67th Sri Lankan Independence day and the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka
Today Sri Lankan state celebrates its 67th year of Independence from the British colonial rule, but it is not a day celebrated by Tamils in the island. Post-independent Sri Lanka has been constructed based on a clear genocidal agenda by the state. Right throughout the post independent history the State has been instigating attacks on the Tamil people in which they were massacred on the streets and in their own homes. The state has been plundering land belonging to the Tamil people and settling Sinhala people in them. It instigated burning down of the Jaffna library which also was the repository of manuscripts of Tamil history and literature. This was part of its scheme to destroy the identity of the Tamil people.
Not a single person has been held accountable for these atrocities against the Tamil nation. All the regimes then in power, blamed the Tamil victims for these attacks and either refused to conduct an inquiry or set up sham commissions to ward off international pressure. The few commissions appointed to investigate the pogroms, massacres, land issues and other atrocities targeting Tamils, never delivered any justice to the Tamils.
It was in this back drop that the international independent inquiry was called for to investigate the massacre of over 70,000 innocent Tamil civilians in the war that ended in May 2009.
The presidential election on 8 January 2015 saw a change in leadership in the Sri Lankan state. The war time president was replaced by the war time General Secretary of the ruling party.
The new leader is trying to hoodwink the international community, by promising to set up a local investigation with or without UN assistance. This is an age old ploy by the Sri Lankan state, which is very familiar to Tamils. The Sri Lankan state will attempt to delay, distract and destroy any form of justice being delivered to the Tamils in Sri Lanka.
Tamil people are hopeful that the international community will see through the Sri Lankan regime’s delaying tactics. An overwhelming consensus expressed by party leaders and the UK parliamentarians in the recent BTF/All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils ( APPG-T) annual dinner was that an international independent investigation is necessary for justice and for peace to be delivered to the Tamils in Sri Lanka.
BTF would like to reiterate that justice and lasting peace in the island of Sri Lanka is possible only when the accountability process is strengthened by the international community and the root cause of the national conflict is identified and addressed.
Contact: Shan Sutha Tel: +44 (0) 7927 023 912
Notes to Editors:
British Tamils Forum exists to harness the skills and the knowledge of the members of the forum, well-wishers and significant others including mainstream decision makers in the UK with the aim of alleviating the sufferings of the Tamils community in the Island of Sri Lanka and to further their right to self determination within a democratic frame work under pinned by international law, its covenants and conventions. For more information firstname.lastname@example.org and/or visit: www.tamilsforum.com