Taking into consideration the statements by the Sri Lankan President and the top officials regarding justice to the Tamils seems to be a deadlock. The only way out from this is to initiate a UN sponsored referendum in the North and East of Sri Lanka, for which the co-sponsored countries of the UNHRC Resolution 30/1 and other member countries in the UNHRC should support this move to force Sri Lanka to honor and implement the 30/1 Resolution in good faith and within a short time-frame.

The recent statements by the President of Sri Lanka

In an interview at his Secretariat on December 19, 2019 he said “30/1 UNHRC Resolution is dangerous to our country and so can’t be accepted.” The reality is that this Resolution is dangerous to their family members accused of war crimes. In summary, Sri Lankan Government has plainly and openly declared their stand and decisions concerning the UNHRC, United Nations Resolutions and the nagging problems facing the Tamils for the last 70 years which remain unsolved and festering with no cure but for more repression.

[1] The present Government has declared its rejection of 30/1 UNHRC Resolution and consequently accountability, justice and reconciliation have been removed from its dictionary. Presidents and Prime Minister’s recent statements confirm this position.

[2] The Government has also rejected any foreign Government or outside Organizations to interfere with Sri Lanka’s local affairs and issues taking shield under sovereignty and dismissing international commitments and objections.

[3] The government has rejected any political proposal to settle the minorities [Tamils’] problem declaring the non-existence of any problem for the Tamils, while taking the facile card of development, being the only panacea to solve all the Tamil’s problems. This is akin to the cover up a wound with plaster instead of healing them with proper medicine.

In addition the 13th Amendment introduced under Indo/Sri Lanka Accord in 1987 is also under threat of being diluted and finally it would face its death, as President Gotabaya said “Only what is acceptable to Sinhalese can be granted to Tamils”.

“All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development

Article 1.1, The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966

The UN Declaration on the Principles of Equal Rights (GA Resolution 2625 of 1970) gives the right of self-determination to peoples within existing independent states when governments fail to ‘conduct themselves in compliance with the principles of equal rights’ and when the States do not ‘represent the whole of the people belonging to the territory without distinction as to race, creed or colour.’

The Tamil people have been subjected to and are fighting against the internal colonialism of the Sinhalese. The UN Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples (G.A. Resolution 1514 of 1960) states: the process of liberation is irresistible and irreversible and all people have an inalienable right to complete freedom, the exercise of their sovereignty.’
In Sri Lanka, domination and subjugation of the Tamils was what the blinkered Sinhalese chauvinist politicians wanted and achieved. Hence, the nation-breaking that is taking place.
When the Portuguese landed on the island in 1505 there was not one but three kingdoms viz the Tamil Jaffna Kingdom, the Sinhala Kotte Kingdom and the Sinhala Kandyan Kingdom.

The Jaffna Kingdom was captured by the Portuguese when the king of Jaffna was defeated in 1619. The Portuguese ruled the Jaffna Kingdom from 1619 to 1658. The Dutch who captured the Jaffna Kingdom from the Portuguese ruled till 1795 and the British till 1948.

Even when the island was ruled by the Portuguese and the Dutch, the Tamil homeland in the North and the East was administered as an entity separate from the rest of the country. In 1833, the British amalgamated the north and east with the rest of the island for administrative convenience.

“Two different nations, from a very ancient period, have divided between them the possession of the Island: the Sinhalese inhabiting the interior in its Southern and western parts from the river Wallouwe to Chilaw, and the Malabars (Tamils) who possess the Northern and Eastern Districts. These two nations differ entirely in their religion, language and manners.” (Sir Hugh Cleghorn, British Colonial Secretary, June 1879)

Only unity possible is the voluntary union of the two nationalities. For this, recognition of the right of self determination of the Tamil people is a precondition. Acceptance of equality, autonomy and the Right of Self Determination is the only basis for a democratic unity.

It was a belligerent Sinhala ethno nationalism which laid claim to the island of Sri Lanka as a Sinhala Buddhist `Deepa’ and which often found open and shameless expression:

“I am not worried about the opinion of the Tamil people… now we cannot think of them, not about their lives or their opinion… the more you put pressure in the north, the happier the Sinhala people will be here… Really if I starve the Tamils out, the Sinhala people will be happy.” (President J.R.Jayawardene, Daily Telegraph, 11th July 1983) before the July 1983 Pogrom against the Tamils.

Sri Lanka has consistently denied the right to self-determination of the Tamils and refused to recognize the Tamils as a people. By constitutional amendment Sri Lanka has prohibited even peaceful promotion of the Tamil demand for self-determination as unlawful. Furthermore, it has unleashed a full-fledged war against the Tamils to suppress their struggle for political independence. The Sri Lankan government’s action is clearly in violation of the 1970 Declaration on Friendly Relations and is illegal. And any power that gives military or economic assistance to perpetuate this war which is being conducted to deny the Tamils right to self-determination is also in complicity with this illegal war. The armed struggle of the Tamils is for the right to self-determination and is thus a legitimate political struggle for independence under international law.

The preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights declared in 1948:

“Whereas it is essential if man is not compelled as a last resort to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law.”

In the years following that Declaration, many a people have been compelled to rebel against tyranny and oppression and armed conflicts have proliferated throughout the world.

The failure of peaceful parliamentary means led to the rise of the armed resistance of the Tamil people. The armed resistance of the Tamil people arose in response to decades of an ever widening and deepening oppression under alien Sinhala ruleThe question whether that armed resistance was lawful or not falls within the domain of international law.

The UNROW [Human Rights Impact Litigation Clinic] in 2015 urged the UNHRC “To investigate and report on the charge of genocide with a request to Security Council to refer the matter of International Criminal Court.”

United Nations Panel of Experts headed by Hon. Marzuki Darushman in her Report in 2011 stated that the “Conduct of the war represented a grave assault on the entire regime of International Law  designed to protect individual dignity during both war and peace.”

Former United Nations Secretary General Ban-ki-Moon while on his visit to Sri Lanka in September 2016 compared the killings of Sri Lanka to those of Rwanda and Srebrenica and impliedly admitted the commission of genocide by Sri Lankan state against the Tamils.

The Sri Lankan Government has not simply been against but oppressive of the Tamil people, as a nation-, and its political, economic, social and ethno-cultural interests. Tamils in Sri Lanka have no state and are seeking to create their own sovereign state of Eelam based on their right of self-determination. They are a stateless nation oppressed by alien Sinhalese colonialism and domination.

The Tamil Nadu State Assembly of India on March 27, 2013 passed a unanimous Resolution “Calling for an Independent International Investigation into the crime of genocide and other violations. It also requested Central Government of India to impose economic sanctions and arrange for a referendum by Tamils to decide the feasibility of a separate state in the North and East. It also asked the Central Government to stop treating Sri Lanka as a friendly country.”

The Northern Provincial Council passed a Resolution on February 10, 2015 requesting the UNHRC to investigate the claim of genocide and recommend appropriate investigations and prosecutions by the International Criminal Court.”

The Government of Canada on June 23, 2019 unanimously passed a motion” Calling on the United Nations to establish an Independent International Investigation into the allegations of genocide committed against the Tamils in Sri Lanka.

Brampton City Council in Canada passed a Resolution on April 24, 2019 “Recognising the crimes committed against the Tamils in Sri Lanka constitute genocide.

The Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal which held hearings in Bremen, Germany in 2013 “Ruled that the state of Sri Lanka is guilty of the crime of genocide against the Tamils and that the consequences of the Genocide continue to the present day with ongoing acts of genocide against the Tamils.”

Self determination is deeply noted in the notions of human dignity and human rights. Self-determination means that a nation can decide its own destiny freely. Self-determination allows people to preserve and transmit their national identity and to guarantee the participation in the national decision -making process.

The secular position of the state was changed in favor of Buddhism, the religion of the Sinhalese. Since 1961, after Satyagraha, a non-violent civil disobedience campaign by the Tamils, the Tamil areas came under army occupation.

TAMIL RESISTASNCE & RESILIENCE IN THE FACE OF GENOCIDE
https://pearlaction.org/inthefaceofgenocide/

Sinhalization Of The North East:
https://pearlaction.org/2019/03/11/sinhalization-of-pulmoaddai/

The response of the Tamil people to these oppressive measures was to assert their inalienable right to self-determination. This right entails the freedom as a people to determine their own political status. In the 1977 election, the last free election held in the north-east, the Tamil nation gave an overwhelming mandate to establish: the “independence of Tamil Eelam by peaceful means, direct action or by struggle

Cluster bombs found in Sri Lanka UN Expert says:-
Un-exploded cluster munitions have been found in Sri Lanka, a UN expert on land mines has claimed.
In an e-mail, Allan Poston said that small bombs from the weapons were discovered in the north of the country, near to where a child was killed in an explosion last month.
“After reviewing additional photographs from the investigation teams, I have determined that there are cluster sub-munitions in the area where the children were collecting scrap metal and in the house where the accident occurred,” the email said.
“This is the first time that there have been confirmed unexploded sub-munitions found in Sri Lanka.”

 https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-17861187

According to the wife of Prageeth Ekneligoda, the political columnist and cartoonist who has been missing since 24 January, 2010, the main reason for his disappearance is an investigation he carried out on the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Sri Lanka forces in 2008.

https://www.bbc.com/sinhala/news/story/2011/01/110128_prageeth_galle.shtml

Grisly Photos Reveal Genocide by Sri Lankan Government Against Tamil People
http://salem-news.com/articles/march082012/lanka-death-photos-tk.php?message=1
http://www.salem-news.com/articles/august072010/srilanka-violence-mv.php

Amnesty International Report 2010 – Sri Lanka
http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/4c03a7ffb.html

Sri Lanka: Human Rights Council must call for an Independent International Investigation into Allegations of War Crimes in Sri Lanka
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA37/010/2010/en?refresh=9876467571

Srilanka: If this isn’t GENOCIDE, WAR CRIME, Then What on Earth is? https://www.change.org/p/srilanka-if-this-isn-t-genocide-war-crime-then-what-on-earth-is

Need Justice for Brutal treatment by the Sri Lankan Government
https://www.change.org/p/world-leaders-world-prime-ministers-and-presidents-need-justice-for-brutal-treatment-by-the-sri-lankan-government

Permanent People’s Tribunal
https://www.itpol.de/tribunal-in-dublin-befindet-sri-lanka-der-kriegsverbrechen-fuer-schuldig/

Kumarathasan Rasingam – Secretary, Tamil Canadian Elders for Human Rights Org


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