Untold history of Lankapuri(Sri Lanka) - Part 5
The real terrorists & war criminals of Sri Lanka since independence from the British
The Sinhala Buddhist nation masquerading as a multi ethnic 'civic' 'Sri Lankan' nation set about its task of assimilation and 'cleansing' the island of the Tamils, as a people, by
- depriving a section of Eelam Tamils of their citizenship,
- declaring the Sinhala flag as the national flag,
- colonising parts of the Tamil homeland with Sinhala people,
- imposing Sinhala as the official language,
- discriminating against Tamils students seeking University admission,
- depriving Tamil language speakers of employment in the public sector,
- dishonouring agreements entered into with the Tamil parliamentary political leadership,
- refusing to recognise constititutional safeguards against discrimination,
- later removing these constitutional safeguards altogether,
- giving to themselves an authocthonous Constitution with a foremost place for Buddhism,
- and changing the name of the island itself to the Sinhala Buddhist name of Sri Lanka - appropriately enough, on the 'tenth day of the waxing moon in the month of Vesak in the year two thousand five hundred and fifteen of the Buddhist Era'.
First terrorist activity in Sri Lanka by a Sinhala Monk
Solomon West Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaike (frequently referred to as S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike; January 8, 1899 – September 26, 1959) was the fourth Prime Minister of Ceylon (later Sri Lanka), serving from 1956 until his assassination by a Buddhist monk in 1959. It was the first recorded terror activity against the State.
Power hungry SWRD's anti-Tamil sentiments
On the sensitive issue of language, the party originally espoused the use of both Sinhala and Tamil as national languages, but in the mid-1950s it adopted a "Sinhala only" policy. The party asserts it is a champion of the Buddhist religion, which had been attacked by local Christians and Tamils alike during the colonial era. The SLFP has customarily relied upon the socially and politically influential Buddhist clergy, the sangha, to carry its message to the Sinhala villages. Since the 1950s, SLFP platforms have reflected the earlier organization's emphasis on appealing to the sentiments of the Sinhala masses in rural areas. To this basis has been added the anti-establishment appeal of non-revolutionary socialism.
Bandaranaike became prime minister after winning the 1956 elections in a landslide, at the head of a four-party coalition with a no-contest pact with the Lanka Sama Samaja Party and the Communist Party of Sri Lanka. As such, he made Sinhala the official language of the country, downgrading the official status of English and promoting socialist, non-Western policies that profoundly changed the course of Ceylonese politics in the following decades.
As prime minister, he took a neutralist stance in foreign affairs. He removed the British air bases at Katunayake and China Bay and the naval base at Trincomalee. Domestically, he was faced by economic problems and disputes over languages. He is also remembered by the minority Sri Lankan Tamils for his failure to use the state's resources to control the 1958 riots, leading to many deaths of Tamil people at the hands of mobs.
In the 3rd year in office he died on September 26, 1959 at the Merchant's Ward of the Colombo General Hospital due to wounds received after being shot by Talduwe Somarama, a Buddhist monk.
The day before, September 25, 1959 Somarama visited the Prime Minister at his home 'Tintagel', the private residence of Bandaranaike, in Rosmead Place, Colombo. Since he was a member of the clergy he was not searched for weapons and given free access to the Premier as he began his routine meetings with the public. When the monk's presence was intimated to him, Bandaranaike rose to greet him in the traditional Buddhist manner. The assassin then plucked out the revolver hidden in his robes and fired at the prostrate Prime Minister. The wounded PM was rushed to hospital but died the following day in spite of a six hour surgery by the country's most skilled surgeons.
Tamils' armed struggle
When the attempts at ethnic cleansing by Sinhala majority governments (within the confines of a single state) were resisted by the Tamil people by non violent means and parliamentary struggle, Sinhala governments resorted to violence in 1956, in 1958, in 1961, in 1974, and again in 1977 - a murderous violence directed to terrorise the Tamils into submission. Rule by a permanent ethnic majority within the confines of a single state was and is the dark side of democracy.
The inevitable rise of Tamil armed resistance to State terror was then met with enactment of laws which were an 'ugly blot on statute book of any civilised country', with arbitrary arrest and detention, torture, extra judicial killings and massacres, indiscriminate aerial bombardment and artillery shelling, wanton rape, and by genocide in 1983 and thereafter - together with press censorship, disinformation and murder of journalists. And the impunity granted to Sinhala armed forces, para military groups, goondas and Sinhala thugs, exposed the encouragement, support and direction given by successive Sri Lanka governments for the crimes committed against the Tamil people.
In 1987, at the invitation of Sri Lanka President J.R.Jayawardene, Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi sent the Indian Peace Keeping Force to subdue Tamil resistance to alien Sinhala rule.
"Over a period of about 20 days (commencing 9 October 1987) , the Indian Army's direct attack on LTTE positions, and defence from LTTE attacks, was coupled with the Indian Army's attack and storming of still unevacuated Jaffna - and many villages and settlements throughout the Peninsula - with widespread (insofar as territory), indiscriminate (insofar as targetting) and sustained (insofar as intensity) artillery shelling. Only less widespread, sustained and indiscriminate, there was air-strafing from helicopter as well. It was not "cross-fire" that incidentally killed thousands of civilians. The majority were killed unavoidably inside their houses and huts under shelling, or were shot at random by the roads and on the streets. A large number of people were "only" wounded - yet, many of them died in the absence of medical care, especially under the 24-hour curfew over a period of about one month, to mid-November. ....On top of everything else there has been the "unmilitary" or "unsoldiery" side of events :- wanton killings out of rage, reprisals against non-combatants, looting of homes of middle and wealthier classes, soldier's assault of women, a murderous attack on the main hospital victimising both patients and medical personnel, and killing of a number of unarmed and disarmed guerrilla suspects without trial according to the Law of War." Eduardo Marino, Report to International Alert - Some Observations and Conclusions following a trip to Jaffna Peninsula in November 1987
After the IPKF left in 1989 Sinhala President Ranasinghe Premadasa renewed the attacks on the people of Tamil Eelam with vigour in1990. In September 1990, Amnesty launched a 3 month campaign against state terror in Sri Lanka. During the period 1990 to 1994, Tamils were attacked in the East, in Kannapuram. 180 Tamils were butchered at Saththurukondan. Hundreds of Tamils 'Disappeared' after detention. Tamils in the North were bombed. Over 1,000 Tamil civilians were killed in the three years bombing of Jaffna. Jaffna Hospital and other Tamil civilian centres were bombed. Tamil detainees were systematically tortured.
Following upon Sinhala President Premadasa's terror, the new Sinhala President Chandrika Kumaratunga Bandaranaike continued the genocidal attack on the people of Tamil Eelam in the years 1995 to 2001. The genocidal intent of the Chandrika led Sri Lanka government was proved by
- the 'broad front steamrollering' attack launched on the Jaffna peninsula;
- the deliberation with which the Sri Lanka security forces have killed Tamil non combatants, shelled densely populated Tamil villages, destroyed Tamil homes and cultivable land, bombed Tamil schools and places of worship, and blocked the supply of essential food and medicine to the Tamil homeland;
- the persistent and frequent breaches by Sri Lanka authorities of the laws and regulations relating to arrest and detention and the unprecedented number of "disappearances";
- the systematic use of torture and rape as instruments of state terrorism;
- the mass graves;
- the use of Tamil civilians as human mine detectors and as forced labour;
- the murder of Tamil prisoners whilst in the custody of Sri Lanka authorities;
- the imposition of a press censorship which went beyond any needs of 'national security';
- by calculated resort to disinformation and war mongering;
- the public pronouncements of President Kumaratunga and her ministers, together with the 'victory' ceremony on establishing 'Sinhala rule' of Jaffna; and
- the failure of President Chandrika Kumaratunga and her government to condemn the gross and systematic violations of humanitarian law by the forces under their command and the impunity afforded to the offenders.
Thereafter the period 2002 to 2007 (under the dispensation of Sinhala President Chandrika Kumaratunga Bandaranaike & Sinhala Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe and later Sinhala President Mahinda Rajapaksa) witnessed Sri Lanka's undeclared war on the people of Tamil Eelam under the shadow of the 2002 cease fire agreement. It was an undeclared war which witnessed the massacres at Vaharai, Vankalai, Pessalai, Trincomalee, Vallipunam, Padahuthurai, Killinochchi and Muthur. It was an undeclared war which witnessed the murder by Sri Lankan state agencies of a growing number of Tamil intellectuals -A.Nadesan, J.Pararajasingham, D.Sivaram, C.Nehru, P.Ganeshamurthy, V.Vigneswaran, N.Raviraj, Sivamaharajah amongst others.
In 2005, upon his election as the new Sri Lanka President, Mahinda Rajapakse pursued the Sinhala assimilative agenda by reneging on the 2002 Oslo Declaration, and by refusing to recognise the existence of the Tamil homeland.
Finally, in January 2008, the Sri Lanka government unilaterally abrogated the ceasefire agreement which it had solemnly entered into in February 2002 and which agreement had received internationally recognition.
The genocidal intent of the President Rajapakse government was reflected in the war crimes committed by the Sri Lankan armed forces under the President's command and by the Sri Lanka para military. They have raped, murdered Tamil Parliamentarians, Tamil journalists, executed Tamil students with impunity, arbitrarily arrested and detained Tamil civilians, abducted Tamil refugee workers, orchestrated attacks on Tamil civilians and Tamil shops, bombed Tamil civilian population centres and displaced thousands of Tamils from their homes.
And after the Tamil armed resistance silenced its guns on the 17 May 2009, the Sri Lanka regime under Sinhala President Rajapaksa has continued its allotted task of ethnic cleansing with Tamils languishing in Sri Lankan death camps, and with the hidden massacre of tens of thousands of Tamil civilians.
-End of Part 5-
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The Record Speaks
The gross, consistent, and continuing violations of the rights of the Tamil people, by the Sri Lankan government and its agencies during the past several decades, include grave breaches of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Genocide Convention, and the Geneva Conventions relating to the humanitarian law of armed conflict.
These violations by Sri Lanka have been well documented by several human rights organisations and independent observers as well as by eye witnesses - and have been the subject of hundreds of statements and interventions at the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.
This publication brings together extracts from some of these reports - including those that cover Genocide '58, Genocide'83 , Rajiv Gandhi's War Crimes, the Genocidal War '95 to '01, Sri Lanka's Undeclared War on Eelam Tamils in the Shadow of a Ceasefire '02 to '07, Sri Lanka's Genocidal War '08 ...after Abrogation of the Ceasefire and after the Tamil armed resistance ended on 17 May 2009, Sri Lanka's Continued Ethnic Cleansing 2009...
Sinhala Prime Minister D.S.Senanayake
-Plantation Tamils deprived of citizenship - 1948/50
-Sinhala Lion Flag imposed as National Flag by majority will
-Sinhala colonisation of Tamil Homeland
Sinhala Prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike
-Enactment of Sinhala Only Law - 1956
-Tamil Parliamentarians attacked & 150 Tamils killed - 1956
-Genocide - Genocide '58
"What are we left with (in 1958)? A nation in ruins, some grim lessons which we cannot afford to forget and a momentous question: Have the Sinhalese and Tamils reached the parting of ways?" Tarzie Vittachi: Emergency 1958
Sinhala Prime Minister Srimavo Bandaranaike
-Sinhala army attacks Tamil Satyagrahis - 1961
-Tamils squeezed out of Higher Education - 1971
-Discrimination in Education in Sri Lanka - paper presented by Professor C Jeyaratnam Eliezer
-Name of Country changed from Ceylon to Sinhala Sri Lanka
& Buddhism given foremost place in Constitution - 1972
-Repeal of Constitutional safeguards for minorities - 1972
-Eleven Tamils killed at 4th International Tamil Conference in Jaffna - 1974
-Suppression of peaceful Tamil resistance -1972 to 1975
Sinhala Prime Minister/President J.R.Jayawardene
-Organised pogrom against Tamils - 1977
-Rise of the armed resistance of the Tamil people
-Tamil resistance met with Sri Lankan state terrorism - 1979
-Rigging of Jaffna DDC Elections - 4 June 1981
-V.Yogeswaran - the Story of an MP who Escaped Murder, 9 June 1981
-Destruction of Jaffna Public Library - 1981
-Continued attacks on Tamil civilians - July/August 1981
-Ethnic Conflict and Violence in Sri Lanka, Professor Virginia A. Leary - Report of an ICJ Mission to Sri Lanka in July-August 1981.
-Tamils Under Attack - September 1981
-Plantation Tamils Subjected To Terror
-Anti Tamil, anti Hindu offensive in Mullaitivu - 1982
-Violation of the right to free elections - 1982
-Interference with the judiciary and violation of the Rule of Law - 1982/83
-Tamils detained without charge or trial - 1979/83
-Sri Lanka Terrorism Act -'ugly blot on statute book of any civilised country'
-Torture - almost universal practise of Sri Lankan authorities says ICJ
-University of Peradeniya – May 1983: When Majesty Stoops to Folly - The Beginnings of Mass Mobilisation for the Tamil Militancy UTHR Special Report
Genocide - Genocide '83
"Clearly this was not a spontaneous upsurge of communal hatred among the Sinhala people.. It was a series of deliberate acts, executed in accordance with a concerted plan, conceived and organised well in advance. But who were the planners?... Communal riots in which Tamils are killed, maimed, robbed and rendered homeless are no longer isolated episodes; they are beginning to become a pernicious habit." Paul Sieghart Q.C. Report of a Mission to Sri Lanka on behalf of the International Commission of Jurists, March 1984
International Commission of Jurists - The Review, December 1983
"A government spokesman has denied that the destruction and killing of Tamils amounted to genocide. Under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, acts of murder committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group as such are considered as acts of genocide. The evidence points clearly to the conclusion that the violence of the Sinhala rioters on the Tamils amounted to acts of genocide."
-Chunnakam massacre and extra judicial killings of Tamils - 1984
-Events affecting the Judiciary - 1977 to 1984
-The plea that went unheeded - K.V.Nadarajah, August 1984
-Case Study of Torture, Sri Lanka Style - 1984
-Sri lanka Army terrorises another Jaffna school - November 1984
-Sinhala army murders Christian priests - 1984/85
-Arbitrary killings and torture - 1985
-Synopsis of extra judicial killings by an independent law group - 1979 to May 1985
-Sri Lanka Navy murders passengers on Kumithini - May 1985
-Amnesty Reports on 163 Extra Judicial Killings of Tamils in May 1985
-An Episode of Persecution - Paul Nallanayagam on Special Task Force and Extra Judicial Killings
-The Massacre in Tiriyai - the village that died on 15 June 1985
-52 Tamil villages in Trincomalee area razed to the ground in two months - September 1985
-Amnesty File on Sri Lanka Torture - October 1985
-Amnesty confronts Sri Lanka's denial of torture - December 1985
-Iruthayapuram Massacre: eye witness account - January 1986
-Akkaraipattu Massacre & Arbitrary killing of Tamils - 1986
-The Kokkadaicholai Massacre - 1987
-Security forces continue to kill, chain and incarcerate non combatant Tamils - 1987
-UN Commission on Human Rights calls for Red Cross intervention - 1987
-Indian army intervenes at invitation of Sri Lanka government - 1987
Rajiv Gandhi's War Crimes
"...as an Indian I feel ashamed that under the Indo Sri Lanka agreement, our forces are fighting with Tamils whom they went to protect..."I believe that the Indian Government had betrayed its own culture and ethics...The guilt, therefore, rests entirely on those who sent them to do this dastardly business of fighting in Sri Lanka against our Tamil brothers and sisters..." India's former Foreign Secretary, A.P.Venkateshwaran, speaking in London in April 1988
-Thileepan's fast - and Jaffna, September to November 1987
-Two Harrowing Weeks in Jaffna - September/October 1987 - An Eye Witness Account
-Velupillai Pirabakaran On the Arrrest & Death of Kumarappa, Pulendran and Others
-India Must Stop Repression of Tamils - N. Sanmugathasan
-Tamils Killed and Injured by Indian Army in Jaffna between 10 - 16 October, 1987
-The Agony of Urumpiray
-Diwali Day massacre at Jaffna General Hospital - November 1987
-People Face Starvation & Slow Death - Citizens Committee to Indian Prime Minister
Case of a Mother and Son murdered in cold blood by IPKF
-India's war in Jaffna - Eduardo Marino's Report to International Alert
-Indian army's war crimes - 1987
-Rape of Tamil women by Indian Army - 1987/88
-3000 Civilians Forced by IPK to Squat under Scorching Sun for Nine Hours - 1988
Annai Poopathy's fast for freedom - 1988
-Detention without Trial, Torture - 1988
-Torture & Reprisal attacks by India and Sri Lanka - 1989
-India's My Lai - the Valvettiturai Massacre - 1989
Sinhala President Ranasinghe Premadasa
-Sri Lanka's Deputy Defence Minister on the rule of law, 1990
-Kannapuram Massacre, July 1990
-Planned genocidal attack on Tamils in the East - 1990
-180 Tamils butchered at Saththurukondan - September 1990
-Hundreds of Tamils 'Disappear' after detention by Sri Lanka - 1990
-Sri Lanka bombs Jaffna Hospital & other Tamil civilian centres - 1990
-disinformation campaign by Sri Lanka government
-Amnesty launches 3 month campaign against Sri Lanka - 19 September 1990
-Thousands of Tamils extra judicially executed says Amnesty - 1990
-Tamil detainees systematically tortured -1991
-Kokaddicholai massacre - June 1991
-On the use of Governmental Aggression to Suppress a Minority's Quest for Self -Determination - Deanne Hodgin, July 1991
-Human Rights violations continue at 'an alarming rate' - 1992
-India's Act of Piracy, January 1993
-New spate of disappearances & extra judicial killings - 1993
-The torture of Arulapu Jude Arulrajah - October 1993
-Over 1,000 Tamil civilians killed in the three years bombing of Jaffna says British Refugee Council, July 1993
-200 Tamils civilians killed in air and navy attacks in 1993 alone, September 1993
"This is organised State terrorism" say Bishop D.J.Ambalavanar, Bishop Thomas Saundranayagam , and Nallai Thiru Sampandar Atheenam
-Churches and Temples Bombed, January 1994
-Sri Lanka airforce strafes Tamil villages
-Sri Lanka Airforce Bombs Schools in Jaffna
-Sri Lanka Airforce targets Tamil civilian population, March 1994
-Hospitals bombed in Tamil Homeland
Sinhala Prime Minister/President Chandrika Kumaratunga Bandaranaike
-Genocide Genocidal War - 1995 to 2001
-The genocidal intent of the Sri Lanka government is proved by -
-the 'broad front steamrollering' attack launched on the Jaffna peninsula;
-the deliberation with which the Sri Lanka security forces have killed Tamil non combatants, shelled densely populated Tamil villages, destroyed Tamil homes and cultivable land, bombed Tamil schools and places of worship, and blocked the supply of essential food and medicine to the Tamil homeland;
-the persistent and frequent breaches by Sri Lanka authorities of the laws and regulations relating to arrest and detention and the unprecedented number of "disappearances";
-the systematic use of torture and rape as instruments of state terrorism;
-the mass graves;
-the use of Tamil civilians as human mine detectors and as forced labour;
-the murder of Tamil prisoners whilst in the custody of Sri Lanka authorities;
-the imposition of a press censorship which went beyond any needs of 'national security'; by calculated resort to disinformation and war mongering;
-the public pronouncements of President Kumaratunga and her ministers, together with the 'victory' ceremony on establishing 'Sinhala rule' of Jaffna; and
-the failure of President Chandrika Kumaratunga and her government to condemn
-the gross and systematic violations of humanitarian law by the forces under their command and the impunity afforded to the offenders.
Sinhala President Chandrika Kumaratunga Bandaranaike & Sinhala Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe
-Sri Lanka's Undeclared War on Eelam Tamils in the Shadow of a Ceasefire - 2002 to 2007
" A strange low intensity war has been unleashed against us taking advantage of the conditions of peace effected by the ceasefire. Disarming the Tamil para-military groups is an obligation of the state under terms of the Ceasefire Agreement. Having failed to fulfil this crucial obligation the Sri Lanka state has been utilising the Tamil para-militaries as instruments of this subversive war against our liberation organisation. This is a serious war offence. This is similar to a treacherous act in which one stabs you in the back with one hand while pretending to embrace you with the other.." Velupillai Pirabaharan - Maaveerar Naal Address, 27 November 2005
Sinhala President Mahinda Rajapaksa
-Sri Lanka's Genocidal War '08 ...after Abrogation of the Ceasefire
-Sri Lanka's war crimes & lies exposed
UN images show Sri Lanka damage - BBC
UN satellite pictures obtained by the BBC appear to show shelling damage in a government-designated safe zone for civilians in north-eastern Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka admits attacks on 'no-fire' zone- Telegraph, UK.
David Miliband, the British foreign secretary, told Sri Lanka's defence secretary this week that army attacks were killing innocent civilians and later called for an investigation into allegations of war crimes against both sides.
The U.N. Security Council's shameful failures in Sri Lanka.
by Gareth Evans
As the whole world watches the continuing calamity in Sri Lanka, with thousands of civilians dead and tens of thousands more at risk as government forces try to quash the last of the insurgent Tamil Tigers, the United Nations Security Council remains mired in debates over whether or not to even discuss the issue, with a minority of member-states obstructing any collective action in response to the crisis, or even an official review.
[A mother and her child stand in a line with other Tamil civilians in a refugee camp located on the outskirts of the town of Vavuniya in northern Sri Lanka May 4, 2009.-Reuters pic]
As the Sri Lankan army continues its assault on what is left of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), tens of thousands of civilians remain trapped inside a shrinking conflict zone, at risk not only from the fighting but from starvation and lack of water and medical attention. Despite the government's April 27 announcement that the military had been ordered to cease using air attacks, artillery, and other heavy weapons against remaining LTTE-held areas, such attacks have carried on with increased intensity.
The trapped civilians are not the only ones at risk. More than 170,000 who have managed to escape the worst of the fighting remain imprisoned in desperately overcrowded camps and medical centers. Scores are reported to have died after fleeing the conflict zone, and the military has been overwhelmed by the number of civilians flooding into reception areas.
Moreover, the government's screening process for those fleeing the conflict zone is both highly chaotic and without any international monitoring presence. Given a not-insignificant history of government-linked disappearances, the safety of those suspected to have LTTE ties is also of grave concern.
The reality is that both the LTTE leadership -- a murderous bunch of extremists for whom no tears should be shed by Tamils in Sri Lanka or by anyone anywhere -- and the Colombo government have abdicated their responsibility to protect Sri Lankan civilians from mass-atrocity crimes.
And the tragedy is that they have now been joined in this abdication by the Security Council itself, notwithstanding the unanimous resolution of the General Assembly, meeting at the heads of government level in 2005, that it should take "timely and decisive" action when "national authorities are failing to protect their populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity."
To their credit, France, the United States, Britain, and a number of other proactive Security Council members have ratcheted up pressure in recent weeks. They have pushed -- albeit cautiously -- for the council to review Sri Lanka as an official agenda item, and carefully negotiated a series of informal remarks on behalf of the council.
But because of consistent obstruction by a handful of member states, the issue continues to be relegated to informal statements and unofficial meetings -- not in the Security Council chamber -- but in the basement of the U.N. building. Those signaling varying degrees of opposition to council engagement have been China, Russia, Libya, Vietnam and --most surprisingly and disappointingly, given its role in advocating human security generally and civilian protection specifically -- Japan. While the tacit approval of a military endgame against a terrorist group is understandable enough, looking the other way as tens of thousands of innocent civilians are imperiled in the process is indefensible.
Since February, four U.N. envoys have been dispatched on missions to Sri Lanka to assess the deteriorating humanitarian situation, the status of displaced persons, and to discuss political solutions to the current crisis with President Rajapaksa and senior government officials. Despite obtaining a series promises from Colombo, no U.N. needs-assessment team has been received, humanitarian access remains limited, and the shelling continues.
Well aware of the absence of determined and united international action -- by the council in particular -- the government has defaulted on its promises and paid mere lip service to calls for restraint, all the while pursuing its military onslaught. But Colombo's intense efforts to prevent a review by the Security Council, with much lobbying in member state capitals, show how much weight effective council action would have.
Immediate -- and official -- action by the Council should include securing a U.N. needs assessment, the lifting of all restrictions on the delivery of humanitarian aid, and open access for the ICRC and U.N. agencies to all reception and screening points. The council could also facilitate steps toward an internationally-supervised surrender of the LTTE and a lasting political settlement.
It must be made crystal clear to both the Tigers and the Sri Lankan government that they will be held accountable for their actions. The council could consider a U.N. commission of inquiry to examine the likelihood of war crimes committed by both sides.
The longer the Security Council delays taking action of this kind, the longer atrocities will continue. Its relative silence is a matter for growing shame with each passing day.
Gareth Evans is president of the International Crisis Group and author of The Responsibility to Protect: Ending Mass Atrocity Crimes Once and for All.
Sri Lanka's crimes against humanity
Sri Lanka has caused "untold suffering"- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
WASHINGTON, April 22 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka has caused "untold suffering" as it fights Tamil Tiger rebels in what is believed to be the endgame of Asia's longest-running war, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday.
"I think that the Sri Lankan government knows that the entire world is very disappointed that in its efforts to end what it sees as 25 years of conflict, it is causing such untold suffering," Clinton told lawmakers, referring to the thousands of civilians trapped in the war zone.
Lanka govt 'more at fault' than LTTE: India's Union home minister P.Chidambaram
SIVAGANGA (TN): Union home minister P Chidambaram on Thursday said both LTTE and Sri Lanka were not paying heed to India's request to end
hostilities but felt Colombo was "more at fault" as it thought military solution could end the strife.
Stating that the Sri Lankan Tamils issue was a humanitarian one and there was need to protect the lives of the people, he said India had asked the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE to stop the hostilities.
‘India made big mistake on Lanka’ - Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
India committed a big mistake in the Lankan issue and the war ravaged Tamil people are deeply traumatised and feel being let down, founder of the Art of Living, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said here on Wednesday.
Sri Sri Ravishankar, founder of the Art of Living, at a relief camp set up for the Internally Displaced People in Sri Lanka
Addressing reporters here after a three-day peace mission to Sri Lanka, Ravi Shankar said he visited the relief camps set up for the Internally Displaced People (IDP) by the Lankan government and distributed relief.
************************************************************************************* India unhappy over continued killing of Tamil civilians
"We are very unhappy at the continued killing of innocent Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka. These killings must stop," Mr. Mukherjee
The New York Times: Is the World Ignoring Sri Lanka’s Srebrenica?
By Robert Mackey
The silent horror of the war in Sri Lanka
by Arundhati Roy
It’s a colossal humanitarian tragedy. The world must step in. Now. Before it’s too late.
Crimes against children
This year alone more than thousand children killed, many thousands injured & many more orphaned.This will curse not only Mahinda but also the Sinhala nation who back this murderer for generations to come.
"But, the mother died while nursing the baby. We didn’t realise that the mother was dead. The baby was still breastfeeding..."
Day of Reckoning in Sri Lanka
By Robert Templer
A mass slaughter of civilians will take place Tuesday at noon. And everyone knows it.
VIDEO : Unlock the Camps in Sri Lanka - Campaign by Amnest International 2009
This video accompanies a global online action which allows thousands of people from all over the world to come together.
Public pressure on governments, political bodies, companies and intergovernmental groups can help to exert influence on them to remember the people whose rights are violated and to take action to stop it happening.
Watch the video and take action on Facebook, via the AICrisisApp. Add it to your profile. Share it with your Facebook friends and ask them to take action.
Hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the recent war in North East Sri Lanka and living in camps are being denied basic human rights including freedom of movement, said Amnesty International as Secretary General Irene Khan today launched the Unlock the Camps campaign at the start the organization's International Council Meeting, a gathering of international delegates in Turkey.
Two months after the end of the fighting, the Sri Lankan authorities are still not addressing properly the needs of the newly displaced. The camps are overcrowded and unsanitary.
In addition, these are effectively detention camps. They are run by the military and the camp residents are prevented from leaving them; they are denied basic legal safeguards. The government's claim that it needs to hold people to carry out screening is not a justifiable reason to detain civilians including entire families, the elderly and children, for an indefinite period.
Displaced people have even been prevented from talking to aid workers. With no independent monitors able to freely visit the camps, many people are unprotected and at risk from enforced disappearances, abductions, arbitrary arrest and sexual violence.
According to government figures, the fighting between the Sri Lankan army and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) displaced over 409,000 people. At least 280,000 are displaced from areas previously under LTTE control. A dramatic influx of people fleeing the fighting and crossing to government controlled areas took place from March 2009. The displaced people, including at least 50,000 children, are being accommodated in 41 camps spread over four districts. The majority of the displaced are in Vavuniya District where Manik Farm is the biggest camp.
When United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon visited some of the camps in May, he said: "I have travelled around the world and visited similar places, but this is by far the most appalling scene I have seen."
While some progress had been made on providing basic needs, much still needs to be done on the right to health, food, water, family reunion and access to relatives.
Amnesty International has also called on the government of Sri Lanka to end restrictions on liberty and freedom of movement; ensure that camps are of a truly civilian nature and administered by civilian authorities, rather than under military supervisions; and give immediate and full access to national and international organizations and observers, including aid agencies, in order to monitor the situation and provide a safeguard against human rights violations.
The Sri Lankan government said on 21 May that the displaced will be resettled in 180 days. But very few have so far been allowed to return to their homes or to join friends or family elsewhere, and people remaining in the camps are not at liberty to leave camp premises. Amnesty International is calling on the Sri Lanka government to end its policy of forcibly confining people to camps, which amounts to arbitrary detention. The Sri Lankan government must allow persons who require temporary shelter in these facilities to come and go freely.
With assistance and support from the international community and the involvement of displaced people themselves, the Sri Lankan government must set up clear benchmarks and timelines to ensure that displaced people can safely return home or find other durable solutions (such as relocation) as soon as possible.
As part of the Unlock the Camps campaign Amnesty International is posting a video on Facebook, calling on the Sri Lankan government to allow freedom of movement and on the Government of India to monitor the aid pledged to the Sri Lankan government and to press for the immediate transfer of the management of the displaced people camps from the military to the civilian authorities.
Sri Lanka still Continues its Ethnic Cleansing 2009 even after Tamil armed resistance ended.