Despite public calls from Canada not to hold the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting
in Sri Lanka and protests within India forcing Manmohan Singh to join the boycott, Britain has
succeeded in assembling 50 out of the 53 commonwealth countries in Colombo to ‘engage’ the
Sri Lankan state – precisely at the time when the terrible crimes that were committed against
the Tamil people are beginning to be internationally acknowledged.
Next month, in Germany, the Sri Lankan state as well as Britain, India and the USA will be
accused of orchestrating a genocide on the Tamil people by the International Human Rights
Association Bremen (IMRV) and the Irish Forum for Peace in Sri Lanka (IFPSL).
These charges that are being put forward by the IMRV and the IFPSL will be heard by a
Tribunal held under the aegis of the Rome based ‘Permanent Peoples Tribunal’ (PPT). The PPT
continues in the spirit of the Jean-Paul Sartre/Bertrand Russell’s Tribunal on Vietnam. The
‘People’s Tribunal’ relies on a high profile panel of judges that has been selected by the PPT to
invoke a robust moral opinion. The PPT has invited representatives of the four accused
countries to Germany to answer charges put forward by their accusers the IMRV and the
IFPSL. The Tribunal will take place in Bremen – during 7th – 10th December 2013.
This hearing continues a previous ‘People’s Tribunal on Sri Lanka’ that was held in Dublin in
January 2010 – just seven months after the military operations were concluded by the Sri
Lankan armed forces. In that instant, the Panel of Judges assembled by the PPT had found the
Sri Lankan state guilty of ‘war crimes’ and ‘crimes against humanity’. It also held that pressure
from the UK/USA governments contributed to the breakdown of 2002 peace process between
the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and the Government of Sri Lanka, precipitating the war.
Though the charges put forward by the IFPSL and the IMRV at that time did not contain the
accusation of genocide, the Dublin panel, due to the character of the evidence put before
them, recommended that further investigation may be necessary regarding the question of
genocide.
Speaking for IFPSL – one of the organisations preparing the charges for the follow up Tribunal
to be held in Bremen – Dr. Jude Lal Fernando stated: “The fact that substantial, quantitative
and qualitative
new evidence has become available is one of the reasons that compels us to
call upon the PPT once again to assemble a panel to examine the charge of genocide against
the Tamil people”. Mr. Nicolai Jung from the IMRV stated that the follow up Tribunal is called
upon to not only investigate whether a genocide of the Tamils has and is taking place in Sri
Lanka but also to examine the extent to which countries like Britain, USA and India are
involved in this crime. He went on to say that this will help to throw light as to why Britain is
showing such determination to try to use its commonwealth to underwrite the Sri Lankan
state.
Press statement issued by the Irish Forum for Peace in Sri Lanka and the International Human
Rights Association Bremen.
Contact for IFPSL: Dr. Jude Lal Fernando (irishpeaceforum@gmail.com)
Contact for IMRV: Nicolai Jung (imrvbremen@gmail.com)
For background about the Dublin Tribunal and for upcoming updates see: