Investigate War Crimes In Sri Lanka
24 April, 2011
To: Ban Ki Moon, Secretary General, United Nations
We demand that an independent inquiry be held into the role of the Indian government in providing logistical, financial and political support to the Sri Lankan armed forces in carrying out war crimes against Tamil populations of this island country.
Such an inquiry has become imperative in the light of the recent UN advisory panel report that has found credible allegations of civilian deaths, which it blamed mostly on the Mahinda Rajapakse government. According to the U.N. report tens of thousands of civilians were killed and war crimes committed at the end of Sri Lanka's war in May 2009 against Tamil separatist militants.
The UN advisory panel has urged the prosecution of those responsible for violations in the last stage of a quarter-century war with ethnic Tamil separatists. In the interests of ending impunity in South Asia, the scope of prosecution for war crimes in Sri Lanka should be extended to those in the Indian administration who facilitated these heinous acts against humanity.
The UN panel report marks the first time after the massacre of Sri Lankan Tamils that an internationally recognized legal body has taken note of the genocidal way in which the war was conducted by the Sri Lankan government. The civil society organised Permanent People’s Tribunal too, in a hearing at Dublin in January 2010, found conclusive evidence of wanton atrocities committed by the Sri Lankan state on Tamil civilians and combatants alike.
These included usage of banned chemical weapons, cluster bombs, rampant torture, summary executions and sexual abuse of captured women. The Tribunal also concluded that the charges of genocide require investigation considering evidences of systemic violence against the Tamils, even after the war was said to be over, strongly supported the veracity of this charge.
Predictably, Sri Lankan officials have dismissed the UN advisory panel report and the government of Mahinda Rajapakse is busy stirring up fascist and nationalist sentiments against the world body. The regime has also sought the help of China and Russia, countries that have a consistent record of human rights violations themselves, to defend them internationally against prosecution.
It is matter of deep shame that India, a country that calls itself the ‘world’s largest democracy’ should also collaborate globally in the defence of the Sri Lankan war criminals. We feel, this is only due to the complicity of the Indian establishment itself in facilitating war crimes committed against Tamil civilians in that country.
We further demand:
1) That there should be an independent international enquiry into charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide against the Sri Lankan state;
2) That those in the Sri Lankan Armed Forces and establishment found guilty should be punished as per international law and in proportion to the gravity of their crimes;
3) That the UN report should not be used as an excuse to orchestrate any form of violence against the Tamils in Sri Lanka;
4) That a White Paper be presented in the Indian Parliament on the role of Indian intelligence, armed forces, politicians and bureaucracy in the Sri Lankan war crimes.
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