INDICTMENT AGAINST SRI LANKA
The Charge is Ethnic Cleansing
Sri Lanka's Undeclared War on Eelam Tamils
...in the Shadow of the Ceasefire: 2002 - 2007
Hundreds of Christian Churches vandalised in Sri Lanka
Tamil Centre for Human Rights, Press Release, 11 February 2004:
Gautama Buddha who at birth was known as
Siddharthar, was the founder of Buddhism. He was born in the year
563 B.C. in the village of Lumbini near Kapila Vastu, within the
present borders of Nepal.
At the age of 29 Gautama Buddha gave up a life of luxury,
renouncing the world after seeing the human suffering around him.
The four noble truths of Gautama Buddha are: “There is suffering and
misery in life’’, “The cause of this suffering and misery is
desire’’, “Suffering and misery can be removed by removing desire’’
and “Desire can be removed by following the eight fold path’’. The
Noble Eight Fold Path consists of: right views, right thoughts,
right speech, right actions, right livelihood, right efforts, right
mindfulness and right meditation.
Unfortunately in Sri Lanka,
a country that prides itself as the custodian of Buddhism, Buddha’s
preaching is being abused by some of its followers! Power hungry
politicians and Buddhist monks who are the “king-makers” in Sri
Lanka, are influencing Buddhist followers to go against the other
Since independence in 1948, the Sinhala numerical
majority in (Ceylon) Sri Lanka, has claimed this island as a
Buddhist country. In 1972, in Sri Lanka, Buddhism was
constitutionally (Chapter II, 6) given a “foremost place”.
Accordingly it shall be the duty of the State to protect and foster
Buddhism’’, even though the constitution, “(assures) to all
religions the rights granted by section 18(l) (d)’’.
recent past, attacks and vandalism against Christian Churches in Sri
Lanka have intensified. Christian Churches have been stoned, burned
and vandalised by mobs led by Buddhist monks. Also Pastors’
residences has been attacked and worshippers have been beaten. In
one incident in Kotadeniyawa, attackers attempted to rape four women
In many parts of Sri Lanka, anti-Christian
demonstrations have been organised by Buddhist Monks and handbills
against the Christian Churches have been distributed. Demonstrators
have issued an ultimatum to the Churches to cease their activities
in those areas.
TCHR has collected information on 89 attacks and arson attacks
on Christian Churches in Sri Lanka. (List attached) These attacks on
Christian Churches and worshippers were well organised by
politicised Buddhist Monks. The Police and other government security
forces are turning a blind eye. There have been occasions when
attacks have even taken place in the presence of Police and Army
personnel. There have been very few incidents where the Police have
taken action against mobs and Buddhist Monks.
Christian Churches and
Hindu Temples are nothing new in Sri Lanka. They have been
taking place for decades.
According to the statistics
collected by TCHR, during the twenty years of bloody war in the
North-East, 2076 Hindu Temples and 299 Christian churches in the
http://www.tchr.net/religion.html ) were damaged and destroyed
in Aerial bombings and shelling. Also many killings and massacres
have taken place in Churches, Temples and Schools.
deplorable that these attacks and arson attacks on Christian
Churches and Temples have neither been investigated, nor even
recorded, in the government books !
In vivid comparison,
Buddhism and Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka are expanding with the
full backing of the State. New Buddhist temples are being erected
not only on government-owned land but also on privately-owned land!
In war-ravaged Jaffna for example, which is now under army rule, the
only reconstruction done was to renovate the sole Buddhist vihare in
We, the TCHR along with several other international
Human rights organisations, strongly condemn the attacks on
Christian Churches and other religious shrines in Sri Lanka. We
appeal to the Government of Sri Lanka to take action to halt these
attacks and to bring the perpetuators to justice.
to the UN Special Rapporteur on Religious Intolerance to take
cognisance of the above facts and to take immediate action on this
urgent and serious matter.
Please send your protests to the
Thank you. Mr. Abdelfattah Amor Petitions Team Special
Rapporteur on Religious Intolerance
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights - OHCHR
United Nations Geneva 10, SWIZERLAND 1211 Geneva 10,