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Will Tamils see any justice?

Sri Lanka's top representatives are bracing for a critical report early next year that could potentially settle the question of whether or not this nation committed genocide against its own citizens.


The Rajapaksa regime is dreading a critical report that Sri Lanka will face next March at the UN Human Rights Council.  The Golombo Gazette reports that the government of Sri Lanka (GSL) is in contact with some of the world's top lawyers as it prepares to face the music.


External Affairs Minister, Professor G.L Peiris, said in an interview with The Sunday Leader, “We are in touch with some of the best lawyers in the world who are in touch with us in regards to the preparation for the legal strategy. But this is essentially a political matter. So we are having discussions with like-minded countries. There is a great deal of activity at that level. Many countries are now saying that they are greatly embarrassed about the degree of intensity at which Sri Lanka is being pursued.”


The horrors of the Tamil Genocide in Sri Lanka that culminated in 2009 have not subsided.  Memories of shrapnel ridden civilians will never leave the minds of those who, somehow, endured the suffering and lived to tell about it.


They relate stories of human atrocities that are not for the faint of heart. POW's were reportedly killed while surrendering with white flags, women were brutally raped and murdered, thousands of people were told to enter so- called "no fire" zones and bombed with artillery, and military prisoners were killed in direct contravention of international law in what became known as the "white flag killings"..


    As the debate rages over the events that led to the mass murder of Tamils, which numbers close to 150,000 according to Sri Lankan Bishop Joseph Rayappu (who told me the number of missing Tamils is 146,679), the effort to bring Sri Lankan President Majinda Rajapaksa to justice continues unabated. 


Along with his band of brothers who all hold high political office, (Basil, minister of economic development, Chamal, Speaker of Parliament, Gotabhaya, Secretary of Defence, and don't forget Namal, son of the president, who is a ruling party MP), Rajapaksa has consistently denied in the face of overwhelming, indisputable evidence, that his forces are guilty of war crimes.


In reality, groups like ISIS easily are awarded the title of war criminal, but then it is no secret that allies of the United States frequently abscond from responsibility for blatant violations of international law, reducing the whole process to, in many cases, to a cruel, pathetic joke.


So many Tamils were literally decimated along with their vital records, as I have written before, that no true accounting exists, the number is probably far in excess of 160,000, as governments rely on an incorrect figure of 40,000 dead. 


The UN Genocide Convention of 1948 is designed to prevent and punish the commission of Genocide defined as the destruction of a national, ethnical, racial or religious group (Article 2 of the Convention) in whole or part.  Genocide, as cited by Tamil Civil Society Forum, is also a jus cogens norm of Customary International Law.  It is clear that Tamils fit within the definition of either a 'national' or 'ethnic' group.


The New York Times reported last month, that UN Human rights chief, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, sharply rebuked the Sri Lankan government for “unacceptable conduct” for obstructing an investigation into possible war crimes in Sri Lanka.


The “continuing campaign of distortion and disinformation” as well as “insidious” attempts by the authorities to intimidate witnesses were an affront to the United Nations human rights body that had ordered the investigation, Mr. Zeid said in the Times article.


One only has to look at the ensuing years to see the total plan of the Sri Lankan government, which was to eliminate not just the Tamil people, but any sign of them in their own cities and towns, which remain occupied by the Sri Lankan military.


In places that were traditionally Tamil, the religion of the Sinhala Buddhist government are everywhere.  Hindu temples and Muslim mosques, along with Christian churches, have been razed and defiled to make room for those Sinhalese willing to eradicate one of the world's most ancient cultures.   Insiders refer to the process as Sinhalazation.


As the Tamil Civil Society Forum cited on October 24, 2014:


"Tamils and their representatives have the right to form a legal opinion that the atrocities that were committed (and continue to be perpetrated) against them amounts to Genocide. There are sufficient, reasonable grounds to form such a legal opinion, such that this is not a spurious claim. Tamils and their representatives also have a concomitant right to seek the intervention of the International Community to prevent and protect them from the commission of Genocide. The right to state and claim the above stems from their right to freedom of speech and expression enshrined in international human rights law. Prevention and protection from Genocide are also duties that stem from the UN Genocide Convention and the emerging doctrine of the Responsibility to Protect. The self-characterization and identification of the crime to which they were subjected to, by the victim group, in no way prejudices an impartial inquiry into those crimes by anybody that is empowered to do so.  Hence, the identification of the crime that befell them as constituting genocide by Tamils in no way prejudices OISL's inquiry into the same."


The group points to innumerable examples of democratically elected bodies passing resolutions that recognize the commission of Genocide. The following are some examples:


    a) In August 2014 the Iraqi Parliament passed a resolution stating that ISIS's actions in Northern Iraq amounted to Genocide.


    b) In August 2014 the Pakistani Parliament passed a resolution stating that the Israeli attack on Gaza amounted to Genocide.


    c) President Abbas in his address to the UN General Assembly in September 2014 claimed that Israeli attacks on Gaza amounted to genocide. This was despite the fact that a Commission of Inquiry had been set up by the UN Human Rights Council to inquire into the violations by both sides in that conflict.


    d) A number of Parliaments around the world have passed resolutions recognising the Armenian Genocide including the European Parliament.


Yet this scenario of devastation in Sri Lanka that brought the Tamil population to their knees and saw the elimination of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the rape and mutilation of a culture, somehow goes on being a question, when in fact there is no question, only carnage, and lies.  In the early years the GSL scoffed at the charges and claimed that reputable news organizations like Channel 4 in London had "faked" the photos of massive numbers of torn up bodies in some type of personal vendetta against the GSL.


As time passed, more and more evidence was released and soon it was clear that the armed forces of the Sri Lankan President had wrought a far more destructive war against civilians and POW's (prisoners of war) than had been imagined.


    Time will tell, the history of the UN's treatment of the Tamil Genocide leaves much to be desired.  As Veteran journalist Ron Ridenour wrote in Feb. 2012, "This tragedy was not even placed on the agenda despite the UN’s “Report of the Secretary-General’s Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka” delivered to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, March 31, 2011.


The panel determined that both the Sri Lankan government-military and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE/Tigers) had most likely committed war crimes and crimes against humanity. It called for an independent international investigation into credible allegations leveled at the state. The LTTE was crushed by May 18, 2009 and no longer exists."


The Genocide of Tamils, in spite of half-hearted efforts to condemn "both sides" in this conflict of war crimes, needs to be viewed for what it is, an attempt by Sri Lanka's top political leaders to eradicate a race of people.

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Date: 2014-12-24 17:09:41 | Category: ARTICLE | Visites: 725 | Like: 0