UN Human Rights Chief puts out scathing report on Sri Lanka
September 17, 2023: The Australian Tamil Congress (ATC), British Tamils Forum (BTF), Irish Tamils Forum (ITF), Solidarity Group for Peace and Justice (SGPJ – South Africa), Swiss Tamil Action Group (STAG) and the US Tamil Action Group (USTAG) vehemently denounce the Sinhala mob attack on Selvarajah Kajendren, MP and others today during their peaceful memorial march in Trincomalee, remembering freedom fighter late Thileepan (Rasaiah Parthipan), who attained martyrdom in 1987 by taking the nonviolent path of a hunger strike to release political prisoners and to end the Sri Lankan military occupation and state- sponsored colonisation.
Late Thileepan’s remembrance is observed by Tamil people as his demands, in retrospect, are still tragically relevant:
- All Tamils detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act should be released.
- The colonisation of Sinhalese in Tamil areas under the guise of rehabilitation should be stopped.
- All such rehabilitation should be stopped until an interim [provincial] government is formed.
- The Sri Lankan government should stop opening new police stations and camps in the North Eastern province.
- The Sri Lankan army and police should withdraw from schools in Tamil villages and the weapons given by the Sri Lankan government to ‘home guards’ should be withdrawn under the supervision of the Indian army.
These mob assaults included not only hitting MP Kajendren and his entourage, but also tearing off memorial pictures of Thileepan and damaging the vehicles that were carrying those pictures. This incident occurred while the police were watching and in the vicinity of a military camp, showing th Sri Lanka state’s governance of unscrupulous kakistocracy.
This unruly act of violence on a peaceful march in the traditional Tamil homeland by Sinhala hooligans with the acquiescence of the Sri Lankan Police clearly contravenes International Humanitarian Law (IHL) on memorialisation of dead.
While we, the Tamil diaspora strongly condemn this attack, we are concerned at the ineffective actions of the international community which has allowed Sri Lanka to hoodwink them with empty promises and by not making the structural changes necessary to ensure non-recurrence.
Unless the international community wakes up and take strict measures against Sri Lanka, the human rights situation will continue to deteriorate in this island, and the country will continue plunge to failure.
Regardless, Tamil peoples’ endurance for fighting for their rights will never die.
Mr. Krish Illungko
Chairperson, Australian Tamil Congress (ATC)
Solidarity Group for Peace and Justice (SGPJ – South Africa)
V. Ravi Kumar
General Secretary, British Tamils Forum (BTF)
Swiss Tamil Action Group (STAG)
Irish Tamils Forum (ITF)
President, United States Tamil Action Group (USTAG)