Sunday 10 November 2013

Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr condemns British Government visit to Sri Lanka to appoint mass murderer Majinda Rajapaksa Chair of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group

Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr says Sri Lanka and the treatment of the Tamils shows the difference between rhetoric and reality of the British Government policy on Human Rights.

British hypocrisy on human rights knows no limits.

It was only a few months ago that the British Foreign Secretary William Hague stood by the side of Angelina Jolie denouncing sexual crimes during war against women.

Now William Hague is to accompany David Cameron to a CHOGM  meeting in Sri Lanka to appoint mass murderer Majinda Rajapaksa Chair of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group.

The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) is held every two years to enable leaders of Commonwealth countries to come together to discuss global and Commonwealth issues, and to decide on collective policies and initiatives, the CHOGM Website states.

This year, the CHOGM is taking place in Sri Lanka, a nation that stands accused of some of the most bold and revolting war crimes in history. The charges stem from acts committed against the minority Tamils just four years ago. A large number of people, governments and human rights organizations are waging efforts to increase a boycott of the event.

To complicate matters and further bruise an already fragile Tamil population, Sri Lanka President Majinda Rajapaksa, who stands at the front of the line of suspects accused of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, is slated to become Chair of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG).

The crimes committed against the Tamil people by the government of Sri Lanka in 2009 are so brutally obscene that they nearly defy description. The government's stated mission was the elimination of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) better known as the Tamil Tigers. Instead, after first killing journalists who reported from the Tamil perspective, the Sinhala Buddhist majority government of Sri Lanka eliminated tens of thousands of civilians.

The true numbers are unknown, but reliable sources place the number between 140,000 and 160,000 dead. In the eyes of many, it is nothing less than a full-scale genocide.

There is a long list of war crimes that have been documented by Channel 4 in London. They recently aired the new documentary by Callum Macrae, 'No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka'. This program documents much of the horror experienced by the Tamils as government forces moved into the north.

Macrae profiles the long list of documented sex crimes toward women.

One victim was the LTTE reporter Isai Priya. Her body was initially videotaped and photographed naked, with her clothing stripped, and her hands tied behind her back, very obviously a victim of sex abuse and murder. “No Fire Zone” shows footage of Isai Priya, also known as Shoba, being captured by Sri Lankan soldiers. She was initially mistaken for a daughter of Tamil Tiger Chief Velupillai Prabhakaran. Either way, it is perfectly established that this 27-year old non-combatant was captured alive, and then abused and murdered.

The death of Prabhakaran's son, Balachandran, is another extremely well-documented war crime. He surrendered with his bodyguards using white flags. The boy was photographed in the custody of Sri Lankan government officials, and then a short time later, lying dead on his back with several bullet entry wounds in his chest and stomach.

Rajapaksa's war against the Tamils was waged with treachery and deceit. These Hindu and Christian people were tricked into occupying so-called "No Fire Zones" and then attacked by the Sri Lankan Army with impunity. For months in 2009, the smell of death permeated the air in the regions where the fighting persisted, and intensified, culminating in May 2009.

The government of this island nation abjectly and defiantly relied upon state terrorism to defeat the LTTE, which had established and maintained a full service government in the north and east of the country, in a breakaway state known as Tamil Eelam.

The Sri Lankan Army targeted medical facilities so consistently in 2009 that the United Nations teams on the ground stopped providing coordinates to the government forces. The SLA was actually using the information, provided to spare the doctors and patients from direct fire, to target the hard pressed field hospitals.

The Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) states:

“The Sri Lankan government callously suppresses free speech as clearly demonstrated in the 6th Amendment in the Sri Lankan Constitution standing in violation of a core value of the Commonwealth. Sri Lanka continues to deny any wrongdoing, despite clear and mounting evidence from various sources.”

Recounting the long history of discrimination, persecution and the marginalization of Tamils from the political process, as acknowledged in the UN Expert Panel Report, this booklet outlines the way in which very little has changed in the island of Sri Lanka.

"The consequences of hosting CHOGM in the island of Sri Lanka and appointing as its leader who is accused of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide as Chair of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) are innumerable and will devastate not only the Tamil People, but also the international community as a whole. The attention afforded to Sri Lanka as host of CHOGM has only bolstered its ability to obscure the real issues, and in turn allowed the government to escape accountability and justice."

The world has reached a point of utter irresponsibility toward mankind. When war criminals are installed as heads of human rights organizations, we have reached a critical point and should not be complacent, Tamil activists urge.


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