Ilankai Tamil Sangam

24th Year on the Web

Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

Report to UN Human Rights Council

by Tamil Centre for Human Rights, Paris, September 9, 2007

"Aid agencies say 34 humanitarian staff have been killed in Sri Lanka since January 2006, including 17 local staff of Action Contre La Faim shot dead in the restive northeast a year ago in a massacre Nordic truce monitors blamed on security forces. There is a concern ... about the safety of humanitarian workers themselves and the record here is one of the worst in the world from that point of view." -- Sir John Holmes, Reuters, August 15, 2007

http://www.tchr.net/reports_commission_2007-6-session.htm

WHY

is the International Community Silent about These

Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes?

 

Wake up call
to the UN Human Rights Council

Appel à la prise de conscience du
Conseil des Droits de l'Homme - Nations Unies

Llamado para reacción urgente del
Consejo de Derechos Humanos-Naciones Unidas

Website : www.tchr.net

6th session / 6ème session / 6° período de sesiones

10/09/2007 -- 28/09/2007

  

 

 

Tamil Centre for Human Rights - TCHR
Centre Tamoul pour les droits de l'Homme - CTDH
Centro Tamil para los Derechos Humanos

(Established in 1990)

 Head Office
9, rue des Peupliers
95140 - Garges les Gonesse
FRANCE
Email : tchrgs@hotmail.com
tchrdip@hotmail.com
Fax : + 33 - 1 – 42 67 54 36

  Branches

Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway,
Switzerland, The Netherlands, United Kingdom

 

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Fact finding missions to the North East of the Island of Sri Lanka

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Table of Contents

Appeal (see below)

Chronology - History in a Nutshell

Peace talks between Tamil and Singhala leaders since 1927

Colonization

Since 1827 - Tamil and Sinhala populations in the Eastern Province                

Since 1827 - Tamil and Sinhala populations in Batticaloa district

Since 1963 - Tamil and Sinhala population in Amparai district

Since 1827 - Tamil and Sinhala populations in Trincomalee district  

Ethnic Cleansing

Sri Lanka police send Tamils back to their villages

Ranil on forced eviction of Tamils                                                                             

Send Tamils to India – UNP!

Mahinda 'dividing' Sri Lanka

The United States condemns the forced removal of Tamils                                      

Norway condemns enforced removal of Tamils from Colombo

Canada condemns the forced removal of citizens of Tamil

Indian PM concerned over eviction of Sri Lankan Tamils                                                     

BJP slams move to evacuate Tamils from Colombo

Eviction is not ‘winning hearts and minds

Recorded figures

Arrests, killings, disappearances, rapes, displacements and Injuries to the Tamils in the North East, Colombo and other regions

Journalists and other staff

           Killed, attacked and harassed

1990 - 2000 
2001
2002  
2003
2004 
2005
2006
2007 

Humanitarian workers

Humanitarian staff killed in Sri Lanka

Humanitarian staff injured 

Attack on NGO's office

Killing of religious dignitaries and laymen 

Arrest & injury

Recent killing of academics and parliamentarians  

Death threats to parliamentarians

Massacres and killings of Tamils

            Killings by the IPFK in the North East

Massacres and killings -

Amparai district
Batticaloa district
Trincomale district
Mullaitivu district 
Vavuniya & Mannar district 
Kilinochchi district
Jaffna district  
Colombo and other districts

Military occupation of      

Civilian dwellings/land, schools, place of worship and public buildings

Amparai District – Division 1 

Batticaloa District:

Division 1
Division 2
Division 4

Trincomale District :

Division 1

Vavuniya District :

Venkalachcheddikkulam Division 
Vavuniya Division 

Mannar District :  

Mannar Division
Nanattan Division
Madhu Division
Adampan Division

Jaffna District : 

Valikamam East Division
Valikamam West Division
Valikamam Division
Vadamaradchi Division
Islands Division 
Thenmaradchi High Security Zone
Schools within the High Security Zone in Valikamam North
Temples within High Security Zone in Valikamam North

Christian Churches damaged/destroyed by aerial bombing and shelling in the North 

Hindu Temples / Kovils damaged/destroyed by aerial bombing and shelling

Amparai 
Batticaloa 
Jaffna
Killinochchi
Mannar
Mullaitivu
Trincomalee
Vavuniya

Annexes

NGOs Intervention in the UN Human Rights Forum

Are the Tamil people not as fashionable as the Bosnians? IED 

There is no hope for the Tamils within a united Sri Lanka – LIDLIP

Many people in civil society are asking, “ ‘Security’ – for whom? – IADL

17 humanitarian aid workers were brutally massacred - IED

Human rights defenders are killed by the Armed forces - Interfaith International

The rule of law situation in Sri Lanka is deteriorating – IMADR

Government hand in abductions racket bared 

Cafe d’ APRC

The APC smokescreen 

Long walk to freedom 

TCHR summary, March 2007 – August 2007
(Names, Dates, Place of incidents, etc)

Arbitrary arrest / detention 
Extra judicial killings / summary executions
Enforced or involuntary disappearances 

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Controversey between the UN and Sri Lanka

"34 humanitarian staff killed in Sri Lanka since January 2006"

Sir John Holmes, United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator and

Under Secretary General of Humanitarian Affairs

"Aid agencies say 34 humanitarian staff have been killed in Sri Lanka since January 2006, including 17 local staff of Action Contre La Faim shot dead in the restive northeast a year ago in a massacre Nordic truce monitors blamed on security forces. There is a concern ... about the safety of humanitarian workers themselves and the record here is one of the worst in the world from that point of view." (Reuters in an interview on 8 August 2007)

* * * * *

"I would say Holmes is completely a terrorist,......" 

Chief Government Whip and a Minister, Jeyaraj Fernandopulle

"I would say Holmes is completely a terrorist, a terrorist who supports terrorism. We consider people who support terrorists also terrorists. So Holmes, who supports the LTTE (Tamil Tigers), is also a terrorist. This person tries to tarnish the image of Sri Lanka internationally." He added. "I think the LTTE has bribed Holmes." (Reuters, 15 August 2007).

* * * * *

"UN Secretary-General fully supports the work of his Emergency Relief Coordinator, John Holmes"

UN Secretary General's Spokesperson Michèle Montas

"....There was a statement made in the press and, you know, giving accusations against Mr. Holmes.  We believe them to be unwarranted and unacceptable. The Secretary-General fully supports the work of his Emergency Relief Coordinator, John Holmes.  So that’s what I can say at this point concerning those comments."          (Daily press briefing - 16 August 2007)

* * * * *

 

"I don’t give a damn about what this UN boss has to tell me or Sri Lanka"

Chief Government Whip and a Minister, Jeyaraj Fernandopulle

I don’t give a damn about what this UN boss has to tell me or Sri Lanka. He can say whatever he wants, but I will still go by what I said and that is, John Homes is a terrorist who takes bribes from the LTTE.... I do not care what the UN Secretary General says. We cannot allow any foreigner to come to our country and work against us"                   (The Nation - August 19, 2007)

 

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TCHR participation in the United Nations

World conferences and other meetings

*       The Tamil Centre for Human Rights (TCHR) officially participated in the United Nations 7th Global Forum, Re-instating good governance, in Vienna, Austria 26-29 June 2007.

*       Members of TCHR participated in the World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA) seminar in Geneva, Switzerland, 29-31 July 2007. 

*       TCHR officially accredited to participate in the United Nations Conference on Anti-corruption Measures, Good Governance and Human Rights, in Warsaw, Poland 8–9 November 2006. 

*       A meeting was held on 7 March 2006, in the European Parliament – titled "EU contribution to the peace process in Sri Lanka". This was jointly organised by TCHR and Mr. Robert Evans, a member of European Parliament of Labour Party in UK. 

*       Accredited by the United Nations to participate in the World Summit on the Information Society – WSIS in Tunisia, 16 – 18 November 2005. 

*       Officially participated in the NGO forum of the UN World Conference Against Racism – WCAR in Durban, South Africa, from 28 August to 1 September 2001. TCHR held an information stall including an exhibition at the forum. The TCHR representatives also attended the main WCAR conference held in Durban, 31 August to 7 September 2001.          (http://www.tchr.net/reports_wcar_detail.htm) 

*       A meeting was held on 14 October 1998, in the European Parliament – titled "Press censorship in Sri Lanka". This was jointly organised by the Tamil Centre for Human Rights (TCHR) and Ms. Anita Pollack, a member of European Parliament of Labour Party in UK. 

*       In 1993, held an information stall and a photo exhibition on human rights violations, in the United Nations 2nd World Conference on Human Rights held in Vienna, Austria, from 14-25 June. 

*       TCHR participates in meetings of Treaty bodies and submits reports to the same.

 

 

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10 September 2007

The President
Members and Delegates
Human Rights Council - 6th Session

United Nations
1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

 

Distinguished Sirs / Mesdames,

First of all, we extend our congratulations to you for your appointment as the Chairperson of the 6th session. We regularly report on the human rights violations taking place in the Island of Sri Lanka. Our reporting is based on indisputable facts, the authentic details of which we receive from our sources directly from the North East and other parts of the Island. The United Nations human rights monitoring bodies have appreciated the veracity of our reporting.

In our submission to the 6th session, we will be high-lighting the human rights violations perpetrated against the people in the North East and other parts by successive governments that ruled the island since independence in 1948.

Our report includes the history in a nutshell, colonisation & ethnic cleansing in the East, recorded figures of violations from 1956 to 2007, killing and harrassment of journalists, humanitarian workers, religious dignitaries, academics, parliamenterians - and major massacres and killings. Also the report includes details of military occupation of civilian dwellings/land, schools, places of worship and public buildings. We have also included details of cultural genocide in the North East with a list of 299 Christian churches and 1348 Hindu/Saiva temples/kovils which were fully or partially damaged by aerial bombing and shelling in the North East.

The incidents we have mentioned in our report since 1956, have never been subject to an independent inquiry - nor have the perpetrators been arrested and punished nor have the victims been compensated. There are many more incidents to be added to those we have in this report.

Impunity is a very serious problem in Sri Lanka. Many notorious human rights violators in the Security forces especially in the Army, Police and the Paramilitary have received the best promotions and appointments as Ministers and to high profile jobs in the government. The government of Sri Lanka encourages and allows the perpertrators to move freely in society - and the violations continue.

In the Northeast the human rights situation has been deteriorating for many long years. Genocide, cultural genocide, multiple displacements are occuring and a systematic economic embargo to the North East is starving the people.

First hand witnesses to these Crimes against humanity - cemeteries full of murdered bodies, hospitals full of child and adult casualties, camps full of displaced people, people starving due to the economic embargo and buildings destroyed in all parts of North East. The security forces have created “High Security Zones” in the densily populated residential areas of the Northeast and are occupying civilian homes and public buildings.

Sirs / Mesdames,

The Sinhala constitution denies fundamental and political rights to the Tamil people. The introduction of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) in 1979 and 27years of emergency rule (ER) have inflicted terror upon the Tamil people in the island. ER and the PTA permit the Sri Lanka security forces to arrest, torture, rape and kill the Tamils with impunity. Only a few cases have attracted international news coverage - and international human rights and humanitarian organisations are paying attention to these.

Press freedom and freedom of expression are in peril in Sri Lanka. Journalists are arrested, tortured, abducted, disappeared and killed over-night. Misinformation is heavily used internally and internationally by the government of Sri Lanka to distort the real picture of what is happening in the conflict areas.  

Ethnic cleansing of Tamils and Singhalisation in the North East continues with foreign help. As part of the ethnic cleansing, the murdering of religious leaders and laymen inside and outside places of worship has also been taking place over the years.

So far more than 100,000 Tamils have been killed and more than 200,000 have been multiply internally displaced. Another 600,000 or more Tamils have sought asylum in foreign countries.

Sirs / Mesdames, If we analyse respect for human rights by the government of Sri Lanka, the following truth becomes crystal clear - Sri Lanka has a regular habit of pretending to take some action on the massive human violations only a month before the beginning of the UN Human Rights' forums. These hollow promises of action are intended to avoid or counter any criticism that may be made by these forums, rather than to vigorously promote and protect human rights in real and effective terms.

Typical examples of this are the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry and an International Independent Group of Eminent Persons (IIGEP) in September 2006. We predicted the fate of the IIGEP in our earlier reports.

It is well known that for the last twenty four years, the LTTE has been engaged in an armed struggle with the support of the Tamils in exercise of their right to self-determination in the Tamil hereditary regions.

After nearly a quarter century of armed conflict, there is a de-facto government in the Tamils' hereditary region under the LTTE administration. It has been in existence for more than 15 years and it has its own infrastructures - police and judiciary, Law College, Banking and Educational institutions, as well as welfare centres for children, disabled people, elders and war victims. This has been well witnessed by diplomats, dignitaries and VIPs.

Sirs / Mesdames, the reports of the UN Special rapporteurs, Special representatives of the UN Secretary General and the Working groups and furthermore the statements by international NGOs to every UN Human Rights forum clearly indicate that the human rights situation in Sri Lanka is far from improving - in fact it is rapidly deteriorating.

As Sri Lanka is a signatory to various UN covenants and conventions, it has an obligation to maintain international standards and to abide by iternational law.

In the past, UN action on various other country situations reminded us that "Naming and Shaming" is one of the preventive techniques in the protection of human rights. Therefore the reports of the UN dignitaries and other appeals, reports, joint-statements, interventions, written statements by various NGOs to the UN Human rights forums must all be taken into consideration in this period to apply UN action on Sri Lanka.

At this crucial situation, there is no doubt that International human rights law and international humanitarian law are severely and massively violated by Sri Lanka. Considering these facts, the best mechanism in hand which can be used, is to charge the President of Sri Lanka, the Commander-in-Chief of the Sri Lanka Security Forces and other Military officials with War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity.

In addition, we urge this session to take immediate steps to alleviate the humanitarian catastrophe that is being deliberately inflicted by the government of Sri Lanka on civilians in the North East.

Sir, being the President of the 6th session of the Human Rights Council, you can see that the international community is failing in its duties regarding Sri Lanka and that it is backing an aggressor which is perpetrating war crimes and crimes against humanity against a people who have been struggling for their Right to Self-determination for many decades.

We appeal to you to take immediate action during this session of the Human Rights Council.

Thank you,

Yours sincerely

S. V. Kirubaharan

General Secretary