By Karthigesu Nirmalan-Nathan –
Dear Mr. Sumanthiran MP,
Permit me to begin by saying, that the use of the “G” word should be measured. That said, I want to make it abundantly clear what happened in Mulliyvaikal was indeed “Genocide” and fits the definition perfectly – if you as a lawyer feel that you can’t prove it as such with the mountain of evidence available, your certificate is not worth the paper it is printed upon.
I’ve never cried Genocide for what happened to our beloved Tamil people and us as a community and citizens of “Sri Lanka.” – Yet, it is very evident that since the Sinhala Sri Riots, Sri Lanka has crossed the threshold of the G-word in every communal violence subsequent to that. You yourself was displaced twice as I recall in one of your narratives.
If it would be difficult to get a hearing at the International Criminal Court, for that is the rightful place for any “Genocide” trial to be heard, I am quite happy to have them on the docks on a watered down charge of “War-Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity” in a properly constituted hybrid court within the shores of Sri Lanka. .My wish is to get the perpetrators on the dock wherever and however possible!
However, I take it very personally when you degrade the Northern Provincial Council and our much respected Chief Minister Hon. Wigneswaran and in the process insult every member of our ethnic group – for passing the resolution asserting the actions of the then administration of Mahinda Rajapaksa (not to mention previous governments) constituted “Genocide.”
Permit me to throw some light as to why the word “Genocide” came into being. The purpose was to make the crime of mass murder of any or all of a group of people by their own government, an international offence. It is pure and simple one can never take one’s Government within the geographic boundaries of that particular country. It is worth noting at the time of the now famous Nuremburg Trial there was no law to deal with a crime of the magnitude of the holocaust. The word “genocide” was not in use before 1944. Before this was established, Winston Churchill referred to it as a crime with no name. In that year, a Polish-Jewish lawyer named Raphael Lemkin described the policies of systematic murder founded by the Nazis as genocide. The word genocide is the combination of the Greek word “geno” (meaning tribe or race) and “caedere” (the Latin word for to kill). The word is defined as a specific set of violent crimes that are committed against a certain group with the attempt to remove the entire group from existence or to destroy them. Lemkin defined genocide as follows:
Generally speaking, genocide does not necessarily mean the immediate destruction of a nation, except when accomplished by mass killings of all members of a nation. It is intended rather to signify a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves. The objectives of such a plan would be the disintegration of the political and social institutions, of culture, language, national feelings, religion, and the economic existence of national groups, and the destruction of the personal security, liberty, health, dignity, and even the lives of the individuals belonging to such groups.
Mr. Sumanthiran, please enlighten me as to which court, other than the International Criminal Court can the crime of genocide be proven? I’ve watched the video posted on your Facebook and read what you have said in Geneva this week. I respectfully urge you to limit your intellectual arguments to established facts. Just the fact that you are a lawyer does not give you the right to lie, either directly or by inference. In my considered opinion the threshold to “genocide” has been crossed by the armed forces of Sri Lanka and her allies many times over at Mulliyvaikal as defined in the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 260A (III) Article 2 which states; Genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: (a) Killing members of the group; (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
I do understand why the G-word is not preferred. It is because then it makes it an International crime, automatically making it eligible to be tried in the International Criminal Court. I wonder if you have a special tool to say whether massacre qualifies as Genocide and if so where and at which point according to the laws of Sumanthiran.
My advice to you Sir going forward is to let reason be your tool and justice be your cause anything else will not do. Anything less from you will be undermining human rights and democracy itself in Sri Lanka. We want accountability and not excuses and cover ups. You Sir now stand accused as an accomplice after the fact in a cover up of a heinous crime of “Genocide” along with R Sampanthan and the current administration of President Maithripala Sirisena, and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe – who incidentally called our Chief Minister a liar and vowed that he would never talk to him showing his intent and eventual avoidance of meaningful reconciliation and lasting and meaningful peace in my beloved country, Sri Lanka (I loved it better when it was just plain Ceylon).
Awaiting your reply,
Your one time fan and supporter,