Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Thatcher "Embraced the Killing of Citizens"

By Ben Aulakh

“Working class communities were devastated in Britain and across Ireland because of her policies,” the verdict of Sinn Fein politician Gerry Adams on the record of the late Margaret Thatcher.

The former Conservative prime minister, died aged 87 during a stay at the Ritz Hotel in central London on Monday night.

Mr Adams said the former Conservative Prime Minister “did great hurt to the Irish and British people during her time.”

“Here in Ireland her espousal of old draconian militaristic policies prolonged the war and caused great suffering.

“She embraced censorship, collusion and the killing of citizens by covert operations, including the targeting of solicitors like Pat Finucane.”

The prominent human rights lawyer was murdered by a member of the loyalist paramilitary organisation, the Ulster Defence Army.

The gunman who carried out the shooting, as well as the individual who supplied the gun were both members of Special Branch.

“Alongside more open military operations she refused to recognise the rights of citizens to vote for parties of their choice.”

Mr Adams was also heavily critical of the former prime minister for supporting the former Chilean dictator general Pinochet, and the Khmer Rouge, as well as her opposition to sanctions against apartheid South Africa.

During her time as prime minister the former prime minister famously labelled former South African prime minister Nelson Mandela as a ”terrorist.”

Mr Adams also criticised Mrs Thatcher for the way in which she behaved during hunger strikes by members of the IRA in 1980 and 1981.

Writing in The Guardian Mr Adams said, “The Thatcher government believed that the criminalisation of the republican prisoners would break the republican struggle, it was not interested in a resolution.”

Mrs Thatcher barred Mr Adams and other Sin Fein politicians from entry to Britain after they were elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly in 1982.

It was also under Mrs Thatcher’s leadership that the infamous Force Research Unit was established, as part of the British Army Intelligence Corps, which carried out assassinations of Irish Republicans.

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