‘Collective Punishment’ of Tamils

by Sam Thambipillai

When Human Rights are grossly violated or crimes against humanity are perpetrated, civilised countries, valuing human life, take punitive action against the offending state. But when genocide is carried out, the UN is bound to act based on the 1948 UN convention on Genocide. This happened in Bosnia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Sudan.

Radovan Karadzic,the Bosnian President during 1992-1993 war, fought to take Sarajevo and link it to Serbia. Water and power were cut off and the people lived on scarce food. Bombs and grenades rained Sarajevo daily. Bosnian civians were killed. Along with his military commander Ratko Mladic, Karadzic now faces charges of genocide over the Sarjevo siege.

Mahinda Rajapakse, the Sri Lankan President, is fighting a war to take over Kilinochchi and Mullaithivu and link to Colombo. Medical, fuel and food supplies to the areas are cut off. The Government Agent for the area is moved out.

[Displaced in seeking refuge in Kilinochchi]

At least 12,000 families, mainly with women and children have left; unwillingly leaving behind the sick, the blind, the maimed and the handicapped. Their animals are left without food.

Political belief of Tamils to achieve self rule

Surely, this is “Collective Punishment” by the GOSL for the political belief of Tamils to achieve self rule. It is a war crime. Each of the 12,000 is a Collectively Punished Person (CPP). The UN and the International Community should recognise them as such. The term IDP does not clearly denote who they really are.

The Serbians viewed Bosnian as property less than human and so do the Sinhalese view the Tamils.

Therefore, upto this stage, every act of the siege of Kilinochchi stinks exactly like the siege of Sarajevo.

The only thing left is for the GOSL to rain bombs, grenades and shells at Kilinochchi daily, kill Tamil civilians and destroy their property. With that Mahinda Rajapakse and Sarath Fonseka would more than qualify to face charges of genocide in the Hague. And Sri Lanka and the Sinhalese would be disgraced and humiliated internationally like Serbia and the Serbians.

Mahinda Rajapakse started the war as “war on terrorism”. But the bombings and shelling of his armed forces has killed many civilians, destroyed their property and displaced many. Now the war has changed into State Terror on Tamil civilians, collective punishment and genocide. But still he calls the war “war on terror” to cover up his genocidal acts and hoodwink the world.

The UN and the International Community are normally slow to act on genocide. The trouble is that it takes a long time for the west to identify and name it. The presidents of USA stopped short of calling the killings as Genocide when it started in 1990 in Bosnia, in 1994 in Rwanda and in 2004 in Darfur.

The west should stop acting as those who only record the history of genocide. Instead, they should learn to prevent it by taking timely and appropriate action under the 1948 UN convention on Genocide.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Print this page