A million signature campaign in fifteen languages was launched to urge the United Nations to refer Sri Lanka to the International Criminal Court for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed against Tamils by the Sri Lankan State.
Former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark formally launched the campaign by signing the appeal outside the UN headquarters in New York. “The suffering of the Tamils should come to an end, and Tamils should get justice.”
The Petition states:
Refer Sri Lanka to International Criminal Court
We, the undersigned people from around the world, urge the United Nations to refer Sri Lanka to the International Criminal Court (ICC) or to establish a similar credible International Judicial Mechanism for investigation and prosecution of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed against the Tamil people by the Sri Lankan State.
According to the UN Internal Review Report on Sri Lanka, there were “credible estimates” of civilian casualties of 70,000 Tamils during the first six months in 2009. As the former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pointed out, Sri Lanka is one of the notable countries, along with Bosnia, Burma, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan and elsewhere, where rape was used as a tactic of war.
We firmly believe that neither a domestic mechanism nor a hybrid mechanism will mete out justice to the Tamil people. The call by the new Sri Lankan government for a domestic or hybrid mechanism to replace any international judicial process is an attempt to deflect the call for referral to the ICC and to delay other meaningful actions on accountability. Efforts to establish a domestic Truth and Reconciliation Commission isanother diversionary tactic to protect those who committed serious crimes against Tamils.
The current situation in Sri Lanka constitutes an ongoing “threat to the peace” under Chapter 7 Article 39 of the UN Charter, because there has been absolutely no accountability for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.
The Petition is available in Tamil, Sinhala, English, Russian, Chinese, Malay, Bangla, Urdu, Hindi, French, German, Arabic, Swahili, Turkic and Spanish and a website has been created for the purpose of collecting signatures.