After an assessment of evidences presented by eyewitnesses and experts, judges of the Permanent People’s Tribunal reached unanimous consensus that the Sri Lankan state was guilty of crimes of genocide against the Eezham Tamils and that the genocide is continuing even after the end of the military operations against the LTTE. Concluding the four day session with a press conference at Bremen on Tuesday, the judges also noted that the Sri Lankan military did not have capacity to commit genocide on its own and that it was supported by the UK-USA-India axis. While the judges held the USA and the UK to be complicit in the genocidal process, they were of the opinion that more evidence was needed as regards India’s role.
The Eezham Tamils were killed not as individuals but as a group and the target of the Sri Lankan state was the destruction of the identity of this group, the findings noted.
The judges took care to highlight the significance of the usage of the term ‘Eelam Tamil’ to refer to the genocide-affected Tamils from the North-East of the island of Sri Lanka.
Noting that the protracted history of genocide extended much before the beginning of the armed conflict, the Tribunal asserted that the Sri Lankan state continued to commit acts of genocide after the end of the “genocidal onslaught” against the de-facto state of the LTTE.
This, however, was not possible without the assistance of world powers.
The UK’s historical role in assisting Sri Lanka, its complicity in procuring arms in aiding and shielding the perpetrator of genocide was discussed.
The judges also noted that the USA’s military-to-military relationship with Sri Lanka enhanced the capacity of the latter to commit genocide. The Tribunal was of the opinion that US role in the peace process tilted balance in favour of the Sri Lankan state and led to the massacre of Tamils in 2009.
However, the Tribunal wished to postpone deliberations on India’s role in the genocide pending submission of potential evidence.
Responding to a question from TamilNet on the failure of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) in Sri Lanka, Dr. Denis Halliday, one of the judges, opined that the R2P doctrine introduced by Gareth Evans was a cover for intervention but not genuine humanitarian intervention, as evidenced in the case of genocide against Eezham Tamils in the island.
The UN has failed the Eezham Tamils and maybe even complicit in the genocide, he said, also noting the failure of the International Community to take appropriate steps.
Burmese democracy activist Maung Zarni, answering a question on the use of the label of ‘terrorism’ to the LTTE, said that terrorism was a "discursive, strategic and political term" cooked-up by world powers as regards to their geo-political interests.
Comparing LTTE and Nelson Mandela’s ANC, he said that a whole movement cannot be labelled as terrorist on the basis of few acts.