Sri Lanka: Release Tamil Prisoners of War – Worldwide Postcard Campaign Launched by TGTE

Sri Lanka: Release Tamil Prisoners of War – Worldwide Postcard Campaign Launched by TGTE

Release Prisoners of War
Release Prisoners of War Message
Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) COLOMBO, SRI LANKA, December 16, 2015 / — Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) have launched an international Postcard campaign to secure the release of Tamil Prisoners of War (POWs) in Sri Lanka. Nearly 200 Tamil prisoners connected to the armed conflict in Sri Lanka — which ended in 2009 — are still held in detention in Sri Lanka. Some have been held for more than 12 years without charge. On October 12, 2015 and November 7, 2015, prisoners began hunger strikes which were later suspended after some time due to assurances given by the Sri Lankan government that their cases would be seriously considered and expedited. During the hunger strikes some of the POWs’ health deteriorated significantly. The prisoners have resumed their hunger strike on December 15 because these assurances have not been fulfilled. Sri Lanka should honor its commitments given to the POWs for which they suspended their previous hunger strikes. Continued indefinite detention of these POWs’ constitute serious breaches of international law. 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 a bicameral legislature and a Cabinet. It held one of its Parliamentary sittings in the British Parliament. 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. The Prime Minister of TGTE is Mr. Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran, a New York based lawyer. BACKGROUND: Tamils have faced repeated mass killings since 1958 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 killings. According to UN internal review report on Sri Lanka, over 70,000 Tamils were killed in five months in early 2009 and Tamil women were sexually assaulted and raped by Sri Lankan Security forces. There are over 90,000 Tamil war widows and thousands of Tamils disappeared due the conflict. According to this UN Panel, 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 Tamil political leaders to find a solution to the ethnic conflict. 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.

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