The Sinhala Buddhists in Sri Lanka are celebrating their 71st “Independence Day” that gave them carte blanche freedom to annihilate the Eelam Tamils in the island. The Eelam Tamils continue to languish under a heavily militarized occupation of their traditional homeland, with one armed soldier controlling three civilians. The military has forcibly occupied Eelam Tamil civilians’ homes and lands driving them to live in makeshift camps destitute of basic necessities. The military controls all aspects of civilian life including their freedom to assemble and their livelihood in fisheries and agriculture. All this is perpetrated by a “good-governance” regime which came to power promising to solve the “Tamil question.” Yet, its “solution” on the ground is to completely erase the Tamil identity in the island supported by military occupation which promotes land grab to build Buddhist temples followed by Sinhala colonization assisted by the armed forces. On February 20, 2019, it will be two years since the mothers and siblings started the roadside protest demanding any information about their loved ones. No nation should be allowed to perpetrate such flagrant violation of basic human rights of the people it claims to represent. The inaction of the Government of Sri Lanka clearly indicates that the Tamils are not human, worthy of enjoying their fundamental rights.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was proclaimed in 1948 by the UN General Assembly Resolution 217A as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. The UDHR was meant to protect vulnerable populations, like Eelam Tamils, against oppression and mass atrocities by tyrannical regimes. However, the UDHR and the United Nations Human Rights Council has miserably failed to protect the Eelam Tamils due to the machinations of powerful nations with vested interests. As for the Tamils, the colonial occupation of their homeland by the British was simply replaced by the ruthless Sinhalese who are continuing to commit genocide.
The Tamils fought against the oppression by the Sinhalese using non-violent struggle from 1948 till 1983. This was met with a series of pogroms against Tamils which resulted in the massacre of thousands of unarmed men, women, and children while a majority of the police and the army gave tacit support to the mobs by their inaction. To counter this threat, the Tamils began their armed struggle against the oppressor in 1983. However, the armed struggle for freedom was misconstrued as “terrorism” by the a West, which had been reeling from terrorist attacks by ideologues. This lack of understanding of the underlying cause of the struggle by the West allowed Sri Lanka to commit a genocidal onslaught in 2009 that resulted in the massacre of tens of thousands of innocent civilians. The Tamils placed their faith in the UNHRC to deliver justice and stop the ongoing genocide with no tangible results, so far, on the ground. The oppression of Tamils today is far worse than the conditions that led to the armed struggle in 1983.
The “good-governance” regime promised a new constitution to solve the Tamil National question. However, it produced a draft constitution that yet again gives foremost place to Buddhism thereby making the Sinhala-Buddhist supremacy entrenched within the entire island, which is incompatible with the multi-nation multi-religious makeup of the island. The ongoing genocide of the Eelam Tamils will continue under the new constitution unabated. Unless the UN intervenes to stop the genocide, there will be no peace in the island. We strongly appeal to nations with conscience to intervene in the island and stop the ongoing genocide of Tamils.
International Council of Eelam Tamils-