Feature Article

Prof. Boyle: hold Emergency Meeting of UNSC to stop Tamil genocide

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 12 May 2009, 23:20 GMT]
Pointing out that, under the current circumstances, the Provisional Rules of Procedure of the United Nation's Security Council (UNSC) provide at least three ways to convene a formal meeting of the Security Council in order to terminate the Genocide against Tamils by the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL), Prof. Francis A. Boyle, professor of International Law at the Illinois University College of Law, says, failure of the Secretary General, Governments of the United States, U.K, France, and India to hold a UNSC Emergency meeting indicates that they are all quietly supporting the GoSL genocide against the Tamils from behind the scenes, despite their crocodile tears in public.

Professor Boyle provides the legal framework for the possible three ways to convene a UN Security Council Emergency meeting:

Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary General
Ba Ki Moon, UN Secretary General
Dr. Susan Rice
Dr. Susan Rice, US Ambassador to UN
British Foreign Secretary, David Miliband
British Foreign Secretary, David Miliband
Bernard Kouchner
Bernard Kouchner, French Minister of Foreign and European Affairs
Manmohan Singh
Manmohan Singh, India's Prime Minister
First, Rule 2 provides: "The President {of the Security Council} shall call a meeting of the Security Council at the request of any member of the Security Council." So in other words, any member of the Security Council can convene a meeting of the Security Council despite the opposition of Russia and China. Why have not the United States, Britain or France so far convened a meeting of the Security Council to terminate the GOSL's genocide against the Tamils? Clearly, any one of these states can do so immediately if they really cared about the Tamils in Vanni. The fact that they have not indicates that they are quietly supporting the GOSL genocide against the Tamils from behind the scenes despite their crocodile tears in public.

Second, Rule 3 provides in relevant part: "The President {of the Security Council} shall call a meeting of the Security Council...if the Secretary-General brings to the attention of the Security Council any matter under Article 99." Article 99 of the U.N. Charter provides that: "The Secretary-General may bring to the attention of the Security Council any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security." 10,000 Tamils exterminated by the GOSL during the past 3 months certainly threatens international peace and security in relations between India--which serves as parens patriae for these Tamils under international law-- and Sri Lanka as well as the peace and security of the northern Indian Ocean. Why has the U.N. Secretary-General refused to exercise his powers under U.N. Charter Article 99 and Rule 3 to convene an Emergency Meeting of the Security Council in order to terminate the GOSL's genocide against the Tamils? Is Ban Ki-Moon going to wait until the GOSL exterminates another 10,000 Tamils in the so-called No Fire Zone, which is really a Genocide Zone for the Tamils in Vanni? The fact that he has not exercised his powers under Article 99 indicates that he is quietly supporting the GOSL genocide against the Tamils from behind the scenes despite his crocodile tears in public and those shed by other officials in the U.N. Secretariat.

Third, Rule 3 also provides in relevant part: "The President {of the Security Council} shall call a meeting of the Security Council if a dispute or situation is brought to the attention of the Security Council under Article 35..." Article 35(1) of the U.N. Charter provides in relevant part: " Any Member of the United Nations may bring any dispute, or any situation of the nature referred to in Article 34, to the attention of the Security Council..." Article 34 of the U.N. Charter provides in relevant part: " The Security Council may investigate any dispute, or any situation which might lead to international friction or give rise to a dispute..." For some reason, the Government of India does not consider the recent extermination of 10,000 Tamils--for whom India is the parens patriae under international law--by the GOSL to constitute a "dispute" between India and Sri Lanka. Why not?

Boyle adds, "but certainly the GoSL's recent extermination of 10,000 Tamils, for whom India serves as parens patriae under international law "might lead to international friction or give rise to a dispute" between India and Sri Lanka. Indeed according to the statements by the Prime Minister and other government officials of India and numerous trips by the latter to Sri Lanka and by GOSL officials to India, the GOSL's recent extermination of 10,000 Tamils has created "international friction" between India and Sri Lanka. Therefore India has an obligation to bring this matter to the attention of the Security Council under U.N. Charter Article 35 and to demand an immediate, emergency meeting of the Security Council under its Rule of Procedure No. 3 in order to terminate the GOSL's genocide against the Tamils in Vanni. Failure by the Government of India to do so would only render India guilty of "complicity" in the GOSL's genocide against the Tamils under Article III(e) of the 1948 Genocide Convention.

"Shall India--the Home of Gandhi--turn and look away from the Tamils in Sri Lanka as they are being exterminated by the GOSL without doing all in its power at both the Security Council and the International Court of Justice (as previously explained by this author) to save these Tamils for whom it serves as parens patriae under international law? Today the Tamils in Sri Lanka have now become Gandhi's Harijans. Yet so far the Government of India has treated the Tamils of Sri Lanka as if they were "untouchables," Boyle says.


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