AN INDICTMENT OF THE SRI LANKAN GOVERNMENT

by S. Makenthiran, B.A., FCCA.

The Sinhalese-dominated Sri Lankan government stands indicted of genocide and other crimes against humanity against the minority Tamils who are some of the original inhabitants of the island.  The following facts from the date of independence, prove beyond doubt the ethnic cleansing and efforts to eliminate the Tamil presence and culture perpetrated by successive Sinhalese regimes.  These need to be presented to the world community and World Court for adjudication as crimes against humanity:

These crimes against humanity continued to be committed by the Sinhalese government and thugs from independence in 1948, and even after the cease-fire signed in February 2002 by the LTTE leader Prabaharan and the Sri Lankan UNA Prime Minister. It is estimated that over 80,000 Tamil civilians have been slaughtered by the Sinhalese.

The devastation to the Sri Lankan Tamil people caused by the Sinhalese pogrom can be seen from the fact that, since independence, the Tamil population has been reduced by about 30 %.  Figures for the Tamil population forced out of Ceylon or killed by the Sinhalese, have appeared now and then in the media.

At the time of independence in 1948, the Tamil population of Ceylon was 1 million Ceylon Tamils and a little over 1 million Upcountry Tamils, out of a total population of 8 million.  That is, Tamils were then 26 % of the population.

Today, out of a total population of over 19 million, Tamils should have numbered about 5 million.  However, according to statistics put out by the SL government, there now are only 12 1/2% Ceylon Tamils and 5 1/2 % Upcountry Tamils for a total of 18 % -- about 3 1/2 million.  That means the Tamil population in Sri Lanka has been reduced by about 30 % (1.5/ 5.00 = 31%).

The loss can be accounted for as follows:

Expatriation under Srimavo-Sashtri Pact 500,000

Fled to India 200,000

Fled to Canada 300,000

Fled to UK 150,000

Fled to rest of Europe 150,000

Fled to Australia and other parts of the world 100,000

Killed by the Sinhalese ~80,000

Killed due to lack of food, shelter and health care - unknown

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TOTAL TAMIL REDUCTION 1,480,000

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Is this not proof of ethnic cleansing?  These are all fair estimates, but seem to be close to the realities.

These crimes by the Sinhalese state and personnel committed against the Tamils need to be taken up before a World Court or International Tribunals, and the criminals responsible tried for genocide and crimes against humanity.

 

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Posted October 14, 2004