UK repeatedly wronged Tamils says hunger-striker, demands genocide justice

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 09 March 2021, 21:34 GMT]
The UK has repeatedly failed to address the root cause of the conflict in its former colony, Ceylon, where its colonial injustice escalated the situation into protracted genocide against Tamils, said 53-year-old Ambihai Selvakumar, who is waging a continuous hunger strike in London demanding the UK government to course-correct its past failures. The UK has continued to betray the Tamils in the constitutional discourses of 1948, 1972 and their aftermath by aiding and abetting the warmongering genocidal state of Sri Lanka during and after the 2009 genocidal war, she said. In 2009 its UN envoy blocked a security council debate. In 2021, as the Core Group’s penholder, the UK has tabled a draft resolution at the UN Human Rights Council, totally failing to call for genocide justice. Furthermore, it delays international justice in the already established UN findings on other atrocity crimes.

The UN has failed to address the root crime, which is genocide. The UN system keeps the accountability issue under the UN Human Rights Council's ineffective mechanism giving time and space for the genocidal state of Sri Lanka to deny, delay and evade accountability.

Ms Ambihai reiterated that the situation should be referred to the ICC and other suitable mechanisms to address the crime of genocide. The option of an ad-hoc International Criminal Tribunal specially constituted to address the crime of genocide must be considered and set up. Further an International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM) will assist in the investigations and prosecution of those responsible for the genocide.

In the meantime, failed Norwegian former Peace Envoy Erik Solheim has recently advocated Tamils to wage the "Gandhiyan" type of struggle to "galvanize international support" for Tamil rights.

If that is the proposition he has in mind, now he has got an opportunity to correct his past mistake. He failed to voice for Tamils at the "right place on right time," she said on her 9th day of the hunger-strike last Sunday.

Most of the Tamil national political parties and civil society groups in the homeland have slammed the operative clauses of the UK-tabled draft contents as totally inadequate.

The people on the ground are waging rotational hunger strikes supporting the demands put forward by Ms Ambihai in London. The rotational hunger strikes are going on in Jaffna, Batticaloa and Ampaa'rai districts amidst harassment by the SL police and the judiciary.

Also, in Tamil Nadu, all sections of political and civil society activists and the Madras High Court's former judges have demanded vital amendments to the draft resolution.

Tamil youth activist Gobi Sivananthan, who waged a similar hunger-strike in 2012, appreciated the initiative taken by Ms Ambihai and called for increased pressure from Tamil Nadu to exert pressure on India, a country in the 47-member states of the current UNHRC.

Meanwhile, Stephen Kinnock MP, the shadow minister for Asia and the Pacific has stated that “the chances of the resolution being approved by the UNHRC on 24 March will be enhanced if it is made more robust and substantial – the majority of member states want to do the right thing, and the UK government’s draft resolution could therefore be rejected if it is too weak and lacks in substance”.



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