indicate that KMS were personally involved, providing air coverage for bombing and firing at civilians indiscriminately.
It was no surprise when the Tamil diaspora in Britain took to the streets to demonstrate during the end stages of the war in 2009. They called for Gordon Brown’s government to end the slaughter of thousands of Tamils in Mullivaikkal. But the right-wing Labour government did nothing.
In fact, the British government supplied weapons to the Sri Lankan state to aid the killing. Taxes paid by the working class, including Tamil workers in Britain, funded the murder of Tamils in Sri Lanka.
The Metropolitan Police launched the investigation into alleged war crimes and human rights abuses by KMS after immense public pressure. However, we can expect an investigation similar to the ‘Spycops’ inquiry, also conducted by Met police (see ‘Spycops inquiry: why the capitalist state feared and continues to fear socialism’ at socialistparty.org.uk). That inquiry did not allow the identities of police spies to be revealed, even their cover names.
We require an independent public inquiry to be undertaken against the British mercenaries that committed appalling war crimes, which is led by the trade unions and representatives of the working class, including the Tamil diaspora.
We also ask: Why does taxpayers’ money fund imperialist wars, when we are told there is not sufficient money for decent jobs, homes and healthcare? If the working class collectively owned the wealth, and controlled it democratically, we could ensure that expenditure was directed towards society, and not to line the pockets of the capitalist class.
- See tamilsolidarity.org