April 2, 2017
Posts by :
March 25, 2017
Two years or twenty years make no difference to Sri Lanka! Tamil Victims keep fighting for justice in all fronts! TGTE
Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam's(TGTE) Response to UN Human Rights Council Granting Two Year Extension to Sri Lanka
Our immediate concern about the two years extension is it would embolden and encourage Sri Lankan security forces to commit further abuses against Tamils. Urge to send UN Human Rights Monitors”
Once again, the Tamil victims of crimes are forgotten in the complacency of the international community with respect to justice for the victims of the crimes of the Sri Lankan State during the armed conflict on the island. Despite the earnest and fervent call by the Tamil victims to refer Sri Lanka to the UN General Assembly with recommendation to establish a special tribunal under Article 22 of the UN Charter or to refer Sri Lanka to the UN Security Council with recommendation that it exercises its ability under Article 13(b) of the Rome Statute to refer the case to the International Criminal Court pursuant to Article 13(b) of the Rome Statute. Despite these repeated calls, the Human Rights Council passed a Resolution giving Sri Lanka an extension of two years to fulfil its obligations under Resolution 30/1(October, 2015).
The Human Rights Council granted this unreasonable extension in the face of the High Commissioner’s damning report of Sri Lanka’s efforts to date and renewing his call for a hybrid tribunal . In granting Sri Lanka a two years extension, the Human Rights Council has become complicit in providing impunity to the perpetrators. This action shows once again that State based institutions do not act on the basis of common ideals of humanity. The UN Human Rights Commissioner has in the meantime called upon the member States individually to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of the international crimes giving an impression that the Commissioner himself is losing faith in State based institutions.
The Human Rights Council’s persistent indifference towards the over 70,000 thousand confirmed victims and their families can do nothing other than erode the credibility of the institution in a time when the very idea of human rights is under widespread attack.
On 19 December 2016 the UN General Assembly established the International, Impartial Independent Mechanism for Syria (IIIM)(A/71/L.48) creating at international mechanism that will preserve evidence and investigate international crimes. The Human Rights Council should take similar action to halt the continued destruction of evidence of crimes committed in Sri Lanka during the armed conflict between the Sri Lankan State and the Tamils.
We also note the Human Rights High Commissioner’s and Estonia’s explicit call to Sri Lanka to accede to the International Criminal Court. In 2015 the TGTE launched a Million Signature Campaign in which 1.6 million people across the globe participated, calling for the referral of Sri Lanka to the ICC. Our call for referral to ICC is not given to any whimsy but based on the fact that it is the Sri Lankan state which itself has committed the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, and the rigidly ethnocratic Sri Lankan state will not mete out justice for Tamils.
The High Commissioner in his oral presentation stated that “The consistent failure to effectively investigate, prosecute and punish serious crimes appears to reflect a broader reluctance or fear to take action against members of the security forces.” The Sri Lankan security forces, 99% Singhalese, while the vast majority of the victims are Tamils. Given the above, we believe that allowing a two year or twenty year extension, offering all the technical and financial assistance and the best of diplomatic niceties will not make any difference to Sri Lanka. What is required is moral courage which is conspicuously absent in the Sinhala political and military establishment.
Tamils’ quest for justice and their quest for security and freedom are not mutually exclusive. Bearing in mind the TGTE engages in the transitional justice process with the aim to end impunity and to realize remedial justice/to realize reparation in the form of a political resolution based on the Eelam Tamils’ right to self-determination.
Our immediate concern about the two years extension is that it would embolden and encourage Sri Lankan security forces to commit further international crime and human rights violations against Tamils. We urge the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to establish its offices in the North East of the island and to station Human Rights monitors. They should include experts in sexual and gender based violence. The need for women human rights officers to be stationed there is paramount in order to offer confidence to the Tamil women subject to violence and mass rape which are still conducted by the Sri Lankan security forces with the presence of “Rape Camps” maintained by them.
The Tamil victims are not going to sit idle as passive observers of the transitional justice process for the next two years. They are determined to take ownership of it.The TGTE firmly believes that evolving international relations and international law create the spaces for that today. The HRC is but one forum for justice, that to date has proved ineffective. The TGTE will immediately undertake the following:
- It will extend the mandate given to the Monitoring and Accountability Panel [MAP] to interpret the HRC Resolution taking into account the statement of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the observations made by the member states of the HRC and monitor Sri Lanka’s compliance.
- It will establish a panel consisting of lawyers, investigators and activists to investigate, analyze evidence and build case files against the Sri Lankan state and the leaders of the Sinhala political military establishment in order to bring domestic litigation under Universal Jurisdiction in various countries. The world can expect much from Sri Lanka in two years but the delivery in the end will be fluent and eloquent but as dismal and empty as was the speech of the country’s Foreign Minister three weeks ago in Geneva. There is no room for maneuver in the pervasive ethnocracy that Sri Lank is.
The Tamil Nation has survived efforts to annihilate large numbers of our members and to eliminate our distinct political, economic, and territorial basis on the island. Justice is a natural right when international crimes are committed against a nation and we continue to work toward the realization of that right. The Tamil victims and all those who champion their cause have to not succumb to despair but come together, keep their faith in humanity and fight on for justice and freedom for all. We request those who believe in these ideals work along with us in our struggle.
Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran Prime Minister Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam
March 24, 2017
Tamils world over are dejected, disillusioned and feel betrayed by the acts of denial of justice by The Human Rights Council once again. The new resolution has given a two year time frame to the state of Sri Lanka. It is nothing but supporting and endorsing a regime that has not kept its promise to the International Community.
Despite the recommendations of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on 16th September 2015, a weak resolution 30/1 was passed unanimously on 1st October 2015. This resolution was co sponsored by Sri Lanka and was given an 18 months’ time frame for total implementation. It should be noted that the OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL) team too was not allowed to investigate and meet the Tamil victims in Sri Lanka by the present government.The OISL report deals with serious charges of War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity. The BREMEN People’s Tribunal held that an act of genocide was committed.
1.6 million people signed a petition calling for a referral of Sri Lanka to the International Criminal Court. The OHCHR had recommended a hybrid mechanism. The High Commissioner, Honorable Zeid bin Al Ra’ad has repeatedly called in 2015 and 2017 for an establishment of a hybrid court. Since, September 2015, the President and Prime Minister of Sri Lanka have categorically and consistently stated that only a domestic mechanism would be allowed.
The Government of Sri Lanka as a co sponsor of Resolution 30/1 had promised to return the occupied land to its rightful civilian owners, repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act, investigate acts of torture, gender based violence especially rape. NONE OF THESE PROMISED HAVE BEEN FULFILLED.
Many Tamils are still languishing as Internally Displaced Persons. In the highly militarized situation, the armed forced live amidst the Tamil civilians. Land grabbed from the Tamils is yet to be returned. Rape and torture continue, former militants are rearrested. The High Security Zones in the NorthEast are yet to be dismantled.No civilized country in modern history has used aerial bombings, multi barrel rocket launchers and heavy artillery against civilians, hospitals, schools and places of worship. Food and Medicine were used as weapons of war. As the Sri Lankan state stands as an accused it has no moral authority to judge its own gruesome acts of violence perpetrated on the Tamil civilians. The OISL report point out to the “System Crimes”, along with the near total impunity enjoyed by the security forces, police and intelligence services. In the absence of adequate judicial mechanisms in Sri Lanka to deal with International War Crimes, Crimes against Humanity, and Crimes of Genocide, an International Judicial mechanism is the long standing demand of the Tamils. The High Commissioner in his 2017 report noted: - “[T]he Prevention of Terrorism Act continued to be used to make arrests, including of more than 25 individuals in March and April 2016 and 12 in October and November for alleged links to a criminal gang… [M]ost detainees under the Act are of Tamil origin….”
- “The use of torture remains a serious concern.” - “OHCHR received credible information from a well-known human rights organization according to which “white van” abductions, torture, and sexual violence by Sri Lankan security forces persisted. These allegations must be properly investigated. OHCHR raised this matter with the authorities.” - The report of the Monitoring and Accountability Panel comprised of international jurist stated in The Second Report: A Roadmap to Victim’s Justice stated: “Seemingly, the Sirisena administration has been acting in bad faith for some time with respect to its commitments under the HRC Resolution.
After several months of paying lip service to its commitments to bring justice to victims, the GoSL’s anti-justice-agenda rhetoric escalated in August 2016. Reacting to the long-awaited passage of the Office on Missing Persons Act (the ‘OMP Act’), President Sirisena declared that his government would never target ‘war heroes’, a none-to-veiled reference to members of the Sri Lankan armed forces, some of whom are likely to be prime war crimes suspects. The following month, GOSL Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe categorically rejected all allegations of war crimes committed by government forces and indicated that his‘ government would take legal action against anyone who alleges’ the contrary. Moreover, he stated that ‘anyone who discusses mass graves in Sri Lanka’s North is an enemy of the nation and war heroes’. Overly concerned with placating the country’s ‘vast southern Sinhalese nationalist constituency’, the president himself ‘loses no opportunity to publicly declare that he would never compromise on national security or let down the armed forces’.Given political realities in Sri Lanka and the lack of meaningful progress to date, this regime does not appear to be a credible partner in the envisaged endeavors. And with all carrot and no stick from those countries that have the ability to influence events in Sri Lanka, it is unlikely that he will feel compelled to change his current course any time soon.” Sri Lanka has been using the time given by the UNHRC to hoodwink the International Community and douse the anger of the Tamils on one hand by tactically developing the north in bits and pieces by laying massive roads and enlarging its Sinhala resettlement designs. On the other hand they are erasing the evidences of the crime of genocide they committed. It is to be noted that Sri Lanka has never honored any of the agreements it has signed with the Tamils nor proposed any political solution. Keeping the past record of Sri Lanka in mind, WE TAMILS DEMAND that, • The Right to Self Determination to independence of the Tamil Nation must be recognized • Sri Lanka must be referred to the General Assembly with recommendation to establish a special Tribunal for misusing the 18 months time given to it by the UNHRC and misleading the human rights community. • Sri Lanka must be compelled to sign the Rome statute • Sri Lanka must be referred to the Security Council with recommendation to refer it to International Criminal Court for the War Crimes, Crimes against Humanity, and Crimes of Genocide • A referendum must be conducted in the NorthEast of Sri Lanka and among the Eelam Tamil Diaspora to decide their own future based on their human rights to determine their future based on their human rights. WE TAMILS ALSO OUT-RIGHTLY REJECT THE PRESENT UNHOLY RESOLUTION PASSED AGAINT THE INTEREST OF THE TAMIL VICTIMS: The undersigned organistations and individuals agree that resolution 34/1 is not acceptable to us and the above mentioned demands of the Tamils must be implemented immediately without delay keeping in mind the concerns of the victims.
Signed OrganisationsTamil Diaspora
1.International Council of Eelam Tamils Secretariat of Foreign Affairs - (ICET)
2. Swiss Tamil Coordination Committee
3. TGTE’s Ministry Against Mass Atrocities and Action Against Genocide
4. Swiss Council of Eelam Tamils
5. Arasakularatnam Ratnakanthan, I-Tran, Australia
6. Association Bharathi – Franco Tamil
7. Tourner La Page
8.Naam Tamilar Katchi, Tamil Nadu
9. May 17 Movement
10. Dr. Paul Newman, University of Bangalore
11. Mauritius Tamil Temples Federation
12. Tamil Council Mauritius
13. Guadeloupe Tamil Society (French West Indies)
14. Federation Tamouls de Ile de Reunion- France
15. Solidarity Group for Peace and Justice in Sri Lanka ( SGPJ -South Africa)
16. Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kalagam (MDMK)
17. Viduthalai Siruthaigal Katchi (VCK)
18. Social Democratic Party Of India (SDPI)
19. Mannar Citizens Committee, Mannar, Sri Lanka
20. Thanthai Periyar Dravidar kalagam (TPDK)
21. Viduthalai Tamil Puligal Katchi
22. Tamil Puligal Katchi
23. Tamilar Vidiyal Katchi
24. Tamilaga Makkal Munnani
25. Kanchi Makkal Manram
26. Tamilar Viduthalai Kalagam
Tamils Fleeing Bombing & Shellinghttp://world.einnews.com/pr_news/372506111/sri-lanka-justice-to-tamils-denied-again
March 23, 2017
Switzerland Urged to Exercise Universal Jurissdiction to Arrest Visiting Ex Sri Lankan Admiral for War Crimes: TGTE
In his report to the UN Human Rights Council on Sri Lanka, UN Rights Chief Urged Countries to Exercise Universal Jurisdiction to Prosecute War Crimes.
Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam TGTE
March 17, 2017
Mr.Manickavasagar made a submission on behalf of the Association of Tamil Students of France and the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam, TGTE, welcoming the High Commissioner’s report on Sri Lanka, he pointed out how the High Commissioner has decried Sri Lanka’s slow progress on its reform pledges in his report, and said that the government failed to adopt a time-bound “comprehensive strategy on transitional justice,” and called on the council to continue monitoring Sri Lankan compliance with resolution 30/1 of October 2015.
The report expressed particular concern that the government had not even begun preparatory work on establishing a judicial mechanism with foreign judges and other judicial officers, one of the four transitional justice mechanisms under the resolution.
Mr Manikavasagar pointed out how the victims have been patiently waiting, for the last 18 months, especially the mothers of missing persons, the widows, the orphans, and were hoping that this Council will ensure and deliver justice and accountability with a strategy on transitional justice.
He noted how Foreign Minister of SL Mangala Samaweera, in his address to the Council only two weeks ago, spoke of the 69 years of effort by SL at "nation building" had been a failed experiment, and an era which needed to be ended.
Mr.Manikavasagar reiterated that a home grown mechanism to implement the 30/1 resolution in full, will fail again with further deliberate delays to confuse everyone, especially the other 37 co-sponsors, who supported SL in good faith.
Mr.Manikavasagar felt that the Sri Lankan government was not serious with this UN Human Rights Council, and to build trust for an environment for reconciliation, they could have used the presidential decree to pardon and released the prisoners of war, the political prisoners, repealed the PTA, reduce the presence of the military and released all the civilian lands and homes.
He urged the council that there must be consequences for non-compliance and there should not be further extension of time to SL. The member states need to support the OISL report and the HC's report, and refer SL to the ICC and to UNGA, to safeguard the relevance and credibility of the august assembly.
March 16, 2017
TGTE’s Response to Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s Address to UN Human Rights Council !
"Sri Lanka's Nation Building has failed due to rigid Sinhala Ethnocratic nature of the Sri Lankan State"
Office of the Prime Minister Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam [TGTE] March 2017
1. Opposition to the participation of foreign judges not political but racial. 2. Neither international nor domestic remedy available for the aggrieved parties by Sri Lanka’s accession to the Convention on enforced disappearance. 3. PTA targets Tamils and created de-facto partition of Sri Lanka. 4. Demonization of Peaceful Advocacy As An Act Of Terrorism. 5. Plain clothes Security Personnel carrying pistols – Second phase of military governance. 6. Admonition by UN Official. 7. Constitutional mirage. 8. Winning election on a pledge of power sharing between Sinhalese and Tamils has now resulted in power sharing among Sinhala elite. 9. Sinhala militarization of Tamil land. 10. Disregard to recommendations by Government-appointed Consultation Task Force. 11. Rape Camps.
The TGTE’s response to the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister’s address to the 34th Session of the HRC states that the reason for the failure of the nation building acknowledged by the Foreign Minister was the rigid ethnocratic nature of the Sri Lanka state. The Response cites the failure of previous accords between the Tamils and successive Sri Lankan Governments and the opposition to or non-implementation of various commissions to inhibit impunity of the Sri Lankan armed forces as examples of this truism.
The Response also gives the full picture of the matters referred to by the Foreign Minister as “achievements”. With respect to OMP – lack of consultation of the victims, rejection by the GOSL of the demands of the survivors for international involvement and the failure to make OMP operational are pointed out. Regarding the GOSL accession to the International convention on Enforced Disappearance, the absence of domestic legislation to give effect to the Convention and the non-declaration under Article 31 of the Convention that allows the aggrieved party to seek international remedy have been pointed out. While pointing out enforced disappearance as a continuing crime, the issuance of the certificate of “absence” for missing persons is shown as a ploy to bury the issue.
The Response notes the Sri Lankan Government's demonization of peaceful advocacy as an act of "terrorism". It contends that such listing was a violation of freedom of speech, freedom of conscience and the Eelam Tamils’ right to self-determination. The Response points out the observation by the UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues that the almost entirely Singhalese Sri Lankan army and its disproportionally heavy presence in the Northern province amounted to it being seen as an occupying force. The Response while pointing out the recent replacement of new military personal carrying AK47 by security personal in plain clothes carrying pistols contends that this was the second phase of military governance in Tamil areas. It also points out that the military presence constitutes not only a threat to Tamils’ physical security but also inhibits international creativity and economic activity in the community.
The Response points out that the Constitutional Reform process was a mirage in the way that it failed to recognize Tamils as a distinct nation or the NorthEast as Tamil inhabited areas, a historical and political reality recognized by the 1987 Indo-Sri Lankan Accord. The proposed Constitutional drafts are in effect a retreat and not progress. The Response also noted Sri Lanka’s failure to implement the recommendations proposed by WGEID, CAT and CEDAW and pointed CERD’s observation that the strength of anti- Tamil racism made these abuses possible. Finally, the Response showed how the Minister remained completely silent on matters such as the existence of “rape camps” brought out by the International Truth and Justice Project. Such camps maintained by the security forces of a country today would become a rare and documented case since the Japanese Imperial Army held such camps during the Second World War.
The Response concludes as demonstrated above, due to the rigid ethnocratic nature of the state, the Government of Sri Lanka will neither mete out transitional justice to the Tamil victims nor will it engage in the path of reconciliation under which both people can live in freedom, dignity and security in the island of Sri Lanka. The TGTE’s view that a two-year extension or even a twenty-year extension would not lead to any progress or change in Sri Lanka if the Human Rights Council decided to simply roll over the existing Resolution 30/1 passed in 2015. The emptiness of the rhetoric in Foreign Minister Samaraweera’s address to the UN Human Rights Council was no more than a reflection of the pervasive ethnocracy and the interests of the State he represents.
SRI LANKA'S NATION-BUILDING HAS FAILED DUE TO THE REGID SINHALA ETHNOCRATIC NATURE OF THE SRI LANKAN STATE:
The acknowledgement by the Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka, Mr Mangala Samaraweera, in his address to the 34th Session of the UN Human Rights Council that Sri Lanka has failed in its 69 year-old experiment in nation-building acquires immense significance. Yet, the dismal failure of the Foreign Minister to even hazard a guess as to the root causes of that failure is even more significant. The fundamental reason for why nation-building failed in Sri Lanka from the time of independence in 1948 is the rigid Sinhala ethnocratic nature of the Sri Lankan State. Sinhalese make up 74.9% of the population and they believe that they are the ‘chosen people’ to control society and the State in the island for the benefit of their people without the need to share power with other nations and minorities. The UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues stated in her January 2017 Report:
"The sense that minorities are generally excluded from most areas of decision making and power structures was pervasive. Among the many challenges and issues raised, one underlying root cause of all grievances was the inadequate levels of minority participation and representation in major institutions and decision making bodies and the resultant frustration with systemic social and political marginalization. The dominance of the Sinhalese and Sinhala as the de facto sole language in these bodies were cited as a major hindrance to minority participation"
Due to their inability to realize the benefits of a plural society, successive governments have failed to abide by their own commitments to build a more just, democratic and inclusive Sri Lanka in which Tamils and Muslims had equal rights as the Sinhalese. “Long term political settlements” through quasi power-sharing agreements such as the Bandaranaike-Chelvanayakam Pact, and Dudley Senanayake-Chelvanayakam Pact did not materialize due to strong opposition from the Sinhala constituency which in turn has been the dominant hegemonic feature of the Sinhala ethnocratic state of Sri Lanka. Notably, the 13thAmendment of 1987 to allow for power sharing within a unitary constitutional structure was not implemented due to the opposition from the Sinhala population. Recommendations of various commissions of inquiry including the 1977 Sansoni Commission, the 1991 Inquiry into the Attack on Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF), the 1991 Kokkaddicholai Commission of Inquiry, the 1991-1993 Presidential Commission, the 1994 Commission of Inquiry into Disappearances, the 1998 All Island Disappearance Commission, the Presidential Truth Commission on Ethnic Violence, the 1981-1984 Bindunuwewa Commission, and the 2006 International Independent Group of Eminent Persons (IIGEP) did not lead to any remedial actions due to the fierce opposition from the Sinhala constituency. It has resulted in the failure to develop a judicial system trusted by victims in Sri Lanka.
Even today, the Sri Lankan Government has failed the international community and the Tamils over the last 18 months through its failure to implement the UNHRC Resolution 30/1, in which it made a series of commitments to the Tamils as well as to the international community. The salient feature of the transitional justice mechanism proposed by the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) through Resolution 30/1– the one which allowed the victims to repose trust in a process based in the ethnically biased Sri Lankan judicial system - is the “participation of Commonwealth and foreign judges”. However, the Sri Lankan President and the Prime Minister have repeatedly said that there will not be any foreign judges involved in the legal processes to come. They cite various reasons ranging from protecting the “honor of the nation”, safeguarding “war heroes”,” political opposition”, etc. It should be noted that not a single Tamil leader, a Tamil political party, a Tamil Civil Society Organization or the victims has voiced opposition to the inclusion of foreign judges. The provision is only opposed by the Sinhala constituency. Thus, there is no “political opposition” for the inclusion of foreign judges, but only ethnically oriented opposition- a feature of the rigid ethnocratic Sri Lankan State.
ABSENCE OF REAL REMEDY ON 'SUCCESSES' - OMP:
Even the matters listed as “achievements” by the Foreign Minister in his address to the UNHRC are at best only half fulfilled or not exactly at all as they seemed. The establishment of the Office of Missing Person (OMP) should be viewed in the context of the comments by the country’s Prime Minister, Mr Ranil Wickramasinghe in 2015 that ‘most of the disappeared are dead’, and again in 2016 that most of the disappeared have ‘gone abroad’. The question arises, therefore, what purpose is served by the establishment of the OMP? It should be noted that the legislation to set up the OMP was made without consulting the victims adequately. What is more, despite early demands by survivors for a robust involvement of international experts in the OMP, the Sri Lankan Government only agreed to have technical support in the legislation it originally passed in August. Then, recently, the Prime Minister initiated amendments to prevent OMP members having the discretion to ask for even foreign technical support. These shortcomings, and the failure to make the OMP operational, have survivors of war and their supporters agitating in the towns of Vavuniya and Kilinochchi right now. Meanwhile, families of the disappeared in the town of Batticaloa who tried to use the newly promulgated Right to Information Act say that they found government officials unresponsive.
NEITHER DOMESTIC NOR INTERNATIONAL REMEDY AVAILABLE FOR VICTIMS UNDER THE CONVENTION ON ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCE:
With respect to the legislation to give effect to the International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance, the Honorable Minister has acknowledged that domestic legislation has not been enacted to give effect to the Convention. It should be taken into account that Sri Lanka has not made the declaration under Article 31 of the Convention which allows an aggrieved party to bring individual complaints directly to the Committee on Enforced Disappearances. Thus, as it stands today, the accession to the Convention on Enforced Disappearance is meaningless as far as the victims are concerned.
PROPOSED COUNTERTERRORISM LEGISLATION MORE DRACONIAN THAN THE PTA:
The TGTE in its material submitted the HRC in 2015 entitled “Escalation of Persecution on Account of Tamil Ethnicity” noted that, while the PTA on its face value appeared neutral, it in effect targeted the Tamils. The High Commissioner for Human Rights in his advance copy of the Report on Sri Lanka released last week has corroborated the above. In his Report the Commissioner noted that “The Prevention of Terrorism Act had been notoriously used during the conflict to suppress dissent and target minority groups”. The PTA, since its enactment on October 31st, 1979, has imposed a form of martial law in the Tamil areas. The PTA in effect created a de facto partition of the Island of Sri Lanka into Tamil areas and Sinhala areas.
The Special Rapporteur on minority issues in her report stated:
"While the government has committed to repeal of the Act, it appears that the latest draft of the new antiterrorism legislation that would replace the Act falls significantly short of international standards, raising new concerns among the Tamil community that they will continue to be arbitrarily targeted by whatever new security framework comes into force."
With respect to the proposed Counterterrorism Act, as attorney Ms. Subajini Kisho Anton, a civil society leader from Sri Lanka, has observed to the media in Geneva, the proposed Act contains more draconian provisions than the existing Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).
"CERTIFICATE OF ABSENCE" COVER UP OF DISAPPEARANCE:
The Foreign Minister applauded the issuance of certificates of absence. However, survivors have repeatedly asserted that they are neither interested in death certificates nor certificates of absence even as a temporary measure, because they believe it is an act to pull the wool over their eyes. They insist that the Government tells them the whereabouts of their loved ones who have disappeared.
Under basic rules of international criminal law, enforced disappearances are an ongoing international crime unless and until the whereabouts of the individual subject to enforced disappearance has been accounted. The crime against humanity of the Sri Lankan state, enforced disappearance of Tamils, continues as of today.
THE DEMONIZATION OF PEACEFUL ADVOCACY AS AN ACT OF TERRORISM:
The Foreign Minister also said that the list of designated persons under Regulation 4 (7) was amended. However, the Minister failed to state that the rationale for designating persons under Regulation by the previous regime as well as by the present regime was their supposed claim for an independent state. The peaceful claim for an independent state is premised on freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the legal right of self- determination of the Eelam Tamil people. Exploiting legal process to designate individuals and entities calling for an independent state through non-violent means is an abuse of the legal process and an act of ideocracy.
ADMONITION BY UN OFFICIALS:
The Foreign Minister noted the visit of the UN Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, in 2016 and Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues, Aita Izsak-Ndiaye, at the invitation of the government. While the above is commendable, it would be beneficial in reality had the GOSL taken to heart the recommendations made by the above visitors. The Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues observed the following, among others: “with the army’s ethnic make-up being almost entirely Sinhalese and its disproportionally heavy presence in the Northern Province, the military is seen as an occupying force’. The new Sri Lankan regime has removed some checkpoints at certain places. However, these checkpoints were merely taken out of Tamil land and rather put instead into existing army camps. It is similar to a turtle hiding in its shell. Some of the military personnel carrying AK47s are now being replaced by security personnel in plain clothes carrying pistols. This is the second phase of a Military Governance, and it is a very dangerous one. The military presence constitutes not only a threat to Tamils’ physical security but also inhibits intellectual creativity and economic activity in the Tamil community.
The Honorable Foreign Minister Mr Samaraweera talked about the completion of reports by the six Sub-Committees on Constitutional Reform. The Sub Committee’s Report on relation between center-periphery, which is the heart of any reconciliation effort, did not recognize the Tamils as a distinct nation or the NorthEast as historically Tamil-inhabited areas, a historical and political reality recognized by the 1987 Indo-Sri Lankan Accord. Thus, the proposed constitutional drafts are in effect a retreat and not progress forward. The new regime came into power with the support of the Tamils promising them power sharing. However, what we witness today is not power sharing among the Sinhalese, Tamils, and Muslims, but power sharing among the Sinhala elite, President Maithripala Sirisena (SLFP), Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe (UNP), and former President Chandrika Kumaratunga.
SINHALA MILITARIZATION OF TAMIL LAND:
Honorable Mangala Samaraweera stated that 5,515.98 acres of state land and 2,090.03 acres of private land were released in 2016 and a further 1,383.51 acres of state land and 30.54 acres of private land were released in January 2017. According to the well detailed study conducted by the British Tamils Forum, as of April 2016, the Sri Lankan Military was occupying more than 96% of the land belonging to the Tamil people with a staggering 67,427 acres being occupied. The Government of Sri Lanka remains the belligerent occupant of Tamil owned land under and subject to the international laws of war.
DISREGARD OF THE RECOMENDATIONS OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL TASK FORCE:
The Honorable Foreign Minister noted that over 7,000 written submissions were received by the Consultation Task Force (CTF) on Reconciliation Mechanisms. However, he failed to mention that - as the CTF and Special Rapporteurs observed - due to ongoing human rights violation in the Northern and Eastern parts of the country, including abductions, intimidations and harassment by Security Forces, consultations in the Northern Tamil area recorded the lowest number of submissions to the CTF. The Foreign Minister speaks about the success of the public consultations on transitional justice. However, there have been public expressions of misgivings coming from civil society – including members of the CTF – on the coldness with which the Sri Lankan Government received its report and recommendations. Not only did the President and PM not attend the handing over ceremony, the Minister of Justice dismissed the report as one produced by NGOs. The Foreign Minister also failed to mention that the CTF recommended a hybrid court and international participation in the Office of the Special Council of Investigation and Prosecution. The Honorable Minister failed to mention the comment made by the former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, Chairperson of the Office National Unity and Reconciliation, that if a new constitution was promulgated, there would be no need for any accountability mechanisms.
FAILURE TO IMPLEMENT RECOMENDATIONS OF UN COMMITTEES:
The Foreign Minister said that Sri Lankan periodic reports were considered by various committees. However, he failed to mention the withering criticisms against the prevalence of torture and discrimination against women and a lack of a path forward for accountability for disappearances, especially in the post-war NorthEast, by WGEID, CAT and CEDAW. CERD noted the strength of anti-Tamil racism which makes these abuses possible. The Foreign Minister promised progress on the recommendations of all those treaty bodies, but no actions to report on those recommendations.
The Foreign Minister remained completely silent about the “Rape Camps” mentioned by the International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP). According to the ITJP, 48 of the victims had been detained under the Government of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, and 7 of them under the new Government of President Maithripala Sirisena. This then becomes one of the rare documented cases of “ Rape Camps” maintained by Security Forces of a country since the Japanese Imperial Army held Korean and Chinese women as “comfort women” during the Second World War. The existence of Rape Camps also raises the question as to whether individuals who are on the list of disappeared are being detained in the said Camps. Earlier, it was rumored that surrendered LTTE female cadres were being used to do cooking and other chores by the Sinhala Army, along with other duties.
Tamils have a 5,000 years old culture and traditions and women have a distinct and important place within this culture. Targeting women in Sri Lanka is similar to the forced abortion of Muslim women by Serbs in the not so distant past with the aim of destroying the identity and integrity of their nation. Under International Criminal Law these rape camps constitute crimes against humanity that verge upon genocide against Tamil women.
As demonstrated above, due to the rigid ethnocratic nature of the state, the Government of Sri Lanka will neither mete out transitional justice to the Tamil victims nor will it engage in the path of reconciliation under which both people can live in freedom, dignity and security in the island of Sri Lanka. It is our considered view that a two-year extension or even a twenty-year extension would not lead to any progress or change in Sri Lanka if the Human Rights Council decided to simply roll over the existing Resolution 30/1 passed in 2015. To us, the emptiness of the rhetoric in Foreign Minister Samaraweera’s address to the UN Human Rights Council was no more than a reflection of the pervasive ethnocracy and the interests of the State he represents.
Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran Prime Minister Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE)http://world.einnews.com/pr_news/371393838/tgte-s-response-to-sri-lankan-foreign-minister-mangala-samaraweera-s-address-to-un-human-rights-council
March 16, 2017
சிறிலங்கா விவகாரத்தில் ஐ.நா தோற்றுவிட்டதா ? ஆணையாளர் அலுவலகத்தில் நாடுகடந்த தமிழீழ அரசாங்கம் கேள்வி !
இலங்கைத்தீவில் நடந்தேறிய பாரிய மனித உரிமை மீறல்களில்
பாதிக்கப்பட்டவர்களுக்கான பரிகாரநீதியினை வென்றைடைவதில் ஐ.நா தோற்றுவிட்டா என்ற கேள்வியினை நாடுகடந்த தமிழீழ அரசாங்கம் ஐ.நா மனித உரிமைச்சபை ஆணையாளர் அலுவலகத்திடம் முன்வைத்துள்ளது.
ஜெனீவா ஐ.நா மனித உரிமைச்சபை ஆணையளர் அலுவலகத்தின் ஆசிய பிராந்திய பொறுப்பதிகாரி Thomas HUNEKE அவர்களுக்கும், நாடுகடந்த தமிழீழ அரசாங்கத்தின் அனைத்துலக விவகாரங்களுக்கான அமைச்சர் மாணிக்கவாசகர், ஐ.நா மனித உரிமைச்சபைச் செயலர் முருகையா சுகிந்தன் அவர்களுக்கும் இடையில் சந்திப்பொன்று ஆணையாளர் அலுவலகத்தில் இடம்பெற்றிருந்தது.
இசந்திப்பின் போது, இலங்கைத்தீவில் நடந்தேறிய பாரிய மனித உரிமை மீறல்கள் தொடர்பில் ஐ.நா மனித உரிமைச்சபை ஆணையாளர் அலுவலகம் வெளியிட்டிருந்த அறிக்கைகள் காத்திரமான பல உண்மைகளை வெளிக்கொணர்திருந்த போதும், பாதிக்கப்பட்ட மக்களுக்கான பரிகாரநீதியினை பெற்றுக் கொடுப்பதில் தோல்வி கண்டுவிட்டதா என்ற கேள்வியினை நாடுடந்த தமிழீழ அரசாங்கப் பிரதிநிதிகள் முன்வைத்துள்ளனர்.
சிறிலங்காவுக்கு மேலும் மேலும் காலநீடிப்பு கொடுப்பதானது, நடந்தேறிய விடயங்களுக்கான பொறுப்புக்கூறலில் இருந்து சிறிலங்கா அரச தரப்பு தப்பித்துக் கொள்வதற்கான வாய்ப்பாக அமைவதோடு, பாதிக்கப்பட்ட மக்களுக்கான நீதி மறுக்கப்படுவதாகவும் சுட்டிக்காட்டப்பட்டுள்ளது.
இச்சந்திப்பின் போது சிறிலங்காவுக்கு ஐ.நா மனித உரிமைச்சபை மேலும் காலநீடிப்பு வழங்கக் கூடாது என்ற கோரிக்கையுடன் தமிழநாட்டில் உள்ள 250க்கும் மேற்பட்ட சிவில் அமைப்புக்களின் மனுவும் நாடுகடந்த தமிழீழ அரசாங்கத்தினால் அளிக்கப்பட்டிருந்தது.
சிறிலங்கா விவகாரத்தில் ஐ.நா ஆணையாளர் சயீத் அல் உசேன் அவர்கள் கொண்டிருக்கின்ற உறுதியான நிலைபாட்டில் மாற்றம் இல்லை என்றும், தீர்மானங்களை தீர்மானிக்கின்ற உறுப்பு நாடுகளின் கைகளிலேயே விவகாரங்கள் தங்கி இருப்பதாகவும் Thomas HUNEKEஅவர்கள் தெரிவித்திருந்ததாக, இச்சந்திப்புத் தொடர்பில் ஊடகங்களுக்கு கருத்து வெளியிட்டுள்ள நா தமிழீழ அரசாங்கத்தின் ஐ.நாவுக்கான செயலர் முருகையா சுகிந்தன் அவர்கள், தெரிவித்துள்ளார்.
சமீபத்தில் சிறிலங்காவின் வெளிவிகார அமைச்சர் மங்கள சமரவீர தரப்பினர் ஐ.நா மனித உரிமைச்சபை ஆணையாளர் அலுவலகத்தினை சந்தித்திருந்த நிலையில், நாடுகடந்த தமிழீழ அரசாங்கத்தின் அனைத்துலக விவகாரங்களுக்கான அமைச்சர் மாணிக்கவாசகர் தரப்பினர் சந்தித்திருப்பது இங்கு குறிப்பிடதக்கது.
March 15, 2017
Sixth Amendment to Sri Lanka’s Constitution: Contradictory, Incoherent and Unconstitutional – Dr. Barbara Jackman
Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) is Challenging Sri Lanka at the UN Against it's Sixth Amendment
At the International Conference held on Thursday March 9th at the Delta Hotel in Toronto Dr. Barbara Louise Jackman a highly respected authority in immigration and refugee law, with particular emphasis on cases involving national security, domestic and international human rights issues, torture, and the rights and protections afforded by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and Canada’s responsibilities under international treaties, described the 6th Amendment to Sri Lanka’s constitution as a “schizophrenic clause with internal contradictions and an open violation of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights. She pointed out that the amendment is not limited to Sri Lankan citizens but to “anyone” meaning that even a Canadian or British citizen will have his/her properties in Canada or Britain confiscated by Sri Lanka if he/she espouses separation! Nothing can be more ludicrous in terms of the application of what is spelt out in this Amendment. She further commented that Sri Lanka’s constitution refers to “people” indicating probably one (Sinhala?) ethnic group whereas it is a country with different “peoples” in respect to its ethnic diversity who are discounted according to the 1978 constitution. Dr. Jackman who has been awarded honorary Doctor of Laws degrees by the Law Society of Upper Canada and by two other leading Universities in Ontario was the Keynote Speaker at this Conference largely attended by Canadian Tamils lawyers, academics and professionals.
Professor Matas who received his Law degrees from the University of Oxford was the second Plenary Speaker at the Conference. He served as a Law Clerk to the Chief Justice Supreme Court of Canada in 1968-69, and was special assistant to the Solicitor General of Canada in 1971-72. He served as a member of the Canadian delegation to the United Nations General Assembly, the Task Force on Immigration Practices & Procedures, the Canadian delegation to the United Nations Conference on an International Criminal Court 1998, the Canadian Delegation to the Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust and from 1997 until 2003.He illustrated that Sri Lanka has been tinkering with its constitution more than any other country in South Asia and the 6th Amendment is a clear violation by Sri Lanka of its obligations in international law under the Covenant to which it was a signatory. It is to be emphasized that while the 6th Amendment criminalizes advocacy for independent state in Sri Lanka, calling for the repeal of the 6th Amendment is not prohibited by this law.
The Sixth Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution criminalizes peaceful advocacy for an independent state. In highlighting this fact, the former U.S. Attorney General, Mr. Ramsey Clark together with Justice K.P. Sivasubramaniam, a former Judge of the High Court of Madras (India) , and Hon. Rudrakumaran Viswanathan, New York based Lawyer and the Prime Minister of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam, signed a communication to be filed with the UN Human Rights Committee with respect to the Sixth Amendment.This conference was organized with the view to gather all progressive legal luminaries and practicing lawyers from across the globe to lend their support and provide legal representation to the United Nations indicating that the Sixth Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution criminalizes peaceful advocacy for an independent state, by its people, and that we hold the strong view that this amendment is a violation of freedom of thought and conscience and freedom of speech guaranteed to citizens in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, in sections 18 and 19.
The Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) starting on October 24th, coinciding with this year’s UN day, had already appealed to all lawyers from the homeland, the Tamil Diaspora, Global Tamils, and all progressive lawyers across the globe to lend their support and provide legal representation in the communication to be filed by the TGTE with the UN Human Rights Committee with respect to the 6th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution. Attorney and human rights activist, Professor David Matas is coordinating this effort.It is also expected that the TGTE will be citing several internationally well known cases and argue with the UN that the 6th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution criminalizes peaceful advocacy for an independent state and that it is a violation of freedom of conscience and freedom of speech guaranteed in the international covenant on civil and political rights. The cases in point are as follows: 1) The European Court of Human Rights in the cases of Okçuoğlu v. Turkey, and Arslan v. Turkey 8 July 1999 held that convictions for disseminating separatist propaganda violated the guarantee of freedom of expression in the European Convention of Human Rights.
2) In the case of Erdoğdu and Incev.Turkey also July 8, 1999, the Court held that convictions for disseminating propaganda against the indivisibility of the state violated the guarantee of freedom of expression in the Convention.
3) The Court, in the case of Association Ekin v. France held on July 17, 2001 that the banning of a book advocating Basque separatism violated the guarantee of freedom of expression in the Convention.
4) In the case of IsakTepe v. Turkey the Court on October 21, 2008 held that a charge without a conviction for disseminating separatist propaganda violated the guarantee of freedom of expression in the Convention.The present call by the TGTE to Lawyers across the globe is reminiscent of the 1976 Trial-at-Bar proceedings against the Tamil leaders for distributing to the public copies of the Vaddukoddai Resolution. A record of 67 lawyers represented the Tamil leaders then, including such unparalleled Tamil legal luminaries late S.J.V. Chelvanayagam QC, Late G.G. Ponnampalam QC, and late M. Thiruchelvam QC.
It is good to recall here that Mr. Paul Paul Sieghart in his report entitled, Sri Lanka-A Mounting Tragedy of Errors - Report of a Mission to Sri Lanka in January 1984 on behalf of the International Commission of Jurists and its British Section commented that “the President Jayawardene can now hardly be surprised if his opponents, both within the country and outside, regard the 6th Amendment as nothing more than a piece of political chicanery, designed to move Sri Lanka even further towards a one party State..." Before the 6th Amendment was passed, the Tamil United Liberation Front was the largest opposition party in Parliament and with one stroke of the pen the infamous Sinhala President Jayawardene passed on the Tamil representation to the armed Tamil youth in August 1983.
The TGTE will also set up a website in which interested lawyers will be able to log their names, affiliation, and their country of residence in order to express their interest in joining this call for legal representation. Eelam Tamils are called upon to campaign for legal personnel in the homeland as well as around the world, Tamils and non-Tamils alike, to sign up with this timely project.
The freedom to express political opinions, to seek to persuade others of their merits, to seek to have them represented in Parliament, and thereafter seek Parliament to give effect to them, are all fundamental to democracy itself. These are precisely the freedoms which Article 25 (of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights) recognizes and guarantees; but in respect of advocacy for the establishment of an independent Tamil State in Sri Lanka these are the very principles that are openly trampled upon by the Sinhala Constitution of Sri Lanka.
Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam
March 13, 2017
March 11, 2017
The World Lost a Great Sports Writer and a Champion for Human Rights – Eelam Tamils Lost a Friend: TGTE
The Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) is deeply saddened by the demise of veteran journalist and human rights activist, Trevor Grant. Following a decades- long career and recognized as one of the finest sports writers of his time in Australia, Trevor Grant took a keen interest in the plight of Tamil refugees arriving in Australia at the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka in May 2009. He thus became a passionate advocate for refugee rights and a campaigner and spokesman with the Tamil Refugee Council, while also taking care of the emotional and material needs of asylum seekers and refugees through working in several fronts within the wider Australian community in his home State of Victoria.
Admirers of Trevor Grant have noted his commitment to principles and fair play and his determined stand in not letting authorities get away with power. It is, therefore, not surprising that he did not limit his concerns to the future of the disenfranchised and downtrodden refugees arriving in Australian shores. He also took a journalist’s interest and curiosity to dig into the causes for their fleeing from their native lands.
Trevor Grant exhibited his moral anger over the Genocide perpetrated by the Sri Lankan State on the hapless Tamil civilians in Mullivaaikaal in May 2009. This resulted in the publication in 2014 of his book ’Sri Lanka's Secrets: How the Rajapaksa Regime Gets Away with Murder’, a book which was described by analysts as ‘a determined and forceful portrayal of the nature of the Sri Lankan society and the corrupt regime that was running the country’. As part of his advocacy work, Trevor Grant has also been scathing in his criticism of successive Australian governments for their foreign policy obsession that was focused on turning back boats with refugees rather than on the human rights of the Tamil refugees.
As a brave and compassionate man, Trevor Grant felt the necessity to bring out the truth as best as he could even through the period of his recent illness. He used his pen and his sharp and powerful style of writing to bring out some of the ugly truths of the new ‘good governance’ regime of President Maithripala Sirisena in Sri Lanka, and the complicity of powerful members of the international community in allowing Sri Lanka ‘to keep its secrets’. Equally, he has been active in sharing details of the mesothelioma that has now taken him from us so prematurely. His honesty in telling us about the things that made him angry and those that made him sad through his illness is a measure of the caliber of the man he was.
It is tragic that the voice of Trevor Grant is no more with us at this time when new forms of nativism and populism are emerging in the West, contributing to a hostile environment for refugees fleeing persecution, violence, and enviornmental degradation, and seeking safe haven. The craft of journalism that he much loved and practiced is facing new challenges at this time as well. Let us find solace in Trevor’s own words, as stated in his book, ‘You can kill thousands of people, but you can never kill the human spirit’.
We, Tamils, shall remain in eternal gratitude for Trevor’s tireless work and unparalleled service to a vulnerable and oppressed people. Farewell, dear friend!
Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam TGTEhttp://world.einnews.com/pr_news/370342910/the-world-lost-a-great-sports-writer-and-a-champion-for-human-rights-eelam-tamils-lost-a-friend-tgte