Addressing the annual Labour Party Conference on 22 september 2014, Tamils for Labour’s Chair Sen Kandiah, reflected on the Scottish independence referendum, saying “hundreds of thousands of [Tamil] lives have been lost for the same right as those people enjoyed in Scotland a few days ago.”
Mr Kandiah called on the Labour Party to “support targeted sanctions, such as travel bans and asset freezes, on Sri Lankan military personnel and politicians” and to “acknowledge the Tamil people’s right to self-determination”.
In a side event hosted by Tamils for Labour, a host of prominent Labour MPs and local politicians pledged their support to the Tamil cause.
Steve Pound, MP for Ealing North said of the end of the war, “those of us who were chided for using the word genocide are now being proved right”.
Among the MPs present at the Tamils for Labour reception were Mike Gapes, Gareth Thomas, Virendra Sharma, Siobhain McDonagh, Diane Abbott, Keith Vaz, Margaret Hodge, Kerry McCarthy and Stella Creasy.
Also speaking at the event was Uma Kumaran, the Labour candidate for Harrow East and the first ever Tamil parliamentary candidate in the UK.