Tamil Canadians urges Canada for immediate sanctions against the Sri Lankan Government

By: MEDIA RELEASE

Tamil Canadians urges Canada for immediate sanctions against the Sri Lankan Government and call upon United Nations to establish an independent international inquiry in Sri Lanka Toronto –The release of the Sri Lankan government commissioned Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) report on December 16 fails to seriously address the egregious laws of war violations committed by the Government of Sri Lanka, its armed forces and allied paramilitary groups during the last stages of the ethnic conflict in 2009. While the Sri Lankan government’s report alleges serious violations of international law by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, it completely fails to address any of the credible allegations against the Sri Lankan Armed Forces made by the United Nation Secretary General’s panel of experts report or by other international human rights groups.

“The United Nations and governments around the world have consistently insisted that the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission’s final report would be the ultimate test of the Sri Lankan government’s willingness to address impunity and uphold international accountability for the crimes committed in 2009,” said Krisna Saravanamuttu, spokesperson for the National Council of Canadian Tamils. “On the contrary, the Sri Lankan government’s report unequivocally establishes the inability and the lack of genuine political will to address the grave violations of international law committed in 2009 by the Sri Lankan Armed Forces, ultimately commanded by the Executive President Mahinda Rajapaksa.”

Tamils in the North-East of Sri Lanka and in the Diaspora maintain that the violations of 2009 do not merely amount to war crimes but is concrete evidence of genocide. The United Nations report affirms that anywhere between 40,000-75,000 innocent civilians were butchered during the final four months of the conflict. Subsequently, tens of thousands of civilians who survived the carnage were rounded up into military internment camps and denied the freedom to leave. Till date, thousands of suspected Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam cadres are being held in secret detention with no access to their families or legal counsel.

“The 2009 genocide was a military response to the peaceful and long-standing political grievance of the Tamils for self-determination in their traditional homeland,” said Saravanamuttu. “We call upon the elected parliamentary leaders of the Tamil National Alliance to reaffirm the need for an international probe into the 2009 conflict and to insist upon a political solution that seeks remedial sovereignty to the 2009 genocide.”

National Council of Canadian Tamils welcomes the principle stand taken by the Canadian Government on the human rights violations in Sri Lanka. The Council further urges Canada for immediate sanctions against the Sri Lankan Government as a compliance tool on human rights and accountability.

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