29 July, 2021

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US Congress Resolution 413: Option For Sri Lanka To Choose Either Confrontation Or Conciliation

By Thambu Kanagasabai

Thambu Kanagasabai

The recently tabled US 413 Resolution in the US Congress led by Ms. Ross breathes fresh air, confidence and hopes for the Tamils, particularly the victimized Tamils whose grievances which commenced in 1948 reached the climax with the genocidal war crimes committed during the war [2006-2009] 

However, structural genocide has now taken a strong hold on their lives compounded with denial of accountability and non-dispensation of justice and reparations for the victims.

The UNHRC Resolutions of 31/1, 34/1, 37/1, and 40/1, sponsored by core members including USA, UK and Germany were met with contempt, rejection and denials of Sri Lankan Governments which consider accountability and justice as anathemas, irrelevant and interference with Sri Lanka’s sovereignty and integrity which are exploited as convenient shields of impunity for defying the Resolutions. 

Under these circumstances when the victimized Tamils are living pessimistically and desolately without hopes for remedies, US Resolution 413 in the Congress has sprung like an oasis in the desert for the victims in the Tamil community as a whole. 

This Resolution has highlighted the 12 years grievances of Tamils, exposed the sinister design, malignant motives and hidden agenda of Sri Lankan Governments to gloss over, delay, deny, defeat and discard those Resolutions slapping the faces of UN, UNHRC and the International community.  

The Resolutions’ salient features are as follows:-

[1] For 12 years, Sri Lanka has failed to take any simple action on those Resolutions successfully employing the dilly dallying deceptive tactics. 

[2] Sri Lanka has even failed to implement its own commitments, Recommendations like the LLRC of 2012 and Paranagama Commission Report on Enforced Disappearances – 2014.

[3] Sri Lanka has failed to initiate any local independent impartial investigation including offering reparations, thereby has buried the values of accountability and justice. 

[4] Sri Lanka excels in doling out occasional promises meant for instant consumption, but without any good faith for compliance and implementation.

[5] It is high time that the hollow promises and time buying tactics of Sri Lanka are exposed for suitable actions by the UN, UNHRC and the International Community. 

[6] The promised accountability and justice have been thrown overboard while Sri Lanka’s system of entrenched impunity is boosted and nourished infusing more flesh and blood. The April 19, 2021 Resolution tabled in Parliament by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakshe has elevated impunity at its highest pedestal where the Security Forces and State Officials involved in the alleged commission of war crimes etc. including bribery, corruption and money laundering are out of the reach of the long arm of the law shielding any prosecution. Adding insult and compounding miseries of victimized Tamils, those convicted and jailed for the massacres of innocent Tamil civilians like the TRINCO MASSACRE OF 5 STUDENTS, are pulled out of the jails to walk free, an act of insult and a blot on the judiciary and legal system.

[7] The US Resolution 413 has hit hard at the Government’s dereliction of obligations to implement and enforce the provisions of Enforced Disappearances Act of 2011 including the Office of the Missing Persons [OMP] which are almost archives and forgotten.

[8] The Resolution has also slammed the Sri Lankan Government’s denial of democratic rights to the people living in the North and East by postponing the Provincial Council elections, the only semblance of power sharing mechanism half-heartedly granted to the North and East under the much criticized Indo/Sri Lanka Accord of 1987. 

[9] Sri Lanka’s open challenge and defiance of UN, UNHRC and the International Community is fully exposed with its blatant breaches of several promises made to the world organizations particularly pledging to repeal the dreaded draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act of 1978.

[PTA]. On the contrary, PTA has now become the Government’s main weapon to hunt down the media, and anyone opposing or daring to criticize the Government and its top Officials. There is no iota of doubt that the PTA will remain as the frontal armoury to advance the dictatorial agenda by intimidation and threats of violence against peaceful protesters like the threats made against the families of the disappeared who have been protesting day and night in the North and East for more than four years.

[10] Increased surveillance, intimidation and threats against Muslims including arbitrary arrests like the arrest of a Muslim Poet Ahnaf Jazeem.

[11] The 20A Amendment to the constitution has placed the President above the laws of Sri Lanka by granting full impunity from prosecutions for any civil and or any criminal acts committed by him in his official capacity as President during the term of his office. 

Coupled with the US Resolutions is the European Union’s Resolution which is calling for the immediate repeal of PTA and implementation of its own promises.

There is no doubt that the President has assumed supremacy over the legislature, judiciary and executive aided by his family members who are holding several Ministerial and sub Ministerial positions controlling about 16 Ministries and Departments. Undoubtedly Sri Lanka’s fate of the mangled democracy’s survival hangs at the whims and fancies of Rajapaksa and it appears there is little hope it will emerge unscathed during Rajapaksas’ reign unless and until UN and International community take the necessary punitive measures against Sri Lanka without delay.

The gleaming feature of the US Resolution 413 is the recognition of North and East as traditional homeland of the Tamils implying their inhabitation in the North and East for more than 2000 years and as a Nation. Better late than never, it is a historical recognition of the Tamil Nation in the North and East which is entitled to exercise full rights and powers over those living in the North and East subject to Central Government’s control over defence, exercise, customs, postal service and immigration. In summary, Sri Lanka has abysmally failed to respect its undertakings and international obligations, paid scant respect to recognize the roles of UN and UNHRC thereby becoming an outcast.

In the face of these breaches, lapses and failings displayed by Sri Lankan Government, The Tamils hope that the UN and the International Community will rally together to back this important US Resolution 413 and make it a successful one, by also cooperating with US to initiate and enforce the required measures to force Sri Lanka to comply with the wills and recommendations of UN, UNHRC and the International Community commencing with the honoring and implementing the UNHRC Resolutions Nos. 30/1, 34/1, 37/1, 40/1 and 46/1.

*Thambu Kanagasabai  LLM ]London] Former Lecturer in Law, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka

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Latest comments

  • 14
    4

    Wonderful and excellent article exposing the un democratic acts and the misuse of Draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act [PTA] – against political opponents and others to take revenge. The international community waited too long to understand the mindset of racist Sri Lankan regime. The recent act by EU and the US Congress Resolution 413 shows that Sri Lanka is under the radar regarding human rights etc.

  • 14
    4

    Thank you for stating the truth about the racist Chingkalla state and racist Chingkallams , especially the so called professional ones who have fled to the west to live the good life and enjoy all the opportunities that the west offers to them but diabolically spread lies, twist the truth and encourage state sponsored structural genocide of the indigenous Eezham Thamizh and their continuing marginalization in their own lands. Now their recent move is to send Chinese labour to Thamizh areas, without the permission of the local Thamizh and their councils as they can do so

  • 4
    12

    If the US wants SL to cosy up even closer to China, they are going the right way about it.

  • 12
    2

    Sri Lanka is exposed in the ring for all to see.

    Unless SL conforms to international norm and standards, implements the UN HRC Resolutions fully, with an international independent investigation, to find out the truth on how and why the 7K or 40K or 70K were killed and more than 146K still un accounted for, Sri Lanka is doomed.

    There will be no peace and reconciliation without justice and accountability, and more so without an independent Tamil Eelam in the island.

  • 8
    1

    Tamils’ confidence and optimism about the US congress resolution in House of Representatives is misplaced until it becomes a law or an executive order.

    However, the resolution is a form of mild pressure on Sinhala State to make pliable towards US interests in relation the Island, region and geopolitics. Further, it is reminder of US sword of Damocles to Sinhala State if and when Sinhala State attempts its usual funny game of promising, dithering and finally abrogating any accommodation towards US and its interests.

    A section of Tamils view these resolutions (US & EU) as attempts and inducements by the West to make Tamils place their confidence and trust on the West, especially after 2009 armed genocide of Tamils.

    There was a similar resolution in 2019, and nothing happened so far.

    Whilst Tamils are promised and taken ride on words (like Hindia’s two pillars) and sentiments (the resolutions), the Sinhala State receives all tangible and mostly irreversible benefits or opportunities to create facts on the ground.

    After the resolutions, the EU provided funds for cleaning sea pollution caused by burnt ship, the US & Australia Naval exercise and Hindia’s 100 million USD line of credit are just few examples.

    1/2

  • 8
    0

    There are two other tangible developments in favour of Sinhala State.

    Hindia has washed off even the pretension of upholding the so called 13-useless which the same Hindia HC has been adamantly insisting as a final solution as recent as 3 months ago , whilst Sinhala State is busy dismantling even 13-useless by hook or by crook. The evidence is in the recent meeting of TNA with Hindia’s HC, the HC has instructed the TNA to demand the election for PC from Sinhala State.

    I have been writing in CT that Hindia is providing time and space for Sinhala State to complete the Tamil structural genocide for winning the hears and minds of Sinhalese, which Hindia now does not make any pretension about it. The ”two pillar’ statement is just that empty words.

    Hindia is also making big plans for investing in Sinhala State infrastructure and services economy and there was meeting took place on 9th June between BOI and Hinda’s representatives. However, the Hindian HC has just spun the story to TNA to the effect that these investments would strengthen the PC system, and the TNA did not even raise a murmur about it.

    There is also secret move by Sinhala State with assistance of the West and Hinda to instigate the UN to ban LTTE.

    2/2

    • 2
      2

      KA
      If Hindia(?) is cutting the throats of the Tamils, should not their representatives wake up to that reality, and find better allies?

      • 1
        1

        KA

        SJ types:

        “If Hindia(?) is cutting the throats of the Tamils, should not their representatives wake up to that reality, and find better allies?”

        The Methahu (மேதகு?) Prabaharan did try to find better allies during his time. Certainly he found a few for example, Hindia, USA (the west), Premadasa (UNP), Armed Forces, Mahinda (SLFP), Arms dealers, Nedumaran, Triads, ……. Norway (Solheim), Diaspora, ……..

        What SJ expected was that from the beginning Methahu (மேதகு?) Prabaharan should have allied himself with China (in other words VP should have worked only for China).

      • 0
        0

        It is not as simple as seeking and finding better allies.

  • 1
    4

    What is structural genocide?

    Soma

    • 7
      1

      What the Sri Lankan state and Chingkallms are doing to the island’s Thamizh. Not chasing all of them and killing the remaining population outright, just like what the Nazis did to the European Jews but gradually destroying them by denying them everything , their language, land, education, employment now even their history and places of worship. Make life so difficult for them to live as Thamizh by all these actions, then organize pogroms and if they fight against this state oppression and take arms, all the more better call them terrorists and under the guise of fighting terrorism kill hundreds of thousands of them , like what happened in May 2009 , so that more and more of them will be forced to flee the island and the remainder , life becomes such a hell hole under a racist occupying armed force and police , that they will give up and assimilate , just to survive, if they are not already dead or killed. The Chingkalla state is very good at this , In 1948 the percentage of Thamizh was 27% now reduced 16%. This is called structural genocide . Not right destruction and killing , as the world now will be forced take action but gradual killing. ” Killing slowly or not so slowly and with cruelly by denying everything.

      • 5
        1

        This means the world can pretend nothing is happening , just like what the west and India is now doing or just feign concern but really not concerned but overtly and covertly help the Sinhalese state with their structural genocide whilst making fake clucking and cooing noises at the UN and other forums , regarding the plight of Eezham Thamizh. All part of this planned killing them softly and slowly that they ceased to exist ultimately. Hope you understood Choma? If not I can sing killing me softly to you.
        Not outright destruction and killing, as the world now will be forced take action but gradual killing. ” Killing slowly or not so slowly and with cruelly by denying everything. ” This means the world can pretend nothing is happening , just like what the west and India is now doing or just feign concern but really not concerned but overtly and covertly help the Sinhalese state with their structural genocide whilst making fake clucking and cooing noises at the UN and other forums , regarding the plight of Eezham Thamizh. All part of this planned killing them softly and slowly that they ceased to exist ultimately. Hope you understood Choma? If not I can sing killing me softly to you.

        • 0
          5

          Mr Pandi Kutti
          Are the Tamils aware of what you are saying?

          Soma

    • 2
      0

      soman
–
“What is structural genocide?”
      Systematically destroying the basic structure of society as your fellow Sinhala/Buddist racists and Saffron clad thugs have been doing for the past 100 or so years in this island, because of your hatred for “others” and of course of your greed.
–
Basic structure of society
Rawls maintains that the basic structure of society is the irst subject of justice. A society is a more or less independent, closed and self-suficient, ongoing system of cooperation between persons within which it is ordinarily possible for a person to live out a complete life. A society’s basic structure is the network or system of institutions, taken as a whole and in dynamic relation to one another, that forms the institutional background within which individuals and associations interact with one another. It includes political and legal structures, economic systems, civil society, the family, and so on. It is the total institutional structure of a society as an ongoing cooperative venture carried out by a particular people.
–
A conception of justice for the basic structure of society is a conception of social justice. Social justice concerns justice in the production and distribution of the goods for the sake of which a people cooperates within and through the basic structure of its society.

  • 1
    1

    The likelihood of dragged out hoodwinking under the pretence of “conciliation” as before is extremely high.

    Just recently the Foreign Minister has responded to EU over the proposed resolution over GSP+ stating that SL is looking at reforms to the PTA. Let’s see how much of a reform this government will implement.

  • 2
    1

    The author gloats over the turn of events in the US congress and remarks that Sri Lanka must choose from one or the other. The fact remains that Sri Lanka is fast becoming a Chinese colony and the capital of Sri Lanka would no longer be Colombo. If he has opened his eyes and ears even media institutions now promote the use of Chinese. In a recent unveiling of a plaque in the Attorney General’s office the message was in Chinese, Sinhala, and English. Tamil language? It has vanished into thin air. So, the choice as the author puts it, has already been made in Beijing. Although it is officially denied there were Chinese workmen in a site in military clothing. A separate identity for the Northern Province? Oh! Yes! If the entire Jaffna peninsula is made a Chinese military base, then the question is answered in the affirmative. Whatever be it do not forget that Tamil as a language and culture should have a place in this land. It is the maneuvering of the likes of the author outside the country destroys the identity of the very thing they seek to protect. Sad!

    • 3
      2

      GS
      Which country is constantly seeking military presence here?
      Which is the only country to invade this country (on invitation again?) in the post colonial period?
      *
      Recently Sumanthiran made some noise about a Chinese national working in Jaffna when so many Tamils are unemployed.
      He was corrected by another Jaffna MP that the person he identified as Chinese was a Batticaloa Muslim.
      S, while reluctantly admitting the error, added that he will expose any Chinese presence when he finds one.
      Rather pathetic for S, a fairly intelligent MP from the TNA.
      *
      It will be good for us not to get paranoid about imagined evils. We risk losing sight of real dangers.

    • 2
      3

      “Whatever be it do not forget that Tamil as a language and culture should have a place in this land.”
      Do the Tamil middle class folks think so?
      They are happy if there is English on any label of goods that they seek to buy.
      What have Tamil MPs done about the absence of Tamil in more important places that affect people?

      • 0
        0

        What have Tamil MPs done about the absence of Tamil in more important places that affect people? What pronoia is that anyway?
        Do the Tamil middle class folks think so?
        Ask yourself first. Unless you die hard that China & Deva’s investment should be only in north but diaspora should be present there that is not doing a lot for Tamils. Actively start to write to in Thinakural for Diaspora to invest in North East and tell Oyage Aanduwa to do special privileges’ to Diaspora to do the investments, instead of China.

      • 1
        0

        SJ

        “What have Tamil MPs done about the absence of Tamil in more important places that affect people?”

        Thanks to Chinaman who is filling the gap with “Putonghua” the standard Chinese , the official dialect of Chinese Mandarin.

      • 0
        0

        SJ
        SO, it is admitted that the so-called representatives of the North, who in fact are the middle class and above, do not really care for the language, but their own comfort sustained by the noise they create in the name of the language. All countries who are deemed to be “powerful” want a foothold in Sri Lanka, the best, having a military base. Another form is a pliant government that would carry out their bidding. They would try to stretch a bit and see how the reaction is and the wearing of military uniforms by workmen in a worksite in deep down south is one such example. OMG! Sumanthiran cannot identify the difference between a Chinese and a Batticaloa Muslim? Is he from Mars? It is not paranoia when we know that the successive governments did not have the backbone in maintaining the Sri Lankan identity (excepting in a very few instances) and therefore others take for granted that Sri Lanka is their playing field. Throw some cash, you get what you want.

    • 0
      1

      Good Sense,
      Why should a language brought to Sinhale by invaders and coolies who came to work for colonial rulers have a place in the Land of Sinhalayo and Vedda Eththo. Sinhala is the language in this country and immigrants who settle down in this country should learn the language of Native people.
      —-
      “Whatever be it do not forget that Tamil as a language and culture should have a place in this land.”

  • 1
    0

    SJ

    “What have Tamil MPs done about the absence of Tamil in more important places that affect people?”

    Thanks to Chinaman who is filling the gap with “Putonghua” the standard Chinese , the official dialect of Chinese Mandarin.

  • 0
    0

    One of the immediate objective of the resolution appears to be the Naval (war) game the Sinhala State was forced to be acquiesced to whims and fancies of US & Japan viz a viz China.

    https://www.ft.com/content/54b0db59-a403-493e-b715-7b63c9c39093

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