Report by Ms Selvy,
Office of the LTTE Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs Spokesperson,
8th September 2007.
Drawing the world’s attention to the plight of Tamil
civilians in the Tamil homeland
Sri Lanka has targeted Tamil civilians in the Tamil homeland for decades. Killings, abductions, shelling, aerial bombardments, claymore attacks, attacks on fishermen at sea were and still are carried out by the Sri Lankan armed forces against the Tamil civilians. The attacks and all forms of human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law particularly increased after the current President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapakse, assumed power in November 2005. Since then, the overall human rights situation has worsened dramatically. In this report, we focus on this worsening human rights situation during the rule of this President.
In this period of 21 months under scrutiny, 1974 Tamil civilians were killed by the Sri Lankan Armed forces and its allied paramilitaries and 842 Tamil civilians were either arrested or abducted and then disappeared by the same forces, see chart below.
The chart show that the trend set in by the current regime in Colombo has shown no signs of correcting despite some critical assessments by the United Nations and others. What we have presented below are just the harsh facts and statistics. Behind these raw statistics, a massive human tragedy, genocide of a people is evolving. Destruction of habitat, confiscation of habitat, destruction and denial of, livelihood, health services, and educational institutions are unfolding.
In many parts of the Tamil homeland, even people who are living in their own homes are facing
numerous hardships due to the economic blockade and the closure of high ways including the A-9 high
Military offensives are being launched on the Tamil homeland and hundreds of thousands of Tamil
people are forced to flee their homes. The displacement, in addition to the hardships caused by large
scale forced movement, denies the children their education, causes loss of property, and loss of the
produce from their farms which they suddenly have to leave behind. The Internally Displaced Persons
(IDPs) in almost all cases languish in welfare centers without basic facilities.
In the east, the IDPs were forced by the Sri Lankan State to resettle in areas chosen by them Sri Lankan
State. The IDPs were not allowed to go back to their own houses. They are in fact resettled in plastic
tents without drinking water and sanitation facilities. The IDPs of Mutur east and Sampur areas are
denied access to go to their own habitats and these areas have been defined by the GoSL as High
Over 69 of those who were killed during the study period were children under the age of 16. The names and ages and the circumstances in which they were killed are tabulated in the chart below. In addition to these killing of children, more than 150 civilians, among them many children, have sought safety in the Jaffna Human Rights Commission in fear of their life.
Those who serve the community
Sri Lankan State has also deliberately targeted journalists, Tamil civilian political representatives, and humanitarian aid workers. More than 45 humanitarian aid workers, 11 media workers, and 4 Tamil members of parliament were killed by the Sri Lankan Armed forces and its paramilitaries. Details of these killings are charted below.
Tamils struggle for their legitimate rights began around 50 years ago. Since then, the successive Sinhalese majoritarian governments have used violence to subjugate the Tamils and their fight for freedom. Tamils struggle for the right to self determination is based on the UN charters and it is carried out according to the international humanitarian law. Sri Lankan State has been engaged in numerous human rights violations and violation of international humanitarian law especially in the territories such as Amparai, Batticaloa, Jaffna, Mannar, Trincomalee and Vavuniya which are under occupation of the Sri Lankan military. The government tries to cover up the violations by its armed forces and its paramilitaries by blaming the LTTE and others for every incident.
The international community should recognize the ground reality in the historical Tamil homeland and the gross human rights violations and breaches of international humanitarian law being committed there by the Sri Lanka State.
On behalf of the Tamil people, who are oppressed by the Sri Lankan State, and the leadership of the LTTE we call upon the international and UN representatives who visit Colombo, to also pay a visit to the Tamil homeland and find out first hand the ground situation. We hope Ms Louise Arbour, UN Human Rights Commissioner, Mr.Manfred Novak, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Mr. Walter Kalin,Representative of UN Secretary-General on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced People who are scheduled to visit Sri Lanka in October, November and December will not sideline the Tamil areas under our administration.
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