How to stop the genocide against the Tamils

By Professor Francis Boyle , Friday, February 13 2009
On 8 April 1993 and 13 September 1993 Professor Francis. A Boyle single-handedly won two World Court Orders on the basis of the 1948 Genocide Convention that were 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 the Bosnians.  He is the author of The Tamil Genocide by Sri Lanka: The Global Failure to Protect Tamil Rights Under International Law. 

How to stop genocide by Sri Lanka against the Tamils at the International Court of Justice and the UN Security Council

Today the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) has trapped three hundred and fifty thousand Tamils in a sixty square mile area of the Vanni region where it is mercilessly, deliberately, and systematically exterminating them by means of artillery shells, cluster bombs, rockets, jet fighters, tanks, and other weapons of mass and indiscriminate slaughter.  The GOSL Defense Minister Rajapaksa has determined that this entire area now inhabited by 350,000 Tamils is nothing more than a free fire-zone in violation of the most fundamental requirements of International Humanitarian Law.  The GOSL defense minister has ordered all doctors and medical personnel out of Vanni on
pain of being murdered by the GOSL army, including the International Committee of the Red Cross.  The GOSL defense minister has also compiled a death list of Tamil civilians to be massacred in Vanni.  If the states of the world do not act immediately and effectively to stop GOSL, they will soon be witnessing serial massacres of Tamils along the lines of Srebrenica, Sabra and Shatilla, Rwanda, and Kosovo. 

Article I of the 1948 Genocide
Convention requires all 140 states parties to immediately act in order “to prevent” this ongoing GOSL genocide against the Tamils.  One of the most important steps the 140
contracting states parties to the Genocide Convention must take in order to fulfill their obligation under Article I is to sue Sri Lanka at the International Court of Justice in The Hague (the so-called World Court) for violating the 1948 Genocide Convention on the basis of Article IX thereto:  “Disputes between the Contracting Parties relating to the interpretation, application or fulfillment of the present Convention, including those relating to the responsibility of a State for genocide or for any of the other acts enumerated in Article III, shall be submitted to the International Court of Justice at the request of any of the parties to the dispute.”

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. 

Such a World Court Order is the international equivalent to a domestic temporary restraining order and injunction.  Based upon my prior experience in the Bosnia case, it would take about three weeks from the date of filing of this World Court lawsuit to the issuance of its Order of protection against Sri Lanka on behalf of the 350,000
Tamils in Vanni. 

Once issued by the World Court, this Order would be immediately transmitted to the United Nations Security Council for enforcement under U.N.
Charter article 94(2).  So far the member states of the United Nations Security Council have failed and refuse to act in order to do anything to stop the GOSL’s genocide against the Tamils (1) despite the fact that the situation in Vanni constitutes a “threat to the peace” that requires Security Council action under article 39 of the United Nations Charter and (2) despite the fact that they are all obligated “to prevent” Sri Lanka’s genocide against the Tamils under article I of the Genocide Convention.  This World Court Order will put the matter on the Agenda of the Security Council and force the Security Council to take action in order “to prevent” the ongoing genocide against the Tamils by Sri Lanka. 

Article II of the Genocide
Convention defines the international crime of genocide in relevant part as follows:

 In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group such as:
(a)        Killing members of the group;
(b)       Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c)        Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

Certainly the Sinhala-Buddhist Sri Lanka and its legal predecessor Ceylon have committed genocide against the Hindu/Christian Tamils that actually started on or about 1948 and has continued apace until today and is now accelerating in Vanni in violation of Genocide Convention Articles II(a), (b), and (c). 

For at least the past four decades, the Sinhala-Buddhist Ceylon/Sri Lanka has implemented a systematic and comprehensive military, political, and economic campaign with the intent to destroy in substantial part the different national, ethnical, racial, and religious group constituting the Hindu/Christian Tamils.  This Sinhala-Buddhist Ceylon/Sri Lanka campaign has consisted of killing members of the Hindu/Christian Tamils in violation of Genocide Convention Article II(a). 

This Sinhala-Buddhist Ceylon/Sri Lanka campaign has also caused serious bodily and mental harm to the Hindu/Christian Tamils in violation of Genocide
Convention Article II(b).  This Sinhala-Buddhist Ceylon/Sri Lanka campaign has also deliberately inflicted on the Hindu/Christian Tamils conditions of life calculated to bring about their physical destruction in substantial part in violation of Article II(c) of the Genocide Convention. 

Since 1983 the Sinhala-Buddhist Sri Lanka have exterminated approximately 70,000 Hindu/Christian Tamils.  The Sinhala-Buddhist Sri Lanka have now added another 350,000 Hindu/Christian Tamils in Vanni to their genocidal death list.  Time is of the essence!

Humanity needs one state party to the Genocide Convention to fulfill its obligation under article I thereof to immediately sue Sri Lanka at the World Court in order to save the
350,000 Tamils in Vanni from extermination. 

The ghosts of Dachau, Auschwitz, Cambodia, Sabra and Shatilla, Srebrenica, Rwanda, and Kosovo demand no less.