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People’s tribunal on Lankan war crimes

[Express Buzz, Monday, 11 January 2010 08:17 One Comment]

A permanent People’s Tribunal on ‘War Crimes’ and ‘Crimes against Humanity’, allegedly committed by the Sri Lankan security forces and the government during the war against the LTTE between 2006 and ‘09, will be organised by the Irish Forum for Peace in Sri Lanka (IFPSL) between January 14 and 16 at the Trinity College in Dublin.

While legal and human rights groups from Asia, the European Union and the United Nations have been invited to submit reports, individuals and groups having firsthand knowledge about the war crimes will give evidence before the panel.

The panel consisting of some of the world’s leading thinkers, academicians and jurists, including Rajinder Sachar, former chief justice of the Delhi High Court, will also examine violations of human rights in the aftermath of the war in Sri Lanka.

The IFPSL felt the need for the tribunal in view of reports that the last phase of the war, declared as ‘over’ by the Sri Lankan government on May 18, 2009, was a ‘war without witness’ due to the fact that journalists and other potential witnesses like aid workers were prevented from remaining in the area.

“According to a French medical team, cluster munitions and white phosphorous were used against civilians.

There has been media evidence of torture, summary executions, rape and sexual violence, and of food and water being used as a weapon of war against civilians by the Sri Lankan military,” the IFPSL said.

The IFPSL also said that a “victor’s peace” has been imposed on a 60-year-old ethnic conflict through the imposition of a military solution, which was contrary to the assertion by the international community in 2002 that there cannot be a military solution to the ethnic conflict on the island.

Besides Sachar, who headed the committee to study the social, economic and educational status of the Muslim community in India, the panel will comprise Francois Houtart, UNESCO awardee for non-violence and tolerance, Nawal al Saadawi, Egyptian writer known for her work for women’s rights, Sualk Sivaraska, Thai Buddish peace campaigner, Denis Dalliday, former assistant secretary general of UN and Gandhi International Peace awardee, Gianni Tognoni, secretary general of PPT in Milan, Daniel Feierstein, director of the Centre for Genocide Studies at the Universidad Nacoional de Tres de Febrero, Mary Lawlor, director of Front Line – The International Foundation for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders in Dublin, Oystein Tveter, a scholar of international law, and Eren Keshin, Kurdish-born human rights activist in Turkey.

Among the eminent personalities who have agreed to publicise and interpret the findings of the tribunal are former Supreme Court judge V R Krishna Iyer and writer Arundhati Roy.

[Full Coverage]

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One Comment »

  • dees pillay said:

    Great idea, but pleasae no one from India, remember India helped in the killing of innocent TAMILS. North India rejoiced when 20000 Tamil men, women and children were butchered by the Sri Lankan Government(may 2009)
    NDTV was acting as if the war was a world cup final, They were allowed at the war zone….you know why???? of course they did not "see" any atrocities committed by the sri lankans..