Thousands Rally to Urge Obama to Stop Genocide in Sri Lanka
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, D.C. February 21, 2009
Tamils Against Genocide held a massive rally in front of the white house on Friday February 20th to protest the genocide of Tamils by the Sri Lanka government, and to draw the attention of President Obama and his administration. Nearly 10,000 Tamil Americans and Tamil Canadians saturated the Ellipse Circle, rallying, chanting and holding placards, banners and pictures, highlighting the scope of the ongoing genocide and demanding US action. A banner read, “We too hope for change: Change – US policy on Sri Lanka; Hope – end to genocide.” The mega rally was held between 11 am and 5pm, with a parallel rally in front of the State Department held from 11 am to 1 pm. Ms. Diane Kelley, the Deputy Director for South Asia, met the rally representatives and accepted the petition addressed to the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Since January 2009, the mono-ethnic Sri Lanka Government forces killed over 2000 Tamil civilians by shelling and aerial bombing of hospitals and safe-zones in NorthEast Sri Lanka. The casualty figure was confirmed by a report issued by Human Rights Watch this week. The Sri Lanka government is responsible for deaths and disappearances of further 8000 ethnic Tamils in the past 3 years. Over 415,000 Tamils are trapped by government forces in 85 sq miles, and are denied adequate food and medical aid. The government expelled UN agencies and the International Red Cross, barred journalists, and conducts genocide on Tamil civilians without witnesses. The silence of the international community including the US, India and the UN galvanized the Tamil diaspora across the world to organize protests.
In petitions submitted to President Obama and Secretary Clinton with thousands of signatures, the rally participants appealed to the US government to publicly condemn the atrocities perpetrated by the Sri Lanka government on Tamil civilians, and asked to bring sanctions and economic pressure to effect an immediate cease-fire. They also demanded to allow unfettered access for international humanitarian aid agencies and journalists into the conflict zone. Once a ceasefire is in place, the memo reasoned, the US and the international community should help to find a political solution where the Tamil people living in Sri Lanka and exiled in other countries democratically determine the terms of coexistence with the Sinhalese state based on the universally accepted principle of self-determination.
The rally ended with a public meeting. Dr. Ellyn Shander, a humanitarian worker, made a passionate plea to the Obama government to act to halt Tamil genocide. Mr. Bruce Fein, former deputy attorney general under President Reagan and counsel for Tamils Against Genocide, spoke on the efforts to indict key Sri Lankan defense officials on charges of genocide.
Stopping Sri Lanka's genocide at ICJ, UN- Prof. Boyle
March 11, 2009
"Any one or more of the 140 states parties to the Genocide Convention (1) must immediately sue Sri Lanka at the International Court of Justice in The Hague; (2) must demand an Emergency Hearing by the World Court; and (3) must request an Order indicating provisional measures of protection against Sri Lanka to cease and desist from committing all acts of genocide against the 350,000 Tamils in Vanni," says Professor Francis Boyle, an expert in international law and a professor at University of Illinois College of Law, outlining the steps for the Tamil diaspora to take to bring Sri Lanka to International Court of Justice (ICJ).
Rwandans and Tamils in joint rally
March 03, 2009
Hundreds of members from Toronto's Rwandan community joined their Tamil colleagues in a public rally at Yonge-Dundas Square Friday, Feb. 27 .
M.I.A. and the Tamils Defended
February 19, 2009
As a Sri Lankan Tamil, I am writing to stand up for Maya Arulpragasam, a/k/a M.I.A., who has become a focal point for the dire racism that has destroyed Sri Lanka itself. In “The Dissonant Undertones of M.I.A.” (February 11, 2009), Thomas Fuller could have written an enlightening piece about M.I.A. as that focal point but instead chose to add to the misconceptions about her. M.I.A.’s music and her videos depict the reality of violence that many Tamils face and that she in fact escaped. She has capitalized on her meteoric rise to speak out eloquently about the distressing situation of the Tamils in the north of Sri Lanka. Although it is not on the level of genocide that existed in Nazi Germany or Rwanda, thousands and thousands of Tamils are in fact trapped and brutalized by both the Tigers and the government. M.I.A. has also sought to correct the damaging myth that every Tamil including herself is a Tamil Tiger, i.e., terrorist. Fuller chose to propagate that myth rather than display a fair account of how that myth arose.
Tamils in US to protest Lanka 'genocide'
February 18, 2009
WASHINGTON: Tamils in the US will hold a demonstration in front of the state department and the White House here on Friday protesting against the "genocide" against their community in Sri Lanka.
US: Genocide case file against Sri Lankan government
February 10, 2009
Bruce Fein, a former US deputy assistant attorney general in the Reagan Administration, has filed a 12-count indictment against Sri Lanka's [Images] defense secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and the country's army commander Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka, for perpetrating genocide against Tamil civilians with US Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Justice.
It is a systematic genocide under the garb of war on terror in Sri Lanka!
February 13, 2009
In our previous issue of The Sunday Indian, after my editorial, we had carried a special feature by Mr. Lasantha Wickrematunge, the late Editor of the Sri Lankan newspaper, The Sunday Leader. We carried this as a special feature just because Mr.Lasantha almost knew that he was going to be assassinated, before he actually was! He also knew that his assassinator was already known very well to none other than his long time ‘friend’ and the current President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa, who strangely (or perhaps, not so strangely, given his clear complicity) refused to take any action.
Three-quarters of female refugees victims of rape
February 05, 2009
Substantial evidence of the rape and sexual abuse of female refugees has been released today.
Press freedom bombed
February 04, 2009
Sri Lanka not only continues to bomb its own people but has blown Press freedom and critical assessment of the civil war to smithereens.
PTK hospital, legitimate military target - Gotabhaya
February 03, 2009
"No hospital should operate outside the Safety Zone...everything beyond the safety is a legitimate target," Sri Lanka's Defense Secretary, Gotabaya Rajapakse tells the Skynews, admitting to the culpability of Sri Lanka Army (SLA) shelling Puthukkudiyiruppu hospital. In another interview with the BBC, a clearly irate Rajapakse ridicules Lasantha Wickrematunge as an editor of a "tabloid," and queries reporter Chris Morris as to why the media is interested in "one man" when there are thousands of killings and murders."
Sri Lanka Officials in the Firing Line
January 28, 2009
COLOMBO - As Sri Lanka's security forces make massive inroads against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a top United States constitutional lawyer may prove to be an impediment against the military's accomplishments if he triumphs in getting indictments against two of the island's very high-profile military officials, both US citizens who are spearheading the offensive against the Tamil Tigers.
US lawyer wants Lankan leaders tried for genocide
January 24, 2009
CHENNAI: Sri Lankan defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa could go down in history as the first United States citizen to be tried for genocide, if Bruce Fein, a former US deputy associate attorney general has his way.
Rally Urging India to Stop Supporting Tamil Genocide in Sri Lanka
January 21, 2009
Washington .D.C. Jan 20,2009, Tamils Against Genocide is organizing a rally to encourage the Indian government to emulate the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi in recognizing the freedom struggle of Tamils in Sri Lanka. Location: 2107 Massachusetts Avenue , NW Washington, DC 20008,USA
Genocide charges against Sri Lanka officials ready for US action
Bruce Fein, a former U.S. Deputy Associate Attorney General and currently Counsel for a U.S. Tamil Group said in an interview this week that a 400+ page model indictment charging Sri Lanka officials for genocide against Tamils will be ready to be submitted to the U.S. Justice Department first week of January...
A genocide inquiry? - Fein's Commentary in Washington Times
August 20, 2008
Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has been complicit in a Srebrenica-like genocide or worse against Sri Lanka's Tamils on the installment plan....- a grisliness that apes Hitler's impunity for Nazi crimes against Jews...
STOPPING GENOCIDE AND WAR CRIMES AGAINST THE TAMILS OF SRI LANKA
It is a systematic genocide under the garb of war on terror in Sri Lanka!
By Francis A. Boyle*
Professor of International Law
The Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) is currently inflicting acts of genocide against
the Tamils in violation of the 1948 Genocide Convention, and war crimes against
them in violation of the Four Geneva Conventions of 1949. India is a party to all
five of these Conventions. Therefore, under Article 1 of the Genocide Convention
India has an obligation to do everything in its power "to prevent" GOSL's genocide
against the Tamils.
Furthermore, under Common Article 1 to the Four Geneva Conventions of 1949, India
has the obligation "to respect and to ensure respect" for these Conventions "in
all circumstances." This requirement means that India has an oblig ation to prevent
the GOSL from inflicting war crimes against the Tamils. Similar principles of analysis
likewise apply to all 140 states that are parties to the Genocide Convention and
to all states that are parties to the Four Geneva Conventions, which is almost every
state in the world.
In addition, as the original homeland for the Tamils, India has the right, the obligation,
and the standing under international law to act as parens patriae for the Tamils
in Sri Lanka. Therefore, India must immediately sue the GOSL for genocide at the
International Court of Justice in The Hague, demand an Emergency Hearing of the
Court, and request that the World Court issue a Temporary Restraining Order against
the GOSL to cease and desist from committing all acts of genocide against the Tamils.
Time is of the essence!
GOSL Defense Minister Rajapakse has determined that a quarter-million Tamils are
nothing more than a free-fire zone, which constitutes an act of genocide as well
as a war crime. Since he is a United States Citizen, India must demand that the
United States government prosecute Rajapakse immediately for violating the U.S.
Genocide Convention Implementation Act as well as the U.S. War Crimes Act. Under
Article 1 of the Genocide Convent ion the United States government has an obligation
"to prevent and to punish" genocide. This treaty obligation requires the United
States government to institute criminal proceedings against U.S. Citizen Rajapakse
in order " to punish" his genocide against the Tamils.
India must use its newly founded special relationship with the United States government
to do just that. Both the United States and India have a joint and several obligation
"to prevent" the GOSL from committing genocide against the Tamils and "to punish"
U.S. Citizen Rajapakse for committing genocide against the Tamils. The Four Geneva
Conventions also require that India demand that the United States government prosecute
U.S. Citizen Rajapakse for violating the U.S. War Crimes Act, which the United States
government is obligated to do under both the Geneva Conventions and that Act.
I call upon all Tamils around the World and all people of good faith and good will
everywhere to mobilize behind the legal agenda set forth above and to pressure the
Governments of India and the United States (as well as your own Government) to fulfill
their solemn obligations under the Genocide Convention and the Four Geneva Conventions
* On 8 April 1993 and 13 September 1993 the author single-handedly won two World
Court Orders overwhelmingly in favor of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina against
the rump Yugoslavia to cease and desist from committing all acts of genocide against
Francis A. Boyle
504 E. Pennsylvania Ave.
Champaign, IL 61820 USA
(personal comments only)