Saturday, September 26, 2009

Massive ethnic cleansing is occurring; the Human Rights Council should act for the Tamils

UN Human Rights Council at its12th session in Geneva has concluded general debate on human rights situations that require the council’s attention. Representatives from several countries and NGOs participating in the debate expressed concern about the situation in camps for internally displaced persons in the north of Sri Lanka.

KAREN PARKER, of International Educational Development, said in her statement that there should be institutional reform and study of the root causes of conflicts as essential to transitional justice. In Sri Lanka, the Government resisted any purview of accountability, and was still prosecuting the war against the Tamil people. The only remedy for the latter was to submit to ever-harsher oppression and abuse. The international community had not looked into the underlying causes of the Sinala-Tamil war for many years. The people were in detention camps because they were Tamil, not because they were civilians. The whole issue of this war was because the Tamil people had sought their right to self-determination, among other rights, and the Government had refused them. Massive ethnic cleansing was occurring, and the Council should act for the Tamils.

Excerpts from some of their statements are as follows:

CHRISTIAN STROHAL (Austria) said that no country had a perfect human rights record and all needed to work constantly and self-critically to address their shortcomings and do better for the promotion and protection of human rights. This fact obliged countries to openly address situations that were of particularly concern to them in order to enter into a dialogue on how to improve the implementation of international standards on the ground. Austria pointed to the human rights situations in Iran, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Sudan, which were all situations where Austria failed to see the necessary political will and determination to improve the protection of human rights effectively.

JANICE MCGANN (Ireland) said that the situation in Sri Lanka was over but the peace there remained to be won as serious breaches of humanitarian and human rights law had taken place during that war.

PETER HERTEL RASMUSSEN (Denmark) said the Government of Sri Lanka should fully respect all human rights.

CHRISTINE GOY (Luxembourg) said that Luxembourg was equally concerned for the grave situation in Sri Lanka with regards to the freedom of expression. The situation of internally displaced persons and the allegations of violations of international law during the armed conflict had not yet been the subject of an independent international enquiry, and therefore required particular attention from the Council.

MURIEL BERSET (Switzerland) said that the evolution of the situation in Sri Lanka remained of concern to Switzerland which reiterated its appeal. The humanitarian actors needed to be able to conduct their work without constraints. The holding of hundreds of thousands of internally displaced peoples must end and their safe and voluntary prompt return enabled.

CAROLINE MILLAR (Australia) said Australia remained concerned that over 300,000 civilians remained displaced in camps in northern Sri Lanka.

REINHARD SCHWEPPE (Germany) said as for the situation in Sri Lanka, Germany stressed that reconciliation was strongly based on the full respect of human rights and urged the Sri Lanka Government to create conditions which ensured the safe and dignified return of all internally displaced persons.

WENDY HINTON (New Zealand) said In Sri Lanka, New Zealand remained concerned about the situation for those in camps for internally displaced persons. The Government should engage in a reconciliation process taking into account the legitimate aspirations of all minority groups.

GOTZON ONANDIA ZARRABE, of Franciscans International, said in Sri Lanka, internally displaced persons were not being resettled as promptly nor as safely as the Government promised to the Council, and they continued to suffer within the camps. Human rights defenders, journalists and anyone voicing a differing opinion on the Government’s current policies continued to be the target of violent attacks and harassment by both State and non-State actors.

LUKAS MACHON, of International Commission of Jurists, said in Sri Lanka, humanitarian aid had been continuously obstructed by Government limitations on access to internally displaced persons and the maintenance of internment camps through unjustifiable restrictions on freedom of movement.

MICHAEL ANTONY, of Asian Legal Resource Centre, said the Universal Periodic Review was clearly not a sufficient mechanism to address the worst human rights situations in an effective or timely manner. The Council was currently failing to effectively address situations of human rights crisis, such as those in Sri Lanka and Myanmar; this was not simply a failing of political will, but also one of approach. In Sri Lanka, the continuing grave situation of internally displaced persons was testimony to this.

KAREN PARKER, of International Educational Development, said there should be institutional reform and study of the root causes of conflicts as essential to transitional justice. In Sri Lanka, the Government resisted any purview of accountability, and was still prosecuting the war against the Tamil people. The only remedy for the latter was to submit to ever-harsher oppression and abuse. The international community had not looked into the underlying causes of the Sinala-Tamil war for many years. The people were in detention camps because they were Tamil, not because they were civilians. The whole issue of this war was because the Tamil people had sought their right to self-determination, among other rights, and the Government had refused them. Massive ethnic cleansing was occurring, and the Council should act for the Tamils. There should be a protective presence in Camp Ashraf as soon as possible. The Council should reflect its decision on Honduras in taking a new decision on Myanmar, where a similar situation prevailed.

SATHLYASANGARY ANANDASANGAREE of Lawyer’s Rights Watch Canada, said so far the Sri Lankan Government had failed to live up to its commitments to the international community. Over 300,000 Tamil civilians were still being held against their will in open prisons and their freedom of movement restricted; clean water, sanitation, food, medicine and the basic necessities of life were in dire need. The Government had also failed to allow independent observers access to the camps. The deteriorating situation in Sri Lanka desperately required the attention of the Council - the international community must demand the unconditional release of the civilians within the 180-day timeline proposed by the Government of Sri Lanka and supported by a majority of Council members.

NIMALKA FERNAND, of International Movement against all Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR), in a joint statement with Asian Forum for Human Rights; and Asian Legal Resource Centre, said with regard to the human rights situation in Sri Lanka, although the war had arguably ended, the threats to democracy as well as the human rights violations had not diminished. Further, over 250,000 people were living in camps as internally displaced persons and a leading human rights defender had received a death threat for his advocacy with the European Union. Against this backdrop, the International Movement Against all Forms of Discrimination and Racism wished to remind the members of the Council, the concerned Member States, the United Nations Secretary-General and other international institutions, of the various commitments and pledges given by the Government of Sri Lanka. It also called on the Sri Lankan Government to facilitate investigations of all allegations that had been revealed by various media institutions regarding extra-judicial killings. Finally, the International Movement Against all Forms of Discrimination and Racism wished to point out that the implementation of the 13th and 17th amendment was still outstanding and national legisla


  1. UN should call on Sri Lanka to open uo the war zone & internment camps to the UN, rights & aid groups & the media, & give the displaced Tamil population all medical & nutritional care plus the rights given all Sri Lanka citizens including full freedom of movement & the right to return to their homes. Urgently recommended. There’s a danger the Tamils’ displacement may be made permanent by the Sri Lanka govenment in order to solve the Tamil “problem”.

  2. Lalith

    Its funny to see comments from people who probably only heard of the country during this war against terrorism. whoever sees a connection with Gaza is truly out of his/her mind.

  3. Kandy

    Where were all the Human Rights campaigners when the LTTE attacked Sri Lankan villages and HACKED TO DEATH children, women, and the elderly.

    Where were all the Human Rights campaigners when the LTTE BLEW UP buses, trains and public building killing hundreds.

    Is human rights only when it suits you?

  4. Sri Lankan government’s fight against terrorism is highly questionable as they systematically killed thousands of innocent tamil civilians. There is no press freedom and even medical professionals are not allowed to function independently. Sri Lankan government silenced several journalists and continue to stop reporting ground reality in north east. UN should investigate war crimes and human right abuse by the Sri Lankan government even if China/India/Russia support facist blood thirsty government in Lanka.

  5. The supporters of the bloody lanka regime just falls short : to China / india / Russia add pakistan & israel. china & pak gave lanka the guns for this battle. As for the way this campaign of extermination’s been done, with media & meaningful aid kept off the blacked out scene, doesn’t the blueprint smack of israel’s Gaza genocide ? Is this the 21st century model for operations ?

    As for the UN, it’s been confined to its own reservation by lanka & her consortium of backers

  6. Lalith

    It’s a joke that people want human rights concerns only when a country is fighting against terrorism. No human rights organizations made an issue when LTTE killed thousands of innocent people. People who make issues are either:
    1. Hoping to seek “bogus political asylum” or continue if they have done in the past.
    2. Have been thrown out from south India 2 to 3 generations ago.
    3. Stake holders of Arms dealers.
    4. Fear of not getting their foreign donations etc

  7. Lalith

    Sri Lankan armed forces gave up their lives to bring peace although the political solution has not been implemented. There is reason to believe that because the west has not entered its final phase on its war on terror it finds excuses to try to make the other country who has experienced a more brutal and deadly insurgency pay for war crimes and human right abuses. BBC ,CNN and Al jazeera seem to be pretty naive to believe all this LTTE propaganda but it just shows where their sympathy lies for . They support the Tamil Tigers to make them not look bad. Clearly it is a war on propaganda I just want to know (from the people who think these war crimes and human rights law violations should be probed in Sri Lanka ) And tell me your proof on Tamil genocide. The world is being controlled by 11 nations although the international community consists of 183 countries. You write of things exactly on channels such as BBC which is controlled by exactly one of these 11 nations. NGO,who speak as though we are in a perfect world and that the US and its allies are the angles of this world?
    I won’t see reason why they wont be drawn up next on the UNHCR agenda.

  8. Thamil

    Any one afraid of Press has some thing big to hide and has done some thing very wrong.This senseless killing of 20000 people in a short time and filling the evidence with sand and running concentration camps are not open to the Press.
    How can it be.When they come for begging for money the donor nations and others should remember this well.
    Every one with a conscience should press for free access to UN,ICRC and Press .

  9. Thank you for this article which came at the time when the UN Human Rights Council betrayed the victims of large-scale human rights abuses of Sri Lankan government.

    If Sri Lankan governments (not just one government, all successive governments since its independence from the British) had any concern for human beings, whether Tamils or Sinhalese, this problem would not have come this far.

    LTTE came into picture only in the 80s when all the democratic voices of the Tamils and Sinhalese were silenced.

    Sri Lanka has not only killed several Tamils much before LTTE, it also wiped out the liberal Sinhalese in JVP through its cold-blooded murder. India helped Sri Lankan government even then. India and Sri Lanka should be both tried for the Human Rights abuses in the U.N. The current day JVP is nothing to do with the erstwhile JVP.

    India’s former PM Rajiv Gandhi was responsible for killing thousands of innocent Sikhs in New Delhi when his mother was killed in 1984. Rajiv was also responsible for all the Human Rights abuses by Indian army in Sri Lanka in 1987. Now his wife Soniya Gandhi is behind all the support the Sri Lankan government received from India. It is a shame, they both carry the last name ‘Gandhi’, even though they are neither related to Gandhi and nor eligible to even pronounce Gandhi’s name.

  10. Triple Gem

    Years have passed by where there was no organisation to speak for the rights of the Innocent who are caught up between pointless wars, and i do appreciate what you do. when 9/11 and September 11 happened there was a global out pour of concern and The superpowers declared wars or stepped their footing to a higher level in order to protect its citizens.
    what i cannot understand is the fact that, what did the west do when there were bombings every week by the LTTE? when they killed hundreds in the Colombo Railway station bombing, the world trade center, the central bank, when they killed Buddhist pilgrims in anuradhapura?
    would you stay behind and look at it and simply condemn it when it happens in your door step? the super powers went to war against different countries, and are yet to find so called weapons of mass destruction.
    what sri lanka did was to eliminate a ruthless terror group who didn’t have any value for human life.

    i am not pro sri lankan government, if given the place i would have conducted things differently and would have made amendments, but what i am happy about what the government has done is to defeat terrorism from the country. we have much bigger issues now, to give Tamils the autonomy and to to reiterate that all are sri lankans no matter what happens, that North and east has to see funding coming through for education, infrastructure and better living standards as their fellow citizens in the south and the west.

    i have lived through this war and all who live in Sri lanka will agree with me on the suffering and the pain which was cause by the has brought unprecedented destruction and sorrow for people of all races and religions.

    all i hope is that the innocent people who suffered the most in this war should not suffer anymore, i hope the international community and all those who value human life to help rebuild a nation which was drenched in blood and tears for 30 years.

  11. Peace
    Thank you for your article. It is because of good men and women like you that the earth is still revolving on its axis…

    This war in slanka would never have happened and there would not have been Tamil Tigers, if the GOSL was a true democracy and if they were true buddist.

    It is only a matter of time before China takes complete control of srilanka…so rajapesksa be prepared to serve your new masters…

  12. It is now clear that Sri Lanka has used the “war on terror” guise to uproot Tamils and carryout ethnic cleansing.

    Thank you for voicing support for Tamil civilains. Independent access to humanitarian aid workers and media is essential. This is is the only way to prevent catastrophic consequences for Tamil civilians in the internment camps.

    I kindly appeal to President Obama and legislators to act in this regard as UN has failed to provide leadership.

    Please urge UN to explore the status of surrendered LTTE cadres under international law, who are under Sri Lankan government custody at the present time. Many news reports also say several non fighting family members too were massacred.

  13. Kandy
    LTTE born in 1983 and do you know how many Tamils have been killed or Tamil women were raped or Tamils owned property were burned down and looted before 1983.
    LTTE was only reacting to what Sinhalese were doing to Tamils. Tamils crated LTTE as a last line of defense for Sinhalese ethnic cleansing.

  14. Vanni
    See the two faces of Tamil Genocide leaders
    Tamils’ struggle for freedom and equality
    What was Tamil's 9/11
    Hitler Reborn in SriLanka
    Rape of Tamil Women: Sri Lankan Army's Weapon of War
    Fresh claims over Tamil casualties
    Tamil Genocide

  15. Vanni,
    Thanks for your links and your kind visit
    I need a bit more of them (your links). Post new links in when you can.
    Vanni , you have you notice -Sinhalese Racists do not post on weekend ? Because Sri Lankan Government employees do not work on weekends.

  16. Hello all
    Kalin, Thamil, Kandy, Lalith and all the Anonymous welcome to my blog. Let’s discuss the situation in Sri Lanka and hopefully, we will come to a good conclusion for all parties involved!!!

  17. England beat Sri Lanka by 6 wickets in the Champions Trophy in Johannesburg !!!

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  20. Sri Lankan government evicted UN diplomat during Tamil Tiger endgame
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    Questions over Libyan Celebrations
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    Interview: Prof Rajiva Wijesinha
    UN patience wears thin in S Lanka
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    MDMK leader Vaiko slams Government for inaction on easing Lankan Tamils plight
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  21. Sri Lanka: Survivors must be allowed home
    Sri Lanka's top envoy hits out at EU as cut in £1bn trade concession looms
    UN extremely concerned over detention of staff members in Sri Lanka
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    Western inaction the building blocks of Chinese vassal state - Former Australian Diplomat

    US unhappy over Sri Lanka's 'modest' progress in settling Tamils
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  22. At UN, ICC's Map of Crimes Includes Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Zimbabwe, Unacted On by Victors' Justice
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    UN's Ban criticizes Sri Lanka over official's visa
    Unicef slams Sri Lanka's decision to expel official
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    Expulsion of UNICEF staff member in Sri Lanka brings dismay from UN
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  23. Footage reveals Sri Lanka camp conditions
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    War refugees kept in Sri Lanka "welfare camps"
    In Search of Refuge for Elderly IDPs
    SLA massacred civilians in bunkers - medical worker
    Sri Lanka: Access denied
    SRI LANKA: UNICEF defends spokesman after expulsion order
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    Sri Lanka accused of 'North Korean diplomacy'
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    Estate workers 'to continue protest'
    Humanitarian emergency looms in Sri Lanka camps
    Leaders never die - they just enter a mythical realm
    Sri Lanka Human Rights

    UN fights Sri Lanka expulsion order
    Sri Lanka orders Unicef official to leave
    UNICEF seeks clarification on visa cancellation for staffer
    ‘Four hundred babies born at Menik Farm every month’
    India (Delhi)'s complicity in Sri Lankan (SL) war crimes
    1034 unaccompanied children in Vavuniyaa camps - NCPA
    1200 persons over 60 years in the displaced camps are destitute.
    State Terrorism and Absolute Animalism (viewers discretion advised)

  24. Living Horror
    Sri Lanka’s concentration camps exemplify ethnic relations there.

    Three Journalists Held in Sri Lanka without Charge
    New Delhi to fund coal power in Sampur
    Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the European Union on the verdict against the Sri Lankan journalist
    Exposing the Deadly Truth in Sri Lanka
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    As Sri Lanka Expels UNICEF Spokesman for Camp Comments, Ban Meeting Moot
    Top UN official expelled
    Tough Govt. action follows remarks about plight of children in IDP camps
    Sri Lanka, China are tested friends: Sri Lankan president
    Arrest Sri Lankan state racism to meet norms of International governance - paper
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    Protest over Sri Lankan Tamils' living conditions
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    The Time of the Thugs
    Sri Lanka Tamils fear UK deportation
    Harper government's silence on Sri Lanka unacceptable
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    Three Journalists Held in Sri Lanka without Charge

  25. Two UN Views of Sri Lankan Killing Video, Holmes in Norway Putting Out Fires
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    UN call for S Lanka video probe
    The Sad Detritus of the Sri Lankan Civil War
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  26. Media Minister orders ITN and Rupavahini Chairmen to take custody of video tapes amidst Channel 4 controversy

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  28. Naked, bound and shot: how ‘Tamil rebel’ was killed by Sri Lankan soldier
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    2 Tamil political

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    Call for action on Tamils
    Dharna to save Tamil refugees,settle them in respective areas

  31. Thanks, friends for a very good job !!
    Some many lovely links!! I’m in Links’ Heaven :)

  32. tamil genocide

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  34. The last link was precious. I’m deeply grateful for that one

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  37. Mango please read your comment ....and reflect a bit and then, I hope you will come to a sensible conclusion, who is pathetic or not?

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