Time for International Criminal Tribunal on Sri Lanka, says Boyle
[TamilNet, Sunday, 07 March 2010, 22:03 GMT]
Dismissing the response by Colombo that Ban Ki Moon had not appointed panel of experts on other countries where there are "continuing armed conflicts on a large scale, involving major humanitarian catastrophes and causing the deaths of large numbers of civilians due to military action," as "simply untrue nonsense," Francis A. Boyle, professor at the University of Illinois College of Law, said that during the past year alone UN Human Rights Council had authorized Goldstone Commission investigation into Israel war crimes against Palestinians in Gaza. Noting that the "United Nations is just beginning to do the right thing for the Tamils," Prof Boyle urged that "Tamils around the world could do the same thing for establishing an International Criminal Tribunal for Sri Lanka (ICTSL)."
Professor Francis A. Boyle, University of Illinois
"Of course this statement by the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) is simply untrue nonsense, and the GOSL knows it. During the past year alone the UN Human Rights Council authorized the so-called Goldstone Commission investigation into Israel war crimes and crimes against humanity perpetrated against the besieged 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza. The Goldstone Report ultimately found that Israel had indeed inflicted war crimes and crimes against humanity against the Palestinians—just short of genocide," Boyle pointed out.
"Any appointment of such a panel as intended, would compel Sri Lanka to take necessary and appropriate action in that regard," Sri Lanka's President had told the UN Secretary General, local media in Colombo reported. The reports did not clarify what the "necessary and appropriate" actions are likely to be.
Professor Boyle said, "the UN Human Rights Council has so far done the right thing for the Palestinians. Unfortunately, the GoSL was able to manipulate anti-Western sentiments there in order to block similar action by the Human Rights Council when it came to the investigation of the GoSL’s own international crimes against the Tamils. So now one year after the GoSL’s genocidal massacre against the Tamils, the United Nations is just beginning to do the right thing for the Tamils. But better late than never," Boyle added.
"I already have a proposal for the establishment of an International Criminal Tribunal for Israel (ICTI) that is currently pending before the United Nations General Assembly," Professor Boyle pointed out, and added, "Tamils around the world could do the same thing for establishing an International Criminal Tribunal for Sri Lanka (ICTSL). The UN General Assembly would have the power to establish an ICTSL as a “subsidiary organ” under U.N. Charter Article 22. That way, the concerned GoSL members (e.g., Rajapaksas, Fonseka, General Staff et al) could be held accountable for their international crimes against the Tamils without needing any prior reference by the U.N. Security Council to the International Criminal Court, which would be subject to a likely Great Power Veto—for example by China.
"But there is no veto in the U.N. General Assembly. We would just need a majority vote in the UN General Assembly to set up an ICTSL. Concerned Tamils around the world should contact their respective governments of current nationality or legal residence and ask them to sponsor my proposal for establishing an International Criminal Tribunal for Sri Lanka by the United Nations General Assembly," Boyle said.