London, United Kingdom:
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called for greater recognition of the role of black and Asian troops in World War II on Friday ahead of Memorial Sunday commemorations.
“Volunteers from India, Africa and the Caribbean have made an immense contribution to the victory,” he said in a message to the Remember Together campaign co-organized by the Royal British Legion, a charity that helps veterans.
Johnson cited the examples of the British-Indian Army – the “largest volunteer force in history” – and the 14th Army, which was composed of a majority of the Commonwealth of Nations.
“I’m very excited to remember your sacrifice and celebrate your achievement,” he said.
Union leader Keir Starmer, who has tried to stamp out anti-Semitism in his party, also stressed the “remember those of all creeds and colors” commemorations.
The party leaders’ comments came ahead of traditional weekend commemoration ceremonies for the fallen and veterans of all conflicts since World War I, the scope of which is being reduced due to anti-coronavirus restrictions.
Last week’s “Remember Together” campaign published an open letter complaining that the contributions of black and Asian soldiers in World War II were “forgotten”.
It was signed by figures such as London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Johnson’s former Treasury Secretary Sajid Javid, both British-born Asian politicians.
The reputation of giving equal weight to the war role of ethnic minorities comes from the fact that the Black Lives Matter campaign sparked angry protests in Britain and the demolition of a statue of a slave trader in the south-west city of Bristol.