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Nov-24-2012 14:17printcomments

'UN internal report meaningless without action, long term solution needed’: Tamil activist

Expert says more lives could have been spared.

Dr. Sam Pari
Dr. Sam Pari

(COLOMBO, Sri Lanka Colombo TamilNet) - TamilNet: Criticizing the UN for its deliberate silence which “protected the Sri Lankan state from international criticism and allowed it to strategically conduct a genocidal campaign under the guise of a “war on terror””, Dr. Sam Pari, an Eezham Tamil activist with the ATC, argues in news site Crickey.com that the recently released internal review report of the UN on Sri Lanka is meaningless to the Eezham Tamils without concrete steps in action. Giving an outline of different ways in which the Sri Lankan state is conducting genocide of the Eezham Tamils, she writes “The Sri Lankan regime’s strategy of eradicating the Tamil people through various avenues is only being abetted by the super powers’ silence. What is required is a longer term solution that deals with the root cause — an oppressive force, the racist Sri Lankan regime, intent on erasing the identity of a people, the Tamils.”

Excerpts from Dr. Pari’s article published on Australian news site Crikey.com on Friday follow:

“The report, released by the UN to the public without the executive summary, outlines that UN senior officials not only abandoned the Vanni region as the war escalated, but purposely avoided revealing casualty figures collated by its own staff, while knowing the death toll had entered the tens of thousands.”

“Furthermore, the UN was found to have failed to mention that the majority of killings that took place were inside government-declared “safe zones”, and chose to hide the fact that the Sri Lankan regime was responsible for these civilian deaths, instead casting blame solely on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).”

“This recent internal review substantiates what the Tamil people had desperately tried to alert the world: the UN’s deliberate silence protected the Sri Lankan state from international criticism and allowed it to strategically conduct a genocidal campaign under the guise of a “war on terror”.”

“Tamils, displaced by war, are regularly being denied their right to resettle in their traditional lands. On 24 September, 2012, over three years since the war, Sri Lanka announced it had closed its military internment camp, once one of the largest in the world, which detained Tamil survivors of the war. However, further inquiry on where those “released” were resettled revealed that many were simply relocated rather than resettled, and that too into areas that were not sustainable for life.”

“The military occupation of the Tamil homeland is reportedly at a ratio of one army officer to every five civilians. Data from civil officials have revealed a concerted and structural move to turn traditional Tamil lands within the former warzone into a military enclave of the Sri Lankan forces, which is comprised overwhelmingly by Sinhalese.”

““Systemic Sinhalisation” of traditional Tamil lands is also taking place at an alarming rate. Buddhist temples are being built to cater for the changing demography, while religious churches and temples of Tamils people are being destroyed. Names of roads and villages are being converted from Tamil to Sinhala.”

“Rape of Tamil women by the military is a common threat, with several cases “reported to have been perpetrated in cells by guards or by officers usually at night, sometimes repeatedly and sometimes by more than one individual”.”

“Former female members of the LTTE are the most vulnerable with several cases of release and rearrest reported, with rape and sexual abuse taking place both during detention as well as during “routine investigations” conducted on regular “summons” post-release. One such victim, a 38-year-old woman, was reported to have committed suicide as a result of repeated sexual harassment and abuse.”

“Heavy military presence and the impunity that prevails mean not just Tamil women but men too are regularly arrested, tortured and disappeared. Sri Lankan prisons are notorious for deaths and disappearances in custody. In July this year, a young Tamil political prisoner reportedly assaulted by prison officials and died of injuries sustained.”

“In the scenario of such continuing abuses, for the Tamil victims and their families, the words of the UN internal review are meaningless without action. The conduct of the last war resulted not just in great loss of life for the Tamils, but also of dignity and freedom. For the Tamil people the pain and fear of war, excepting the bombs and bullets, continue even today.”

“Acts of genocide can take different forms. The Sri Lankan regime’s strategy of eradicating the Tamil people through various avenues is only being abetted by the super powers’ silence. What is required is a longer term solution that deals with the root cause — an oppressive force, the racist Sri Lankan regime, intent on erasing the identity of a people, the Tamils.”

Special thanks to TamilNet

First published here: http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=35777

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