IT'S TIME TO RAMP UP THE PRESSURE FOR JUSTICE IN SRI LANKA!
In its recent 40th Anniversary meeting, the UN Human Rights Council(UNHRC) has allowed Sri Lanka two more years to come up with explanations for the human rights violations that happened during the final stages of the Sri Lankan war (2009). In the meantime, the Sri Lankan government has issued a dual-pronged statement saying it would not accept any foreign judges in the panel of inquiries and its military chiefs would not be prosecuted for any alleged human rights violations.
Is the UNHRC so insensitive that it allowed two more years to prolong the agony of those who were affected by those gross human rights abuses? Are those innocent civilians' weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth to be endured for another two years? A responsible government would have settled the matters concerning the missing people one way or the other. The relatives would have received some degree of closure to their long prolonged torment. Not knowing what happened to their loved ones has caused sheer agony. In this regard, the irresponsible, impertinent and intransigent Sri Lankan government and the UNHRC should be condemned by the international community.
While answering a question on Sri Lanka in the parliament recently, the British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt stated that the Sri Lankan government has to improve its response in relation to the human rights violation allegation. This is a pitiful response, compared to actions and responses from the British state against other 'rogue' nations.
Even after 70 years of post-independence, Sinhalese majority oppression and Tamil economic enslavement, accompanied by holocaust type communal terror against the Tamils, it seems the Sinhalese Extremists have not been assuaged of their extreme objective of finishing off all minorities living in the country. So much so that they have now turned their supremacist and chauvinistic wrath on the Muslims.
It is a continuing tragedy for this hypocritical self-exhorting Buddhist regime in Sri Lanka not to deprecate its genocidal history but to rank itself with Myanmar, another fanatical Buddhist regime as the world's two worst regimes for the killing and abuse of its own minorities. It does not seem as if a long and bloody civil war and its societal aftermath did anything to bring that society to its proper senses regarding justice, equality and fair play. The UN independent tribunal on war crimes against the Sri Lankan government has been stymied by the government, with the UNHRC meetings in Geneva just talking heads with no effective action.
So, the question to ask is if the UN, world powers or the oppressed minorities cannot apply or ramp up the pressure, who can do so now? The current Wickremesinghe / Sirisena government promised a new constitution with equal rights for all citizens and a secular constitution for all religions but this has proven to be just ephemeral and it was yet another deception to get the votes of the minorities. The sad fact is that the promises of Sinhala politicians should never have been trusted. This has been the history of abnegated promises made by all leading Sinhala politicians from Dudley Senanayake to Bandaranaike and to the most recent Sirisena and Wickremesinghe.
The last presidential election resulted in Sirisena being elected under a false premise of a new communal accord and it was yet another confidence trick on the Tamils, as was evidenced by Sirisena's recent ruse to sack Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister and to illegally and unconstitutionally appoint the reprobate Mahinda Rajapakse as the new Prime Minister.
The only pressure that the Sri Lankan government will understand is a severe economic embargo and travel ban on perceived war crime guilty parties applied by its large trading partners like China, India, USA, UK, EU and Japan, and backed by the UN. This must also be followed by political action and pressure to ban sporting events in cricket, athletics and other international sports, similar to the ban on sporting contact with the South African apartheid regime and the drug use related ban against Russian athletes.
The challenge for the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora will be to form a strong and united international bedrock for the campaign.
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Tamil Writers Guild Editorial Board
Source: Tamil Writers Guild, UK
Date: 20 April 2019