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Forced starvation constitutes an act of Genocide – Prof. Boyle

[TamilNet, Friday, 6 March 2009 07:52 No Comment]

Boyle Commenting on recent reports that Colombo is withholding food supplies forcing into starvation the more than 300,000 Tamil civilians trapped in the war-zone, Prof. Boyle, an expert in international law and a professor at University of Illinois College of Law, in a note sent to TamilNet said, "[I]n the context of longstanding Sri Lankan genocide against the Tamils, this recent GOSL atrocity also constitutes an act of genocide as defined, prohibited and criminalized by Genocide Convention Article II (c):"Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part."

"The United States government has an obligation to prosecute U.S. Citizen Defense Minister Rajapaksa and U.S. Resident General Fonseka for violating the Genocide Convention Implementation Act and the U.S. War Crimes Act," Prof. Boyle added.

Boyle quoted sections of 1949 Geneva Conventions to substantiate his claim, saying: "Additional Protocol I of 1977 to the Four Geneva Conventions of 1949 provides in relevant part as follows: Article 54.-Protection of objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population:

 

  1. Starvation of civilians as a method of warfare is prohibited.
  2. It is prohibited to attack, destroy, remove or render useless objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population, such as foodstuffs, agricultural areas for the production of foodstuffs, crops, livestock, drinking water installations and supplies and irrigation works, for the specific purpose of denying them for their sustenance value to the civilian population or to the adverse Party, whatever the motive, whether in order to starve out civilians, to cause them to move away, or for any other motive…..

"This basic rule of International Humanitarian Law constitutes customary international law, the violation of which is a war crime," Boyle added.

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