What Goes Around Comes Around

Our ad in the Farragut West Metro Station, Washington DC

Our ad in the Farragut West Metro Station, Washington DC

Last month I had the opportunity to meet with Tamil human rights defenders working to protect the rights of Tamil civilians displaced by the Sri Lankan government’s military campaign against the violent Armed Group known as the Tamil Tigers.

Displaced Tamils are confined to government run camps where conditions are harsh and there is no end to their detention in sight. Tamil and Sri Lankan human rights defenders are operating under great threat from the authorities and Sinhalese nationalist paramilitaries.

Journalists have been killed and activists have disappeared. An unmarked white van has been associated with several disappearances, evoking memories of the dirty wars of Latin America. The atmosphere in Colombo is increasingly one of fear and intimidation.

This is the context in which we learned earlier this month of a visit to Washington DC by the Sri Lankan Attorney General, Mohan Peiris, to meet with his American counterpart Eric Holder.

One of the principle items on the agenda at the Department of Justice was America’s use of Military Commissions at Guantanamo to try suspected members of Al Qaeda.

A Sri Lankan government spokesman told Agence France Presse:

“We want to study how the US handled terrorist suspects, particularly hundreds of them from Al Qaeda network, after the 9/11 attacks in New York.”

The Sri Lankan government is reportedly drawing up plans to try as many as 15,000 potential LTTE suspects before a ‘Special Tribunal’ modeled on the Military Commissions process with its reduced protections, secrecy and permissive rules of evidence.

This Sri Lankan initiative is a graphic illustration of the law of unintended consequences. The false steps made by the Bush administration in its fight against terrorism, and reinforced by the Obama administration, empower other governments around the world to flout international legal protections.

By its actions the US government has become an unwitting enabler, encouraging unscrupulous leaders around the world to roll back hard won freedoms, confident in the knowledge that US policies in the War on Terror prevent the American government from pressing its human rights agenda.

Closing Guantanamo and transferring the prisoners held there to the federal judicial system is an essential first step to rehabilitating America’s global reputation.

To this end, AIUSA’s Counter Terror With Justice campaign is launching a new ad – no Kangaroo Courts at Guantanamo – to keep up the pressure for reform and strengthen the Obama administration’s wavering commitment on these issues. The ad is running in the Farragut West Metro station in Washington DC, at the 17th street exit – an exit many White House staffers use.

We have to lead by example. Fine words and inspirational speeches are not enough. We are judged by our actions and, until we end the abusive practices introduced by the War on Terror, America cannot speak out for human rights around the world with any authority.

On October 16th from 11:30AM to 12:30PM Amnesty volunteers will be canvassing the crowds outside the White House, urging them to take action at www.amnestyusa.org/kangaroo. Come down and add your voice to those seeking to counter terror with justice. And remember: silence is consent.

AIUSA welcomes a lively and courteous discussion that follow our Community Guidelines. Comments are not pre-screened before they post but AIUSA reserves the right to remove any comments violating our guidelines.

53 thoughts on “What Goes Around Comes Around

  1. I think this is a very timely and important message, and accurately conveys the current human rights situation in Sri Lanka. I'd make one small correction, though: in the second paragraph, there's a reference to "Sinhalese nationalist paramilitaries." The paramilitary groups who've been working with the security forces are actually Tamil groups, not Sinhalese. Although I can't make the demonstration at the White House on Oct. 16, I hope everyone who can do so will join the Amnesty volunteers there.

  2. A very important report by Tom Parker.No, it's a hugely importasnt one.

    Trials of 15,000 "suspects", modeled on the lawless, rights – divested Guantanamo military "tribunals" ??

    Such "trials" will be added excuses as well to hold the entire Tamil population captive in a Guantanamo for an entire People !!

  3. Foreign Secretary David Miliband, speaking on the UK's engagement in Sri Lanka during a statement to the House of Commons today, said that the UK is concerned that there is no independent visibility of the process by which over 11,000 IDPs have been identified as suspected LTTE cadres and moved to separate camps.

    He also said that the UK is working with others to press for freedom of movement to be restored to the IDPs adding that freedom of movement for the IDP population is critical if a humanitarian crisis is to be averted in the IDP camps when the monsoon rains fall.

    “The IDPs continue to have inadequate access to health care and following a drop in the river level delivery of adequate water has been problematic in recent weeks. Unusually heavy rains during August demonstrated that the camps are ill-equipped for the sustained heavy rains expected from mid-October to December during the monsoon season,” Miliband said.

    “We are concerned over the lack of freedom of movement for the IDP population because of the nature of the ‘closed’ camps and over the ongoing separation of families and the heavy military oversight of the camps. We are also concerned that there is no independent visibility of the process by which over 11,000 IDPs have been identified as suspected LTTE cadres and moved to separate camps and that the UN and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have had no access to them since July,” he added.

    Miliband recalled that at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the UK took the decision in July not to support the Stand-By Arrangement for Sri Lanka. Whilst the UK acknowledged the need to help Sri Lanka avoid a damaging balance of payments crisis that would have disproportionately affected the poorest and most vulnerable members of society, the UK judged that the risks of a default had diminished and that the humanitarian and political situations posed risks to implementation of the programme.

    Sri lanka on final days of battle said, only 200 ltte remain, but killed over 20,000 tamils on final day alone. Now sri lanka say 15,000 ltte seperated. How? Gorvernment agents told Tamils in the camps, If any one say they have connection(/if they see ltte) to ltte, they will be sent to middle east jobs. These poor men & women thought they could go to middle east, now behined iron bars.

  4. Un pedido de ayuda para los Presos Polticos Militares en la Argentina, los cuales llevan algunos mas de 9,8 o 6 años en detencion en carceles de toda la Argentina.
    Ellos carecen de asistencia medica, teniendo algunos edades que superan los 80 años, esas enfermedades como el Allzheimer, Cancer, Coronaria, Diabetes, etc. ya hubieron mas de 55 fallecimientos sin ser atendidos, dejandolos agonizando en el sistema carcelario.
    Mas alla de las causa que se les manifiesta, deberian ser tratados como seres Humanos.
    Eso no esta sucediendo, y el odio y la venganza se esta aplicando ante la ley, ya que los Jueces que fueron asignados no cumplen con las leyes en el Derecho humano, por consiguiente el Estado no puede negar esta violacion a los acuerdos Universales en el derecho humano que fueron firmados mundialmente y que la Argentina ha firmado.
    Pido que quien lea esta carta tome contacto conmigo, yo podre hacerle llegar el material necesario para dar prueba a estos violentos asesinatos que se estan produciendo en el silencio de Estado.
    El cual tiene su deber de respetar la vida humana, y sin realizar tirturas.
    Pero lamentablemente tuvieron que morir 58 hombres en el estado inhumano, pidiendo ser asistidos y los jueces jamas dieron orden alguna para que sean trasladados a serviios medicos de Urgencia, las carceles Argentinas no tiene servicios de ambulancia, no tienen servicio de medicos ante un caso de infarto o cualquier problema que surja en la carcel, estos hombres son detenidos, quienes no tuvieron posibilidades de defenderse y tener juicio alguno, lo que significa ser aun inocentes.
    Aqui en la Argentina no existe la pena de muerte, pero se aplica sin existir ley.
    Pido ayuda, AYUDA!!!, SOS.
    Erica Solange Scheller.
    Hija de un preso politico militar, que lleva mas de 6 años detenido sin juicio y enfermo gravemente, con arterias tapadas y sufriendo de Diabetes.
    Saludo atentamente, Gracias.

  5. I think this is a very timely and important message, and accurately conveys the current human rights situation in Sri Lanka. I’d make one small correction, though: in the second paragraph, there’s a reference to “Sinhalese nationalist paramilitaries.” The paramilitary groups who’ve been working with the security forces are actually Tamil groups, not Sinhalese. Although I can’t make the demonstration at the White House on Oct. 16, I hope everyone who can do so will join the Amnesty volunteers there.

  6. A very important report by Tom Parker.No, it’s a hugely importasnt one.

    Trials of 15,000 “suspects”, modeled on the lawless, rights – divested Guantanamo military “tribunals” ??

    Such “trials” will be added excuses as well to hold the entire Tamil population captive in a Guantanamo for an entire People !!

  7. Foreign Secretary David Miliband, speaking on the UK’s engagement in Sri Lanka during a statement to the House of Commons today, said that the UK is concerned that there is no independent visibility of the process by which over 11,000 IDPs have been identified as suspected LTTE cadres and moved to separate camps.

    He also said that the UK is working with others to press for freedom of movement to be restored to the IDPs adding that freedom of movement for the IDP population is critical if a humanitarian crisis is to be averted in the IDP camps when the monsoon rains fall.

    “The IDPs continue to have inadequate access to health care and following a drop in the river level delivery of adequate water has been problematic in recent weeks. Unusually heavy rains during August demonstrated that the camps are ill-equipped for the sustained heavy rains expected from mid-October to December during the monsoon season,” Miliband said.

    “We are concerned over the lack of freedom of movement for the IDP population because of the nature of the ‘closed’ camps and over the ongoing separation of families and the heavy military oversight of the camps. We are also concerned that there is no independent visibility of the process by which over 11,000 IDPs have been identified as suspected LTTE cadres and moved to separate camps and that the UN and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have had no access to them since July,” he added.

    Miliband recalled that at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the UK took the decision in July not to support the Stand-By Arrangement for Sri Lanka. Whilst the UK acknowledged the need to help Sri Lanka avoid a damaging balance of payments crisis that would have disproportionately affected the poorest and most vulnerable members of society, the UK judged that the risks of a default had diminished and that the humanitarian and political situations posed risks to implementation of the programme.

    Sri lanka on final days of battle said, only 200 ltte remain, but killed over 20,000 tamils on final day alone. Now sri lanka say 15,000 ltte seperated. How? Gorvernment agents told Tamils in the camps, If any one say they have connection(/if they see ltte) to ltte, they will be sent to middle east jobs. These poor men & women thought they could go to middle east, now behined iron bars.

  8. Un pedido de ayuda para los Presos Polticos Militares en la Argentina, los cuales llevan algunos mas de 9,8 o 6 años en detencion en carceles de toda la Argentina.
    Ellos carecen de asistencia medica, teniendo algunos edades que superan los 80 años, esas enfermedades como el Allzheimer, Cancer, Coronaria, Diabetes, etc. ya hubieron mas de 55 fallecimientos sin ser atendidos, dejandolos agonizando en el sistema carcelario.
    Mas alla de las causa que se les manifiesta, deberian ser tratados como seres Humanos.
    Eso no esta sucediendo, y el odio y la venganza se esta aplicando ante la ley, ya que los Jueces que fueron asignados no cumplen con las leyes en el Derecho humano, por consiguiente el Estado no puede negar esta violacion a los acuerdos Universales en el derecho humano que fueron firmados mundialmente y que la Argentina ha firmado.
    Pido que quien lea esta carta tome contacto conmigo, yo podre hacerle llegar el material necesario para dar prueba a estos violentos asesinatos que se estan produciendo en el silencio de Estado.
    El cual tiene su deber de respetar la vida humana, y sin realizar tirturas.
    Pero lamentablemente tuvieron que morir 58 hombres en el estado inhumano, pidiendo ser asistidos y los jueces jamas dieron orden alguna para que sean trasladados a serviios medicos de Urgencia, las carceles Argentinas no tiene servicios de ambulancia, no tienen servicio de medicos ante un caso de infarto o cualquier problema que surja en la carcel, estos hombres son detenidos, quienes no tuvieron posibilidades de defenderse y tener juicio alguno, lo que significa ser aun inocentes.
    Aqui en la Argentina no existe la pena de muerte, pero se aplica sin existir ley.
    Pido ayuda, AYUDA!!!, SOS.
    Erica Solange Scheller.
    Hija de un preso politico militar, que lleva mas de 6 años detenido sin juicio y enfermo gravemente, con arterias tapadas y sufriendo de Diabetes.
    Saludo atentamente, Gracias.

  9. To Jim and others:

    Please watch this video. http://www.abc.net.au/reslib/200910/r452984_22089

    Can AI help these stranded people? The call from the 9 year old is heart-rending to say the least. These people have fled from from the very harsh and inhumanitarian rule, from the very clutches of the dictatorial and intimidating regime, that AI has been all along complaining about including this post. These people cannot go back to the country and add to the count of disappeared people that AI is keeping track of. I think some country in this world should own these people. Can AI do something about this?

    Before Jim or anyone comments, this is absolutely relevant to the blogpost. AI condemns the actions of the government through statements and articles like this particular blogpost, while these poor people can do only one thing – flee the country.

  10. To Jim and others:

    Please watch this video. http://www.abc.net.au/reslib/200910/r452984_22089

    Can AI help these stranded people? The call from the 9 year old is heart-rending to say the least. These people have fled from from the very harsh and inhumanitarian rule, from the very clutches of the dictatorial and intimidating regime, that AI has been all along complaining about including this post. These people cannot go back to the country and add to the count of disappeared people that AI is keeping track of. I think some country in this world should own these people. Can AI do something about this?

    Before Jim or anyone comments, this is absolutely relevant to the blogpost. AI condemns the actions of the government through statements and articles like this particular blogpost, while these poor people can do only one thing – flee the country.

  11. To Jim and others:

    Please watch this video. http://www.abc.net.au/reslib/200910/r452984_22089

    Can AI help these stranded people? The call from the 9 year old is heart-rending to say the least. These people have fled from from the very harsh and inhumanitarian rule, from the very clutches of the dictatorial and intimidating regime, that AI has been all along complaining about including this post. These people cannot go back to the country and add to the count of disappeared people that AI is keeping track of. I think some country in this world should own these people. Can AI do something about this?

    Before Jim or anyone comments, this is absolutely relevant to the blogpost. AI condemns the actions of the government through statements and articles like this particular blogpost, while these poor people can do only one thing – flee the country.

  12. To Jim and others:

    Please watch this video.
    http://www.abc.net.au/reslib/200910/r452984_2208972.asx

    Can AI help these stranded people? The call from the 9 year old is heart-rending to say the least. These people have fled from from the very harsh and inhumanitarian rule, from the very clutches of the dictatorial and intimidating regime, that AI has been all along complaining about including this post. These people cannot go back to the country and add to the count of disappeared people that AI is keeping track of. I think some country in this world should own these people. Can AI do something about this?

    Before Jim or anyone comments, this is absolutely relevant to the blogpost. AI condemns the actions of the government through statements and articles like this particular blogpost, while these poor people can do only one thing – flee the country.

  13. In response to Humanitarian Human's comment of Oct. 15, 8:24 A.M. (which was posted under another blog entry as well), it is unclear to me whether the topic of the Tamil asylum seekers in the boat off Java is relevant to the original post here or not. It might be. So in response, I'd point out that AI Australia has issued a public statement on this case (see http://www.amnesty.org.au/news/comments/21866/). I'd suggest that any desired follow-up on this topic be taken up with AI Australia.

  14. In response to Humanitarian Human's comment of Oct. 15, 8:24 A.M. (which was posted under another blog entry as well), it is unclear to me whether the topic of the Tamil asylum seekers in the boat off Java is relevant to the original post here or not. It might be. So in response, I'd point out that AI Australia has issued a public statement on this case (see http://www.amnesty.org.au/news/comments/21866/). I'd suggest that any desired follow-up on this topic be taken up with AI Australia.

  15. In response to Humanitarian Human's comment of Oct. 15, 8:24 A.M. (which was posted under another blog entry as well), it is unclear to me whether the topic of the Tamil asylum seekers in the boat off Java is relevant to the original post here or not. It might be. So in response, I'd point out that AI Australia has issued a public statement on this case (see http://www.amnesty.org.au/news/comments/21866/). I'd suggest that any desired follow-up on this topic be taken up with AI Australia.

  16. In response to Humanitarian Human’s comment of Oct. 15, 8:24 A.M. (which was posted under another blog entry as well), it is unclear to me whether the topic of the Tamil asylum seekers in the boat off Java is relevant to the original post here or not. It might be. So in response, I’d point out that AI Australia has issued a public statement on this case (see http://www.amnesty.org.au/news/comments/21866/). I’d suggest that any desired follow-up on this topic be taken up with AI Australia.

  17. Sri Lanka claimed that in the last days of the war, it carried out "the largest hostage-rescue operation" that liberated thousands of Tamils from the oppressive rule of the LTTE. Yet in reality, to this day the "rescued" Tamil population has seen neither freedom nor relief. From March 2008 until the present, the government has confined virtually all civilians displaced by the war in military-controlled detention camps, euphemistically called "welfare centers." In violation of international law, the government denied the displaced their rights to liberty and freedom of movement. The camp residents are kept in the dark regarding their own future and the fate of their missing relatives. More than four months after the end of hostilities, the government continues to hold more than 250,000 civilians in illegal detention. http://www.fpif.org/fpiftxt/6504

    Why Tamils have no freedom or relief, still not enough pressure on sri lankan government. World media's realise the fact, world leaders are not?. GSP+ might be the first pressure on SL to unlock the camps. But still, regional powers are ready to cover up the crime against humanity in sri lanka. The fact is, there should be a sort of pressure on these regional powers. Many Tamils are in the middle of the oceans in escaping attempt. This is similar to Tamil's 9/11, which is 1983 riots. Over a million Tamils escaped from the country's Genocide. http://www.blackjuly83.com

    Over 50,000 Tamils have been killed recently. From the mass grave, budda came out all over the Tamil's area. Yes they build many buddist temple, this simply an ethnic cleansing. Tamils are denied access to their homes.

  18. Sri Lanka claimed that in the last days of the war, it carried out "the largest hostage-rescue operation" that liberated thousands of Tamils from the oppressive rule of the LTTE. Yet in reality, to this day the "rescued" Tamil population has seen neither freedom nor relief. From March 2008 until the present, the government has confined virtually all civilians displaced by the war in military-controlled detention camps, euphemistically called "welfare centers." In violation of international law, the government denied the displaced their rights to liberty and freedom of movement. The camp residents are kept in the dark regarding their own future and the fate of their missing relatives. More than four months after the end of hostilities, the government continues to hold more than 250,000 civilians in illegal detention. http://www.fpif.org/fpiftxt/6504

    Why Tamils have no freedom or relief, still not enough pressure on sri lankan government. World media's realise the fact, world leaders are not?. GSP+ might be the first pressure on SL to unlock the camps. But still, regional powers are ready to cover up the crime against humanity in sri lanka. The fact is, there should be a sort of pressure on these regional powers. Many Tamils are in the middle of the oceans in escaping attempt. This is similar to Tamil's 9/11, which is 1983 riots. Over a million Tamils escaped from the country's Genocide. http://www.blackjuly83.com

    Over 50,000 Tamils have been killed recently. From the mass grave, budda came out all over the Tamil's area. Yes they build many buddist temple, this simply an ethnic cleansing. Tamils are denied access to their homes.

  19. Sri Lanka claimed that in the last days of the war, it carried out "the largest hostage-rescue operation" that liberated thousands of Tamils from the oppressive rule of the LTTE. Yet in reality, to this day the "rescued" Tamil population has seen neither freedom nor relief. From March 2008 until the present, the government has confined virtually all civilians displaced by the war in military-controlled detention camps, euphemistically called "welfare centers." In violation of international law, the government denied the displaced their rights to liberty and freedom of movement. The camp residents are kept in the dark regarding their own future and the fate of their missing relatives. More than four months after the end of hostilities, the government continues to hold more than 250,000 civilians in illegal detention. http://www.fpif.org/fpiftxt/6504

    Why Tamils have no freedom or relief, still not enough pressure on sri lankan government. World media's realise the fact, world leaders are not?. GSP+ might be the first pressure on SL to unlock the camps. But still, regional powers are ready to cover up the crime against humanity in sri lanka. The fact is, there should be a sort of pressure on these regional powers. Many Tamils are in the middle of the oceans in escaping attempt. This is similar to Tamil's 9/11, which is 1983 riots. Over a million Tamils escaped from the country's Genocide. http://www.blackjuly83.com

    Over 50,000 Tamils have been killed recently. From the mass grave, budda came out all over the Tamil's area. Yes they build many buddist temple, this simply an ethnic cleansing. Tamils are denied access to their homes.

  20. Sri Lanka claimed that in the last days of the war, it carried out “the largest hostage-rescue operation” that liberated thousands of Tamils from the oppressive rule of the LTTE. Yet in reality, to this day the “rescued” Tamil population has seen neither freedom nor relief. From March 2008 until the present, the government has confined virtually all civilians displaced by the war in military-controlled detention camps, euphemistically called “welfare centers.” In violation of international law, the government denied the displaced their rights to liberty and freedom of movement. The camp residents are kept in the dark regarding their own future and the fate of their missing relatives. More than four months after the end of hostilities, the government continues to hold more than 250,000 civilians in illegal detention.
    http://www.fpif.org/fpiftxt/6504

    Why Tamils have no freedom or relief, still not enough pressure on sri lankan government. World media’s realise the fact, world leaders are not?. GSP+ might be the first pressure on SL to unlock the camps. But still, regional powers are ready to cover up the crime against humanity in sri lanka. The fact is, there should be a sort of pressure on these regional powers. Many Tamils are in the middle of the oceans in escaping attempt. This is similar to Tamil’s 9/11, which is 1983 riots. Over a million Tamils escaped from the country’s Genocide.
    http://www.blackjuly83.com

    Over 50,000 Tamils have been killed recently. From the mass grave, budda came out all over the Tamil’s area. Yes they build many buddist temple, this simply an ethnic cleansing. Tamils are denied access to their homes.

  21. Home Forensic analysis confirms execution-video authentic, says US-group
    http://www.nowpublic.com/world/channel-4-released

    A report of preliminary findings from a US-based forensic company that took nearly three weeks to analyze the Channel-4 broadcast video allegedly showing Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers extra-judicially executing Tamil captives stripped naked and hands tied behind their back, said "the video and audio of the events depicted in the Video, were continuous without any evidence of start/stops, insertions, deletions, over recordings, editing or tampering of any kind."

    The report contained determinations on ten different critical issues on the characteristics of the video and audio portions of the 3gp format file distributed by the German-based Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS) on 25th August.

    The forensic firm used a firing range to conduct field experiments to arrive at some of the findings according to the report.

    Key findings listed in the preliminary report follow:
    •No evidence of tampering or editing was discovered with either the video or audio portions of Video
    •The blood pooled around the previous victim with the white shirt and with the victim of the 2nd shooting is consistent with blood from the brain, which would contain high amounts of oxygen giving the blood its bright color. The fact that it is still bright in color is consistent with it being very recent.
    •The audio delay with respect to both gun shots’ audio compared with each corresponding rifle recoil is consistent for some, if not most, camera cell phones that are capable of video recording.
    •Preliminary field test with a typical camera cell phone of similar audio qualities (per header information in Exhibit “A”), was able to record a MAK-90 (AK variant w/16” barrel) gun shot w/7.62x39mm ammo, with the camera cell phone being positioned in a similar camera field of view of the 2nd gun shot, or 12 feet away from the muzzle, without any distortion of the audio.
    •The leg of an apparent previous shooting victim lying prone on the ground, down range and at the feet of the first victim, rises in the air when the first victim is shot, and then slowly drops to its former position. This reaction appears to be from the bullet that passed through the first victim and then striking the down range victim and would be consistent with a victim that was very recently shot that has not died yet.
    TAG officials told TamilNet that the official copy of the preliminary findings will be released as soon as the draft for the final report is complete.

    Earlier, Philip Alston, the UN Special Rapporteur on extra-judicial, summary or arbitrary executions, dismissed Sri Lanka's investigations as not independent. "The only way to do this [authenticate the video] is for an independent and impartial investigation to take place,'' Alston had said earlier.

  22. Home Forensic analysis confirms execution-video authentic, says US-group
    http://www.nowpublic.com/world/channel-4-released

    A report of preliminary findings from a US-based forensic company that took nearly three weeks to analyze the Channel-4 broadcast video allegedly showing Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers extra-judicially executing Tamil captives stripped naked and hands tied behind their back, said "the video and audio of the events depicted in the Video, were continuous without any evidence of start/stops, insertions, deletions, over recordings, editing or tampering of any kind."

    The report contained determinations on ten different critical issues on the characteristics of the video and audio portions of the 3gp format file distributed by the German-based Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS) on 25th August.

    The forensic firm used a firing range to conduct field experiments to arrive at some of the findings according to the report.

    Key findings listed in the preliminary report follow:
    •No evidence of tampering or editing was discovered with either the video or audio portions of Video
    •The blood pooled around the previous victim with the white shirt and with the victim of the 2nd shooting is consistent with blood from the brain, which would contain high amounts of oxygen giving the blood its bright color. The fact that it is still bright in color is consistent with it being very recent.
    •The audio delay with respect to both gun shots’ audio compared with each corresponding rifle recoil is consistent for some, if not most, camera cell phones that are capable of video recording.
    •Preliminary field test with a typical camera cell phone of similar audio qualities (per header information in Exhibit “A”), was able to record a MAK-90 (AK variant w/16” barrel) gun shot w/7.62x39mm ammo, with the camera cell phone being positioned in a similar camera field of view of the 2nd gun shot, or 12 feet away from the muzzle, without any distortion of the audio.
    •The leg of an apparent previous shooting victim lying prone on the ground, down range and at the feet of the first victim, rises in the air when the first victim is shot, and then slowly drops to its former position. This reaction appears to be from the bullet that passed through the first victim and then striking the down range victim and would be consistent with a victim that was very recently shot that has not died yet.
    TAG officials told TamilNet that the official copy of the preliminary findings will be released as soon as the draft for the final report is complete.

    Earlier, Philip Alston, the UN Special Rapporteur on extra-judicial, summary or arbitrary executions, dismissed Sri Lanka's investigations as not independent. "The only way to do this [authenticate the video] is for an independent and impartial investigation to take place,'' Alston had said earlier.

  23. Home Forensic analysis confirms execution-video authentic, says US-group
    http://www.nowpublic.com/world/channel-4-released

    A report of preliminary findings from a US-based forensic company that took nearly three weeks to analyze the Channel-4 broadcast video allegedly showing Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers extra-judicially executing Tamil captives stripped naked and hands tied behind their back, said "the video and audio of the events depicted in the Video, were continuous without any evidence of start/stops, insertions, deletions, over recordings, editing or tampering of any kind."

    The report contained determinations on ten different critical issues on the characteristics of the video and audio portions of the 3gp format file distributed by the German-based Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS) on 25th August.

    The forensic firm used a firing range to conduct field experiments to arrive at some of the findings according to the report.

    Key findings listed in the preliminary report follow:
    •No evidence of tampering or editing was discovered with either the video or audio portions of Video
    •The blood pooled around the previous victim with the white shirt and with the victim of the 2nd shooting is consistent with blood from the brain, which would contain high amounts of oxygen giving the blood its bright color. The fact that it is still bright in color is consistent with it being very recent.
    •The audio delay with respect to both gun shots’ audio compared with each corresponding rifle recoil is consistent for some, if not most, camera cell phones that are capable of video recording.
    •Preliminary field test with a typical camera cell phone of similar audio qualities (per header information in Exhibit “A”), was able to record a MAK-90 (AK variant w/16” barrel) gun shot w/7.62x39mm ammo, with the camera cell phone being positioned in a similar camera field of view of the 2nd gun shot, or 12 feet away from the muzzle, without any distortion of the audio.
    •The leg of an apparent previous shooting victim lying prone on the ground, down range and at the feet of the first victim, rises in the air when the first victim is shot, and then slowly drops to its former position. This reaction appears to be from the bullet that passed through the first victim and then striking the down range victim and would be consistent with a victim that was very recently shot that has not died yet.
    TAG officials told TamilNet that the official copy of the preliminary findings will be released as soon as the draft for the final report is complete.

    Earlier, Philip Alston, the UN Special Rapporteur on extra-judicial, summary or arbitrary executions, dismissed Sri Lanka's investigations as not independent. "The only way to do this [authenticate the video] is for an independent and impartial investigation to take place,'' Alston had said earlier.

  24. Home Forensic analysis confirms execution-video authentic, says US-group

    http://www.nowpublic.com/world/channel-4-released-video-evidence-sri-lankas-war-crimes

    A report of preliminary findings from a US-based forensic company that took nearly three weeks to analyze the Channel-4 broadcast video allegedly showing Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers extra-judicially executing Tamil captives stripped naked and hands tied behind their back, said “the video and audio of the events depicted in the Video, were continuous without any evidence of start/stops, insertions, deletions, over recordings, editing or tampering of any kind.”

    The report contained determinations on ten different critical issues on the characteristics of the video and audio portions of the 3gp format file distributed by the German-based Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS) on 25th August.

    The forensic firm used a firing range to conduct field experiments to arrive at some of the findings according to the report.

    Key findings listed in the preliminary report follow:
    •No evidence of tampering or editing was discovered with either the video or audio portions of Video
    •The blood pooled around the previous victim with the white shirt and with the victim of the 2nd shooting is consistent with blood from the brain, which would contain high amounts of oxygen giving the blood its bright color. The fact that it is still bright in color is consistent with it being very recent.
    •The audio delay with respect to both gun shots’ audio compared with each corresponding rifle recoil is consistent for some, if not most, camera cell phones that are capable of video recording.
    •Preliminary field test with a typical camera cell phone of similar audio qualities (per header information in Exhibit “A”), was able to record a MAK-90 (AK variant w/16” barrel) gun shot w/7.62x39mm ammo, with the camera cell phone being positioned in a similar camera field of view of the 2nd gun shot, or 12 feet away from the muzzle, without any distortion of the audio.
    •The leg of an apparent previous shooting victim lying prone on the ground, down range and at the feet of the first victim, rises in the air when the first victim is shot, and then slowly drops to its former position. This reaction appears to be from the bullet that passed through the first victim and then striking the down range victim and would be consistent with a victim that was very recently shot that has not died yet.
    TAG officials told TamilNet that the official copy of the preliminary findings will be released as soon as the draft for the final report is complete.

    Earlier, Philip Alston, the UN Special Rapporteur on extra-judicial, summary or arbitrary executions, dismissed Sri Lanka’s investigations as not independent. “The only way to do this [authenticate the video] is for an independent and impartial investigation to take place,” Alston had said earlier.

  25. The Sri Lanka government’s recent response to Damilvany Gnanakumar, a British citizen (the girl who was recently released from the concentration camps)
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/sep/15/sri-l

    indicates that they do not want the inmates of the camp to have access to the media or foreign media.

    The issue here is not who she is or what she said, but the GOSL’s response to her statements.

    The GOSL made a statement that they will not release any more foreign nationals who were being held in the camps.

    They also arrested members of Damilvany Gnanakumar’s family who sheltered her, so that she stopped giving her statements to the international press.

    The salient point here is that the Sri Lanka government’s response is to refuse freedom to people in the camp because they did not want them to speak out.

  26. The Sri Lanka government’s recent response to Damilvany Gnanakumar, a British citizen (the girl who was recently released from the concentration camps)
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/sep/15/sri-l

    indicates that they do not want the inmates of the camp to have access to the media or foreign media.

    The issue here is not who she is or what she said, but the GOSL’s response to her statements.

    The GOSL made a statement that they will not release any more foreign nationals who were being held in the camps.

    They also arrested members of Damilvany Gnanakumar’s family who sheltered her, so that she stopped giving her statements to the international press.

    The salient point here is that the Sri Lanka government’s response is to refuse freedom to people in the camp because they did not want them to speak out.

  27. The Sri Lanka government’s recent response to Damilvany Gnanakumar, a British citizen (the girl who was recently released from the concentration camps)
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/sep/15/sri-l

    indicates that they do not want the inmates of the camp to have access to the media or foreign media.

    The issue here is not who she is or what she said, but the GOSL’s response to her statements.

    The GOSL made a statement that they will not release any more foreign nationals who were being held in the camps.

    They also arrested members of Damilvany Gnanakumar’s family who sheltered her, so that she stopped giving her statements to the international press.

    The salient point here is that the Sri Lanka government’s response is to refuse freedom to people in the camp because they did not want them to speak out.

  28. The Sri Lanka government’s recent response to Damilvany Gnanakumar, a British citizen (the girl who was recently released from the concentration camps)

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/sep/15/sri-lanka-war-on-tamil-tigers

    indicates that they do not want the inmates of the camp to have access to the media or foreign media.

    The issue here is not who she is or what she said, but the GOSL’s response to her statements.

    The GOSL made a statement that they will not release any more foreign nationals who were being held in the camps.

    They also arrested members of Damilvany Gnanakumar’s family who sheltered her, so that she stopped giving her statements to the international press.

    The salient point here is that the Sri Lanka government’s response is to refuse freedom to people in the camp because they did not want them to speak out.

  29. I have mentioned lengthily in another post in another blog Column of AI about "looking at this whole issue" of importance and relevance of detaining IDP's..

    I will jot them down in point form here for the use of those who would be mislead by reading most of the comments here..

    1. There is indeed an HR issue where the GOSL has detained those who escaped last (during the final Battle between the LTTE and the GOSL – it is not acceptable in HR terms
    2. We have to now look at the point of view of the GOSL as to why it is been done..

    i. Most areas where the IDP's houses are filled with Landmines planted by the LTTE and has to be cleared prior to re-settlement
    ii. There are LTTE cadres hiding among the civilians and they need to be screened as they could create havoc once released which means putting lives of 20 Million at risk
    iii. The houses of these IDP's have been destroyed and they need to be re-stored prior to re-settlement
    iv. The Infrastructure in the areas needs to be redone for the people to actually live in right conditions

    In any Legal Issue, there is the Letter of Law, meaning as published on the book of Laws (as writing a speeding Ticket) and then there is the spirit of the Law where the law will be imposed only considering the circumstance of it being broken (as there is a heart patient and need to speed to get to hospital)

    In case of Amnesty , it is true that what's written in their book will even protect the Terrorist attached to the Taliban (keep aside LTTE). But, they need to look at the bigger picture where they would be numb if 20 million people would be at risk (keep aside the 300,000 who would be homeless and Limbless) if the GOSL would constitute for an act of irresponsibility of letting the IDP's go..

    The Government of the US of A are by no means in a position to negate the acts of the GOSL as they themselves are at guilt when it comes to the same situations of

    1. Camps at Guantanamo Bay
    2. War in Iraq
    3. War in Afghanistan
    4. Supporting Israel to Bomb the Gaza Strip

    Comparing to Israel's act of Bombing the Gaza strip, The GOSL has acted 100% responsibly – Hence, it is high time that this case be closed permanently…

    As per AI, indeed keep a watch out on GOSL on releasing the IDP's – if it doesn't happen during a stipulated time frame, we need to take action and you will have my personal support for it. However, given the current circumstances – BACK OFF – as it is necessary to do so !!

    A 30 year un-settlement cannot be settled in few months and it is pointless to explain why it needs time as any person with an IQ of more than "10" would understand it.

    As per the guys who are shouting out here – there is a major possibility that they are from the LTTE diaspora trying to unsettle the peaceful paradise of Sri Lanka. There is no way that anyone would bow down to false claim of "Homeland" as the concept it was created by a Terrorist group

    Whom do you want to believe – A Democratically elected Government" or a "Ruthless Genocide Terrorist Killer Group" ??

  30. I have mentioned lengthily in another post in another blog Column of AI about “looking at this whole issue” of importance and relevance of detaining IDP’s..

    I will jot them down in point form here for the use of those who would be mislead by reading most of the comments here..

    1. There is indeed an HR issue where the GOSL has detained those who escaped last (during the final Battle between the LTTE and the GOSL – it is not acceptable in HR terms
    2. We have to now look at the point of view of the GOSL as to why it is been done..

    i. Most areas where the IDP’s houses are filled with Landmines planted by the LTTE and has to be cleared prior to re-settlement
    ii. There are LTTE cadres hiding among the civilians and they need to be screened as they could create havoc once released which means putting lives of 20 Million at risk
    iii. The houses of these IDP’s have been destroyed and they need to be re-stored prior to re-settlement
    iv. The Infrastructure in the areas needs to be redone for the people to actually live in right conditions

    In any Legal Issue, there is the Letter of Law, meaning as published on the book of Laws (as writing a speeding Ticket) and then there is the spirit of the Law where the law will be imposed only considering the circumstance of it being broken (as there is a heart patient and need to speed to get to hospital)

    In case of Amnesty , it is true that what’s written in their book will even protect the Terrorist attached to the Taliban (keep aside LTTE). But, they need to look at the bigger picture where they would be numb if 20 million people would be at risk (keep aside the 300,000 who would be homeless and Limbless) if the GOSL would constitute for an act of irresponsibility of letting the IDP’s go..

    The Government of the US of A are by no means in a position to negate the acts of the GOSL as they themselves are at guilt when it comes to the same situations of

    1. Camps at Guantanamo Bay
    2. War in Iraq
    3. War in Afghanistan
    4. Supporting Israel to Bomb the Gaza Strip

    Comparing to Israel’s act of Bombing the Gaza strip, The GOSL has acted 100% responsibly – Hence, it is high time that this case be closed permanently…

    As per AI, indeed keep a watch out on GOSL on releasing the IDP’s – if it doesn’t happen during a stipulated time frame, we need to take action and you will have my personal support for it. However, given the current circumstances – BACK OFF – as it is necessary to do so !!

    A 30 year un-settlement cannot be settled in few months and it is pointless to explain why it needs time as any person with an IQ of more than “10″ would understand it.

    As per the guys who are shouting out here – there is a major possibility that they are from the LTTE diaspora trying to unsettle the peaceful paradise of Sri Lanka. There is no way that anyone would bow down to false claim of “Homeland” as the concept it was created by a Terrorist group

    Whom do you want to believe – A Democratically elected Government” or a “Ruthless Genocide Terrorist Killer Group” ??

  31. Stop settling Sinhalese in Tamil, Muslim owned land – Sampanthan http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&art

    While State terror jusifying keeping Tamils in the death camps, colonized budda stature came all over Tamils Land. Even Govt. officers are not allowed to go to vanni. over 60 km long from mullaitivu to jaffna area are not allowd even who working with state terror state. If IDPs are allowd in vanni, Tamil fishermen has to forget fishing, it is already colonized with sin hella. Many new born or unborn sin hella state terror budda are on the way in Tamil area.

    Number of war crimes that had been committed by the Sri Lankan forces is more than what Saddam Hussein did to the Kurdish people.

    Surrendered rebels with white flags were executed and thousands of wounded civilians were killed without mercy. Serious war crimes have been committed.

    Banned weapons (cluster and phosphorus bombs) were used against innocent men, women and children. Red Cross workers were killed. The same hospitals were repeatedly bombed. Buildings and properties were destroyed by very powerful bombs.

    Innocent civilians were forced to live inside the bunkers for months. Food and medicine were denied to them.

    Killing more than fifty thousands, wounding thirty thousands and forcing three hundred thousands in concentration camps will not convince anybody as a genuine humanitarian or rescue operation. These people never lived as hostages in the first place.

    Sri Lanka knows that serious war crimes had been committed and they are now working to hide their atrocities.

    Witnesses of these war crimes are mainly the people who came out of the war zone. They saw all that happened to them and to their loved ones. One of the main reasons why the Sri Lankan forces are not allowing journalists and aid workers into the IDP camps is because they want to hide their crimes.

  32. Stop settling Sinhalese in Tamil, Muslim owned land – Sampanthan http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&art

    While State terror jusifying keeping Tamils in the death camps, colonized budda stature came all over Tamils Land. Even Govt. officers are not allowed to go to vanni. over 60 km long from mullaitivu to jaffna area are not allowd even who working with state terror state. If IDPs are allowd in vanni, Tamil fishermen has to forget fishing, it is already colonized with sin hella. Many new born or unborn sin hella state terror budda are on the way in Tamil area.

    Number of war crimes that had been committed by the Sri Lankan forces is more than what Saddam Hussein did to the Kurdish people.

    Surrendered rebels with white flags were executed and thousands of wounded civilians were killed without mercy. Serious war crimes have been committed.

    Banned weapons (cluster and phosphorus bombs) were used against innocent men, women and children. Red Cross workers were killed. The same hospitals were repeatedly bombed. Buildings and properties were destroyed by very powerful bombs.

    Innocent civilians were forced to live inside the bunkers for months. Food and medicine were denied to them.

    Killing more than fifty thousands, wounding thirty thousands and forcing three hundred thousands in concentration camps will not convince anybody as a genuine humanitarian or rescue operation. These people never lived as hostages in the first place.

    Sri Lanka knows that serious war crimes had been committed and they are now working to hide their atrocities.

    Witnesses of these war crimes are mainly the people who came out of the war zone. They saw all that happened to them and to their loved ones. One of the main reasons why the Sri Lankan forces are not allowing journalists and aid workers into the IDP camps is because they want to hide their crimes.

  33. Stop settling Sinhalese in Tamil, Muslim owned land – Sampanthan http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&art

    While State terror jusifying keeping Tamils in the death camps, colonized budda stature came all over Tamils Land. Even Govt. officers are not allowed to go to vanni. over 60 km long from mullaitivu to jaffna area are not allowd even who working with state terror state. If IDPs are allowd in vanni, Tamil fishermen has to forget fishing, it is already colonized with sin hella. Many new born or unborn sin hella state terror budda are on the way in Tamil area.

    Number of war crimes that had been committed by the Sri Lankan forces is more than what Saddam Hussein did to the Kurdish people.

    Surrendered rebels with white flags were executed and thousands of wounded civilians were killed without mercy. Serious war crimes have been committed.

    Banned weapons (cluster and phosphorus bombs) were used against innocent men, women and children. Red Cross workers were killed. The same hospitals were repeatedly bombed. Buildings and properties were destroyed by very powerful bombs.

    Innocent civilians were forced to live inside the bunkers for months. Food and medicine were denied to them.

    Killing more than fifty thousands, wounding thirty thousands and forcing three hundred thousands in concentration camps will not convince anybody as a genuine humanitarian or rescue operation. These people never lived as hostages in the first place.

    Sri Lanka knows that serious war crimes had been committed and they are now working to hide their atrocities.

    Witnesses of these war crimes are mainly the people who came out of the war zone. They saw all that happened to them and to their loved ones. One of the main reasons why the Sri Lankan forces are not allowing journalists and aid workers into the IDP camps is because they want to hide their crimes.

  34. Stop settling Sinhalese in Tamil, Muslim owned land – Sampanthan
    http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=30507

    While State terror jusifying keeping Tamils in the death camps, colonized budda stature came all over Tamils Land. Even Govt. officers are not allowed to go to vanni. over 60 km long from mullaitivu to jaffna area are not allowd even who working with state terror state. If IDPs are allowd in vanni, Tamil fishermen has to forget fishing, it is already colonized with sin hella. Many new born or unborn sin hella state terror budda are on the way in Tamil area.

    Number of war crimes that had been committed by the Sri Lankan forces is more than what Saddam Hussein did to the Kurdish people.

    Surrendered rebels with white flags were executed and thousands of wounded civilians were killed without mercy. Serious war crimes have been committed.

    Banned weapons (cluster and phosphorus bombs) were used against innocent men, women and children. Red Cross workers were killed. The same hospitals were repeatedly bombed. Buildings and properties were destroyed by very powerful bombs.

    Innocent civilians were forced to live inside the bunkers for months. Food and medicine were denied to them.

    Killing more than fifty thousands, wounding thirty thousands and forcing three hundred thousands in concentration camps will not convince anybody as a genuine humanitarian or rescue operation. These people never lived as hostages in the first place.

    Sri Lanka knows that serious war crimes had been committed and they are now working to hide their atrocities.

    Witnesses of these war crimes are mainly the people who came out of the war zone. They saw all that happened to them and to their loved ones. One of the main reasons why the Sri Lankan forces are not allowing journalists and aid workers into the IDP camps is because they want to hide their crimes.

  35. *Yaawwnnn*

    My Sleepy feeling just went off the roof and felt as I fell in to a fish tank when I read the comment "Stop settling Sinhalese in Tamil, Muslim owned land – Sampanthan"

    What should the cat community do to the Signhala Cats that were chased out of the Northern and Eastern parts of Sri Lanka by the "Pussies" calling themselves Tigers or Big Cats ? don't they have the right to go to their own lands by any means? I mean it is getting too over populated in the streets of Colombo and rare you find a good meal of fish bones.

    I would imagine the cartoonist meant "Custard" when he spelled it as Cluster Bombs. We have not seen cluster bombs in this part of the world. May be he was dreaming about the war in Gaza where they showed Israel bombing Gaza with Cluster Bombs…

    *Yawnnnn*….. Hmmmm.. Sleepy – don't wake me up with this kind of shocks
    Bye eferrrry Bodiiiee

  36. *Yaawwnnn*

    My Sleepy feeling just went off the roof and felt as I fell in to a fish tank when I read the comment “Stop settling Sinhalese in Tamil, Muslim owned land – Sampanthan”

    What should the cat community do to the Signhala Cats that were chased out of the Northern and Eastern parts of Sri Lanka by the “Pussies” calling themselves Tigers or Big Cats ? don’t they have the right to go to their own lands by any means? I mean it is getting too over populated in the streets of Colombo and rare you find a good meal of fish bones.

    I would imagine the cartoonist meant “Custard” when he spelled it as Cluster Bombs. We have not seen cluster bombs in this part of the world. May be he was dreaming about the war in Gaza where they showed Israel bombing Gaza with Cluster Bombs…

    *Yawnnnn*….. Hmmmm.. Sleepy – don’t wake me up with this kind of shocks
    Bye eferrrry Bodiiiee

  37. The Tamil Diaspora’s continued public activity of marches, protests and public meetings is a critical part of the ongoing struggle to safeguard the Tamil national identity and secure Tamil political rights. This is because Tamil political activity plays a vital role in affirming the existence of the Tamil nation and thereby defies Sri Lanka’s genocidal policies.

    Sri Lanka’s sixty years of oppression has reached a climax. The machinery of the state is now focussed quite brazenly on eradicating the Tamil national identity. The internment of Tamils in squalid camps, the abductions and assassinations, the killing of journalists are all aimed at annihilating the existence of the Tamil nation.

    Under these conditions, we in the Diaspora have an important role to play in preserving the Tamil national identity and continuing the struggle to secure Tamil political rights. By doing so we can ensure that Sri Lanka is never able to completely erase the Tamil national identity.

    Nations only exist when their members act as if they exist. Conditions in Sri Lanka are increasingly making it impossible for Tamils to express their political will or maintain their national identity. In the Diaspora however, we face no such restrictions and must take every opportunity to set forth our demands and express our aspirations.

    Disappointment with international inactivity or apathy over Sri Lanka must not be allowed to deter these efforts. Sri Lanka will have succeeded in its objective of obliterating the Tamil nation if all the Tamils in the Diaspora slipped into apathy and fell silent.

    Just by making our demands in public we deny Sri Lanka’s claim that there is no Tamil nation and no Tamil problem in Sri Lanka. Every time Tamils get together to express their wishes Tamil national identity is affirmed. We are all familiar with Sri Lankan agents’ constant efforts to disrupt our activities. Sri Lankan officials do this because they understand how important protests, meetings and marches are in preserving and maintaining the Tamil national cause.

    Meetings, protests and marches are therefore not just about setting out a series of demands, they are also about expressing who we are and demonstrating our determination to continue our struggle whatever the obstacles we may face.

    Symbols are therefore very important. When we protest or march demanding an end to internment or the enforcement of international law, we are not merely marching or protesting as human rights or humanitarian advocates. We were also marching and protesting as Tamils determined to defend our national identity. This is why along with countless placards demanding humanitarian access, ceasefires and the observance of human rights norms, there is always a sea of red and yellow symbols and maps of our homeland.

    There are many different types of activity through which the Diaspora can keep the Tamil identity alive. Huge marches, massive demonstrations and high profile protests are sometimes the best way and will continue to play an important role. At other times small constituency meetings, public lectures and debates, meetings at universities or community organisations, smaller and more limited protests and petitions are also equally effective.

    These efforts are important in part because they keep the Tamil problem in the public eye. They are also important because they serve as a constant and visible reminder of the continued existence of the Tamil nation. So long as the Diaspora remains active and engaged, the Tamil national cause will continue to withstand the genocidal violence of the Sri Lankan state.

    The previous months of almost constant and frenetic activity have achieved some important results. Firstly the Tamil issue now on the international agenda as it has never been before. Although the Tamils continue to endure Sri Lanka choking violence, there is now widespread international agreement that Sri Lanka’s treatment of the Tamils is at the core of the island’s protracted political crisis.

    There is also a growing consensus on the need for a credible mechanism of justice. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have condemned Sri Lanka’s efforts to investigate its own abuses as shambolic and farcical. For the first time key Tamil concerns – such as the use of rape as a weapon of war, ethnic cleansing, the violation of the rule of law – have been taken up by prominent international actors and organisations.

    This past year of protest, which coincided with arguably the worst year for the Tamil nation, has shown that the Tamil people are not easily defeated. Whilst Sri Lanka stays true to its past by refusing to engage with credible Tamil leaders, the international community now knows that the Tamils must be taken on board.

    For this reason we must continue to make our demands and express our identity in public. Every time we do so we defy Sri Lanka’s genocide.

  38. The Tamil Diaspora’s continued public activity of marches, protests and public meetings is a critical part of the ongoing struggle to safeguard the Tamil national identity and secure Tamil political rights. This is because Tamil political activity plays a vital role in affirming the existence of the Tamil nation and thereby defies Sri Lanka’s genocidal policies.

    Sri Lanka’s sixty years of oppression has reached a climax. The machinery of the state is now focussed quite brazenly on eradicating the Tamil national identity. The internment of Tamils in squalid camps, the abductions and assassinations, the killing of journalists are all aimed at annihilating the existence of the Tamil nation.

    Under these conditions, we in the Diaspora have an important role to play in preserving the Tamil national identity and continuing the struggle to secure Tamil political rights. By doing so we can ensure that Sri Lanka is never able to completely erase the Tamil national identity.

    Nations only exist when their members act as if they exist. Conditions in Sri Lanka are increasingly making it impossible for Tamils to express their political will or maintain their national identity. In the Diaspora however, we face no such restrictions and must take every opportunity to set forth our demands and express our aspirations.

    Disappointment with international inactivity or apathy over Sri Lanka must not be allowed to deter these efforts. Sri Lanka will have succeeded in its objective of obliterating the Tamil nation if all the Tamils in the Diaspora slipped into apathy and fell silent.

    Just by making our demands in public we deny Sri Lanka’s claim that there is no Tamil nation and no Tamil problem in Sri Lanka. Every time Tamils get together to express their wishes Tamil national identity is affirmed. We are all familiar with Sri Lankan agents’ constant efforts to disrupt our activities. Sri Lankan officials do this because they understand how important protests, meetings and marches are in preserving and maintaining the Tamil national cause.

    Meetings, protests and marches are therefore not just about setting out a series of demands, they are also about expressing who we are and demonstrating our determination to continue our struggle whatever the obstacles we may face.

    Symbols are therefore very important. When we protest or march demanding an end to internment or the enforcement of international law, we are not merely marching or protesting as human rights or humanitarian advocates. We were also marching and protesting as Tamils determined to defend our national identity. This is why along with countless placards demanding humanitarian access, ceasefires and the observance of human rights norms, there is always a sea of red and yellow symbols and maps of our homeland.

    There are many different types of activity through which the Diaspora can keep the Tamil identity alive. Huge marches, massive demonstrations and high profile protests are sometimes the best way and will continue to play an important role. At other times small constituency meetings, public lectures and debates, meetings at universities or community organisations, smaller and more limited protests and petitions are also equally effective.

    These efforts are important in part because they keep the Tamil problem in the public eye. They are also important because they serve as a constant and visible reminder of the continued existence of the Tamil nation. So long as the Diaspora remains active and engaged, the Tamil national cause will continue to withstand the genocidal violence of the Sri Lankan state.

    The previous months of almost constant and frenetic activity have achieved some important results. Firstly the Tamil issue now on the international agenda as it has never been before. Although the Tamils continue to endure Sri Lanka choking violence, there is now widespread international agreement that Sri Lanka’s treatment of the Tamils is at the core of the island’s protracted political crisis.

    There is also a growing consensus on the need for a credible mechanism of justice. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have condemned Sri Lanka’s efforts to investigate its own abuses as shambolic and farcical. For the first time key Tamil concerns – such as the use of rape as a weapon of war, ethnic cleansing, the violation of the rule of law – have been taken up by prominent international actors and organisations.

    This past year of protest, which coincided with arguably the worst year for the Tamil nation, has shown that the Tamil people are not easily defeated. Whilst Sri Lanka stays true to its past by refusing to engage with credible Tamil leaders, the international community now knows that the Tamils must be taken on board.

    For this reason we must continue to make our demands and express our identity in public. Every time we do so we defy Sri Lanka’s genocide.

  39. Jimmy Boy !!

    the IDP's have reduced to 130,000 now. This means that the re-settlement is happening right.. So what should still be the issue ? Surely don't expect them to be settled over night ha ?

  40. Jimmy Boy !!

    the IDP’s have reduced to 130,000 now. This means that the re-settlement is happening right.. So what should still be the issue ? Surely don’t expect them to be settled over night ha ?

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