Sunday April 20, 2014
Sri Lanka to be Tried for Genocide Against Tamils: How Will Cuba and its Allies Respond?Ron Ridenour Salem-News.com
Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal was initiated in 1979 by the left socialist and anti-fascist resistance fighter Senator Lelie Basso.
(HAVANA TIMES) - An unprecedented move by internationalists and activists for human rights and justice, one that could inspire controversy among left oriented governments and peoples’ solidarity committees, will take place next spring.
“In April 2013, a panel of international experts will be convened as Judges of the ‘Permanent People’s Tribunal’ to examine reports submitted by many specialized working groups on the accusation of the crime of Genocide against the Government of Sri Lanka and on the accusations against various international actors who had supported and prepared the conditions for the Sri Lankan Government to implement this alleged crime,” stated the Rome-based ‘Permanent People’s Tribunal’ (PPT) on November 3. (1)
This decision is supported organizationally by the ‘Irish Forum for Peace in Sri Lanka’ (IFPSL) based in Dublin and the
In mid January 2010 the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal on Sri Lankan held its sessions in Dublin, Ireland. There were four findings:
1: That the Sri Lankan Government and its military are guilty of War Crimes;
It also found that member states of the United Nations had not “complied with their moral obligation to seek justice for the violations of human rights committed during the last period of the war” [Sri Lanka government war against the Tamils].
The PPT was referring to Human Rights Council Resolution S-11/1 of May 27, 2009. Cuba led the majority of members to vote for the Sri Lanka government drafted resolution. The resolution only praised Sri Lanka government for ending the hostilities and for the “liberation” of tens of thousands of Tamils (who were, in fact, up to three hundred thousand Internally Displaced Persons incarcerated for many months and even years in concentration camps).
It only condemned the Tamil Tiger guerrillas (Liberation Tigers for Tamil Eelam) for terrorism and made no mention of the long-endured suffering, pogroms, indiscrimination and inequality suffered by the Tamil people at the hands of the Sinhalese majority governments and military, and Buddhist monks.
Since the time of the resolution, Cuba has stepped up closer ties with the Mahinda Rajapaksa family government, even inviting him to Cuba as a guest of honor for four days. (3)
The case for genocide
Here are excerpts of the PPT statement concerning the need to investigate the possibility that Sri Lankan governments have been committing genocide against the Tamil people for decades.
This follow up session will be held in Germany.
Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal was initiated in 1979 by the left socialist and anti-fascist resistance fighter Senator Lelie Basso. He had been a judge on the International War Crimes Tribunal, also know as the Bertrand Russell-Sartre Tribunal, in 1966-7, concerning war crimes committed by the United States against Vietnam, and the 1973-6 investigations regarding war crimes committed by Latin American dictatorships, assisted by the USA. One of Cuba’s few women guerrilla fighters, Melba Hernandez, was one of the judges when she was chairwoman of the Cuba Committee for Solidarity with Viet Nam.
PPT has held more than 40 sessions on war crimes and crimes against humanity, as well as genocide, in many parts of the world: US war crimes against Nicaragua, national dictatorship war crimes (usually with the assistance of US military forces and the CIA) against Argentines, Guatemalans, El Salvadorans, Filipinos, the Western Sahara, Eritrea…
It has also investigated and condemned Turkey for committing genocide against the Armenian people. In 2006, it ethically sanctioned the economic neo-liberal model and multinational corporations for violations of international principles respecting human rights.
Among the many prestigious PPT panelists have been Nobel Prize winners: Adolfo Perez, Sean MacBride and George Wald. Many judges and associates have either come from Latin America and/or been close to the Cuban revolutionary process, as well as its allies in the ALBA alliance, among them are: Francois Houtart and Miguel D’Escoto.
Gianni Tognoni, Secretary General, Permanent People’s Tribunal (PPT), Rome
(3) Much of my writings of late have focused on the Tamil people’s struggles for human rights and justice and the lack of natural solidarity that Cuba should be taking with them instead of the opposite: support for a most brutal Sri Lanka regime.
Here are some of my articles on that issue and connection, as well as on how the worst terrorist states in the world—the USA and Israel—have always backed the Sinhalese racist governments with arms and heavy war machinery, intelligence and surveillance, and money. Furthermore, in this world of geo-politics with odd bed partners, China, Pakistan, Russia, and Iran have also heavily aided the Sri Lanka Sinhalese chauvinists in committing gross atrocities against the Tamil people. I have also written a book on the subject published in India in 2011:
Ron Ridenour was born in the devil's own country, he rejected the American Dream and became a solidarity and revolutionary activist and writer nearly half-a-century ago. Ridenour has worked as a journalist-editor-author-translator for three decades. He worked for Cuba's Editorial José Martí and Prensa Latina for eight years, and has published five books about Cuba, as well as Yankee Sandinistas. Born to a WASP military career father, Ron sought the “American Dream” until he entered the Air Force, in 1956, to fight the “commies”.
Here, Ronald witnessed approved segregated barracks on a U.S. military in Japan, and imposition of racism in Japanese establishments. This, and the fact that his group had orders to shoot down any Soviet aircraft over “their” territory in Japan—which never appeared—while the U.S. flew spy planes over the Soviet Union daily, led this writer to question American “morality”. The first time Ronald exercised his democratic right to demonstrate was in Los Angeles, where he protested with others the Yankee invasion of Cuba, at the Bay of Pigs. Cuba’s revolution, and his hate for racism, which led Ronald to become a radical, then a revolutionary.
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