Punish the War Criminals in Sri Lanka
BROUGHT OUT BY DTSU ON MAY 13th
Delhi Tamil Students Union appreciates the solidarity of the progressive organizations and students who participated in the May 10th Convention on “War Crimes in Sri Lanka: The UN Report and Its Implications” and made it a huge success. The speakers at the convention included Prof. Jagmohan Singh, former editor of World Sikh News, Rajinder Sachar, former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court, Ram Vilas Paswan, President of Lok Janashakti Party, D. Raja, CPI, Swapan Mukherjee, CPI(ML)Liberation, Prof. Manivannan, University of Madras, Satya Sivaraman, independant journalist, Malem Ningthouja, CPDM, Nagari Babiah, human rights activist. The speakers almost uniformly recognized what had happened in Sri Lanka as a genocide and called for the prosectuion of war criminals in the Lankan government and the armed forces. The following resolutions were passed at the convention.
1) That the United Nations should follow up the advisory committee’s report with appropriate action.
2) That those responsible for the international crimes against the Tamil people, that is, the political and military command of Sri Lanka, be referred to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.
3) That the war crimes and crimes against humanity, as stated in the UN Report on Sri Lanka, be recognized as genocide considering the nature and extent of atrocities against the Tamils.
4) That the Indian government come out with a white paper on its involvement in Sri Lanka after the breakdown of the peace process and support the due process of international investigation in order to secure peace, dignity and justice for the Tamils.
5) The house also appeals to political parties and all democratic forces in the country to express their serious concerns to raise the issue of war crimes in Sri Lanka.
This convention is not an isolated event, but is rather part of a series of initiatives taken by various activists at different places on the issue of justice for the Eelam Tamils. The Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam, many Eelam Tamil activists, leaders from Tamil Nadu like Kolathur Mani of the PDK, Com. Thiyagu and other progressive organizations have already started mobilizing public opinion and generating awareness about the implications of the UN report. While the UN report has some major limitations, which is all too obvious for anyone who has been following the struggle of the Eelam Tamils, the Tamil activists also recognize the potential of such a report coming from a recognized legal body like the UN. The report, which accuses the Sri Lankan government of war crimes and crimes against humanity, is a powerful tool in the hands of the Tamils to expose to the world the farce that is Sri Lanka and generate sympathy and solidarity for their genuine struggle. The UN report is not an end in itself, but it is indeed a means to an end. And that is how it should be seen.
At a time when there is a deliberate silence and ignorance about the genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka even among ‘progressive’ sections in the country, the UN report gives us an opening to bring the conflict to limelight and generate awareness about the Tamils’ issue. Certain irresponsible elements, who do not know ABC of the Eelam Tamils’ struggle, might use hollow rhetoric to dismiss the significance of the report without understanding how it can be used. Such actions to sabotage attempts to use the report as a strategic weapon only serves the purpose of the fascist Rajapaksa who also wants the UN report to be ‘rejected in toto.’ We appeal to the progressive students to not fall for the empty phrase-mongering of such characters who do not have the support of any significant section of the Tamil people. The need of the hour is to stand in solidarity with the Eelam Tamils and their demands for justice.