Colombo's Law, order machinery collapsing- Rights Groups
[TamilNet, Saturday, 11 November 2006, 14:58 GMT]
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) expressed shock at the "further intensification of violence in Sri Lanka with the assassination of a Member of Parliament, Nadarajah Raviraj...and the killings of the civilians at Vakarai in the Batticaloa district," a UK-based Tamil Rights group said Raviraj's killing in the Capital indicated "chaotic law and order situation and the lack of human protection in Sri Lanka," while California-based Humanitarian Law Project (HLP) described Vaharai killings as a "war crime", in statements issued to the press in the aftermath of the assassination of Tamil parliamentarian, Friday.
Pointing out that in Sri Lanka "the discussion about monitoring by an international body has been trivialized with all sorts of suggestions about local monitoring," the AHRC said: "UN agencies have repeatedly called for the international monitoring of the human rights situation in Sri Lanka. Human rights organisations in Sri Lanka and many outside the country have also supported this call.
"It is quite obvious that without such an opening from the outside through such human rights monitoring this situation will not only continue but degenerate further," the AHRC said.
Tamil Information Center (TIC), a UK-based Human Rights body said: "The killing was carried out in Colombo where many Tamils have been abducted or killed in recent months by persons who are suspected to be linked to the government. The fact that gruesome events are taking place in the capital, where there seems to be no law and order, is shameful for a country which claims to be a democratic nation and has a place in the UN Human Rights Council. Sri Lanka also has a separate Ministry for Human Rights, a Human Rights Minister, a Permanent Standing Committee on Human Rights, an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Human Rights and a Human Rights Commission."
HLP, in a letter to Mme Louise Arbour, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that the killing of Vahari refugees by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) constituted “wilful killing . . . or wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health” (Geneva Convention IV, article 147) and hence a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions -- war crimes in international humanitarian law.
"We also consider this attack as extensive destruction of property carried out “unlawfully and wantonly” and hence doubly a war crime according to Article 147. Finally, we view this attack as an act intended to terrorize the Tamil civilian population, and hence a violation of Geneva Convention IV, Article 33, Protocol Additional I to the Geneva Conventions, Article 51.2 and Protocol Additional II to the Geneva Conventions, Article 4.2(d)."