Tamil Genocide Recognition and Criminal Justice for all Atrocities

Tamil Genocide Recognition and Criminal Justice for all Atrocities

0 have signed. Let’s get to 100!
At 100 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!
Puvalojan Ponrasa started this petition to UNHRC

We, the undersigned individuals and organizations, call on you to recognize the Sri Lankan government’s genocide against the Tamil people and to demand the creation of alternative, parallel criminal justice measures.

We remain grateful that the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has recognized that violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law in Sri Lanka may amount to war crimes and/or crimes against humanity in a court of law. However, we are disappointed that high-level UN actors have failed to recognize allegations of the Tamil genocide.

 


There is evidence of the Sri Lankan government’s special intent (dolus specialis) to commit genocide, as seen through its targeting of Tamils in the Vanni region, who constitute a “substantial part” of the Tamil people. This is legally true for two reasons. One, Tamils in the Vanni joined the Northern and Eastern Provinces into a contiguous Tamil Eelam, and their destruction in established safe zones conveyed the message that nothing could protect them. Two, the Vanni was home to the leadership crucial for the Tamil people’s survival: it housed Tamil Eelam’s political, administrative, judicial, law enforcement, and financial branches, and it was the last stronghold of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

 


With this genocidal intent, the Sri Lankan government committed three acts of genocide: killing approximately 70,000–140,000 Tamils by shelling; causing serious bodily or mental harm to Tamils by shelling, which maimed 25,000–30,000 of them, and through sexual violence; and inflicting conditions to bring about the Tamil people’s physical destruction by limiting necessary supplies and by systematically displacing Tamils.

 


Your Excellency, a court finding is not necessary for the political recognition of genocide or for your office to refer to genocide allegations. We commend you for acknowledging allegations of Myanmar’s state-sponsored genocide against the Rohingya people and ISIS’s non-state genocide against the Yazidi people. We urge you to take the same strong stance on Sri Lanka’s state-sponsored genocide against the Tamil people by recognizing it as genocide.

 


Ten years after the Tamil genocide, the Sri Lankan government has taken no steps to deliver criminal justice for atrocity crimes. Since agreeing to establish a hybrid judicial mechanism in UN Human Rights Council Resolution 30/1 (2015), the government has continually rejected investigations and prosecutions of atrocity crimes, especially the involvement of foreign judges, lawyers, and investigators. Today, the government is engaging in atrocity crimes denial. Its refusal to even recognize the perpetration of crimes indicates it has absolutely no intention of addressing them. As you noted in your March progress report, Sri Lanka has failed to exhibit the political will to investigate and prosecute atrocity crimes within the domestic system. We echo your call for Member States to exercise universal jurisdiction to prosecute Sri Lankan government perpetrators suspected of war crimes and crimes against humanity, and we urge you to add suspected genocidaires to that list.

 


However, since universal jurisdiction would only capture a handful of perpetrators, alternative, parallel mechanisms are necessary to ensure the investigation and prosecution of those most responsible for atrocity crimes. Given the gravity of genocide allegations, we call on you to urge the Security Council to refer the situation in Sri Lanka to the International Criminal Court, noting the essential need for Permanent Members of the Security Council to set aside their veto power regarding atrocity crimes. As a complementary measure, we also implore you to encourage the UN Human Rights Council to establish an independent investigative mechanism to collect, consolidate, preserve, and analyze evidence from the armed conflict for criminal justice purposes. It is our firm belief that such evidence will support a legal finding of genocide, in addition to war crimes and crimes against humanity, in a court of law.

 


To reiterate, we, the undersigned individuals and organizations, ask you to appropriately name all three of the Sri Lankan government’s atrocity crimes—war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide—against the Tamil people and to push for the implementation of alternative, parallel criminal justice measures.

Thank you for your support in ending the cycle of impunity in Sri Lanka.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 100!
At 100 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!