Uninterrupted And Continuous Human Rights Violations Against The Tamils In Sri Lanka

SRI LANKA missing persons

There is no denying of the fact that Tamils in Sri Lanka have been at the receiving end since 1948, when power was transferred to the majority Sinhala Government. Successive Sinhala Governments continued and still continue the marginalisation of minorities to achieve their goal of a SINHALA-BUDDHIST STATE.

A majoritarian mindset that is comfortable with demonising minority communities – or any other community that is seen as a threat to the majority community. This has become normalised in Sri Lankan society and polity.

Despite over 1200 days sit-on protests from family members desperate to know what happened to their loved ones, as well as outcries from the humanitarian organisations there has been no accountability for those forcibly disappeared. The Office of Missing Persons (OMP) has consistently failed in its ability to follow up on leads as it does not have the power to challenge Sri Lanka’s military. The President has vowed that he will not allow any of the Sri Lankan soldiers to be investigated or punished and the Military enjoy carpet impunity even if they commit heinous crimes against humanity.




Reflecting on his visit to Jaffna, former British Prime Minister, David Cameron stated:

“I went to a refugee camp, whose existence the regime denied. I’ll never forget the crowds of women, holding up photos of young men, desperate to tell us their stories. We all had letters thrust towards us about these sons, husbands, fathers and brothers who had surrendered to the military and not been seen since. What had happened to them?”


Sinhala Buddhist Colonizations in Tamils’ historical and traditional homelands in the North and East of Sri Lanka

As Jan Jananayagam wrote in 2007;

“Almost every decade since the 1950’s has seen such state-aided colonization projects being implemented, supported by official and paramilitary violence against the Tamils […] But it is the first time it is being done with the international community in close attendance”.

Today such demographic engineering is managed through the overt seizure of land and undermining of Tamil fishing rights as well as covertly through the imposition of Buddhist shrines, heritage sites and archaeological ‘discoveries.

War Crimes in Sri Lanka

Crisis Group possesses credible evidence that is sufficient to warrant an independent international investigation of the following allegations:

The intentional shelling of civilians. Starting in late January, the government and security forces encouraged hundreds of thousands of civilians to move into ever smaller government-declared No Fire Zones (NFZs) and then subjected them to repeated and increasingly intense artillery and mortar barrages and other fire. This continued through May despite the government and security forces knowing the size and location of the civilian population and scale of civilian casualties.

The intentional shelling of hospitals. The security forces shelled hospitals and makeshift medical centres – many overflowing with the wounded and sick – on multiple occasions even though they knew of their precise locations and functions. During these incidents, medical staff, the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and others continually informed the government and security forces of the shelling, yet they continued to strike medical facilities through May forcing civilians to abandon them.

The intentional shelling of humanitarian operations. Despite knowing the exact location of humanitarian operations and food distribution points, the security forces repeatedly shelled these areas, which were crowded with humanitarian workers, vehicles and supplies, and civilians. Many were killed or wounded trying to deliver or receive basic humanitarian assistance, including women, children and infants.

The consequences of the security forces’ shelling were made substantially worse by the government’s obstruction of food and medical treatment for the civilian population, including by knowingly claiming the civilian population was less than one third its actual size and denying adequate supplies.

The government declined to respond to Crisis Group’s request for comment on these allegations.

Genocide of Tamils

  • People’s Permanent Tribunal found Sri Lanka GUILTY of war crimes and Genocide.
  • UN’s Human Rights Chief is critical of Lankan government Human Rights records.
  • U.S. Human Rights report accused Lankan rulers for the Human Rights violations.

Faced with eleven years of this international chicanery and continued Sri Lankan militarism, the resilience of the Tamil nation is remarkable. Tamil nationalist politics, which some foresaw would be crushed at Mullivaikkal is not just still alive; it is growing and holds more weight than ever before. Just as commemoration events today have found ways to take place despite the global pandemic, so too has Tamil nationalist politics innovated and evolved in the last decade. Tamil demands for justice and accountability have grown louder through protests and activism, in the homeland and in capitals around the world.

The steps that have to be taken in respect of Sri Lanka by United Nations, UN Human Rights Council and/or Security Council are:-

[1] The setting up of an UN sponsored independent International Ad-Hoc investigation mechanism like Yugosolovia, Cambodia and Rwanda.

[2] Referrals to International Court of Justice and/or International Criminal Court.

[3] A concerted relentless campaign justifying to hold  a United Nations sponsored referendum based on self-determination.[ As in UN Charter.]

[4] A UN sponsored referendum like Kosovo, East Timor and South Sudan on the basis of the exercise of the Right of Self-Determination by Sri Lankan Tamils under Article 1 of UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966.

[5] Imposition of economic, political and diplomatic sanctions including diplomatic privileges and visa restrictions to Sri Lankan Government Officials accused of war crimes etc.

[6] Invoking and enforcing the Universal Jurisdiction Clause against alleged war criminals when visiting a country which has acceded to this Provision.

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




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