TNA says genocide acts did take place

tna 2The Tamil National Alliance (TNA), in a special statement today, has noted that acts specified in article 2 of the Genocide Convention of 1948 have undeniably been perpetrated on the Tamil people by functionaries of the Sri Lankan state over several decades.

The press release went on note that the mandate of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL) required “an investigation of all international crimes; war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, where relevant.”

The TNA however said it would be improper and inappropriate for the Northern Provincial Council or any other political body to make pronouncements in the form of resolutions or otherwise on matters of evidence and law currently being considered by the UN led investigation team and that any such pronouncement would undermine the due regard, respect and right to independent functioning properly due to the investigations team.

The TNA said it reached the conclusion and decided to make the announcement after having sought and obtained legal advice concerning a draft resolution proposed by M.K. Sivajilingam, a TNA Member of the Northern Provincial Council.

The TNA explained that while there are several sociological and political definitions of ‘genocide’, the legal definition is found in article 2 of the Genocide Convention, and other international instruments, where relevant.

In its statement, the TNA said that its members, the Tamil People, all citizens of Sri Lanka and members of the global community have a right – which right is frequently exercised – to understand the treatment of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka through the prism of any of these expanded socio-political definitions of their preference.

The TNA said that the Secretary General’s Panel of Experts on Sri Lanka did not find credible allegations of the crime of genocide, presumably because there was no or insufficient evidence of the dolus specialis (specific mental element) of the crime of genocide within the temporal scope of their mandate.

However it also noted that the Panel of Experts did find credible allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by both sides, including inter alia, crimes against humanity of extermination and persecution committed by government functionaries.

The TNA says there appears to be no hierarchy of crimes in international law, and victims of war crimes and crimes against humanity are no less entitled to relief and protection than victims of the crime of genocide.

The TNA said there must be full investigation of all elements of all international crimes, in the event credible allegations of such crimes and elements emerge.

It also noted that the mandate of the OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka (OSIL) is temporally broader than that of the Panel of Experts, and that OSIL’s mandate requires an investigation of all international crimes; war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, where relevant.

Press Release 

TNA Position on Proposed Draft NPC Resolution

This note has been prepared pursuant to the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) having sought and obtained legal advice concerning a draft resolution proposed by Mr. Sivajilingam, Member of the Northern Provincial Council. The TNA’s considered position is as follows:

1. That while there are several sociological and political definitions of ‘genocide’, the legal definition is found in article 2 of the Genocide Convention, and other international instruments, where relevant.

2. That members of TNA, the Tamil People, all citizens of Sri Lanka and members of the global community have a right – which right is frequently exercised – to understand the treatment of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka through the prism of any of these expanded socio-political definitions of their preference.

3. That the definition of genocide relevant to investigations of alleged international crimes is the legal definition of the Genocide Convention and/or relevant international instruments.

4. That acts specified in article 2 of the Genocide Convention of 1948 have undeniably been perpetrated on the Tamil people by functionaries of the Sri Lankan state over several decades.

5. That the Secretary General’s Panel of Experts on Sri Lanka did not find credible allegations of the crime of genocide, presumably because there was no or insufficient evidence of the dolus specialis (specific mental element) of the crime of genocide within the temporal scope of their mandate.

6. That the Panel of Experts did find credible allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by both sides, including inter alia, crimes against humanity of extermination and persecution committed by government functionaries.

7. That there appears to be no hierarchy of crimes in international law, and victims of war crimes and crimes against humanity are no less entitled to relief and protection than victims of the crime of genocide.

8. That there must be full investigation of all elements of all international crimes, in the event credible allegations of such crimes and elements emerge.

9. That the mandate of the OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka (OSIL) is temporally broader than that of the Panel of Experts, and that OSIL’s mandate requires an investigation of all international crimes; war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, where relevant.

10. That it would be improper and inappropriate for the Northern Provincial Council or any other political body to make pronouncements in the form of resolutions or otherwise on matters of evidence and law currently being considered by the OSIL.

11. That any such pronouncement would undermine the due regard, respect and right to independent functioning properly due to the OSIL.

12. That the TNA will continue to encourage members of the public to make submissions on matters of law and evidence to the OSIL through proper and appropriate channels.

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