How to Stop Genocide by Sri Lanka Against the Tamils at the International Court of Justice and the U.N. Security Counc

By Professor Francis A. Boyle , Friday, February 13 2009
On 8 April 1993 and 13 September 1993 the author
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. 

            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.