The Sunday Leader

Tamil Diaspora Wants Justice

By Maryam Azwer

Since the end of the war in 2009, the Tamil diaspora has been incessantly pushing for an independent investigation into alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka. Despite the government claiming that local mechanisms are in place to look into such issues, diaspora groups like the ‘Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam’ (TGTE) have refused to accept that this is enough, and have continued to call for an ‘independent international investigation.’
In an email interview with The Sunday Leader, the TGTE’s prime minister, Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran, commented on the US backed Resolution recently drafted for the ongoing UNHRC sessions in Geneva, and why the TGTE wanted international involvement in investigating alleged war crimes.

Excerpts from the interview:

Q: Do you feel that the UN Resolution against alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka is worded strongly enough to produce some results?
A: We are calling for an Independent International Investigation for the mass killing of Tamils in 2009 in this island of Sri Lanka. According to a UNSG Expert Panel report, over 40,000 civilians were killed in five months in 2009 and women were sexually assaulted. Sri Lankan Government restricted food and medicine to Tamils, resulting in several deaths from starvation and being allowed to bleed to death.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon referred the Panel Report to the UN Human Rights Council to act.  Now the UN Human Rights Council is beginning to act. Even though the current draft Resolution is not calling for an Independent International Investigation, negotiations are still going on about the wording of this draft Resolution. We want that the final draft Resolution should be strong, reflecting our desire to bring those responsible for the killing of our people and let them face international justice.

Q: In backing this Resolution, what results exactly does the TGTE want?
A: We want the current draft Resolution to be strengthened. We also want the mandate of the international commission not to be limited to war crimes only, but also crimes against humanity and genocide. [The] UN Human Rights Council Resolution is one of the avenues to achieve justice for our people.

Q: The Sri Lankan government has reiterated that a local mechanism is already in place to look into the human rights issue. This week at the UNHRC sessions, the government asked for more time to deal with these issues. What is your response to this?
A: As the Expert Panel stated in its report there was no political will to investigate the international crimes committed during the final stages of the war. The Panel stated in its report that it “… has little confidence that [the Sri Lankan judicial system] will serve justice in the political environment.”  The LLRC’s findings pertaining to the final stages of the war is clear proof of that.
We also would like to point out to the world’s governments that justice delayed is justice denied.  Therefore, an International investigation should be initiated without delay.

Q: Apart from the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission, Sri Lanka has also appointed two military tribunals following the end of the war. Given all the steps the government says they have taken, why does the TGTE continue to push for ‘independent investigations’ ?
A: According to the UNSG Panel Report, the casualties are believed to be more than 40,000. According to the Catholic Bishop of Mannar, Rev. Dr. Rayappu Joseph’s submission to the LLRC, based on the number of people who came into the areas controlled by the Sri Lankan government forces between October 2008 – May 2009 and the population reported to be in Vanni in early October 2008 – May 2009, his estimate of the number of people not accounted for at the end of war was a staggering 146,679 persons.  The LLRC only identified four instances in which there could have been individual excesses by the armed forces. Surely, four instances of individual excess could not have resulted in the deaths of more than 40,000 persons.  Thus, the LLRC is an attempt to hide the policy-oriented, institutionalized international crimes. Such a characterization of isolated excess also provides an escape channel from the serious charges of international crimes leveled in the Panel Report.
Based on the UNSG Panel report and on other NGO reports we contend that there was a policy and a premeditated action which was exemplified by the expulsion of the UN forces in 2006 prior to engaging in mass killing.  Given these facts, it is a fallacy to imagine that the very power structure which stands accused of these heinous crimes will bring itself to justice.  Prosecuting a couple of soldiers is an attempt to hide behind those proceedings.

Q: For the first time since the war ended, Sri Lanka has acknowledged civilian deaths during the final stages of the war. Do you see any progress following this? Why?
A: It seems that the Government of Sri Lanka is attempting to enter into a Plea Bargain.

32 Comments for “Tamil Diaspora Wants Justice”

  1. P.L.J.B.Palipana

    Hi! Hon.Prime Minister; I think you don’t know exactly the real picture of the situation. I have worked in border villages from the year 1984 and the LTTE killed very innocent people brutally including small babies.The USA named the LTTE as the cruelest terrorist organization in the world. SriLanka MILITORY resisted that organization using minimum force inicially but unfortunately it didn’t work . In a battle against those in a final stage it was not easy task to maintain all the norms and ethics of a conventional warfare tactics. Practically you and I didn’t fight a war. Our political leaders had enough patience with the LTTE during the past 30 years. Hon.Ranil Wickramasinghe made attempt through a peace accord to settle the conflict. Ultimately it also failed. MR,Gotabaya and Gen.Fonseka had to study all the past occurances and annihilated the LTTE for the sake of Tamil people in particular and the overall population in general. You have to blame Prabakaran instead of our political leaders and officers because he could easily saved the civilians during the negotiating tables. You could consult the people like S.L.Gunasekara, Lionel Fernando ete before make final conclutions.

    • Lanka Liar

      Palipane you are a Sri Lankan you want us to believe you?. Nobody believes a Sri Lankan even if you tell the time. Thanks to the leaders who made this happen. Nobody died in the war you know who said this.

    • Ram

      Sri Lanka army has been deliberately targeting Tamil civilians for many years and all these atrocities are well documented. This is worst organisation than POl Pot or Stalin army whose terror lasted for few years. Your government promoted 22 Sinhalese and 1 Muslim for the post of DIG recently. This sort blunt discrimination is going to create another LTTE soon. You will never learn the lessons and you will not come out from Mahavamsa Story. . You will carry similar genocide inn near future as you have the support of giant terrorist states like India and china. You have full licence to destroy the Tamil Community in Sri Lanka and you have been doing since the end of the war . I am very angry with LTTE who should not target single civilian and colonisation of Tamil area is not the fault of the Sinhalese settlers. Every Tamils ashamed of themself for targeting civilians whatever the reasons may be. Every Tamil should support the west and the US who at least care about the human rights.

    • logi

      this provesthat you cant do politics without tamils?

  2. Deiiyo Sakki

    Asking for justice, coming from a LTTE king pin is one of the biggest jokes.
    Can he please tell what justice the LTTE gave tamil people over a 30 year period?
    Wasn’t the LTTE the biggest killer of tamils? Where were you?
    What freedom did the LTTE gave poor tamils under their crutches?
    Was kidnapping tamil kids to sacrifice on the alter of megalomaniac leader, justice??
    Did the LTTE give a grain of rice or a panadol to poor tamils depite collecting multibillions?
    Why did the LTTE leadership hide behind the poor tamils and kept them hostages in the line of fire??Hence didn’t the LTTE leadership want to sacrifice poor tamils just to save his life ???

    If you are so concerned about human rights, why did you let LTTE do this barbarism to tamils???

    Try not become a saint….. first accept the Log in your eye before commenting on the spec in your opponents eye !!!

    • Lanka Liar

      You are right he is foolish to ask for justice from Sri lanka. He should know you can’t find even a pinch of it Sri Lanka

  3. union

    I thing only Sinhala war criminals inherit the rights of talking about justice on top of the heap of 200,000 civilians butchered and slaughtered over the period of 3 decades. This Diaspora mostly consist of 1 million minorities who were forced to run away from the killing field ruled by cannibals.

    • Eddy

      Mr Editor of Sunday Leader would you be very kind enough to pass on these comments or at least few selected comments to this LTTE carder who calls himself as Prime Minister(self appointed?) of TGTE?
      Their agenda is not seeking,justice for innocent ordinary Tamil citizens of SL,but just using them as pawns to achieve their Elam!! They are desperate, as all their sinister plans had vanished into thin air, with the annihilation of their pet LTTE by our heroic security forces!! Please inform this self appointed PM Rudrakumaran, he will have to die in exile, and the underworld would be waiting for him and the likes of him, to ask questions about the many 1000 of innocent Tamils, LTTE slaughtered,robbed,harassed, whilst few like this clown PM, who was enjoying a luxurious life abroad, from the blood money of LTTE!! They have the nerve to talk about HR!! Gosh, how can these b…..ds sleep at night!?

    • sri lankan in salalah

      tamil diaspora prime minister

      who killed -more people more civilians eg central bank bomb blast,pettah bb
      anuradhapura ,eastern province surrendered policemen.The list is too long theLTTE and their finaciers YOU killed every moderate tamil politician or civil rights activist who dared disagree with them
      F#&K Praba and you too

      You are lucky to get citizenship after claiming refugee status -purely for economic reasons-all the refugees should be sent back -to SL or even better TN.

    • Rosh

      good riddence!!

  4. suresh

    you diaspora only talking of tamil civilians,what about singhalese people who were tortured and killed by their so called brothers (LTTE terrorists).They even killed their own people after having kept them as human shield.

    • Lanka Liar

      Everybody should be punished. If you have evidence please put them on. Karuna Douglas Pillaiyan all killed thousands of innocent Sinhalease and Tamils. You want to arrest them and try them? Try doing that and see what happens to you. Good luck

    • union

      Hi suresh,
      If you know Math you know the difference between 20,000 and 200,000. LTTE is resposible for killing people. There is no two word about it and that is the reason for Western countries to categorised LTTE as a terrorist group. Now it is the time to deal with bigger criminals who were behind the killing of 200,000 civilians. Why you all not civilised enough to understand this? What is wrong in calling for justice? Aren’t you all not civilised enough to understand that justice should be served to everyone?

  5. King Praba

    Well, the TGTE are more powerful than the corrupt third world lying cheating human rights abusing Sri Lankan government. Sri Lanka is going down fast and no amount of excuses, lies, threats by ignorant unintelligent thugs in your fly infested cave will help. Say bye bye now.

  6. Max

    The Tamil Diaspora around the world were hoodwinked by the LTTE, they are still living in a fantasy world.

  7. shetty

    bunch of Jokers – PM ???? ha ha ha these idiots are still dreaming.

  8. Bottomline

    Just because you set up this so called TGTE and claim yourself as the prime minister, it doesn’t make you a true leader or it won’t bring any good to innocent Tamils living in north and east.. If the Tamil Diaspora needs justice they better start working with SL Government to provide better living conditions, livelihood, housing, jobs etc for long suffering Tamil community living in north and east…These innocent Tamils suffered enough…your so called TGTE or demands from Diaspora will not bring any harmony to them…by trying to scrutinize every step of reconciliation and development will bring only bad to Tamil people…Guess you most of don’t care since you are well off living in developed countries……WAKE UP, YOU WON’T GET YOUR EELAM…time to work towards development of Sri Lanka together…

  9. PROF. KOPAN MAHADEVA

    I have read Maryam Azwer’s article above, based on an interview with PM Visva. Rudrakumaran of the TGTE, and the four learned comments so far, before mine. The first thing I am pleased about is the healthy, civilised debate that is going on. This is only possible because there is no war now. The killings have ceased.

    Wars are always brutal. I have always campaigned against all wars, in my poems and articles. The ended war in Sri Lanka is a very unfortunate one. It should never have happened at all. But it did somehow begin, and has now somehow ended. We have to now evolve ways and means of living in peace.

    As a part of that process, is the healing of the wounded hearts of those yet alive.
    For this purpose, impartial enquiries, stock-takings, and apologies by those who have, in the heat of the war, misleadingly or unknowingly done wrongs, is vital. It is important to bring out all the facts now, without any attempts to hide any. All the facts from both sides have to come out. There are indeed accusations against both sides. Without such an honest process effective reconciliation can’t happen.

    The world was indeed involved with our war. We appealed to them, and brought them in — both sides. They helped us — both sides. We can’t now try to shut them out. We must not look at them as our enemies. They are only trying to help
    us to resolve our conflicts for good. In my opinion we must co-operate with those countries who have spent so much money and man-years with us and for us.

    Our LLRC Report was a positive step towards reconciliation and peace. It is beginning to be implemented, but rather slowly. Administration always takes time. And there are many unforeseen problems on the way. Hence the world also has to be patient, give time, and co-operate with Sri Lanka and Sri Lankans.

    In the current context of UNHRC’s deliberations in Geneva, GOSL has indeed explained its position effectively. And the Tamils too cannot easily forget what happened to their kith and kin in the last stages of the war. Hence there is every reason to accept impartial, international assistance with our peace efforts. When our current problems end, hopefully in 1-2 years, we must surely live with them!

  10. dagobert

    Take a look on your palms….. There yet remain traces of blood of those innocent Tamil Youth & Children who perished with their dreams of becoming doctors, engineers, accountants ect in the future.

    You Diaspora outsourced the job to VELU to keep the war going for yours personal benefit at the expense of innocent Tamil youth & childrem….

    Await your turn & share of RETRIBUTION please………..

  11. Sri

    The preceding comments are noteworthy. What is also very noteworthy is that the Sri Lankan state regardless of which party has been in power is incapable of honest judgement and makes light of the most awful crimes against humanity imaginable. All Commissions of Inquiry over the past 30 years have been sidelined and their findings were not even published. Shedding other people’s blood and ravaging people under cover of PTA has become the norm. Of course, it is not only the sick state but also the LTTE and the paramilitaries, EPDP and TMVP, committed awful crimes. The fact is that the country’s government is simply inacapable and unwilling to invesitgate fully and deal with gross crimes and deal justice to the criminals involved. And for so long will such crimes be repeated over and over again. That is why rational people whether Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim or Burgher should suppport an international UN investigation into the serious and grievous crimes by all parties involved and deal justice under international human rights and humanitarain laws to which Sri lanka too is a signatory. It is time for accountability in the interests of the future generations too of the country.

  12. goddamn

    im almost laughing (because i cant slap that raciest tamil). goddamn LTTE is exactly a BLOODY terrorists group . see the FBI’s page about them and you’ll learn (if you dont have real life experience about their bloody age)

    im wondering why that “tamil diaspora” (IMO ,aka the dead LTTE) only talks about “their people” and the last stage of the war. They loose the war thts why they try to do it in this way , i mean why they hadnt ask for such political solution before they loose ?

    I have many concerns about the current government’s foreign and economic policies , they way they control media ,the way they lie and blah blah blah. but when i see a raciest lie i can’t just stand.

    if you guys want to live together , then we welcome all of you but if youare talking about a seperate land , it’s only a dream dummy — at least it’s not in sri lanka.

  13. Rosh

    Sunday Leader…utter waste of space!!

  14. Mahes

    Comments from Palipana,Deliyo Sakki and Suresh,
    No wonder this decendents of 1958 ,1983 rioters and murderers , ( I was a victim and witness of cruelty of burning by pouring petrol on innocent tamil passers- by in Colombo and suburb long before appearance of LTTE) now talking about holier than holy murderous Singala people and their murderous Singala regime that massacred 40,000 innocent tamils and many more injured and further continuos cruelty of tamil population with the excuse of fighting terrorism. Now talking about your singala political leaders patience and not easy to maintain norms of a warfare and accepting all the war crimes against the tamil population but yet Mahinda Samarasinga spiting all the lies at UNHRC that “we did not massacre the tamils or continued cruelty against them”. . Civilised world knows who you are and your murderous regime. It is ridiculous to talk about Tiger terrorism or barberism and Singala murderous regime saved poor tamils from LTTE,then how is it still the tamils overwhelmingly elected TNA which was well aligned with LTTE before. Call a spade a spade that Singala regime or Singala people wants to subjugate the tamils and deny their traditional homeland of North and East and will go on pretending that purer than pure about the crime against humanity and the tamils should not defend their rights but only sing devotional song and accept the crumbs of Singala masters.

  15. jayantha

    what about the sinhala innocent people killd(70 thousend) by LTTE for nealy 30 year> are they not human or what.

    • Jayantha,
      Where did you get the figure 70,000?
      Have you included the innocent sinhalese killed by the JVP also?
      You should call for justice for these deaths too, but from whom?

    • logi

      good lord.where did you get/create thisfigure from ?

      • Araliya Watch

        Also can we forget the many thousands in the South of Sri Lanka killed by Govt. forces and Govt. hired goons in 1971 and 1988-89. So are not Sri Lanka Govts. reputed for killing its own people.

      • fernando

        I HAVE READ ALL THE PROS AND CONS RE ATROCITIES COMMITTED BY BOTH SIDES.
        BUT PLEASE REMEMBER AN ACCOUNTABLE ELECTED GOVERNMENT CANNOT ACT
        LIKE A NON STATE ACTOR.
        FOR WHATEVER REASON THE REBELS WHETHER SINHALA OR TAMIL ARE NON ELECTED
        THEY HAVE NEVER TAKEN AN OATH TO PROTECT THE CONSTITUTION, THEY AND THEIR FOLLOWING
        HAVE NO CRITERIA NOR STANDARDS.
        BUT A ELECTED GOVERNMENT HAS YARDSTICKS TO FOLLOW, THE LOCAL LAWS AND THE INTERNATIONAL LAWS. NO GOVERNMENTS CAN SET ASIDE THESE LAWS.
        THEREFORE IF THE GOVERNMENT OR ITS REPRESENTATIVES TAKE THESE LAWS INTO THEIR OWN HANDS FOR WHATEVER REASON THEY ARE EXPOSING THEMSELVES NOT ONLY TO LOCAL INVESTIGATION BUT ALSO TO INTERNATIONAL INVESTIGATION.
        THE LOCAL LAWS WERE NEVER PERMITTED TO TAKE ITS COURSE, IT WAS TOTAL IMPUNITY.
        ‘ remember what you sow you reap”
        THE STORY IS NOW UNFOLDING, NO AMOUNT OF RHETORIC CAN REDEEM THIS COUNTRY EXCEPT
        TO COME OUT WITH CLEAN HANDS NO MATTER WHAT CONSEQUENCE. THE ONLY SAVING FACTOR.

  16. krishan canagasabey

    I am a sri lankan tamil, never have been and never will be a person to wave any flag of any country nor the LTTE. The LTTE has taken the most educated cultured people of sri lanka into a tunnel of doom thanks to they not understanding that 9/11 changed the world. We have lost everything, this government will make sure no tamil is left in sri lanka if it lasted 100 years.

  17. APPUHAMY

    The reason the “West” is supportive of the Tamil terrorists is because some of their most prominent politicians have been bribed by these terrorists’ front line organizations and groups operating in those countries either as Charitable organizations or do-called diaspora – but in fact are the money-laundering and arms-procuring wings of the LTTE. This is evident especially in USA where some prominent Democrat politicians have received large sums of money as “donations for their political campaigns” from these terrorist organizations. One of them, after being questioned by certain journalists, had “apparently returned the money” her campaign had received from these Tamil terrorist groups during the run-ups to the 2008 Presidential elections. One of the terrorists’ infamous agents in USA – Raj Rajaratnam – the Hedge Fund crook – is also on “shoulder rubbing” terms with this prominent US politician and her family. Sri Lanka should cultivate a closer relationship with the Republicans in USA – who actually banned the LTTE as a “terrorist organization” during their tenure – which paved way for the Sri Lankan government to eventually eliminate the dreaded, ruthless and barbaric Tamil Tiger terrorist group.

  18. APPUHAMY

    The decisions taken by the current US administration to harass Sri Lanka on the grounds of Human Rights violations for defeating the worlds most ruthless terrorist organization – the Tamil Tigers – has nothing to do with the opinion of the majority of US citizens. This is a decision made by just a handful of leading politicians of the Democratic party – who received huge sums of money as donations during the US Presidential election campaigns in 2008 – from the frontline organizations run by those very Tamil Terrorist Organizations pretending to be diaspora. These “leading Democrat politicians” are thereby obliged to listen to the lies spread by these Tamil terrorist organizations and are now returning the favors by harassing the Sri Lankan government. All patriotic Sri Lankans – especially those living in USA – must take a stand to support the Republican Party in USA henceforth – which during George W. Bush’s term in office – decided to ban the Tamil Tigers as a terrorist organization – which actually paved way for the Sri Lanka government to finally wipe out that barbaric terrorist organization.

  19. prematilaka

    where is international invistigation about the genocide that was don by the LTTE leader?

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