The Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam welcomes the UN’s appointment of a panel of experts on accountability in the island of Sri Lanka

1 Jul

By Mr Visvanathan Rudrakumarn – Interim Chief Executive

The Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) applauds the UN’s move to appoint a panel to investigate the violations of human rights and humanitarian laws in the island of Sri Lanka. We regard the UN Secretary General’s decision to appoint the panel as a crucial step towards bringing justice to the victims of human rights abuses that occurred during the last months of the armed conflict in the island of Sri Lanka.

The large-scale violations of international human rights and humanitarian law during the final stages of the war led to the death of many thousands of innocent Tamils in northern Sri Lanka. The perpetrators of these violations have yet to be held accountable for their actions. The appointment of this independent panel rightly rejects the Government of Sri Lanka’s attempts to whitewash any breaches of international law by the Sri Lankan Armed Forces, including war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide and serves as a deterrent to other states to apply the so called Sri Lankan option for national conflicts.

We furthermore praise the UN’s consistency in refusing to be contended with the Sri Lankan Government’s flawed initiatives to silence international criticism of its own conduct of war by appointing a meaningless “Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission”. Investigation by the perpetrators or a commission appointed by the perpetrators is tantamount to the accused being the judge and the jury. Moreover, as correctly pointed out by various international human rights organisations and political analyst groups, the Sri Lankan Government’s record in baseless commissions is self-explanatory about its intent to deflect from its shortcomings in matters of human rights.

While the International Community failed to act adequately to prevent the death of thousands of innocent Tamils, we welcome this step forward towards a delayed justice for the thousands of victims of war. We recognise that accountability and justice are the first steps towards a solution to the decades long national conflict in the island, hence embrace the UN’s move as a crucial step forward on the long path of achieving justice.

We therefore offer our full cooperation to the UN’s panel of investigators and we are willing to provide a large number of first-hand evidence to aid the panel. Despite the panel’s declaration not to visit the country, we call the UN to independently and freely gather first-hand accounts about the atrocities committed from the very population of the Vanni region, who will be able to depict the reality of the massacres. It is of great importance to receive direct witness accounts in situations as volatile as Sri Lanka’s since the risk of distortion of sources and narrations runs high when relying on secondary sources. Any international fact finding mission based on the conduct of a third state loses its credibility if its work is purely relying on secondary sources. Should the panel change its stance, on the above recommendations, and directly visit the concerned areas, we would strongly advise the UN to guarantee the safety and anonymity of the witnesses in the wake of such investigations.

We urge an independent and transparent investigation into the numerous crimes committed against the Tamil population in the Vanni region by the Sri Lankan security forces. We further urge the UN panel to carefully study evidence that might lead to a finding of the crime of genocide. Paraphrasing the observation of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in its genocide verdict in connection with the killing of 7,826 men rendered on June 10, 2010 , “the scale and the nature of the operation, with the staggering number of killings, the systematic and organized manner it was carried out, the targeting and relentless pursuit of victims,” many political analysts, academics and human rights activists have already deemed that there is a case of genocide in Sri Lanka. These claims must be investigated by an independent and transparent expert-panel and considered within the context of over six decades of state-sponsored violence against Tamil people and the consequent loss of life and property the Tamils have suffered since 1956 and are still suffering. The substantial number of deaths needs to be contextualized with the initial size of the Tamil population of the island, in order to gain a just oversight of the impact governmental policies had on the Tamil people.

As the democratically elected international body of the Tamil community, we however raise our concerns about the announced length of the investigation. Whereas human rights organisations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the International Crisis Group needed months if not a whole year to submit and complete reports about the violations of human rights and humanitarian law in the final period of the war, the scheduled four months period of investigation by a small panel of three seems to be too short to guarantee a just evaluation of the large scale of crimes committed last year.

We therefore request the UN to extend its period of investigation to be able to draw an adequate report to a situation that is often called as the worst contemporary form of violation of international law.

We moreover emphasise that any process of accountability only becomes valuable and meaningful if the body of investigation is given the authority to act according to the results of its mission. Whilst we encourage the UN’s appointment of its panel, we like to point out the short comings of the mandate it is given. The consultative character of the panel does not only question the political will behind the appointment, but also risks to fail in vindicating the International Community’s responsibility to let justice and accountability prevail in grave cases of humanitarian catastrophes. We also urge the panel to eventually publish its findings in order to ensure complete transparency, to help launch a needed public discourse about the violations of international law that have taken place last year in the Vanni region of the island of Sri Lanka, and to undertake the necessary remedial measures to ensure that this shall never happen again.

Finally, we hope the findings of the panel will lead to actions being taken against those responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of Tamils and that justice will eventually prevail for the thousands we mourn.

We look forward to supporting your efforts.

Visvanathan Rudrakumarn
Interim Chief Executive


One Response to “The Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam welcomes the UN’s appointment of a panel of experts on accountability in the island of Sri Lanka”

  1. Sri Lankan June 2, 2011 at 6:23 am #

    Here are some names of the ‘so called tamil traitors’ butchered by the tamil terrorists in Sri Lanka – Thanks to the Dollars and Sterling Pounds contributed by the LTTE diaspora … !!!!

    1) Anthonimuttu Government Agent, Baticaloa
    2) S S Jeganathan Assistant Government Agent, Baticaloa
    3) Sinnadurai Assistant Government Agent, Trincomalee
    4) M E Kandasamy Principal, Palugamam Maha Vidyalaya
    5) S Siththamparanathan Principal, Vigneswara Vidyalaya, Trincomalee
    6) S Wijayanadan Distric Secretary, Ceylon Communist Party
    7) Velmurugu Master TULF Organiser and Citizens Committee Member, Kalmunai
    8) Rajjshankar President, Citizens Committee, Tennamarachchi
    9) S Sambandamoorthy Ex TULF Chairman, District Development Council, Batticaloa
    10) V M Panchalingam Government Agent, Jaffna
    11) A T Duraiyappah SLFP Mayor for Jaffna
    12) A Thiagarajah Ex ACTC MP for Vadokoddai who later joined the UNP
    13) K T Pulendran UNP Organiser for Vavunia
    14) A J Rajasooriar UNP Organiser in Jaffna
    15) Mala Ramachandran UNP MMC for Baticaloa
    16) Gnanachandiram Ex District Judge, Point Pedro and Government Agent, Mullativu
    17) C E anandarajah Principal, St Jones College, Jaffna
    18) B K Thambipillai President, Citizens Cimmittee
    19) V Dharmalingam Ex TULF MP for Manipay and Father of D Siddharthan, Leader of PLOTE
    20) Alakasunderam Ex TULF MP for Kopay
    21) P Kirubakaran Primary Court Judge
    22) Kathiramalai Sarvodaya Leader
    23) Vignarajah Assistant Government Agent, Samanturai
    24) K Pulendran Assistant Government Agent, Kopay
    25) A Amirthalingam TULF Leader and National List MP (see details)
    26) V Yogeshwaran Ex TULF MP for Jaffna
    27) Dr (Mrs) Rajini Thiranagama Lecturer in Anatomy at the Jaffna University and co-author of the “Broken Palmyrah” (21 Sptember 1989)
    28) Ganeshalingam Ex EPRLF Provincial Minister for North and East
    29) Sam Thambimuttu EPRLF MP
    30) Mrs Thambimuttu Wife of EPRLF MP
    31) V Yogasangari EPRLF MP in Madras
    32) A Thangadurai TULF MP for Trincomalee
    33) Mrs Sarojini Yogeshwaran TULF Mayoress for Jaffna
    34) Pon Sivapalan TULF Mayor of Jaffna
    35) Canagasabai Rajathurai EPDF Member for Jaffna
    36) Veerahaththy Gunaratnam PLOTE member of the Pachchilaipalli Pradheshiya Sabha (PS) in Jaffna (5 May 1999)
    37) Razick, Supremo of the EPRLF’s armed wing (30 May 1999)
    38) Dr Neelan Thiruchelvam Leader of TULF (29 July 1999)
    39) N. Manickathasan Vice President of PLOTE (Tamil Political party working with the Sri Lankan Government)
    40) Kumar Ponnambalam President of All Ceylon Tamil Congress (5 Jan 2000) Refer to SPUR Media Release
    41) Vadivelu Vijeyaratnam Point Pedro Urban Council Chairman (14 Jan 2000)
    42) Anton Sivalingam EPDP’s Municipal Council members in Jaffna (1 March 2000)
    43) Kanapathipillai Navaratnarajah TELO member of Arayampathi, Batticaloa – on 7 June 2000
    44) Rajan Sathiyamoorthy Tamil National Alliance parliamentary candidate killed by LTTE Tamil Tiger Terrorists on 30 March 2004.
    45) Hon. Lakshman Kadirgamar (Foreign Minister in Sri Lanka) 12 August 2005
    46) Kethishwaran Loganathan (54) Deputy Secretary General of Sri Lanka Peace Secratariat, SCOOP (12 August 2006)
    47) T Maheshwaran Former Minister shot dead on 01 January 2008 (New Years day)
    48) K Sivanesan Jaffna TNA MP K. Sivanesan killed in an accidental explosion of a LTTE Tamil Tiger Claymore mine in the LTTE held area (05 March 2008).
    49) Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle LTTE Tamil Tiger Terrorist’s Suicide Bomb Attack killing Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle and 12 civilians (06 April 2008)
    50) Rev. Father M. X. Karunaratnam, Chairman of the North East Secretariat on Human Rights (NESOHR), a Catholic priest attached to the Jaffna diocese (20 April 2008)
    51) Ms. Maheswary Velautham Attorney –at-law and advisor to the Minister of Social Services and Social Welfare, Douglas Devananda shot dead by the LTTE Tamil Taiger terrorists on 13 May 2008 (Details in EPDP).


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