The signature campaign 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, has reached over 200,000 signatures as of June 22nd, said Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE).
In addition to the on-line signature campaign, numerous events are taking place in different countries around the world to collect signatures.
Volunteers are going house to house to collect signatures. Additionally they collect signatures outside places of worship, in shopping malls, sports meets and other public events. Signatures are also being collected at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
This signature campaign was formally launched by a Former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark outside the UN headquarters in New York. During the inauguration he said “The suffering of the Tamils should come to an end, and Tamils should get justice.”
1) The petition observed that the presence of the former Commander of the Sri Lankan military in the present Government, and the potential culpability of the new President, Mr. Sirisena, will not be conducive to meting out justice in any manner other than through a referral to the International Criminal Court.
2) The appeal highlight the fact that “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.”
The Petition Further States:
1) 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.
2) 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 is another diversionary tactic to protect those who committed serious crimes against Tamils.
3) It is emphasized in the Petition attached to the Campaign that the crimes against the Tamils on the island of Sri Lanka were perpetrated by the State itself. The petition also pointed out, as observed by the UN Panel of Experts Report, that there existed no political environment to mete out justice for Tamils.
4) It also noted that the promise made by the Sri Lankan Ambassador to the UN following the 1983 racial pogrom – that they will hold an investigation – has never been kept.
The Petition is available in Tamil, Sinhala, English, Russian, Chinese, Malay, Bangla, Urdu, Hindi, French, German, Arabic, Swahili, Turkish and Spanish.
TGTE is organizing a Panel at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on June 25th titled: “Accountability for Sri Lanka: Can Hybrid Mechanism Work?
Last week a panel was held by TGTE at the UN Human Rights Council titled: “Impending High Commissioner’s Report on Sri Lanka: Comparing North Korea & Sudan recommendations for mass atrocities.”
ABOUT TRANSNATIONAL GOVERNMENT OF TAMIL EELAM (TGTE):
Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE)* is a democratically elected Government of a million strong Tamils (from the island of Sri Lanka) living in several countries.
TGTE held internationally supervised elections among Tamils around the world to elect 132 Members of Parliament. It has a bicameral legislature and a Cabinet. It held one of its Parliamentary sittings in the British Parliament.
TGTE is leading a campaign to realize Tamils’ political aspirations through peaceful, democratic and diplomatic means. The Constitution of the TGTE mandates that it should realize its political objective only through peaceful means.
The Prime Minister of TGTE is Mr. Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran, a New York based lawyer.(einnews)