United Kingdowm Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has rejected a call to apologize and offer reparatory justice for victims of UK’s slave trade and colonialism.
In her question to the prime minister during a session at the House of Commons on Tuesday, the opposition Labour Party’s MP Bell Riberio-Addy said the premier should extend an apology for the victims of British colonialism.
Sunak said the focus should now be on “understanding our history in all its parts” and having an “inclusive and tolerant” society. He added that “trying to unpick our history” is not something the government will “focus its energy on.”
Riberio-Andy responded: “But coming to terms with the past is the only way we can move forward.”
The question to the prime minister came days after descendants of some British slave owners launched an activist group, calling on the UK government to extend an official apology for slavery and launch a reparative justice program in recognition of the “ongoing consequences of this crime against humanity.”
The Heirs of Slavery movement has urged the British government to acknowledge its role in the abuse and transportation of 3.1 million enslaved Africans across the Atlantic.
“It is a history that we have all examined and acknowledged publicly. There are wrongs in today’s world that derive from the exploitation of African people and their descendants by Britain and other former colonial powers. We believe it’s important to acknowledge this crime against humanity and address its ongoing consequences,” the group said on Monday.
The movement is seeking “apology, dialogue, reconciliation and reparative justice” whilst encouraging others who have similarly examined their family history to consider how personal charitable donations can help the futures of people in the Caribbean and Britain.
CURRENTPH NEWS SERVICE