Colombo battles to sidestep Human Rights focus - Thamilchelvan

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 03 April 2007, 15:58 GMT]
The Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) is trying to sidestep International Community's focus on Colombo's worst record of human rights abuses and institutionalized impunity for crimes against the Tamil people, by attempting to use the forum of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Summit against Tamil people's right to defend themselves, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) Political Head S.P. Thamilchelvan told TamilNet when asked to comment on Colombo's focus shift to LTTE's air capability, prior to the 14th SAARC Summit in New Delhi.

Mr. S. P. Thamilchelvan
Political Head of the LTTE S. P. Thamilchelvan
"It is crucial that the voice of Tamil people, be heard when the summits like the SAARC are conducted, as Tamils constitute a people who are highly affected by the oppressive acts and the foreign policy of the Sri Lankan state in the regional and the International arena," Mr. Thamilchelvan said in his response.

At the Twelfth Summit (Islamabad, January 2004), the then Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga signed the SAARC Social Charter with the heads of states of India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives and Pakistan.

According to the Social Charter the member countries are obliged to observe the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all.

"Lately, Colombo has been struggling with its worst track record of human rights violations. Its armed forces are complicit in abductions and killings in the areas under the occupation of the Sri Lanka Army. There is a total impunity for the perpetrators of rights abuses.

"As a signatory to the Social Charter, the Sri Lankan state should be given a stern message that no civilized country in the world, would extend supporting hands to the oppressive policies of Colombo," LTTE's Political Head said.

"We also note that the Social Charter giving special focus to the rights of children and women.

"In the occupied territories of Tamil homeland, children are forced to go to schools inside the militarized zones declared as High Security Zones. Abductions and killings have become a daily routine.

"Although we are primarily concerned of the issues in our homeland, it doesn't mean that we are not concerned about the plight of the children in Sinhala areas. There are reportedly more than 35000 child sex workers in the Sinhala areas. This is a major humanitarian issue affecting the wellbeing of the children," Mr. Thamilchelvan said.

"The Sri Lankan state has reached the state of paranoid disorder," he said.

"It has engaged its armed forces and paramilitaries in a genocidal war against the Tamil people.

"Even the Sinhalese who voice against the abuses or witness the acts of the perpetrators are transferred or silenced otherwise.

"This paranoia has forced Colombo to adopt delaying and diversionary tactics, and to falsely believe that it can successfully exploit the prevailing global atmosphere against the armed resistance by the people who are left with no other alternatives than fight for their rights, to its maximum favor.

"The LTTE, as a liberation movement and as the movement running a responsible governing body of the Tamil people, is forced to defend and encounter the aggressor."

"The Tigers are no threat to any others than the oppressing Sri Lankan state," Thamilchelvan said.


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