Letter to UNHCHR from Tamil Studies and Human Rights Trust, NZ

19 May 2005

Hon. Ms. Louise Aubur,

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Geneva, Switzerland

Hon. Madam,

DEPRIVATION OF TSUNAMI AID TO VICTIMS OF N-E Sri Lanka

In less than two weeks, five months will have lapsed since the greatest tragedy was inflicted by the TSUNAMI on Sri Lanka on 26 December 2005.  It will be six months in June.

From estimates, two thirds of all the losses were suffered by the people of the North-East, mainly Tamils and Muslims.  People are still living in awful conditions without even basic amenities.  Still in tents, with no proper food, clothing, water and toilet facilities they are faced with all sorts of illnesses.  The children are deprived of nutrition and schooling.

In a landmark judgement, the Supreme Court of India held that deprivation of food is a serious violation of human rights.  All the deprivations of items listed above for the Tamils and Muslims in North-East Sri Lanka by the Sri Lankan Government can be calculated deliberate violations  - another phase in the on-going ethnic cleansing in Sri Lanka.

We make bold to call it deliberate because huge amounts of aid items of food, medicine, clothes etc. sent by expatriate Tamils to the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) in containers have still not been released from customs in Colombo.  The Government insisted on payment of a Customs levy. This shows the Government's naked racism even in humanitarian aid, which costs the Government nothing.  We have reports that most containers have been emptied by unscrupulous elements.   Only a few have been released to the TRO.

We believe that you are not unaware of the fact that, had the Tsunami disaster not overtaken Sri Lanka, the Government of Sri Lanka would have forced a war on the LTTE and the Tamils.  Even before the wails of the Tsunami disaster hardly disappeared, the Security Establishment went on a shopping spree for warships, military hardware and what-not.

The Security Establishment, with the blessings of the Defence Ministry, is using every possible means to break the ceasefire by engaging in provocative murders and attacks on journalists, academics, peace activists and supporters of the Tamil cause.  The EPDP (with one Cabinet Minister) is very active in this respect.  The EPDP has ridiculed, humiliated and abused in indecent language the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission personnel in the East.

The Sinhala nationalists have devised a mechanism to whip up violence of a religious and racial nature in Trincomalee, another city of the East.  They have brought a life-size statue of Buddha and planted it near the Three-wheeler stand close to the Main Bus Station.  They did not obtain the permission of the City Council.  On an application by the Police, the Court ruled that the statue be removed temporarily and directed the Police to do so.  Instead, the Police, Army and Navy have intensified security for the statue and they are attacking and threatening the Tamils.  This is a predominantly Tamil Hindu area.  They are planting Buddha Statues in Hindu, Christian and Muslim areas deliberately.  They do not realise that they are desecrating Buddha and his teachings.  The former chairman of the Trincomalee City Council was shot at by four men in two motorcycles who spoke Tamil when he was standing in front of his house on Vihara Road, a high security area well guarded by Police and Army.  Killings mostly done by Tamil militiamen with or without military intelligence personnel are repeatedly committed in areas close to Army Camps and Police Stations only.  This fact makes the state's involvement unambiguous.

The Government needs the War to ward off the Tsunamic wrath displayed by the Sinhala victims through almost daily protests.  The Government is unable to explain where millions of dollars received in aid have gone.  The partner in Government, the JVP, wants war to infiltrate the Security Establishment to enable them to take control at a later date.

Please, therefore, be good enough NOT to waste time and to intervene and ensure that

1) The Tamils and Muslims of North-East Sri Lanka receive all Tsunami relief aid they deserve, including houses forthwith.

2) The Government of Sri Lanka ceases its provocative actions designed to endanger the ceasefire.

3) The Government of Sri Lanka does NOT force a War on the LTTE and the Tamil people.

Yours Sincerely,

A.Theva Rajan, Coordinator

R.Selvarajah, General Secretary

Tamil Studies and Human Rights Trust

Auckland, New Zealand

Tel : 64 ĘC 9 - 8202113

Email : R.Selva@xtra.co.nz

Copy to : Hon: Mr.Kofi Annan, UN Secretary General

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Posted May 25, 2005