by Henrietta Briscoe, Tamils Against Genocide, April 2013
for Responsibility to Protect Conference, Faculty of Law, Ljubljana, Slovenia, April 11 – 12, 2013 http://www.r2pconference.com/
Henrietta Briscoe interview in Delhi, March 2013
Tamil Genocide Framework Highlighted in Slovenia Conference
[TamilNet, Thursday, 11 April 2013, 11:14 GMT]
The framework of genocide carried by Colombo on Eelam Tamils is featured in a poster presentation at the Slovenia conference on R2P being held in the Faculty of Law, University of Lkubljana, Thursday by Tamils Against Genocide [TAG], a US-UK based activist organization, the conference details reveal. More than 80 speakers and poster presenters from almost 40 states and international institutions will discuss issues regarding R2P in 2 parallel panels each day, according to the conference program.
TAG’s poster outlines how the failure of United Nations doctrine, Responsibility to Protect failed in Sri Lanka, and points out the Petrie report statement:
“The concept of a ‘Responsibility to Protect’ was raised occasionally during the final stages of the conflict, but to no useful result. Differing perceptions among Member States and the Secretariat of the concept’s meaning and use had become so contentious as to nullify its potential value. Indeed, making references to the Responsibility to Protect was seen as more likely to weaken rather than strengthen UN action. The events in Sri Lanka highlight the urgent need for the UN to update its strategy for engagement with Member States in situations where civilian populations caught up in the midst of armed conflicts are not protected in accordance with international human rights and humanitarian law.”
Asserting that Genocide is “Clear and Uncontestable grounds for R2P,” TAG’s statement lays out the present state of affairs, as:
- Enduring Militarization. Rejection of a political solution. Lack of accountability. Cultural genocide. Demographic reconfiguring.
- TAG research (‘Returnees at Risk’ and ‘Activist Intimidation’) has identified that the GoSL defines ‘traitor’ and ‘terrorist’ broadly to include both those who call for accountability for crimes committed before during and after Eelam IV, and those who are considered to bring Sri Lanka into international disrepute, such as asylum seekers and protesters. Commensurate with its assessment of the threat, the GoSL allocates resources to collecting (both through surveillance and interrogations) and then acting upon that threat.
- The International Community mirror Sri Lankan rhetoric and reasoning, and vice versa, and are appeased by talk of Counter – Terrorism, Development and Reconciliation.
and says, that the State is the problem,
- The fetishisation of the State. The bias towards the State. The presumptions regarding a State.
- The near infallibility of an existing State and the reluctance to recognise new States.
- The sacred cow of “Sovereignty”, then and now. There were a myriad of reasons for the reluctance to intervene in 2009 and today, including considerations of humanitarian access, the hope for diplomacy but also geo-political, strategic and national interest concerns.
- Recognise that this is an on-going situation not an historical case study.
- Through adoption of a post colonial critique, dispense with attempts to’solve’ that apply universal prescriptions without consideration of local specificities.
- Demand as the first step an International Independent inquiry that embraces the historical context in order to expose the scale of the crimes by the State, both historic crimes and on-going human rights violations.
TAG-UK’s Henrietta Briscoe is presenting the information at the poster session, according to TAG.