It is my pleasure this evening to present to the House a petition on behalf of my constituents and others on Sri Lanka. It may interest hon. Members to know that, a few weeks ago, I held a meeting with around 600 or 700 Tamils in my constituency, who were clearly concerned and alarmed about the situation there. It is therefore my pleasure to present their petition.
Following is the full text of the petition:
[The Petition of members of the British Tamil community, and others,
Declares that the loss of life, denial of human rights, and restricted access of the United Nations and other relief agencies in Sri Lanka are unacceptable; and further declares that tens of thousands of Tamil civilians have been displaced by military action and face an uncertain future.
The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons calls upon Her Majesty's Government to take all necessary steps to secure a ceasefire, allow unfettered access for UN and NGO relief, human rights agencies and the media, and make clear to the Sri Lankan Government that a lasting peace can only come through political dialogue and respect for human rights.
And the Petitioners remain, etc.]
Schools (Isle of Wight)
The petition of 2,058 signatures is by the villagers, parents and children of the Chale school and village community on the Isle of Wight.
The petition states:
To the House of Commons.
The Petition of Chale School and Village Community Association and supporters,
Declares that Chale Church of England Primary School must be retained within the village; further declares that this small rural school provides the perfect environment for local children to develop their full potential academically, together with social skills for future life within the community of the village; notes that the closure of the village school would necessitate children as young as four years old travelling up to 16 miles a day on an additional school bus; further notes that this would preclude parents from having daily interaction with teaching staff and settling their children into school each day, and that this would also impact upon children’s opportunities to partake in after school activities; believes that the financial implications of providing this transport would eradicate any potential savings from the school closure; and further believes that closing the school would rip the heart out of the community, and undermine village life, causing young families to move away in order to live near a primary school.
The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families to direct the Isle of Wight Council to abandon any plans to close Chale School.
And the Petitioners remain, etc.