Ilankai Tamil Sangam

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Honouring International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Remembering the plight of Tamils

by Monsoon Journal, January 13, 2010

In 2010 this day marks special significance to Tamils, seeing the escalated military onslaught by the mono ethnic Sinhala Sri Lankan armed forces claiming the lives of thousands of Tamil civilians under the guise of a “humanitarian operation”.

The aftermath is seeing the continuation of Tamils in internment, separation of children from their parents and in detentions under incommunicado conditions.

January 27th, 2010 - This is day is observed as The International Holocaust Remembrance Day worldwide.

According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, in 2005 the United Nations General Assembly designated January 27 as an annual international day of commemoration to honour the victims of the Nazi era.

The 2010 observance of the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust will focus on a central theme that emphasizes the legacy that survivors will pass on to succeeding generations.

The United Nations states the following about this year’s theme:

“Holocaust Remembrance: the Legacy of Survival” highlights the moral messages expressed by those who have suffered from Nazi persecution and denial of basic human rights. As there are fewer survivors to tell their stories today, it is of primary importance that these universal lessons be shared with all fellow human beings. Only this will ensure that their legacy will continue to promote respect for diversity and human rights for generations to come.

Monsoon Journal joins the world humanitarian community in remembering and paying tribute to the victims of holocaust at the hands of Nazi Germany and in honouring survivors and to support the recognition of this day internationally.

In 2010 this day marks special significance to Tamils, seeing the escalated military onslaught by the mono ethnic Sinhala Sri Lankan armed forces claiming the lives of thousands of Tamil civilians under the guise of a “humanitarian operation”.

The aftermath is seeing the continuation of Tamils in internment, separation of children from their parents and in detentions under incommunicado conditions.

An electioneering frenzy has let off several token releases and politically motivated announcements to win decisive Tamil votes by Sri Lankan presidential candidates, but the suffering of innocent Tamil civilians continue and several questions are being raised about the conduct of the war by Sri Lankan Government.

UN special rapporteur Prof. Philip Alston has said three independent experts had confirmed a video showing extra judicial killing by Sri Lankan soldiers was authentic, renewing calls for a war crime inquiry.

Sri Lankan opposition presidential candidate and ex-Army general Sarath Fonseka confirmed that surrendering LTTE Political leaders were killed along with their families in violation of international humanitarian laws.

And, also, the LTTE leader ‘s octogenarian father dying in military custody all highlight the conditions of what many other Tamils face today at the hands of the Government of Sri Lanka, apart from the electioneering concessionary gimmicks.

Prof. Elie Wiesel, Holocaust Survivor and Human Rights Activist remarked in June 2009 on the plight of Tamils in a statement. He said:

“Wherever minorities are being persecuted we must raise our voices to protest. According to reliable sources, the Tamil people are being disenfranchised and victimized by the Sri Lanka authorities. This injustice must stop. The Tamil people must be allowed to live in peace and flourish in their homeland.”

This year’s International Holocaust Remembrance Day, is also - a time to remember Prof. Elie Wiesel’s words about Tamils’ plight.