2ND LEAD

Intention of Sri Lankan state is extermination of Tamils - TNA

[TamilNet, Friday, 17 April 2009, 16:04 GMT]
"The Sri Lankan State's actions establish beyond a shadow of doubt, that the real intention of the Sri Lankan State is the progressive extermination of the Tamil people," said the statement published by the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) in India on Friday. "The fact that the Sri Lankan State and its Armed forces despite the widest possible international outcry that the safety of Tamil civilians is paramount, have not been deterred even to the slightest degree, in the pursuit of their military attacks in Tamil civilian populated areas, without any regard whatever, for the safety of Tamil civilians, is indicative of the deep hostility that the Sri Lankan State and its Armed forces bear towards the Tamil people," the statement issued by the TNA further said.

The concerns expressed by civil society activists lead to the legitimate fear that could be annihilation of surviving Tamil civilian population through the use of weapons of mass killings, the TNA statement said.

A cessation of all military attacks is brought about in the No Fire Zone as the only definitive way to ensure the right to life of the substantial number of Tamil civilians living in the NFZ, the TNA said.

The statement was signed by R. Sampanthan, the parliamentary group leader of the TNA, M. Senathiraja, the general secretary, K. S. Premachandran, general secretary of the EPRLF and Selvam A. Adaikkalanathan, president of TELO.

Full text of the TNA statement follows:

Dear Dr. MANMOHAN SINGH
Prime Minister of India
Prime Minister's Office
New Delhi.

Dear Respected Prime Minister

Imminent Humanitarian Catastrophe--Denial of the right to life--facing around 2,50,000 Tamil Civilians in the Vanni region in Sri Lanka

We desire to place before you the following facts. Consequent to military action and multiple displacements around 250,000 Tamil civilians have been compelled to seek refuge in a small territory about 20 square kilometres in extent along the coast of Mullaitheevu district.

The Sri Lankan State while engaging in military action within this territory, also claims to have proclaimed this territory as a No Fire Zone (N.F.Z)

The Sri Lankan State claims to be in control of all other territory in this region up to the boundaries of this No Fire Zone (N.F.Z).

No independent media is permitted access to this region. Even U.N. Agencies the I.C.R.C. and international NGOs have strictly limited access. We submit that the Sri Lankan State delibrately pursues this policy in order to suppress the truth in regard to what is happening within this territory.

Nevertheless, on the basis of reports filed by reputed international Human Rights Organizations, U.N. Agencies and information obtained of the continuing casualties on a daily basis and verified through various sources, it would be reasonable to estimate that during the course of this year and up to date, over 4500 Tamil Civilians have been killed and that around double the number of Tamil Civilians have been injured.

Despite the Sri Lankan Government's denial, it is indisputable that as accepted by several International organizations that these casualties have occurred as a result of bombing and shelling into Tamil Civilian populated areas by the Sri Lankan Armed forces.

The stark reality is that in the prosecution of this war against the L.T.T.E, the Sri Lankan State and its Armed Forces do not have any regard whatever for the safety or the well being of the Tamil Civilians. The fact that the Sri Lankan State and its Armed forces despite the widest possible international outcry that the safety of Tamil Civlians is paramount, have not been deterred even to the slightest degree, in the pursuit of their military attacks in Tamil Civilian populated areas, without any regard whatever, for the safety of Tamil Civilians is indicative of the deep hostility that the Sri Lankan State and its Armed forces bear towards the Tamil people. The Sri Lankan State's actions establish beyond a shadow of doubt, that the real intention of the Sri Lankan State is the progressive extermination of the Tamil people.

Our immediate concern is the right to life of the substantial number of Tamil Civilians in the N.F.Z and their fundamental right to safeguard adn protect their lives.

We wish to refer in particular to the following:

  1. The Sri Lankan armed forces have reached the boundary of the N.F.Z and the Sri Lankan Government has clearly indicated its determination to continue with this military offensive; the Sri Lankan State has announced that it will launch manoeuvres to take over the N.F.Z.

  2. Any military offensive inside the N.F.Z. must inevitably render Tamil Civilians even more vulnerable and inflict much greater harm on this large Tamil Civlian population that has taken place hitherto. Bombing, shelling and other military attacks by the Sri Lankan Armed forces within the N.F.Z will leave several thousands of Tamil Civlians dead or injured.

  3. The concern expressed by civil society activists particularly from India, that the Sri Lankan Government is using banned and illegal explosives including bombs with possible chemical and nerve gases more specifically that the thermobaric bomb has been used in mass killing and also that cluster bombs have been used.

  4. These concerns lead to the legitimate fear that there could be mass annihilation of the surviving Tamil Civlian population through the use of weapons of mass killing.

  5. We urge that tangible action is urgently required to prevent this major calamity of unimaginable proportions--the mass denial of the right to life--occuring to the Tamil Civlian population within the N.F.Z.


Though there are several other matters of much concern to the Tamil Civilians in this region, who have gone through multiple displacements and who are facing immense deprivation and suffering, we are at this juncture primarily concerned with the right to life of the substantial number of Tamil Civilians living in the N.F.Z in the Mullaitheevu district.

We therefore appeal to India to urgently take steps to ensure:

a. That a cessation of all military attacks is brought about in the N.F.Z as the only definite way to ensure the right to life of the substantial number of Tamil Civilians living in the N.F.Z; these people we submit should not be killed only for the reason that they are Tamils.

b. In order to ensure that all such military attacks are termiated, that simultaneous action be persued under the auspices of the United Nations to investigate all violations of international humanitarian law relating to the Tamil civilian popularion and for further appropriate action relating thereto.

c. We respectfully urge that this issue be addressed as a matter of grave urgency; delay could result in a large number of Tamil Civlians being deprived of their right to life.

Thanking you,
With our regards,
Yours Sincerely,

R. SAMPANTHAN
Parliamentary Group Leader
Ilangkai Tamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK)
Tamil National Alliance

M. SENATHIRAJAH
General Secretary
Ilangkai Tamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK)

K.S.PREMACHANDRAN
General Secretary (EPRLF)

A.ADAIKALANATHAN
President (TELO)

 

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