A coalition of 12 grassroots Eezham Tamil Diaspora organisations all over the world, on Tuesday, jointly urged the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to compel Colombo to free all Tamils in detention, withdraw all of its armed forces from the Tamil homeland and report back on completion by the 20th session. The organisations, consisting of democratically elected country councils, all the country branches of the Tamil Youth Organisation (TYO) and Tamil Coordinating Committees (TCC) “deeply regretted” the decision of the United States to show regard for the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) and called upon the UN to initiate an “immediate independent international investigation into the genocide of Eelam Tamils in the island of Sri Lanka” and urged the apex body to conduct a referendum with a free and sovereign state of Tamil Eelam as “an explicit option”.
In the spirit of Tamil Sovereignty Cognition declaration released on Heroes’ Day 2011, the signatories asserted the right of the Eezham Tamil nation for reversion to its historical sovereignty, earned sovereignty and remedial sovereignty under appropriate international legal mechanisms, taking into account the systematic genocide Sri Lanka has been committing in Tamil Eelam.
The resolution presented to the representatives of the UNHRC Member States and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) follows:
United Nations Human Rights Council 19th Regular Session
Sponsors: National Council of Canadian Tamils, Tamil Coordinating Committee – United Kingdom, Maison du Tamil Eelam France, Cultural Organisation of Tamils – Belgium, Norwegian Council of Eelam Tamils, Danish Tamil Forum, Dutch Tamil Forum, Council of Eelam Tamils in Germany, Swiss Tamil Coordination Committee, Italian Council of Eelam Tamils, Tamil Coordinating Committee – Australia, Tamil Youth Organisation – of all countries
Topic: "Halting the genocide of Eelam Tamils on the island of Sri Lanka and implementing a permanent political solution to the conflict between the two nations on the island."
The Human Rights Council,
Guided by the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Human Rights, other relevant human rights instruments, and mechanisms within international law that protect the political, social and economical, and human rights of people,
Reminding all member states of the continued existence of the Eelam Tamil nation in the north and east of the island of Sri Lanka, which has been its traditional homeland, for more than a millennium,
Recalling the fact that before the advent of colonialism the Eelam Tamil nation exercised sovereignty over its homeland,
Noting with regret the decision of the British to merge the nations on the island of Sri Lanka, for administrative convenience, and hand over full control of the island to the Sinhala nation with little regard for the future of the Eelam Tamil nation,
Deeply regretting the decisions of successive Sri Lankan governments since independence to carry out a systematic campaign of genocide against the Eelam Tamil nation,
Emphasising the fact that over the course of 30 years the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had established a ‘de-facto’ state incorporating much of the Tamil homeland with its own civil administrative structures, judiciary and defence units,
Recalling the international treaty known as the Cease Fire Agreement (CFA) signed between the LTTE and the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) on parity status under international auspices,
Referring to the January 2010 report of the Dublin Tribunal which found that some member states had conspired to systematically shift balance of power between the two negotiating parties and thereby contributed to precipitate the collapse of the ceasefire,
Noting with deep concern the continued unwillingness of some member states to support independent international investigations into even the most recent crimes against humanity committed by the government of Sri Lanka,
Keeping in mind the March 2011 report of the Secretary-General’s Panel of Experts on Sri Lanka that concluded that the highest echelons of Sri Lanka’s ruling regime had committed international crimes against Eelam Tamils,
Noting with satisfaction the European Parliament resolution P7_TA(2012)0058 calling for the establishment of a UN commission of inquiry into all crimes committed in Sri Lanka,
Bearing in mind the mandate given by Eelam Tamils in the elections of July 1977 to restore and reconstitute free and sovereign state of Tamil Eelam, known as the Vaddukoddai Resolution, and the reaffirmation of the same by Eelam Tamil diaspora around the world in 2010,
Convinced that the Eelam Tamil nation has the right to reversion to sovereignty, earned sovereignty and remedial sovereignty under appropriate international legal mechanisms,
Reaffirming General Assembly Resolution 260 (III) where member states of the United Nations have agreed to prevent and punish the crime of genocide,
Requests the United Nations to compel the GoSL to withdraw all of its armed forces from the Tamil homeland and free all Eelam Tamils it keeps in detention on the basis of their national identity and report back on completion by the 20th Session of the Human Rights Council;
Calls upon the United Nations to initiate an immediate independent international investigation into the genocide of Eelam Tamils in the island of Sri Lanka;
Urges the United Nations to conduct a referendum to ascertain the political aspiration of Eelam Tamils, both in the homeland and the diaspora, with a free and sovereign state of Tamil Eelam as an explicit option.
Full text of the statement issued by the coalition follows:
13 March 2012
Eelam Tamils’ position on the 19th session of the UN Human Rights Council
Respecting the nationhood of Eelam Tamils, accepting the existence of their traditional homeland and facilitating their right to national self-determination are crucial to ending the ongoing genocide of Eelam Tamils on the island of Sri Lanka.
Given the recent increased international interests in the island of Sri Lanka, emergence of new evidence of most heinous crimes committed there and shift in global attitudes towards better human rights protection, Eelam Tamils expected a shift in policy by member states at the 19th session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC).
Encouraged by the March 2011 report of the UN Experts Panel and the February 2012 resolution of the European Parliament, both of which concluded that there should be an independent international investigation into recent war crimes and crimes against humanity committed on the island of Sri Lanka, Eelam Tamils have engaged states and non state actors to bring about a resolution protecting human rights and promoting international law at the 19th session of the UNHRC.
On 7 March 2012 the United States tabled a draft resolution for the consideration of member states.
Eelam Tamils deeply regret the decision of the United States to show regard for the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), which was set-up by the very leaders of the Sri Lankan regime that is accused of committing grave violations of international law. We also note the decision of international human rights groups to boycott the LLRC because it failed to meet basic international standards for independent and impartial inquiries and proceeded against a backdrop of government failure to address impunity and continuing human rights abuses.
We are also reminded of the failure of the International Independent Group of Eminent Persons (IIGEP), a committee appointed by the international community to assist a Sri Lankan commission of inquiry address serious human rights violations, in 2007 because of interference from Sri Lanka’s ruling regime, and in particular the then attorney general and current chief of the LLRC, Mr C. R. De Silva.
With experiences in mind, Eelam Tamils agree with international human rights organisations that the LLRC has been deeply flawed from its onset; on that basis, the LLRC has been unable to produce any credible or constructive recommendations.
Further, we are deeply concerned by reference to demilitarisation of the north of the island alone, when much of the east of the island, which together with the north makes up the Tamil homeland, is occupied under the pretext of high security zone by ever increasing numbers of Sri Lankan military personnel.
Devolution of power to provinces, which binds the Eelam Tamil nation to the unitary constitution of the Sinhala state, will leave the Eelam Tamil nation continually vulnerable to the ongoing genocide and, therefore, can never be contemplated of as a lasting political solution to the conflict.
Eelam Tamils urge the international community to respect our nationhood, accept the existence of our homeland and facilitate our struggle to national self determination, by way of ending the conflict on the island of Sri Lanka and ensuring stability in the region.
To this effect a coalition of Eelam Tamil organisations submitted a draft resolution aimed at “halting the genocide of Eelam Tamils on the island of Sri Lanka and implementing a permanent political solution to the conflict between the two nations on the island” for the consideration of member states at the 19th session of the UNHRC.
National Council of Canadian Tamils
Tamil Coordinating Committee – United Kingdom
Maison du Tamil Eelam France
Cultural Organisation of Tamils – Belgium
Norwegian Council of Eelam Tamils
Danish Tamil Forum
Dutch Tamil Forum
Council of Eelam Tamils in Germany
Swiss Tamil Coordination Committee
Italian Council of Eelam Tamils
Tamil Coordinating Committee – Australia
Tamil Youth Organisation – of all countries