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Home > Struggle for Tamil Eelam > Sri Lanka Accused at United Nations > UN Sub Commission 1998
UN SUB COMMISSION ON PREVENTION
OF DISCRIMINATION AND PROTECTION OF MINORITIES
50TH SESSIONS: AUGUST 1998
- Urgent Action Appeal forwarded by the Asian Human Rights Commission
Sri Lanka: Investigate Crimes Against Humanity - August 1998
AHRC Sl\UA980620 [email protected]
10 August 1998: The International Federation of Tamils appeals to the United Nations Sub Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities that upon the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court becoming law, the independent prosecutor of the Court is called upon to investigate the crimes against humanity, committed by the Sri Lanka authorities and to bring the Sri Lanka war criminals to justice.
The International Federation of Tamils urges that in the meantime, the Sub Commission brings to an end the suffering of the Tamil people and the continuing genocide, by calling for the immediate withdrawal of the Sri Lanka armed forces from the occupied areas of Tamil Eelam.
'Peace and Justice' are inseparably interlinked. The International Federation of Tamils urges the Sub Commission to recognise that the building blocks for peace are the building blocks of justice and justice demands
1. that the genocidal war against the people of Tamil Eelam be ended
2. that the Sri Lanka war criminals be brought to justice
3. that the Sri Lanka army withdraw from the Tamil homeland
4. that the Tamil Eelam struggle for freedom be recognised; and
5. that the people of Tamil Eelam and the people of Sri Lanka together
structure a polity where the two peoples may associate with each other in
equality and in freedom.
It is legitimisation, recognition and negotiation that will pave the way for a stable peace in the island of Sri Lanka.
Fifteen years ago, in 1983, the Sub-Commission expressed its 'deep concern' about the violence against the Tamil people and requested 'the Secretary General to invite the Government of Sri Lanka to submit information on the recent communal violence in Sri Lanka, including its efforts to investigate the incidents and to promote national harmony', and recommended 'to the Commission on Human rights that it should examine the situation in Sri Lanka in the light of all available information.'
During the succeeding 15 years, the violence directed against the Tamil people has progressively increased and has assumed genocidal proportions. The evidence of the genocidal intent of the Sri Lanka government is as follows:
- the attack launched on the Jaffna peninsula in 1995/96;
- 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:
- the persistent and frequent breaches by Sri Lanka authorities of the laws and regulations relating to arrest and detention;
- the systematic use of torture and rape as instruments of state terrorism;
- 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 unprecedented number of 'disappearances' and reports of mass graves in Jaffna
- the failure of the Sri Lankan government to condemn the gross and systematic violations of humanitarian law by the forces under their command and the impunity afforded to the offenders.
INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW
Sri Lankan government has refusal to acknowledge the applicability of the Geneva Conventions to the conflict and has sought to categorise the lawful armed resistance of the Tamil people as an 'internal disturbance'. It has refused to take prisoners of war.
Thus, Sri Lanka security forces have committed gross violations of the international humanitarian law which recognizes that:
- the civilian population shall enjoy general protection against the dangers arising from military operations;
- the civilian population shall not be the object of attack;
- acts or threats of violence the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population shall be prohibited;
- starvation of civilians as a method of combat shall be prohibited;
- hospitals shall not be object of attack;
- it shall be prohibited to attack, or destroy objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population, such as food stuffs, crops, livestock, drinking water installations and supplies and irrigation works; and
- it shall be prohibited to commit any acts of hostility against places of worship.
Write letters, fax and email urging the to the UN Human Right Commissions and the Sri Lankan government;
- to investigate the crimes against humanity, committed by the Sri Lanka authorities and to bring the Sri Lanka war criminals to justice
- to urge the Sri Lankan government to acknowledge the applicability of the Geneva Conventions and
- to urge the Sri Lankan government to recognize international humanitarian law.
SEND APPEALS TO:
Ms. Mary Robinson
United Nation High Comissioner for Human Rights
Palais des Nations
1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Email: [email protected]
United Nations Sub Commission on
Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities,
Palais des Nations, 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland.
Working Group on Minorities: Secretary: Ms. C. Thompson
Email: [email protected]
Mr. A. de Zayas
Secretary of the Committee
Human Rights Committe
Fax: 41-22- 917 0099
President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga
Presidential Residence, "Temple Trees", Colombo 3,
Faxes: + 94 1 33 37 03
Diplomatic representatives of Sri Lanka accredited to your country
Asian Human Rights Commission | Tel: +(852)-2698-6339
Unit D, 7 Floor, 16 Argyle Str. | Fax:+(852)-2698-6367
Mongkok Commercial Centre | Email: [email protected]
Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR | Web: http://www.ahrchk.net/