Sri Lanka war crimes under U.S. spotlight

[TamilNet, Thursday, 26 February 2009, 06:12 GMT]
The uncontradicted testimony of Dr. Anna Neistat, Human Rights Watch, in Tuesday's U.S. Foreign Relations Subcommittee Hearings of Sri Lanka concluded that the "Sri Lankan Armed Forces are guilty of war crimes, including the indiscriminate shelling of areas packed with displaced Tamil civilians and of hospitals; the use of imprecise multi-barrel rocket launchers; acute or complete restrictions on humanitarian aid; the operation of militarily controlled “concentration camps” for Tamil civilians without freedom of movement or communications or adequate medical or other assistance," said Bruce Fein, in a letter sent to the Subcommittee following the Hearings.

"[D]etentions at the camps without a proper accounting of persons held there, which raises the suspicion of enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings. (No independent observers are allowed to monitor the screening process for camp detainees); and, the denial to displaced persons of access to humanitarian agencies," HRW statement said.

"The uncontradicted testimonies of former U.S. Ambassador Jeffrey J. Lunstead and Mr. Bob Dietz of the Committee to Protect Journalists established a recurring pattern of GOSL’s violence against media critics or others who disappear in white vans or are otherwise slain or injured; and, unvarying impunity for anyone who perpetrates the crimes. Ambassador Lunstead testified that President Mahinda Rajapaksa could stop the criminality if he wished," the letter said referring to the statements delivered by Ambassador Lunstead, and Bob Dietz of CPJ.

PDF IconLive broadcast of Hearing @ 2:30 p.m. (EST)
Pointing to Ambassador Lunstead's testimony that "Tamil detainees in the concentration camps were selected solely because they are Tamils, not because of complicity with the LTTE or criminality," Fein said that the detainees are "victims of ethnic-religious persecution by the Sinhalese Buddhist government."

"A natural inference to be drawn from Ambassador Lunstead’s observation is that the 2,000 Tamil civilians who have perished and thousands more who have been severely injured in the GOSL’s bogus “safe zones” in the past months were targeted because of their ethnicity or religion," Fein said in his letter to Sen.Casey, adding, this "makes out a prima facie case of genocide under the United States Genocide Accountability Act of 2007 (GAA), i.e., an attempt to destroy a Tamil group in whole or in substantial part specifically because of ethnicity or religion through extrajudicial killings, serious bodily injury, or the creation of conditions of life intended to result in the physical destruction of the target group."

The parallel between Sri Lanka’s “safe zones” for Tamils and Serbia’s “safe zone” for Bosnian Muslim males at Srebrenica that culminated in genocide is irresistible, Fein further said in his letter.


Chronology:

 

Latest 15 Reports
21.10.19 23:24  
SL Navy silently extends occupation of coastal lands at Kirimichchai in Batticaloa
20.10.19 23:58   Photo
Sinhala supporters of Gotabhaya encroach into pasturelands in Batticaloa
19.10.19 23:31  
Pentagon steps up maritime defence trade with India, UK seeks IOR opportunities
18.10.19 23:43   Photo
Monk backing Gotabhaya wants Tamil owners to stay away from their lands in interior Batticaloa
17.10.19 19:14   Photo
SL Police resorts to violence in grabbing lands of Tamil fishers in Batticaloa North
16.10.19 23:19   Photo
Chennai Connect and Eezham Tamils reminding Tamil Nadu to assert Tamil geopolitics
15.10.19 23:50  
Colombo destroys dairy-farming economy of Eezham Tamils in Batticaloa
14.10.19 23:48   Photo
Tamil parties in North-East stipulate ‘acid test’ terms to SL presidential candidates
13.10.19 22:15   Photo
SL Governor's latest land grab poses danger to archaeological traces of Eezham Tamils
12.10.19 22:23   Photo
Monks step up campaign against Muslims, want to carve out Sinhala colony in Ampaa'rai
11.10.19 22:07   Photo
Vote for Self-Determination, reject major candidates for more effective boycott
10.10.19 23:31   Photo
SL Police intensifies restrictions on Saiva devotees at disputed ‘chaitya’ hilltop in East
09.10.19 20:17  
Indian Coast Guard trespassed into waters off Jaffna, 18 fishers detained since 03 October
08.10.19 18:43  
Divisional Secretary, TNA MPs must act to release Chegnchoalai lands: civil activist
07.10.19 23:12   Photo
Heinous act by HRCSL: former orphans of Chegnchoalai on the brink of losing lands
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=28529