Human Rights

Sri Lanka guilty of genocide against Eelam Tamils with UK, US complicity: PPT

In a landmark judgement that sends shocking waves to many international busy bodies, a very eminent panel of international judges of the Rome-based Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal (PPT) Tuesday unanimously ruled “Sri Lanka guilty of the crime of genocide against the Eelam Tamil people”, while the US and UK were found to be guilty of complicity to this crime, a PPT statement said Tuesday.

A 11-member high-profile judges, consisting of experts in genocide studies, former UN officials, experts in international law and renowned peace and human rights activists, gave this ruling after a two-day tribunal hearing between December 7 and10 in Bremen, Germany.

“The Second Session of the Peoples’ Tribunal on Sri Lanka concluded today in Bremen, Germany, with the presentation of its verdict. The panel of eleven judges unanimously found Sri Lanka guilty of the crime of genocide against the Eelam Tamil people, and that this crime continues today,” the PPT statement said Tuesday.

“The UK and USA were found to be guilty of complicity in the crime of genocide, including --complicity by procuring means, such as weapons, instruments or any other means, used to commit genocide, with the accomplice knowing that such means would be used for such a purpose; complicity by knowingly aiding or abetting a perpetrator of a genocide in the planning or enabling acts,” it said.

The PPT however, withheld their decision on India’s complicity to this crime, pending examination of further evidence.

More than 30 direct eye-witnesses and experts testified in support of the Prosecution’s case, providing evidence on various alleged crimes that could be determined to constitute the crime of genocide, as well as on the legal and historical background and the charges of complicity.

“The Tribunal specified that the victims are in this case the Eelam Tamils as a national group. The Tribunal found that genocide against the Eelam Tamil group has not yet achieved the total destruction of their identity. The genocidal coordinated plan of actions reached its climax on May 2009, but it is clear that the Sri Lanka Government project to erase the Eelam Tamil identity, corroborated by the above mentioned conduct, shows that genocide is a process and that process is ongoing,” the PPT statement said.

“Recognizing that the Sri Lankan state alone did not have the capacity to achieve their genocidal ambitions, and given the evidence presented, the Tribunal believes that the UK, the USA and India are guilty of complicity in genocide. However, given time constraints the Tribunal decided to withhold its decision pending the consideration of additional evidence as to the possibility that India, as well as other States, are indeed guilty of complicity in the crime of genocide against the Eelam Tamils,” the PPT statement said.

One of the Co-Chairs of the PPT Panel of judges, Daniel Feierstein, is Director of the Centre for Genocide Studies at the Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero, Professor in the Faculty of Genocide at the University of Buenos Aires. He has been elected as the president of the 'International Association of Genocide Scholars'.

While the other Co-Chairs, Denis Halliday, is a former Assistant Secretary General of the UN when Kofi Annan was the Secretary General. He resigned from his 34 year old career in the UN in protest of the economic sanctions imposed on Iraq by the Security Council.

This is the second such high-profile session conducted by the PPT on Sri Lanka. The first phase of the Tribunal, held in January 2010 in Dublin, was the first ever international effort to investigate the allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the final stages of the protracted conflict in Sri Lanka.

At the end of the first session of the PTT session on Sri Lanka, the panel of judges had determined, that ‘War Crimes’ and ‘Crimes against Humanity’ had taken place on the Tamil population during the final months of the war in Sri Lanka. It also held that “pressure from the UK and USA governments contributed to the breakdown of 2002 peace process between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the Government of Sri Lanka, precipitating the war”.

Following is the full statement issued by General Secretary of the PPT Gianni Tognoni on Tuesday:

The Peoples’ Tribunal on Sri Lanka ‐ Session II

7th ‐ 10th December 2013 Bremen, Germany

Panel of Judges presents verdict finding Sri Lanka guilty of the crime of genocide against the Eelam Tamil people; the UK and USA were found to be guilty of complicity, while the Judges withheld their decision on India’s complicity pending examination of further evidence.

The Second Session of the Peoples’ Tribunal on Sri Lanka concluded today in Bremen, Germany, with the presentation of its verdict. The panel of eleven judges unanimously found Sri Lanka guilty of the crime of genocide against the Eelam Tamil people, and that this crime continues today.

The Tribunal found that genocide against the Eelam Tamil group has not yet achieved the total destruction of their identity. The genocidal coordinated plan of actions reached its climax on May 2009, but it is clear that the Sri Lanka Government project to erase the Eelam Tamil identity, corroborated by the above mentioned conduct, shows that genocide is a process and that process is ongoing. The genocidal strategy changed once the perpetrators gained control of the territory. The killings are being transformed into other forms of conduct, but the intention to destroy the group and its identity remains and continues, through causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the Eelam Tamil group.

The Tribunal considers that the proofs established, beyond any reasonable doubt that the following acts were committed by the Government of Sri Lanka

(a) Killing members of the group, which includes massacres, indiscriminate shelling, the strategy of herding civilians into so‐called "No Fire Zones" for the purpose of massive killings, targeted assassinations of outspoken Eelam Tamil civil leaders who were capable of articulating the Sri Lankan genocide project to the outside world.

(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group, including acts of torture, inhumane or degrading treatment, sexual violence including rape, interrogations combined with beatings, threats of death, and harm that damages health or causes disfigurement or injury.

(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part, including expulsions of the victims from their homes, * seizures of private lands, * declaring vast areas as military High Security Zone (HSZ) to facilitate the military acquisition of Tamil land.

Further, the Tribunal considered evidence related to

(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group including forced sterilization and coerced contraception of Eelam Tamil women. Further investigation is required on the extent of this practice in other regions before a determination is made on whether these could be considered genocidal acts.

The UK and USA were found to be guilty of complicity in the crime of genocide, including
- complicity by procuring means, such as weapons, instruments or any other means, used to commit genocide, with the accomplice knowing that such means would be used for such a purpose;
- complicity by knowingly aiding or abetting a perpetrator of a genocide in the planning or enabling acts thereof;

Recognizing that the Sri Lankan state alone did not have the capacity to achieve their genocidal ambitions, and given the evidence presented, the Tribunal believes that the UK, the USA and India are guilty of complicity in genocide. However, given time constraints the Tribunal decided to withhold its decision pending the consideration of additional evidence as to the possibility that India, as well as other States, are indeed guilty of complicity in the crime of genocide against the Eelam Tamils.

More than 30 direct eye‐witnesses and experts testified in support of the Prosecution’s case, providing evidence on various alleged crimes that could be determined to constitute the crime of genocide, as well as on the legal and historical background and the charges of complicity.

The proceedings of the Second Session were broadcast through live streaming on the Internet and will be made available on the web site http://ptsrilanka.org/

This Second Session in Bremen was convened in response to the determination by the First Session, held in January 2010 in Dublin, Ireland, that War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity had taken place on the Tamil population during the final months of the war in Sri Lanka in early 2009, and that further investigation be undertaken regarding the question of genocide.

These two sessions of the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal on Sri Lanka have been established in response to a submission made by the International Human Rights Association Bremen (IMRV) and the Irish Forum for Peace in Sri Lanka (IFPSL). As in the First Session, here in Bremen a panel of judges consisting of experts in genocide studies, former UN officials, experts in international law and renowned peace and human rights activists.

10 December 2013
International Human Rights Day

PERMANENT PEOPLES’ TRIBUNAL
General Secretary:
GIANNI TOGNONI (ITALY)
GENERAL SECRETARIAT: VIA DELLA DOGANA VECCHIA 5 ‐ 00186 ROME
Tel/Fax:0039 06 6877774
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Web: http://www.internazionaleleliobasso.it

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Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka

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