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OHCHR fails to recognise de-Tamilisation in ‘Sri Lanka’: Gajendrakumar

[TamilNet, Friday, 26 September 2014 08:55 No Comment]

“Most of the incidents referred to by the oral update are part of a larger pattern aimed at creating the conditions of permanent subjugation of the Tamil people as a whole – a process of de-Tamilisation which we interpret as the structural genocide of the Tamil Nation in Sri Lanka,” said Gajendrakumar addressing the 27th Session of the UNHRC on Thursday in Geneva. “An honest and forthright appreciation of the problems that face the Tamil people is fundamental and we call upon the OHCHR to conduct the inquiry in this spirit,” he told the UNHRC. “We note with concern the oral update’s failure to acknowledge that the Tamil people are being targeted because of their national identity. The fact that religious minorities such as the Muslims and Christians can be mentioned by name for being targets, makes the refusal to mention the Tamils by name all the more disappointing,” he said.

Excerpts from the address by Mr Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam follow:

21_March_2014_GPC_06_106619_200 “As the High Commissioner is fully aware, the vast majority of those who can provide first hand information are Tamils who continue to live in North-East Sri Lanka. As the overwhelming victims, the urge to provide evidence to the inquiry is very high among the Tamil people. Further, a comprehensive inquiry will not be possible or complete without accessing these witnesses on the ground. Accordingly we urge member states to come up with a strategy that will provide these witnesses an opportunity to submit their direct evidence to the OHCHR inquiry.

“There has been much focus on the Northern Province, whilst the Eastern Province has been equally affected both, during and after the war. For example, the heinous crimes committed in 2009 in Mullivaikkal in the North compares to what happened in 2007 in Vaharai in the East, and the land grab in Sampur in the East is as serious as the land grab in Valikamam in the North. We urge the OHCHR inquiry to give sufficient attention to the Eastern Province.

“We note with concern the oral update’s failure to acknowledge that the Tamil people are being targeted because of their national identity. The fact that religious minorities such as the Muslims and Christians can be mentioned by name for being targets, makes the refusal to mention the Tamils by name all the more disappointing.

“Most of the incidents referred to by the oral update are part of a larger pattern aimed at creating the conditions of permanent subjugation of the Tamil people as a whole – a process of de-Tamilisation which we interpret as the structural genocide of the Tamil Nation in Sri Lanka. An honest and forthright appreciation of the problems that face the Tamil people is fundamental and we call upon the OHCHR to conduct the inquiry in this spirit.”

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