Nadesan calls for attitudinal shift in rights approach
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 11 December 2007, 13:17 GMT]
The Government of Sri Lanka remained unperturbed despite severe criticism from U.N representatives who had visited the island and confirmed the large-scale violation of human rights against Tamils, because it continued to receive military and monetary aid from those who actually condemn the human rights violations, charged Liberation Tigers Political Head B. Nadesan, Monday, on the International Human Rights Day. Declaring that the human rights violations by the GoSL in SLA-controlled areas was nothing short of a "systematic genocide of the Tamils," he called upon the International Community to use "severe pressure" against Colombo to put an end to the flagrant violation of human rights.
International Human Rights Day was observed in Ki'linochchi by the Northeast Secretariat on Human Rights (NESoHR)
Events to mark the International Human Rights Day in Vanni were organized by the NorthEast Secretariat on Human Rights (NESoHR) at the Ki'linochchi Cultural Hall on Monday. Rev. M. X. Karunanandam, head of NESoHR presided over the function.
Addressing the well-attended gathering, Mr. Nadesan recalled that the Tamils were a distinct nationality in a separate nation before the colonial powers, at last the British colonialists, with their military might attempted to forcefully integrate Tamils with the Sinhalese. The aggression and genocide Tamils face today was an aftermath of this futile exercise, he said.
Mr. Nadesan addressing the gathering at Human Rights Day
"After the British left in 1948, all the basic tenets of the Tamil nation – the right to language, culture, education, livelihood and even the citizenship of Up-Country Tamils – were denied , and the simmering discontent over the denial of human rights has transformed into a major liberation struggle today," Nadesan said.
He pointed out that Tamils were stripped of all their fundamental rights following the anti-Tamil pogroms orchestrated in 1958, 1977, 1981 and 1983; and when they demanded their legitimate rights through peaceful means, the GoSL unleashed genocide on the Tamil people.
"In SLA-controlled areas in Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Vavuniyaa, Jaffna, and Mannar, Human Rights violations have blown-up to such a massive proportion that it is nothing short of a systematic genocide by the GoSL to completely eliminate all the Tamil people," Nadesan declared.
The everyday occurrences of abduction, killings and disappearances have made these human rights violations appear commonplace, he added. Pointing out that the human rights violations against Tamils were not restricted to SLA-controlled areas, he said that even in Vanni, school students, places of worship, religious leaders and innocent civilians were indiscriminately killed through Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) bombings and landmines. He labeled the denial of basic survival needs such as food and medicine to the Tamils as an extreme instance of human rights violation and added that the armed struggle spearheaded by the Tigers sought to put an end to this.
The LTTE political head also sought to expose the double standards of the Sri Lankan state: on the one hand, the SLA was responsible for civilian disappearances; on the other hand, the GoSL acted out its "concern" for human rights in the U.N. General Assembly. He noted that this mask had been torn due to the international community's condemnation of the human rights violations unleashed on the Tamils by the GoSL.
He said that the GoSL was unperturbed despite severe criticism from U.N. representatives who had visited the island and confirmed the large-scale violation of human rights against Tamils. Their pleas to put an immediate end to the killing of Tamils had fallen on deaf ears.
The GoSL has "never bothered about verbal concerns expressed by the International Community" and added that the continuing killings and abductions were testimony to this. Because the GoSL continued to receive military and monetary aid from those who actually condemned the human rights violations, it continued to behave in this manner.
He noted that there were countries that continued to support Sri Lanka even though the GoSL had unleashed on the Tamils all the human rights violations that were mentioned in the United Nations Charter on Human Rights (UNCHR).
He also pointed out that it was easy to condemn Human Rights violations, whereas it was difficult to actually put an end to such behavior. The International Community should seriously reconsider its approach towards Colombo.
The International Community should have immediately recognized the legitimate struggle of the Tamils, if it was genuinely interested in human rights.
He called upon the Tamil people to struggle to win their rights and pointed out the example of America, Vietnam and South Africa where the people managed to attain freedom through a long and laborious struggle.
"Today, we the Tamil people have been denied all rights. We have rallied together to fight for our rights. It shall be the duty of the International Community to recognize our struggle," he added.