Boyle: India a moral failure, Colombo's monstrosity matched only by Nazis

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 25 August 2009, 00:51 GMT]
"India’s support to Rajapakse Government is an atrocious crime. Tamils are undergoing unspeakable hardship, and the monstrosity is only matched by the Nazis terror on Jews. The world had simply closed its eyes....Failure to ensure safety to Sri Lanka Tamils is a moral disgrace to India and a stain in India's illustrious history," said Francis Boyle, expert in International Law and Professor at the University of Illinois College of Law, during an interview with Tamil Nadu magazine, Dalit Murasu.

English translation of the Tamil article follows: (Note: The Tamil article is a translation of a recorded interview conducted in English):

Dalit Murasu: When more than 300,000 Tamils are held against their wishes in internment camps, do you think there remains any prospect of reaching a resolution to the conflict through intervention of International Rights Organizations including United Nations?
Professor Francis A. Boyle, University of Illinois College of Law
Professor Francis A. Boyle, University of Illinois
Prof. Francis A Boyle: It is imperative that these organizations should intervene. The 1948 Genocide Convention and the 1949 Geneva Convention obligate the United Nations to engage in Sri Lanka’s conflict and seek resolution. I have been consistently writing and advocating the urgent need for the UN and the International Community to intervene and save the Tamil people held by the Sri Lanka Government in the several internment camps. Reports indicate nearly 1400 people die in a week in these camps, and that the conditions within the camps are very similar to those in the Nazi internment camps.

DM: Even after Sri Lanka's military unilaterally declared that the “war was over in Sri Lanka,” the International Community, various Rights Organizations, and the media have failed to expose the gross rights violations that occurred during and after the war. You have noted in several articles that the internment camps are nothing but “death camps.” Do you think similar silence would have prevailed if the affected people are from Palestine or from a European country?
FAB: One cannot be certain how the International Community will react to your hypothetical scenarios. While the U.S. supported peace talks between the two adversaries in Sri Lanka, U.S.’s approach to mediating conflicts took a dramatic turn after the 9-11, when the Bush administration started to aggressively pursue the “war on terror” on all movements that used violence to achieve their goals.

Civilian bodies in Safe Zone
Civilian bodies in Safe Zone
The President of India sending a congratulatory message to Sri Lanka’s President is indeed a sad event. India has assured Sri Lanka of its cooperation, and India’s position vis-a-vis Sri Lanka is totally unacceptable. India is ready and willing to continue support to Sri Lanka while standing on the bodies of 30,000 Tamils killed during the last several weeks of war. China and Pakistan both are collaborating with Sri Lanka.

The 65 million Tamils in Tamil Nadu should soon rise up to constrain India. The uprising in numbers and intensity should surpass the protests that occurred while Sri Lanka was slaughtering the Tamils. If India reconfigures its policy on Sri Lanka, US will likely support that. US will view with concern a friendly China-India relationship.

India’s support to Rajapakse Government is an atrocious crime. Tamils are undergoing unspeakable hardship, and the monstrosity is only matched by Nazis terror on Jews. The world had simply closed its eyes.

DM: The world was waiting to hear the details of the last weeks of the war from the doctors detained by the Sri Lanka Government. These Doctors were later paraded in front of the media and were forced to recant casualty figures. Do you think there is any chance for the truth to come out?
FAB: That depends on you, me, the other media, and in the hands of the 65 millions Tamils in Tamil Nadu. Sri Lanka Government has been systematically destroying physical evidence after barring news organizations from visiting the crime area and imposing censorship on journalists reporting the details. US will have detailed evidence of what’s happening, and of what has happened. While the world watches in silence atrocities are continuing.

DM: Why is International Community not taking effective action to resettle the displaced people?
FAB: I don’t think the International Community has any interest in the welfare of the Tamil people. That is why they kept silent during the slaughter of nearly 50,000 Tamils between February and May 2009. Finally the IMF loan is also going to be awarded. [was awarded early this month]. What happened in Sri Lanka is an attempt at extermination of a race, a racist war. Same thing happened in the 1930’s against the Jews. Only after millions were killed the world began to know the truth of the atrocities. The world could not do anything.

DM: If IC does not have an interest in Sri Lanka, why did they express their commendations to Sri Lanka after the war?
FAB: I only said they have no interest in Tamils. Countries certainly have geopolitical interest in creating conditions advantages to them. Use of sea ports, and control of land mass in the Indian Ocean is certainly of interest to many powers.

DM: Will the Sri Lanka Government, which did not heed to the righteous demands of the Tamils when they had military power, attend to Tamils welfare now that Tamils appear defeated and powerless?
FAB: Definitely not. Sri Lankan state has set about to exterminate or, in the least, marginalize the Tamil people. The State inebriated with military victory have incarcerated the Tamil people in internment camps. For every 3 Tamils there are 14 Sinhala soldiers. This is violation of Geneva Conventions. What we witness in Sri Lanka is a clear attempt to destroy a race in whole or in part. All should identify this act as genocide.

DM: Why is the US unwilling to release satellite images it may have taken during the last stages of war?
FAB: US is cognizant of the serious repercussions that may result when the world sees the truth. These images will reveal the slaughter of Tamils with the use of heavy weapons, heavy artillery, and aerial bombardments by the Sri Lanka military. US’s behavior was the same with respect to Bosnia. US is unlikely to reveal Sri Lanka images as truth may lead the civilized world to demand a solution that will be inimical to US’s interest.

DM: What’s US position on Sri Lanka’s Tamils? Has the US revealed its true policy?
FAB: I believe the US will continue to support Rajapakse. The IMF loan is a clear indication of US's policy towards Sri Lanka. Earlier US supported peace talks. There is no more space for US to take that position. What's happening in Sri Lanka is a clear case of genocide. However, if the US accepts this, then Article I of Geneva Convention will obligate the US to intervene to stop the genocide. US does not want to do that. Similar thing happened in Bosnia too.

DM: Tamils are contemplating the establishment of a transnational government. In the future if Tamils declare a State of Tamil Eelam either within Sri Lanka or outside, what will be US's position?
FAB: US will not be disposed to supporting it.

DM: What do you think is a feasible political solution to the struggle waged by the Tamils for the last half a century?
FAB: The political solution has to be determined by the Tamils themselves. One of three solutions are possible. 1. Create a free, sovereign, separate state for themselves. 2. Form a confederation with another independent state. And 3. Any other solution agreed by a majority Tamil people. International laws dictate that Tamils are entitled to the right of self-determination. India, you, me or the Sri Lanka Government cannot dictate terms to what Tamils should do.

I want to emphasize one point here. Historically, peoples who have suffered through genocide-level atrocities like what the Tamil people have been through, assured their safety only after creating a separate state for themselves.

During the last few months when more than 50,000 Tamils were slaughtered in Vanni no country was able to stop the killings. All countries failed to execute their obligatory duty as required by the 1948 Genocide Convention. For Tamils to safeguard their lives from the Sri Lankan State, International Community should assist the Tamils to form their own separate state. International covenants declare that it is necessary and just that such peoples who have been affected by genocidal crimes to form their own state.

India's reason for not supporting Sri Lanka's Tamils is that a separate Tamil State in Sri Lanka will trigger fissiparous tendencies within Tamil Nadu. This is a lie and simply double talk. Failure to ensure safety to Sri Lanka Tamils is a moral disgrace to India and a stain in India's illustrious history.

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) clearly the Tamil people have the right to self-determination. Sri Lanka is a signatory to this covenant. Sri Lanka has accepted that Tamil people is a distinct race with their own language and have lived in areas of historical inhabitation.

Therefore, they have the right to exercise their right to self-determination, and as a free people they can then safeguard and nurture their social, economic, and cultural well-being.



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