‘Assimilation or Annihilation: The Future of Eelam Tamils & the Struggle for Transitional Justice’
The Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) will hold its 2nd Annual Conference on Human Rights titled ‘Assimilation or Annihilation: The Future of Eelam Tamils & the Struggle for Transitional Justice’ on Saturday, April 25, 2015 from 2: 00pm to 6:00 pm at the Centennial College Residence & Conference Centre, 940 Progress Ave., Toronto Ontario.
Three eminent speakers, Professor Theodore (Ted) S. Orlin J.D., Professor David Akerson B.A., J.D. Ph.D. and Professor Dr. Brian Senewiratne, will make presentations and lead the discussions with full audience participation.
Prof. Theodore Orlin will speak on: ‘The Tamil Struggle for Justice and Human Rights: An International Responsibility’, Prof. David Akerson on, ‘Prosecuting the Perpetrators of War Crimes in Sri Lanka: Lessons from Rwanda’ and Dr. Brian Senewiratne on, ‘Prosecuting Mass Crimes: Is it Possible to Seek Remedial Justice’
An Armenian Scholar from the International Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (A Division of the Zofran Institute) in Toronto will also be speaking.
The event is open to the public, admission is free and the organisers say parking is free.
Professor Theodore (Ted) S. Orlin, J.D.
Ted is the Harold T. Clark Jr. Professor of Human Rights Scholarship and Advocacy at Utica College, Utica, New York and is a founder and Director of the Human Rights Advocacy Program (HRAP). As an international human rights lawyer he has worked extensively as a trainer, consultant and advocate in Eastern Europe and Asia including India, Taiwan and Sri Lanka. He has been a Fulbright Professor at the (Finnish) Institute for Human Rights in Turku, Finland and has been the Senior Human Rights Consultant for the Finnish Human Rights Project in Kosovo (2000-01) and was lead lawyer for the International Human Rights Law Group mission to Romania (1992).
He has also contributed articles to the Oxford University Press Encyclopedia on Human Rights (Right of Privacy) and has published a chapter on minority linguistic rights in Europe (2009). He was elected President of International Human Rights Education Consortium (at the Consortium’s International Meeting, Summer 2005, Roehampton UK). The Secretariat of the IHREC was housed at Utica College until June 2010.
Professor David Akerson B.A., J.D. Ph.D.
David teaches at the University of Denver and is a trial attorney with a broad international law and human rights portfolio ranging from human rights work in apartheid South Africa to prosecuting perpetrators at the Yugoslavia and Rwanda international criminal tribunals. His expertise lies in the core international crimes of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity; practice and procedure of the international tribunals; complex international criminal litigation; and international tribunal and policy.
He joined the University of Denver Law faculty in 2006 and currently teaches courses in international criminal law, international criminal procedure, and genocide and war crimes. He also teaches a “Genocide and War Crimes” Practicum in which University of Denver students collaborate with international tribunals and prosecution or defense teams to research, organize and analyze evidence in global genocide cases.
His recent publications include The Illegality of Fully Autonomous Lethal Drones, in THE LAW OF ARMED CONFLICT AND THE CHANGING TECHNOLOGY OF WAR (forthcoming) and PROSECUTING MASS CRIMES: A COMPENDIUM OF LESSONS LEARNED AND SUGGESTED – Available on the International Association of Prosecutors website.
Dr. Brian Senewiratne, MA (Cantab), MBBChir (Cantab), MBBS (Lond), MD (Lond), FRCP( Lond), FRACP.
An 81-year-old Australian human rights activist he is a Consultant Physician in Brisbane, Australia. His advocacy for the oppressed peoples is known globally.
For many decades, Brian Senewiratne has stood up for the Tamil cause and has given expression to his own anguish at the suffering of the Tamil people. He has done so, despite death threats, physical attacks on his medical office in Australia, and vulgar abuse by Sinhala thugs. He has had the courage to openly stand up for that which he knows to be the truth and he has been willing to suffer for that which he believes to be right.
An extract from the writings of Sri. B. Sri-Skanda-Rajah PhD Cantab., about Dr. Brian Senewiratne here says, “Brian’s steadfast commitment to defending human rights and promoting social justice is an inborn trait, a passion that is so visible in his demeanour and speech that it captures one’s heart the minute you interact with him – that he has fought relentlessly and tirelessly for people who are marginalized and persecuted, based on ethnicity, race, religion, language and culture his whole life, makes one feel inadequate in front of him. Dr. Senewiratne has been indefatigable in his efforts to defending the rights of all oppressed communities and the displaced peoples in Sri Lanka as well as convention refugees seeking asylum in Australia. He belonged to the ruling majority community in the island of Sri Lanka and is related to the Bandaranaike family that has produced two Prime Ministers and a President. Despite his privileged background he chose to break ranks to wage a courageous and often lonely campaign against the inexorable atrocities committed against the Tamil community ever since the island was granted independence from British rule in 1948.”