By Colombo Telegraph –
We publish below an appeal by the Tamil Civil Society to the International Community regarding the upcoming resolution in the UNHRC on Sri Lanka. But we refrain from publishing publishing the list of signatories as some of the signatories are afraid of retaliation if they come out openly. Signatories to the appeal include Academics attached to the University of Jaffna, Senior Lawyers, Medical Doctors, Educationists, Religious leaders and Youth activists.
Appeal from the Tamil Civil Society to the International Community regarding the upcoming resolution in the UNHRC on Sri Lanka
This appeal, signed by civil society activists who live and work in the North and East of Sri Lanka, seeks to state our position with regard to the resolution on Sri Lanka to be tabled at the 22nd sessions of the UN Human Rights Council. We understand that the resolution will seek to provide more time to the Government of Sri Lanka to implement the recommendations contained in the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission and that it will fall short of calling for an international independent investigation to hold to account those responsible for the Crime of Genocide, War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity. If this resolution would contain only the above and no further, in our opinion, it would be truly unfortunate.
We firmly believe that giving more time to the Government of Sri Lanka will lead to irrevocable damage being inflicted on the Tamils. There has been much talk about the ‘progress’ with implementing the LLRC. We welcome HE Navaneetham Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ report to the 22nd session of the UNHRC wherein she acknowledges the lack of any significant progress in the implementation of the recommendations of the LLRC. We also welcome her call for international independent investigations. However we are disappointed that she still believes and prescribes that the problems faced by the Tamils people in post war- Sri Lanka can be resolved using the LLRC framework.
The main problem with an LLRC based approach to accountability and reconciliation is that it entrusts the task of finding solutions to the problems of the Tamil people in the hands of a regime that is responsible for it. The LLRC and the Geneva Resolution of 2012 reposited their trust in a local process that has forever demonstrated unwillingness in dealing with the issues that challenge the very existence of the Tamil people. But in fact the current ‘internal processes’ and ‘local mechanisms’ are those that are responsible for the problems faced by the Tamil people.
The agenda of the present regime is to buy time to complete its agenda of Sinhalisation in the North and East and thus destroy the existence of the Tamil people in this island country as a collectivity and their political status as a nation. Geneva 2012 gave the Sri Lankan Government the time that it wanted to pursue this agenda. The 22nd session resolution by again insisting on a local process will give further time for the GOSL to complete its agenda. It is very important that the Sri Lankan Government’s post-war approach, isn’t seen merely as a lack of commitment to ‘reconciliation’. It is a set of systematic policies that are deliberately designed to weaken the collective existence of Tamils as a political group – as a nation in the North and East of Sri Lanka. In our opinion what is happening on the ground constitutes a continuing, rolling, systemic genocide against the Tamil people. The 2012 resolution failed to take into account this reality. The 2013 resolution, if it is to alleviate the post-war sufferings of the Tamil people, needs to move beyond the LLRC framework. For this purpose, we think that it is time for the UNHRC to invoke the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ doctrine and call for a transitional administration for the North and East of Sri Lanka.
The R2P Doctrine suffered a huge blow in May 2009 when the International Community watched over grave abuses being inflicted on the Tamil people. The doctrine will become a dead letter in international law unless used in the appropriate cases, in a timely manner, in the interests of oppressed peoples. The North and East of Sri Lanka needs a transitional administration because the Government of Sri Lanka has failed its inhabitants, the Tamils, historically, including in the post-war context. To call for a transitional administration should not be interpreted as a call for a separate state. The social transition of the Tamil people from an environment of war and oppression to an environment of peace and justice cannot be achieved under the present framework of Governance. Given that the Government of Sri Lanka and the Sinhala Buddhist polity in general, is reluctant to seriously engage with the political solution question we think that an interim arrangement is of urgent necessity. Hence the call for a transitional administration. The idea of a transitional/interim administration has been explored before in the 2002-2005 peace process and in the post-Tsunami context in Sri Lanka. It needs to be given serious re-thought in the current context.
Regarding the subject of accountability as noted earlier we endorse the call by HE Navaneetham Pillay in her report to the 22nd sessions calling for international independent investigations. The LLRC it has been widely acknowledged is a failure on the question of accountability. No steps have been taken by the GOSL in installing a local process to deal with the accountability issues. We believe that the GOSL neither has the capacity or willingness to undertake any investigations. As HE Navaneetham Pillay implied in her statement on the impeachment of the Chief Justice, the appointment of Mr. Mohan Pieris as CJ, an open and vigorous defender of the Government’s conduct of the war, the prospects of accountability through a local process have become nil. The UNSG’s Panel of Experts report contains the best of recommendations on accountability and should be given heed to.
We conclude sincerely hoping that the upcoming resolution in the 22nd session of the UNHRC will help the Tamil people climb out of the precarious situation that they are in at present. Geneva 2012 resolution was a very weak demonstration of the global community’s power to bring about positive change in the lives of an affected population. Geneva 2013 is an opportunity to correct the mistakes of 2012. As we write this appeal and as the text of the resolution is being debated in Geneva, a journalist in Jaffna has been attacked, Tamils seeking to agitate about the problems of the disappeared have been prevented from doing so in Vavuniya and from Mulliyavalai in the Mullaitivu district there are reports that the SL Army has asked people to handover private lands to make way for a new army camp. This is a clear demonstration that Geneva is not having an impact on Sri Lanka. We hope that you revisit and revise the draft resolution and strengthen it to make it effective in dealing with the problems that we have identified in this statement.
Gerard Thurai / March 14, 2013
One doesn’t have to be an astrophysicist to predict that the SL Government will ignore whatever the UN says. At the end of the day, the only thing that will make them move is if they and their cronies are hit where it hurts most; in their pockets.
The very same countries that condemn SL’s Human Rights abuses at the UN will continue to profit from deals that SL politicians skim profits from. If this support were to stop, then the ruling clan and the government will implode as their backers seek other crooked politicians to support.
Meanwhile the half-wit leeches and parasites of BBS and their neo-Nazi brethren continue to cause mayhem and drag the nation back to the stone age.
Nice one Mahinda.
Ajay / March 15, 2013
By the same token, if the western governments take action to confiscate all the black money raised by the Tigers in the diaspora through extortion and crime such as drug trafficking, human smuggling, prostitution, credit card scams, insurance scams, temple scams and other frauds that is now in the hands of some individuals in the LTTE rump, their sinister campaign, to derail the progress of Sri Lankan people in finding a solution of their own to their problems, will implode.
Who is accountable for the vast amount of money and assets? Will the rump which talks so much about transparency and accountability allow the right of access to information to Tamil Civil Society?
The individuals who have self-proclaimed themselves as “Tamil Civil Society” are known to privately admit that if not for MR they will be not able to exercise their democratic rights and there won’t be a civil society. The fact that they are here at all shows the GOSL has created a space for Tamil people to move in the right direction from now onwards.
Saman Wijesiri / March 14, 2013
It is high time that the US and the UN stopped mollycoddling the corrupt and ruthless Sri Lankan regime!
Litmus / March 14, 2013
Yes, mollycoddling the milksop Cabinet.
mavai senadirajah / March 14, 2013
Dear CMB telegraph.. CAN YOU PLS GIVE US THE NAME of the Picture of the Journalist you claim????? I dare YOU???? Clever manipulation..
@Mavau, Click on the photo then you will get the name of the journalist, then google. Please don’t use this name in future, won’t approve them.- CT
mavai s / March 14, 2013
Tamil civil society.. There were articles and appeals against sri lanka saying that GOSL have prevented the freedom of expressions and there no civil society s in the so called north.. So this appeal contradicts what they say has been denied freedom of expression that has been peddled around..by the Western LTTE groups.. and Sinhalisation what rubbish.. Today if a persons visits the North there more Tamils From Canada, Australia than sinhala and the Original Sinhala inhabitants of Jaffna pre war yeras have yet not been Restored as now Canadian Tamils have Put false land deeds and bribing officals. Why not say how the Tamils last year protested in North to preventing a Mosque been built and also Muslims coming to trade in Jaffna????? and they say reconciliation.. well reconciliation come with coexistence.. and not a pure socalled dravidian only policy
Susima / March 14, 2013
The ones fled the country in false pretext using news from paper-cuts, bribing the local employees in foreign embassies, to obtain clearance of visa documents, fled with selfishness in their hearts.
The good men fought and died with a cause held high in esteem for a land to sow his seeds firm, leaving their spouses and children in a wretched state.
Now the bunked one’s return with wealth and ambitions, and master the subjugated to further a subjugation with pesky amendments to the law by aligning to the majority of oppressors.
Ajith / March 14, 2013
It is an absurd argument to put that Tamil Civil society did not condemn LTTE, so they have no right to condemn the GOSL. It is clearly shows that according to mavai’s, no Tamil have a right of freedom of speech in Sri Lanka. In other words GOSL has a right to attack, or abduct, or kill any Tamil and no one should talk about this.
according to your argument LTTE= GOSL.So,it is a terrorist government.
There is no secret about militarisation or forced colonisation of Sinhalese in North-East. Why do you need 200,000 Sinhala military in North-East for reconcilliation.
mavai / March 14, 2013
Note the carefully crafted words of this so called civil society.. One wonders where we have see this before.. This wording naturally London-Jaffna- Geneva.. The same when the LTTE in the north use communicate its edicts.. This is just the same wording from the Int LTTE western groups traveled via the communication as mentioned before.. Any one who has been and stayed in Jaffna in the recent times and bother to talk with the actual people living there does not reflect these stand points. Many in Point pedro and Kytes cant even stand the TNA the so called tamil Representatives. Naturally the poor souls who had to do the bidding of the LTTE and its money masters in the west are suffering as the Int tamils now on droves are displacing them from their lands by bribing officials in the Jaffna Municipal council and powerful Tamil politicians. Their main concerns is their Land deeds who the Western Born Tamils who once shouted for blood and war yet they didnt do the dying are now trying to displace the Natural Jaffna tamils.
Aney Apochchi! / March 14, 2013
A large part of the problem with this ongoing, “We’ll give you a bit more time and you can go home and do more homework and improve your grades” approach is that it is postponing what REALLY needs to be done – a full investigation of whether or not there were crimes against humanity and human rights violations during Eelam War IV.
Also, those individuals and organizations, such as Friday Forum, gave this exercise initial and ongoing legitimacy by choosing to legitimize its stalking horse – the LLRC. This appeasement by our Sri Lankan Neville Chamberlains was in stark contrast to every respected human rights organization – HRW, ICJ, AI – and individuals such as Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, and Louise Arbour who took a clear stand for justice.
I expect the pillars of Sri Lankan “intellectual society” will continue to issue their vacuous admonitions to the government, much like a bunch of Neros fiddling while Rome burns, though I notice some of them becoming conspicuous by their absence after a Presidential Visit or two!
muslim / March 14, 2013
To the editor of colombo telegraph
How come you are living when some like the lankaenews are banned from publishing ,please advise us your esteemed clients.
kautilya / March 14, 2013
The LTTE committed many atrocities. The UNHRC witch hunt is purely based on Diaspora lobby propaganda such as 40,000 civilians have died! Where are these 40,000 civilians then? Not even a skeleton has been found! THis UNHRC witch hunt based on diaspora lobby lies and the US,UK, EU, Canada’s witch hunt against Sri Lanka should be rejected by Sri Lanka.
I have said earlier that Sri Lanka will not get justice at the UNHRC. All the atrocities committed by the LTTE is not even discussed. All the good work done towards reconciliation not discussed.
Sri Lanka should neither participate in this nor pay any attention. Sri Lanka should walk out of the UNHRC.
jansee / March 14, 2013
There is no dispute by any party that has preferred charges against SL for war crimes that the LTTE too should be hauled up. This has been the consistent view of those who want to know what actually happened and not what SL says. There are a lot of loose ends that need to be investigated. The accusation that both parties committed war crimes mandates that an independent investigation ought to be conducted. Instead of sticking your dumb head into the sand, one way to resolve the dispute as to what actually happened during the last phase of the war is to carry out an independent investigated. With the findings there can be a closure to all the accusations that are stagnating the actual growth of SL. With the Rajapakses, including the President and Gotabaya Rajapakse, accused of war crimes, would it be proper to ask the monkey to look after the bananas? So, the motion has been set to have an independent international investigation. Each time the regime resists, it is telling aloud to the world that is has a lot to hide. It certainly cannot hide behind the sovereignty label, as it knows very well that there are international obligations.
Safa / March 14, 2013
LTTE and Rajapakse Regime are the two sides of the same coin. One is no more but the regime continues with impunity thumbing its nose at the international community. Unless the IC and UN gets serious about this nothing will happen other than their loss of credibility and the continued suffering of the people under this diabolical regime. The regime is now playing the dice with China and India and threatens to be a hub of instability in South Asia.
Ajith / March 14, 2013
The matter of the fact is that Sinhala Majority never willing to learn from their mistakes because of their Mahawamse ideology. We have seen and it is well documented fact that the state machieary is responsible for continued blood bath since independence in the nation. It appears they love blood irrespective of whether it is Tamil, Sinhala or Muslim. It is only country in the world experienced massacres, mass graves in all which the governments, its military and buddhist monks as part of it. 1956, 1958, 1962, 1971, 1977, 1983, 1989, 2009. Is it a cultural thing? or is it in the genes? This is why the SriLankan flag has a lion with a sword and it reflects the mentality of that race. The Lord Buddha gave up all his wealth and state after the sufferings of the people from the war whereas the monks and rulers are searching for wars and blood bath.What a contrast?