"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: Introduction & Index > Indictment against Sri Lanka - the Record Speaks > Genocide'83  > 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

HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS CONTINUE
AT AN ALARMING RATE - 1992

''Team members of the Canadian Human Rights Mission to Sri Lanka were alarmed by the extent of human rights violations and the enormous human cost of the conflict. Equally distressing was the fact that the severity of the situation is so little known or addressed by the international community...

Human rights violations continue to occur in Sri Lanka at an alarming rate... Most distressing was the failure of the government to acknowledge the level of human rights abuses occurring in the country...

It was apparent to team members that many Tamils are genuinely grateful for the protection provided to them by the LTTE... Contributing to the problems in Sri Lanka is a climate of repression. Electronic media is state controlled. The print media is largely used to a significant extent to promote the government point of view or give voice to Buddhist chauvinistic opinions. There seemed to be little public participation in the political process.''

  • - Report of the Canadian Human Rights Mission (led by the Very Rev Dr. Lois Wilson, immediate past President of the World Council of Churches,and including Mr. Pierre Duquette, Legal Counsel to the former Minister of State for Immigration, Gerry Weiner; Ms. Marian Botsford Fraser, member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Centre of International PEN; Ms. Beryl Gaffney, M.P. and Liberal Party critic for Human rights; Dr.Kenneth Kuhn, Executive Director of the Lutheran's Church Division for Church and Society; Mr.Peter McCreath, M.P., Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of State for Finance and Privatisation ; Mr. Svend Robinson,M.P., and New Democratic party spokesperson on External Affairs and International Human Rights; and Dr.Stephen Toope, Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Research at the Faculty of Law at the University of McGill with Robin Gibson, Chairperson of the Consultative Committee on Human Rights of the Canadian Council of Churches as Secretary.) 5 February 1992

    His Excellency Mr Ranasinghe Premadasa President
    Presidential Secretariat
    Republic Square
    Colombo 3
    Sri Lanka
    21 July 1992

    Your Excellency

The organisations who are signatories to this letter have all had a direct interest in programmes in Sri Lanka in recent years. We are writing out of humanitarian concern for the innocent civilians in the north of Sri Lanka, suffering not only from the effects of war but also from the continuing military blockade and the shortage of food, medicine, and fuel. We are also writing to the LTTE.

Our immediate concern is at reports of increased bombing in the Jaffna area. There is no doubt that this will involve civilian casualties, loss of live and increased suffering. Short of ending the war, we would, at the very least, urge you to ensure that innocent civilians do not become targets, and that all possible steps are taken to protect civilians in the North, and in Jaffna in particular.

We appeal to you to respect international standards on the conduct of warfare, particularly those designed to protect people who are not or are no longer taking an active part in the conflict, in accordance with those articles and protocols of the Geneva convention governing internal conflicts.

The wide disparity between the Sri Lankan Government's numbers of detainees and those of independent NGOs is a cause of grave concern. We would urge that all possible steps are taken to ensure that all detainees in both official and "unofficial" places of detention be allowed access to the ICRC and their rights under international laws and conventions be respected.

Yours sincerely
Michael Taylor
Director
on behalf of
Richard Miller, Assistant Director, CAFOD
Jane Winder, Director, One World Action
Alf Dubs, Director, The Refugee Council
Giampi Aldaheff, Director, War on Want Campaigns Ltd


"The Sri Lanka Army encamped at Mullaitivu launched artillery shell attacks directed towards the Amman Temple at Vattrapalai on Monday, May 18 1992 - when thousands of Hindu devotees had congregated at the temple for the annual Pongal festival.

The report in this connection states that the Vattrapalai Amman temple situated about 2 miles away from Mullaitivu Army Camp along the sea beach is a Hindu temple of antiquity where an annual Pongal festival is held. Hindus from all parts of the island congregate at Vattrapalai Amman Temple for this annual event.

This year the festival took place on Monday, May 18 ...Towards noon shells launched from the Sri Lankan Army Camp at Mullaitivu exploded first near the beach and the large crowd became panicky and started running from the temple premises. Many people were injured in the stampede that followed.

One shell exploded near a bicycle stand and ten persons died on the spot. Five others died while being rushed for treatment. The Red Cross was on duty at the temple premises in connection with the festival. Two Red Cross Volunteers - Shanmugalingam (46) and Rajanimal (19) died. A third female nurse volunteer of the Red Cross Society. R. Suganthinidevi suffered serious injuries.

The Hindu Federation has severely criticised the wanton attack on the temple premises and said the Army action is consistent with the previous history of destruction of Hindu temples by the Sri Lankan Armed forces. Another report adds that the Temple authorities had earlier informed the Army of the impending festival. (Tamil Nation Monthly, June 1992)

 
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