"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
 
- Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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Home >  Tamils - a Trans State Nation  > Struggle for Tamil Eelam > Indictment against Sri Lanka > Genocide'83 - Introduction & Index  > Genocide'83 - the Record Speaks > Sri Lanka's Genocidal War '95 to '01  >  Sri Lanka's Undeclared War on Eelam Tamils in the Shadow of a Ceasefire - 02 todate > Disappearances & Extra Judicial Killings > Rape & Murder  > Torture  > Sri Lanka's War Crimes > Censorship, Disinformation & Murder of Journalists > Patterns of  Impunity > Sri Lanka Accused at United Nations > Rajiv Gandhi's War Crimes

 

INDICTMENT AGAINST SRI LANKA: Genocide '83

The Sri Lanka security forces either looked the other way
or actively participated in the attack...

The Sri Lanka police and the armed forces either looked the other way or actively participated in the attack.

''...Police units were not sent in until well after the rioting began and made few immediate attempts to check the mass arson and looting that spread through the city. At twilight ... bands still roamed the city and fires were still being started'' (Guardian, 26 July 1983)

"..Throughout the early hours of the violence, it was clear that neither police nor defence forces had been given orders to re-establish control. My friends reported how police and troops could be seen on street corners watching the lawlessness spread. At one point several army vehicles drove through the city, packed with troops who shouted encouragement to the rioters..." (London Daily Telegraph, 26 July 1983)

"..The news from Sri Lanka this week has recalled  the horrifying events leading up to the division  of India thirty-six years ago. The Hindu-Muslim- Sikh massacres of that time are reflected in the  bloodshed, arson, looting that has sent thousands  of innocent Tamils running for safety wherever  they can find it. They are, it must be emphasized,  a minority community whose status as citizens of  Sri Lanka should be unquestionable. Unhappily,  ever since Sri Lanka became independent in 1948,  the current of Sinhalese nationalism has turned  with envious anger on this community that played  a part in Sri Lanka's political and professional  life under British rule out of proportion to its  numbers.  The most recent events have revealed a culpable  bias on the part of the forces of Order...

Early  reports of rioting in Colombo before censorship was imposed agreed that the police were slow to  intervene. Reports of action by naval units in  Trincomalee and some recent army actions have  suggested that reprisals were their aim, more  likely to stimulate than to pacify. Worse than  this, evidence of official Sinhalese hostility to  the Tamils has been the government's failure to  respond to the palpable tension aroused two  months ago when municipal and parlimentary by  elections were held. The campaign was said to be  more like civil war than an election." (The London Times Editorial 27 July 1983)

''Businessmen, civil servants and ordinary people have gone through race riots before: but last July's killings and lootings were so premeditated, with the military and police playing an active role, that nothing can allay their fears...The rank culpability of troops and jail authorities rather than of the familiar anti social gangs has given an eerie touch to the carnage'' (Times of India, 31 July 1983)

'' Mr. Pat O'Leary from Killarney, who had been working for five weeks in Colombo for the Port Authority said: 'I watched a group of Sinhalese people chasing a group of three Tamils. They caught one, beat him up, threw him to the ground and stoned him. I don't know if he died. It was terrible. Nobody did a thing to help. Even the police turned a blind eye.''' (London Times, 2 August 1983)

''Army personnel actively encouraged arson and looting of business establishments and homes in Colombo and absolutely no action was taken to apprehend or prevent criminal elements involved in these activities. In many instances army personnel participated in the looting of shops.'' (London Times, 5 August 1983)

"..But for days the soldiers and policemen were not overwhelmed: they were unengaged or, in some cases, apparently abetting the attackers. Numerous eye witnesses attest that soldiers and policemen stood by while Colombo burned.Were they following their own communal instincts or signals from above?" (London Economist, 6 August 1983)

''As the town (Nuwara Eliya) burnt to charcoal and the Tamil inhabitants ran for their lives, I watched Sri Lanka soldiers on the spot stand idly by... The soldiers on the street seemed quite willing to stand and look on...'' (Peter Hartnell, New Statesman, 12 August 1983)

"..in the present violence, the army, police and gangs of thugs acted in conjunction... Some of us saw truck loads of soldiers cheering on the arsonists bands..." (New Statesman, 26 August 1983)

"..The police force 95% Sinhalese did nothing to stop the mobs. There was no mercy. Women, children and old people were slaughtered. Police and soldiers did nothing to stop the genocide.." (London Daily Express, 29 August 1983) ...continued....

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