Visiting Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak Urged to Raise the Persecution of Tamils with Sri Lankan Leaders: TGTE
As the Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Haji Mohammad Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak, begins his visit to Sri Lanka, Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) urge him to discuss the Persecution of Tamils in that island with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and with Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
TGTE specifically highlighted the following issues to be raised with Sri Lankan leaders:
1) Rape Camps run by Sri Lankan Security Forces, where Tamil women are held as Sex Slaves.
2) Justice for victims of War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity and Genocide.
3) Plight of the “Disappeared”.
4) Tamil Prisoners of War (POW).
5) Military occupation of Tamil Lands.
6) Very large Military presence in Tamil areas.
7) Tamil’s safety in danger.
8) Restrictions on Freedom of Expression (6th Amendment restrictions).
BELOW, PLEASE FIND THE DETAILS OF THESE CONCERNS:
1) RAPE CAMPS RUN BY SRI LANKAN SECURITY FORCES, WHERE TAMIL WOMEN ARE HELD AS SEX SLAVES:
A recent report by the International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) (http://www.itjpsl.com/reports/submission-to-cedaw ) published details of Sri Lankan Military run “Rape Camps”, where Tamil women are being held as sex slaves.
The report states the following:
“A senior officer came into the room and was asked to take his pick, like we were meat in a meat market. He looked around and chose me. He took me to another room and raped me”
“Two of the women describe being detained in a group in one room, available for any soldier to come and choosefrom and take to an adjacent room or tent to be raped,” 48 of the victims had been detained under the Government of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and seven of them under the new Government of President Maithripala Sirisena.
ITJP has also provided details of six military men including a major and a lieutenant colonel who are alleged perpetrators of rape and torture in the military.
2) JUSTICE FOR VICTIMS OF WAR CRIMES, CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY AND GENOCIDE:
Getting Justice for victims of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide received a setback due to Sri Lankan Government’s unwillingness to prosecute civilian and security forces for have committed mass killings of Tamils and rape. According to UN Internal Review Report on Sri Lankan up to 70 thousand Tamils were killed in six monthsin 2009 and scores of Tamil women were sexually assaulted and raped by Sri Lankan Security forces.
UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) got involved to bring justice to these abuses and Resolution (30/1) was cosponsored by Sri Lanka in the September 2015 Session of the UNHRC and Sri Lanka committed to bring perpetrators to face justice by March 2017, in a hybrid court consisting of foreign judges, prosecutors and investigators.
But Sri Lanka reneged in its commitment and came to UNHRC in March 2017 to seek extension of two years, which was granted. But the Sri Lankan President and Prime Minister have already rejected one of the main conditions of the UNHRC Resolution of establishing a Hybrid Court with foreign judges, prosecutors and investigators.
The current President, who as Acting Defense Minister during the war had command responsibility and a possible suspect for committing war crimes, crimes against humanity.
Due to Sri Lankan Government unwillingness to bring perpetrators to face justice, Tamil victim’s quest for justice is denied.
Tamils now appeal UN Human Rights Council to refer Sri Lanka to the UN General Assembly, along with a recommendation to the UN Security Council that Sri Lanka be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) or that an ad-hoc International Criminal Tribunal be created on Sri Lanka, similar to the procedure followed to assure accountability for North Korea’s Crimes Against Humanity.
3) PLIGHT OF THE DISAPPREARED:
The plight of thousands of Tamils who were subjected to enforced disappearance, including several who surrendered to the Sri Lankan Security forces, remain unknown for several years.
The Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wikramasinghe made a statement that thousands of Tamils who surrendered to the Sri Lankan Security forces are no longer alive. The Sri Lankan Prime Minister made this statement on January 15, 2016 in Jaffna, when he spoke at a celebration of Thai Pongal, a Hindu festival. Despite repeated requests by family members of the “disappeared” the Prime Minister refuges to give details about how these “disappeared” were killed and where their remains are.
The relatives have a right to know what had happened to the victims, the relatives are also victims. The denial of the right to know is a violation of article 7, 9, and 10(1) of the convenant. E.Quinteros and M.C. Almeida de Quintero v Uruguay Doc A/38/40
4) TAMIL PRISONERS OF WAR (POW):
Hundreds of Tamil Prisoners of War (POW) are imprisoned, some for over fifteen years.
They are held primarily under Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), which Sri Lankan Government promised to repeal to UN Human Rights Council, but still using PTA to arbitrarily arrest Tamils and detaining.
The current Government gave several assurances that these prisoners will be released. But years have passed without any results.
5) MILITARY OCCUPATION OF TAMIL LANDS:
Large number of private lands belonging to Tamil civilians are forcibly occupied by the Sri Lankan Security forces. Using them to commercial projects like farming, luxury hotels, shops, fishing etc., depriving Tamil’s livelihood.
The above is a deprivation of property without due process. Taking lands belonging to the Tamils on account of their nationality also constitutes a violation of article 2 of the covenant.
6) VERY LARGE MILITARY PRESENCE IN TAMIL AREAS:
According to several independent sources, Tamil areas have a ratio of one soldier for every five civilians, the highest number of soldiers to civilian ratio in the world.
In one Tamil District in the North, the ratio is one Sri Lankan soldier to every two Tamils civilians (Source: Report by think-tank Adayaalam Center for Policy Research).
Eight years have passed since the war came to an end but not a single soldier was brought to justice and the Government is trying to shield the soldiers even from the UN mandated inquiry.
Sri Lankan President and Prime Minister have already rejected one of the main conditions of the UNHRC Resolution of establishing a Hybrid Court with foreign judges, prosecutors and investigators.
The current President, who as Acting Defense Minister during the war had command responsibility and considered a possible suspect for committing war crimes, crimes against humanity and Genocide.
According to the UN, Sri Lankan security forces have committed mass killings and large scale rape of Tamil women. The same security forces that committed these abuses are still stationed in very large numbers in Tamil areas; among the same women they committed sexual violence. Tamil women have to undergo fear and humiliation to live among these soldiers and to see them walking free and enjoying full protection and support of the Government.
The suffering of 90,000 Tamil war widows is continuing, having to live with pain of losing their husbands and to take care of the children with great difficulty and facing threats, intimidation and abuse from the same soldiers who killed their husbands.
7) TAMIL’S SAFETY IN DANGER:
Since UN Human Rights Council’s decision to give extension of time to Sri Lanka for the Resolution 30/1, Tamil’s fear for their safety since it embolden and encourage Sri Lankan security forces to commit human rights abuses against Tamils without any fear.
Tens of thousands Sri Lankan Security forces who committed mass killings and sexual violence are still stationed in Tamil areas and live among the victims.
There are numerous reports of current abuses against Tamils, including a recent report by UN Special Reporter on torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment Mr. Juan Mendez.
A recent report by Associated Press (AP), highlight the abuses faced by Tamils in a story titled: “Dozens of Men Say Sri Lankan forces raped and tortured them.”
To Ensure Tamil’s safety UN is urged to deploy UN Human Rights Monitors in Tamil areas.
Here is the link to Associated Press (AP)Report: https://apnews.com/ced017bd441f46ba838aaedf6ff5dbe2
8) RESTRICTIONS ON FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION: 1,705 Lawyers from Around the World Appeal to UN.
The 6th Amendment to Sri Lanka’s Constitution, criminalizes freedom of speech and conscience, guaranteed in Articles 18 and 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Recently, One thousand seven hundred and five lawyers (1,705) from around the world have joined the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) and filed a complaint on December 8th, 2017 with the UN Human Rights Committee that the 6th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution is a violation of freedom of speech and conscience, and the right to self-determination guaranteed in Articles 18, 19, and 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The Complaint was filed by former US Attorney General, Ramsey Clark, Justice K.P. Sivasubramaniam (Retd), Former Judge of the High Court of Madras, India, and the Prime Minister of The Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran.
1,705 Lawyers from across the globe including heads of Bar Councils, law professors, and retired judges from U.S.A., U.K., Canada, France, Switzerland, South Sudan, and India (Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka & New Delhi), provide legal representation to the above complaint.
HERE ARE SOME FACTS:
Tamils in the island of Sri Lanka faced repeated mass killings in 1958, 1977, and 1983 and the mass killings in 2009 prompted UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to appoint a Panel of Experts to report on the scale of the killings.
According to UN internal review report on Sri Lanka, over 70,000 Tamils were killed in six months in early 2009 and Tamil women were sexually assaulted and raped by the Sri Lankan Security forces. There are over 90,000 Tamil war widows and thousands of Tamils disappeared due the conflict.
According to this UN report, the killings and other abuses that took place amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity. Independent experts believe that there are elements of these abuses that constitute an act of genocide.
Members of the Sri Lankan security forces are almost exclusively from the Sinhalese community and the victims are all from the Tamil community. A Buddhist Monk shot and killed a Sri Lankan Prime Minister 1959 for having talks with Tamils.
Tamils overwhelmingly voted in a Parliamentary election in 1977 to establish an independent and sovereign country called Tamil Eelam. This Parliamentary election was conducted by the Sri Lankan Government.
ABOUT TRANSNATIONAL GOVERNMENT OF TAMIL EELAM (TGTE):
Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) is a democratically elected Government of a million strong Tamils (from the island of Sri Lanka) living in several countries around the world. TGTE was formed after the mass killing of Tamils by the Sri Lankan Government in 2009.
TGTE twice held internationally supervised elections among Tamils around the world to elect 132 Members of Parliament. It has two champers of Parliament: The House of Representatives and Senate and a Cabinet. It held its Parliamentary sittings among other places in the British and French Parliaments.
TGTE is leading a campaign to realize Tamils’ political aspirations through peaceful, democratic and diplomatic means. The Constitution of the TGTE mandates that it should realize its political objective only through peaceful means.