Feature Article

UN should deliver remedial justice to Eezham Tamils, say 23 groups from India

[TamilNet, Monday, 17 February 2014, 23:03 GMT]
Following the recommendations of the Internal Review Panel (IRP) on ‘United Nations Action in Sri Lanka’ brought out in November 2012 by the panel led by Charles Petrie, the United Nations has come up with a follow-up initiative in December 2013. The latest report, flagged as ‘Rights Up Front’ initiative, has also failed to focus on delivering remedial justice to the nation of Eezham Tamils, who have now become the abandoned victims exposed to Sri Lanka's accelerated onslaught of structural genocide, said the activists of May 17 Movement, that staged protests at five cities, both outside and inside India, on February 12. Endorsing the May 17 Movement's approach, 23 influential parties, groups and movements from India demanded two key remedial approaches: UN referendum on Tamil Eelam and International Investigations on War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity and Genocide.

Protest against UN
At Chennai, more than 20 political organisations joined the protest with slogans demanding referendum for Eelam and international investigation for the crime of genocide. Around 200 protesters were taken into police custody when they tried to siege the UNICEF office.
Protest against UN
A section of the protesters at Chennai on 12 February
Protest against UN
Representatives from various organisations meeting officials at the UNICEF office in Chennai briefing their demands before handing over the memorandum.
Protest against UN
Sikh Youth Forum, SDPI and May 17 movement protesting outside UN offices in New Delhi on 14 February
Protest against UN
Protest against UN
Mumbai Vizhiththezhu Iyakkam and solidarity groups protesting outside UN offices in Mumbai, the capital city of Maharasthra
Protest against UN
May 17 Movement and other solidarity groups demonstrating outside UN office at King street in Sydney
Protest against UN
Protest against UN
At New York, May 17 Movement staged a demonstration outside UN Head Quarters and it was joined by other solidarity groups, including Mr V Rudrakumaran of the TGTE. Around 50 protesters later staged a demonstration outside UN Security Council too.
“Accountability is not just punishing the perpetrators, but also a process of reparation for the victims based on their political needs and aspirations with broader citizen participation,” said the statement endorsed with signatures by the leaders of the 23 groups that joined May 17 Movement in staging protests both inside and outside of India, on 12 February.

The protests took place at New York and Sydney and at the Indian capital of New Delhi as well as the state capitals of Maharastra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu states.

The signatories also demanded investigation of UN’s key individuals, Secretary General Ban-ki-moon, Vijay Nambiar, John Holmes and Rechero Takachi.

Welcoming the timely initiative by the May 17 Movement, Tamil activists for alternative politics in the island said that the Tamil diaspora activist groups should start addressing the ultimate culprits, as an effective means to put a stop to the structural annihilation of the nation of Eezham Tamils.

The way forward to achieve this is waging a relentless global struggle targeting the responsibility of grave failures by the so-called ‘Co-Chair countries’ and India with the demand of remedial justice.

The remedial justice should be delivered by putting an immediate end to the ongoing structural genocide and by holding a referendum among Eezham Tamils on the question of Tamil Eelam.

The demands and slogans for the struggle have been clearly evolved. But, not the stage and the means, the activists further said pointing at the crucial responsibility of the Tamil diaspora.

The activists in the island further urged Tamil journalists to debate the significance of the two-pronged approach: addressing the ultimate culprits through targeting the complicity of the global/regional powers (the so-called Tokyo Co-Chair States UK, USA, EU, Japan and Norway in addition to India) on one hand and addressing the United Nations system on the other hand to take a positive path as a true institution of humanity.

By opening up public debate on the subject, the masses and solidarity activists across the world would be empowered to take up struggle to the next level, where it will be an international struggle against injustices caused by geopolitics of powers and against the system failure of the global body of humanity.

* * *

The memorandum, submitted to UN was endorsed by the following political organisations:

  1. Ma’rumalrachchi Dravida Munneattak Kazhakam (MDMK)
  2. Manithaneaya Makka’l Kadchi
  3. Tamizhaka Vaazhvurimaik Kadchi
  4. Naam Thamizhar Kadchi
  5. Social Democratic Party of India
  6. Viduthalai Thamizh Pulika’l Kadchi
  7. Thamizhaka Odukkappaddoar Viduthalai Iyakkam
  8. Thamizh Theasa Pothuvudamaik Kadchi
  9. Dravidar Viduthalaik Kazhakam
  10. Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhakam
  11. Islamic Youth Movement Against Genocide
  12. Makka’l Viduthalai Iyakkam
  13. Thamizhina U’narvaa’larka’l Kooddamaippu
  14. Union for Physically Challenged
  15. Sikh Youth Movement
  16. Mumbai Vizhiththezhu Na’nbarka’l Iyakkam
  17. Tamil Solidarity
  18. New Socialist Alternative
  19. May 17 Movement
  20. Puratchikara I’laignar Munna’ni
  21. Thamizhar Ezhuchchi I’laignar Kazhakam
  22. Scheduled Caste United Front
  23. Balachandran Maa’nvavar Iyakkam

* * *

Some of the excerpts from the memorandum follow:

In the light of the “Petrie Reports” revelations and shedding light on the dark areas, which it chose to remain silent, UN top officials including Secretary General Ban-ki-moon, Vijay Nambiar, John Holmes, Rechoro Takachi, stand accused of being complicit with Genocide. We would like to emphasize that these top brass is not exempt of accountability.

The follow up to the Petrie Report, “Rights Up Front Report” made various recommendations including ripping off most of the critical responsibilities of the Secretary General. These recommendations were made based on the international fiasco of the top brass, and this forced Secretary General to admit in General Assembly that UN failed in the island of Sri Lanka. These recommendations aim at remedial internal restructuring of UN. But, what remedy does UN offer to the victims, Eelam Tamils?

Post Rwandan Genocide, lot of new procedures were laid down by UN to prevent another genocide being happened. But another genocide, most horrendous, has happened in this century in an island in the Indian Ocean. Will it be suffificient, if UN again restructures, without offering remedy to victims, Eelam Tamils? An institution which was carved out by tall leaders like Hammarskjöld is losing faith among the common public.

Witnessing the inaction of UN, the Permanent People’s Tribunal convened at Germany in December 2013, gave verdict that 1. Sri Lankan State is guilty of crime of Genocide, 2. Genocide is ongoing and 3. States of India, US & UK are complicit of Genecide. After this verdict, it is high time that UN takes strong and credible actions to punish the perpetrators and offer remedial justice to victims.

Accountability is not just punishing the perpetrators, but also a process of reparation for the victims based on their political needs and aspirations with broader citizen participation.

The UN should initiate an independent international investigation on Sri Lanka for its explicit in perpetrating crimes against humanity and genocide besides a transparent inquiry over charges of eliding accountability by the above mentioned individuals. It should also initiate the procedures to conduct an independence referendum for Eelam. Unless and otherwise the UN moves in such a direction it will be condemned to have failed as the global organization of the peoples and be designated as a stooge of the oppressive states.

We would like to drive the point that unless UN dares to initiate steps towards such a positive direction, the struggle against UN as a corrupt institution will intensify and this campaign is only a beginning. The protest against UN on February 12, we would like to remind, was the day our martyr Comrade Murugadasan self-immolated himself in 2009 in front of the UN premise demanding justice. This day will be day of symbolic representation of protest against the unethical, dishonest conduct of UN against which the oppressed people world over will rally.

This symbolic siege on 12/02/2014 against UN will take place in Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai, New Delhi in India and in front of the UN premises in Norway, Australia, France, UK and New York, which we hope will be extended to other nooks and corners of the globe in the coming years. We would like to inform that the protest is not limited to the Tamils and sections from various nationalities as Kannada, Martha, Punjab, and Bengal have extended their greetings and participate in organizing struggles at their locations. Writers, poets, musicians, intellectuals, physically challenged advocacy groups, academics, advocates, media persons, dramatists, human rights activists and individuals and groups from various other professions have expressed their solidarity and participation with us.



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