May 18th Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day

may18 tamil genocide

Genocide is the deliberate and organized killing of a group or groups of people, with the intention of destroying their identity as an ethnic, cultural, or religious group.

May 18th- A Day which can never be forgotten for generations to come in the lives of Tamil. This day of Gore at Mullivaikal will reverberate. The Cry of the lost souls will instigate tons of hope in people to rise with sheer hard work, confidence and LOVE.

May 18th, proclaimed as the “Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day,” marks 13 years since the worst massacre of innocent Tamils at Mullivaaikaal in the Northeast of Sri Lanka.  Estimates from the UN and independent sources suggest more than 75,000 innocent civilians were killed during the last phase of the war. Since May 2009, the Tamil cause appears hopeless as more than 146,679 Tamils are still unaccounted for.

Since 2010, the Tamil world across Tamil Di­as­pora has been knock­ing the doors of var­i­ous United Na­tions fo­rums to high­light the right to self-de­ter­mi­na­tion of Ee­lam Tamils, pin-point the ac­count­abil­ity of the Sin­halese Sri Lankan lead­er­ship which per­pet­u­ated the geno­cide of Ee­lam Tamils and urge the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity to in­ter­vene in de­clar­ing Sri Lanka a rogue state.

Recognition and education are important tools to prevent tragedies like the Tamil genocide from happening again. Last year, the province of Ontario became the first jurisdiction in the world to recognize a genocide against Tamils in Sri Lanka.

The Ontario legislature also passed the Tamil Genocide Education Week Act, which establishes seven days each year, from May 11 to 18, where Ontarians are “encouraged to educate themselves about, and to maintain their awareness of, the Tamil genocide and other genocides that have occurred in world history.”

“It was the need of the hour to keep the is­sue alive and seek jus­tice in the in­ter­na­tional arena such as the United Na­tions Hu­man Rights Coun­cil and we have been con­sis­tently do­ing that to the cha­grin of the Sri Lankan gov­ern­ment, said Dr Paul New­man, who specializes in con­flict res­o­lu­tion.

It would be fu­tile to give more time to Sri Lanka. The United Na­tions Se­cu­rity Coun­cil or the UN Hu­man Rights Coun­cil must set up with­out de­lay an In­de­pen­dent In­ter­na­tional In­ves­ti­ga­tion Com­mit­tee on Geno­cide in Sri Lanka The ac­count­abil­ity of the Sri Lankan gov­ern­ment must be de­ter­mined and steps must be taken to pros­e­cute the guilty.

The Sri Lankan gov­ern­ment un­abashedly an­nounces that the armed forces or po­lit­i­cal lead­ers will never be tried or pun­ished for their role in the Sri Lanka-Ee­lam war.

Even though the Ee­lam fight­ers are no more en­gaged in any armed strug­gle, still 16 of the 19 di­vi­sions of the armed forces are sta­tioned in Tamil-strong­hold North Sri Lanka. The more than 150,000 Tamils who dis­ap­peared in­vol­un­tar­ily in Vanni are still to be ac­counted for.

As the 2021 UNHRC High Commissioner’s Report rightly points out, the Sri Lankan governments’ actions have clearly shown that Tamils cannot expect justice or protection within Sri Lanka.  The appointment of credibly accused war criminals to civilian positions of power in Tamil areas underscores the defiance of Sri Lanka.  The continuing arrests and intimidation of Tamil human rights defenders show the impunity enjoyed by Sri Lanka Police and Armed Forces, provides no hope for the safety of Tamils within Sri Lanka.  These blatantly discriminatory judicial systems within Sri Lanka cannot deliver justice to the Tamil victims and necessitate an International Judicial Mechanism like the International Criminal Court.

The armed strug­gle for Ee­lam home­land may have ended thirteen years ago, but the po­lit­i­cal strug­gle for sur­vival, hu­man rights, jus­tice for the geno­cide of Ee­lam Tamils, honor and dig­nity of Ee­lam Tamils will con­tinue.

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

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