Monthly Archives: February 2015

Delayed justice breeds impunity

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The International Council of Eelam Tamils (ICET) is the collective voice of grassroots
organizations representing over one million Eelam Tamils in the diaspora. We have been
working hard to gather the evidences related to war crimes, crimes against humanity, and
over six decadence-long genocide of our relatives and friends that is still continuing with
impunity in Sri Lanka.

Numerous internal commissions of inquiries appointed by successive Governments of Sri
Lanka to investigate the pogroms of 1956, 1958, 1962, 1974, 1977, 1981, 1983, and much
more frequently since then, have continued to shield the Sinhalese perpetrators and
blame the Tamil victims. Not a single person has been convicted and no compensation has
been given to the Eelam Tamil victims for the loss of tens of thousands of lives and billions
in property that were looted and burnt over the decades. The Tamils have lost faith in any
internal investigations due to the extreme lack of credibility in any internal mechanisms.
The Northern Provincial Council unanimously passed a resolution on February 9, 2015,
corroborating the decades long genocide unleashed upon our people and called upon the
UN OHCHR to refer it to the International Criminal Court for action.

In this context, we looked forward to an international mechanism setup under the
direction of UNHRC with the hope of bringing out the truth so that those innocent lives
were not lost in vain. However, the postponement of the release of the report is extremely
disappointing to the victims who have been awaiting justice far too long while continuing
to suffer under military occupation.

The only ray of hope is the High Commissioner’s statement, “There should be no
misunderstanding, I give my personal, absolute and unshakable commitment that the
report will be published by September.” The only way this delay can be justified is if the
OISL personnel gather additional evidence from the victims on the ground.

We sincerely hope that OHCHR will tenaciously use its powers to gain unhindered access
for the OISL team to directly gather the necessary evidence. Only such action can justify
the delay in the process to bring justice to the victims.

-ENDS

 

For more information contact: International Council of Eelam Tamils – ICET
Phone: 416.830.7703 Email: media@iceelamtamils.com

Tamil cultural centre- Belgium (Belgium)
National Council of Canadian Tamils (Canada)
Danish Federation of Tamil Associations (Denmark)
Italian Council of Eelam Tamils (Italy)
Maison du Tamil Eelam France (France)
Council of Eelam Tamils in Germany (Germany)
Mauritius Tamil temple Federation (Mauritius)
National council of New Zealand Tamils (New Zealand)
Dutch Tamil Forum (Netherland)
Norwegian Council of Eelam Tamils (Norway)
Swiss Council of Eelam Tamils (Swiss)

We urge the International Community to demand Sri Lanka to allow UN Investigators into the island

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We urge the international community to utilize the change in political climate to demand new Sri Lankan regime, which claims to restore democracy, to allow UN Investigators into the country and to ensure unhindered access to the victims and facilitate a comprehensive independent international investigation. 146,679 innocent Tamil civilians still unaccounted for in the genocidal attack leading up to May 2009. The US Resolution at the 25th session of UNHRC in March 2013 requested “UNHRC to undertake a comprehensive investigation into alleged serious violations.” Following that the OHCHR set up a dedicated OHCHR team to carry out the comprehensive investigation. The OHCHR’s oral statement at the 27th UNHRC session reported that the Sri Lankan Permanent Representative of the previous government informed the Human Rights Council of Sri Lanka’s rejection of the HRC Resolution and vowed non-cooperation with the OHCHR investigation. The new government has categorically rejected any international prosecution of those who bore command control over the Sri Lankan forces, Mahinda Rajapaksa. Similarly, Sarath Fonseka, general of the armed forces during the 2009 genocide, is now a member of the coalition government. Successive Governments of Sri Lanka have a proven history of deception that spans over six decades. The current foreign minister’s intention has been revealed in an interview with media stating that he wanted to end the war crime probe by bringing it to a domestic investigation. We reject any domestic investigation, given Sri Lanka’s well documented history of failed commissions of inquiries, as illustrated by Amnesty International’s report “Twenty Years of Make Belief.” Only a comprehensive investigation, carried out without fear of reprisals against the victims, conducted inside Sri Lanka by the OHCHR team can establish the truth and do justice to the victims.