"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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INDICTMENT AGAINST SRI LANKA

AMNESTY LAUNCHES SRI LANKA CAMPAIGN
- 19 SEPTEMBER TO 31 DECEMBER 1990

Amnesty launched an international campaign against Sri Lanka on 19 September 1990. The campaign continued till end December. The aims of the campaign were 

1. To publicise the poor human rights record of Sri Lanka

2. To put pressure on the Sri Lankan authorities to make a full and genuine commitment to human rights

3. To put pressure on the Indian authorities to make a full investigation of the human rights violations committed by members of the Indian Peace Keeping Forces and to bring those responsible to justice.

In the United Kingdom, the objectives of the campaign were extended to include the concerns that the British Section of Amnesty had over the treatment of Tamil refugees by the UK government.

The Amnesty International Sri Lanka Briefing published in September 1990 declared:

"Gross and widespread human rights violations in Sri Lanka have persisted for more than seven years against a background of armed opposition to the government. "Disappearances" and extra judicial executions in particular have been reported with increased frequency since mid-1983. For four years these abuses were concentrated in the northeast of the island, where since the late 1970s Tamil militants have been engaged in an armed struggle to establish a separate state..

"In the face of armed opposition from Tamil secessionists in the late 1970s, the Sri Lanka Government gave extraordinary powers to the security forces. Grave human rights violations have resulted and the Sri Lanka security forces increasingly appear to believe they can commit abuses with impunity...

"In the northeast, the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) - which was deployed in Sri Lanka in July 1987 and had completed a phased withdrawal by the end of March 1990 - was reported to have committed extra judicial executions and to have been responsible for "disappearances". There were also numerous allegations of torture of prisoners by members of the IPKF...." (Sri Lanka Briefing - ISBN 0 86210 185 9, AI Index 37/20/90)

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