Monthly Archives: March 2015

Representatives of the Eelam Tamils, Human rights activist, and journalist speak out!

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Representatives of the Eelam Tamils, Human rights activist, and journalist addressed the press at the Geneva Press Club on Tuesday, briefing the audience on the various aspects of the structural genocide targeting the Eezham Tamil nation, which continued unabated despite the internationally orchestrated ‘regime change’ hatching Maithriplala Sirisena as the SL president.

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Eelam Tamils are deeply saddened by the loss of a great leader the Honourable Lee Kuan Yew

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March 23, 2015
Norway

Message of Condolence

Eelam Tamils are deeply saddened by the loss of a great leader the Honourable Lee Kuan Yew. The Tamils and the world have lost a great leader who was loved and was a strong supporter of our struggle.
The International Council of Eelam Tamils (ICET) conveys its deepest condolences to the Honourable Lee Kuan Yew’s family and all the Singaporeans.
Honourable Lee Kuan Yew was Singapore’s first Prime Minister when the country gained Independence in 1965 and accepted the Tamil language as one of Singapore’s national languages. He was a great and visionary leader for the Singaporeans. We still remember the words he said in an interview in 2010, “I’ve read his [Rajapakse] speeches and I knew he was a Sinhalese extremist. I cannot change his mind. Sri Lanka. It is not a happy, united country. Yes, they [the majority Sinhalese government] have beaten the Tamil Tigers this time, but the Sinhalese who are less capable are putting down a minority of Jaffna Tamils who are more capable. They were squeezing them out. That’s why the Tamils rebelled. But I do not see them ethnic cleansing all two million-plus Jaffna Tamils. The Jaffna Tamils have been in Sri Lanka as long as the Sinhalese.”

His words in 1998, “Sri Lanka – the country will never be put together again.”
We pray for his soul to rest in peace.

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International Council of Eelam Tamils (ICET) was established in 2011 by a number of grass-roots Tamil organizations, which were democratically elected by the Eelam Tamils. It is the largest Tamil diaspora organization with members drawn from fourteen countries. The ICET is absolutely committed to a non-violent agenda and it seeks a lasting peace in Sri Lanka, based on Vaddukoddai Resolution. For more information, please contact spokesperson Steven Pushparajah K, +47 90641699.

Press Conference: Northern Provincial Council’s Resolution on Tamil Genocide in Sri Lanka and the International Community’s Responsibility to Protect

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On Tuesday 17th of March from 1:30 PM — 3:00 PM

With

Dr. Maung Zarni
Burmese democracy advocate, human rights campaigner, Peoples Tribunal on Sri Lanka

Mr. Gajendrakumar Ponnampalam
Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF), former MP

Ms Ananthy Sasitharan
Tamil National Alliance (TNA), Elected Representative of the Northern Provincial Council

Mr. Mahalingam K. Shivajilingam
Elected Representative of the Northern Provincial Council, former MP

Professor R. Sri Ranjan
Co-Chair, International Council of Eelam Tamils (ICET)

Mr. Daniele Garlando
Freelance Journalist from Italy

Representatives of the Eelam Tamils, Human rights activist, and journalist speak out!

The Northern Provincial Council’s resolution clearly enumerates over six decades long Tamil genocide carried out under successive governments in Sri Lanka and respectfully requests the ongoing United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL) to investigate the claim of genocide and recommend appropriate investigations and prosecutions by the International Criminal Court.

The Press Conference is organized by Eelam Tamils Asociation . Eelam Tamils Asociation will strive to achieve coordination amongst organizations and articulate the aspirations of the Eelam Tamils in a unified voice.

 

 

Live Stream: http://new.livestream.com/GvaPressClub/EelamTamils2015

For swiss Contact: +41.(0)79.193.86.69

Jaffna protest urges UN to release war crimes report in March

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Urging the UN to stick to its original decision and release its war-crimes probe report as scheduled in March, a large number of Jaffna University students, teachers and members of the civil society organisations held a massive protest rally in Jaffna today.

The protest rally which began at 10 in the morning opposite the Jaffna University ended at Nallur Murugan Temple where the organisers handed over a memorandum to Mannar Bishop Rayappu Joseph to be sent to UN Human Rights High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, demanding him to release the war-crimes probe report and ensure justice to hundreds of thousands of war survivorsin Sri Lanka’s north-east.

De-militarised Zone

Several hundreds of war survivors, relatives and families of disappeared people, several Tamil political party members, parliamentarians and provincial councillors participated in this rally organised by the Jaffna University Community and Public Organisations. The participants also reportedly included some of the Sinhalese students studying at the Jaffna University who willingly showed their solidarity to the demand for justice.

The protestors were holding banners and placards and chanting slogans such as: “Release the report in March”, “Deferral might divert our struggle for justice”, “International Community – Please listen to our plea”, “Without demilitarisation, no Change”, “We want North-East to be De-militarised Zone (DMZ)” and “Criminals responsible cannot  investigate themselves “.

Mannar Bishop Rayappu Joseph, speaking at the rally said although over 146,000 people had been killed during the final weeks of the war that ended in May 2009, no justice has been delivered to date. Under these circumstances, he said that the decision to delay the UN report has come as a rude shock and disappointed the victimised people.

“War criminal Mahinda Rajapaksa who gave orders to carry out this war, set up a commission to probe their own crimes. How can we trust a process in which the criminal is the judge. Tamils trust this new government, but certainly not on the issue of war crime probe. It is under these circumstances that they relied on the UNHRC report for justice. The deferral has deeply disappointed them. We urge the UN Human Rights High Commissioner to release the report in March because justice delayed is justice denied,” Rayappu Joseph said.

‘Highly regrettable’

The University Students’ Union Secretary, S. Thusinthan  has told Colombo Mirror website that the Tamil people “are badly disappointed by the UN deferral. The UN deferral is highly regrettable. We cannot trust any Sri Lankan government to deliver justice to us. We need an independent international probe against genocide of Tamils. It is this international probe that can deliver just solution to the Tamils. Today’s demonstration reiterates our loud and clear call for international probe,”.

The war survivors in Sri Lanka’s embattled northern and eastern provinces staged several protests for the past few weeks pleading the UNHRC not to defer the report and thereby refrain from repeating its mistake in May 2009 when the war was brought to a bloody end.

However, conceding to the request by Colombo, the UN Human Rights High Commissioner on February 16 deferred the publication of the report of the probe into Sri Lanka’s war crimes and crimes against humanity.

“There should be no misunderstanding. I give my personal, absolute and unshakable commitment that the report will be published by September,” Zeid said after recommending the UN Human Rights Council to defer the report.

No to ‘demostic probe’

Jaffna University Teachers’ Association President A. Rasakumaran urged the international community especially the UN and its Human Rights High Commissioner “not take sides and to be impartial in delivering justice for the victimised people around the world”.

“Human rights violations have been committed against the Tamils on a mass scale. This includes war crimes, mass-scale arrests, abductions and illegal detentions. These cannot be investigated independently by a domestic process. Those in new government were members of the previous government, which committed the crime. They supported the deposed regime when all these crimes were being committed,” he has told.

“Therefore, we cannot rely on any domestic probe. We urge the international community and the UN to adhere to an honest approach in delivering justice to the war-hit Tamils in Sri Lanka. We will continue to fight for our justice democratically,” he said. ☐

 

Source: http://www.jdslanka.org/index.php/news-features/politics-a-current-affairs/519-jaffna-protest-urges-un-to-release-war-crimes-report-in-march

‘13A can never be the final solution’ says Chief Minister Wigneswaran

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Northern Provincial Council Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran said the 13th Amendment “can never be the final solution” in Sri Lanka and called on the visiting India Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “ensure maximum power sharing for the North and East” ahead of his visit to Jaffna.

“We know we have a friend in him,” said Mr Wigneswaran, in an interview to The Hindu, stating Mr Modi was a “proponent and an advocate of devolution.”

“We appreciate his concerns for us, in wanting to come to the North,” he continued. “We would recommend to him that it is time to reconsider the 13th Amendment, which was a fall out from the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord of 1987 and to replace it with a more dynamic system, which would ensure maximum power sharing for the North and East.”

Mr Wigneswaran added that “the path to ultimate settlement is going to be long and arduous”, stating the “thirteenth Amendment can never be the final solution”.

Citing Mr Modi’s time as Chief Minister of Gujarat which “transformed Gujarat into a successful State,” Mr Wigneswaran went on to add it “was possible due to the nature of center-periphery framework and content and quantum of devolution that is prevalent under the Indian constitution.”

“Even after becoming the PM he has dismantled centralized planning process to facilitate greater performance and productivity among the States in the Indian Union,” continued the Chief Minister, noting that “under [the Sri Lankan] unitary constitution there is no chance of our performing the way Hon’ Modi performed”. 

“The inadequacies of the Thirteenth Amendment would no doubt be understood by him,” further added Mr Wigneswaran.

See the full text of his interview here.

 

Source: http://www.tamilguardian.com/article.asp?articleid=14064

Tamil women, youth activists in North resolve to step up protests to next phase

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Concluding a three-day fasting campaign and a four-day walk of Tamil youth activists from Mu’l’livaaykkaal in Vanni to Nalloor, where the fasting campaign by the women activists of the missing persons relatives led by NPC Councillor Ananthy Sasitharan, the women activists on International Women Day said they were preparing for the next step in intensifying their protest demanding international investigations without internal manipulations by Colombo if the new regime in Colombo failed to issue the details on the whereabouts of their kith and kin subjected to enforced disappearance by the occupying Sri Lankan military. The SL military has been harassing the activists who were walking from Mu’l’livaaykkaal to Nalloor at various places in Vanni.

A new organisation, named Chilampu (symbolising the epic anklet of the legendary Tamil woman Kannagi’s struggle for justice) has been formed by Ms Ananthy Sasitharan On the International Women’s Day.

“We seek global support for the demands of International Investigations on Tamil Genocide and complete de-militarisation of North-East. We also call upon the global community to demand the Sri Lankan State to release all Tamil political prisoners and to clarify the status of the missing persons without further delay,” a statement issued at Nalloor on Sunday by the Chilampu organisation said.

NPC Chief Minister Mr C.V. Wigneswaran, in a letter addressed to NPC Councillor Ms Ananthy Sasitharan on 05 March 2015 stated that unless there is an attitudinal change on the part of the Sri Lankan government, it would be very difficult to solve the issue. The CM in his letter said he has been continuously conveying the demands of the protesting families of the missing persons to the Sri Lankan government.

Protests were organised in Ki’linochchi by the families of the victims of enforced disappearances in support of the fasting campaign by mothers at Naloor and the walk by Tamil activists.

Veteran ITAK activist Professor S.K. Sitrampalam, TNA parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran, Catholic and Saiva priests, councillors and civic members expressed their support to the fasting campaign.

Suresh Premachandran, while addressing the protesters on Sunday, said there were at least 20,000 cases of enforced disappearances in the Tamil homeland. The last government in power was not elected by Tamils. But, this government came to power with the support of Tamils. If this government also behaves like the previous government, Tamils will distance from it, Mr Premachandran warned.

Sri Lankan police in Jaffna had refused to provide security to NPC councillor Ananthy Sasitharan who had sought police protection. As the SL military intelligence operatives were present at the site of the fasting campaign, the protesters had to only stage the fasting campaign on day time. However, forty to fifty Tamil women sat on rotation and continued to the fast for 3 days at Nalloor during the day time.

The occupying military was also harassing the Tamil youth activists who commenced their walk from Mu’l’livaaykkaal to Nalloor expressing solidarity with the women activists.

The SL military was questioning the activists at several places and refused to allow them to walk during the nights. Patrolling troops were threatening them of arrest. The SL military was attempting to prohibit the activists from using their handheld loudspeaker. Hundreds of Tamil villagers took to the street at Paranthan when the SL military was harassing them from proceeding further. The people warned the SL military that they would also join the protest if the youth were not allowed to proceed.

The fasting women activists at Nalloor gave an emotional welcome to the youth activists, who reached Nalloor, on 08 March.

Sinhala journalists were also present from South witnessing the protest of the Tamil women in Jaffna.

 

Source: http://tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=37682 

The Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal

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The Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal (PPT) is a body which, by statute, is part of the International Section of Lelio Basso Foundation. Set up in June 1979, it is the direct continuation of the opinion tribunals Russell I and II.

The PPT is an opinion tribunal whose activities include identifying and publicising cases of systematic violation of fundamental rights, especially cases in which national and international legislation fails to defend the right of the people.

An opinion tribunal is an innovation in the field of law and politics, the legitimacy of which Lelio Basso discussed at length reaching the conclusion that: “The needs of public conscience can become a recognized source of law […] and a tribunal that emanates directly from the popular consciousness reflects an idea that will make headway: institutionalized powers and the people, from whom the former claim legitimacy in actual fact tend to diverge and only a truly popular initiative can try to bridge the gap between people and power”.

In its three decades of activity the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal has followed, anticipated and supported the struggles of peoples against violations of their fundamental rights, such as the denial of the principle of self-determination, foreign invasions, environmental destruction and all cases of new forms of economic dictatorship and slavery.

PPT action is based on the principles expressed in the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Peoples. After analysing the reality and complex historical, political and economic causes that lead to violations of the right of peoples, it issues “rulings”, of a legal nature, against those responsible for violations of these rights. The PPT is permanent and the jury members, chosen for their moral, scientific, and literary qualities, reflect its ideological pluralism; some of the members are Nobel laureates.

Since its inception, the TPP has organized 38 sessions, all dealing with internal and external violations of peoples’ self-determination. Of the issues dealt with in recent years, the problems of the roots of legality, illegality, and international law have been addressed in the following sessions: “Impunity in Latin America” (1991), “Conquest and international law” (1992), “The policies of the IMF and World Bank” (1989 and 1994), “International law and new wars” (2002). Another important area of analysis is economic crimes, seen as structural categories of human rights violations. This was the focus of the sessions on “industrial disasters”, such as Bhopal (1992) and Chernobyl (1996), and those on “Transnational corporations and peoples’ rights in Colombia” (2006-2008) and “The European Union and transnational companies in Latin America” (2006-2010).

All rulings are sent to major international bodies and many have been discussed by the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva.