Ilankai Tamil Sangam

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The Genocidal Situation in Sri Lanka

by International Educational Development & Association of Humanitarian Lawyers, September 17, 2008

Tamil civilians will have no access to food, water, shelter, medicine and survival needs. As we have pointed out many times, this is an element of the crime of extermination under the International Criminal Court. The Sinhala authorities apparently want no witnesses to the genocide they plan against the Tamils. Anyone, including UN Secretary-General BAN Ki-moon, is accused of aiding the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam because he or she expresses concern for the Tamil civilian population...

In particular, we urge the Council to hold a special session on Sri Lanka as soon as possible as a matter of the utmost urgency due to the impending annihilation of the Tamil people. 

GENERAL ASSEMBLY HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL
Agenda item 4
September 17, 2008
 

The genocidal situation in Sri Lanka

International Educational Development and the Association of Humanitarian Lawyers have addressed the armed conflict in Sri Lanka since it began in 1983. We invite you to consult our written statement (A/HRC/9/NGO/40) on the current crisis situation in Sri Lanka in which we again present our view that the numerous violations of humanitarian law targeting the Tamil civilian population invokes international law relating to genocide. We set out clearly genocidal statements by former and current government officials. As an example of a recent statement, in July 2008 Lt Gen Sarath Fonseca stated: “This country will be ruled by the Sinhalese community which is the majority, representing 74% of the population.” We ask the Sinhala authorities what they propose for the Tamils?

We submitted our written statement only a few weeks ago, and we also addressed the High Commissioner and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities. But the situation has since deteriorated even further, and the Tamil civilians in the north of the island face complete annihilation. The Sri Lanka authorities are seeking the removal of all international humanitarian organizations, including UN authorities, and the International Committee of the Red Cross. Tamil civilians will have no access to food, water, shelter, medicine and survival needs. As we have pointed out many times, this is an element of the crime of extermination under the International Criminal Court. The Sinhala authorities apparently want no witnesses to the genocide they plan against the Tamils. Anyone, including UN Secretary-General BAN Ki-moon, is accused of aiding the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam because he or she expresses concern for the Tamil civilian population.

In fact, the Sri Lankan authorities circulate the globe spewing anti-Tamil rhetoric at every opportunity. Never in our 30+ years at the UN have we seen such racist rhetoric. No other government would dare to malign an ethnic group the way the Sinhala government in Sri Lanka has the Tamil people. Why the Sri Lankan government continues to do so, continues to excoriate anyone or any government that expresses concerns, and faces no consequences is simply beyond belief.  

While many of the Council’s mandate-holders have raised serious concerns in this area for many years, we must question why the Council as a whole has not acted. To maintain any credibility of impartiality and transparency, the Council must act as we suggest in our written statement. In particular, we urge the Council to hold a special session on Sri Lanka as soon as possible as a matter of the utmost urgency due to the impending annihilation of the Tamil people.  How will you answer to another Rwanda?