Over a million people from around the world have signed on to an appeal to urge the United Nations to Refer Sri Lanka to the International Criminal Court.
The Signature Campaign in fifteen languages was launched about four months ago by the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE).
The Signature Campaign observes that the presence of the former Commander of the Sri Lankan military in the present Government, and the potential culpability of the new President, Maithripala Sirisena, will not be conducive to meting out justice in any manner other than through a referral to the International Criminal Court.
It also notes that according to the UN Internal Review Report on Sri Lanka, there were “credible estimates” of civilian casualties of 70,000 Tamils during the first six months in 2009.
The campaign further states that the current situation in Sri Lanka constitutes an ongoing “threat to the peace” under Chapter 7 Article 39 of the UN Charter, because there has been absolutely no accountability for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.
” We firmly believe that neither a domestic mechanism nor a hybrid mechanism will mete out justice to the Tamil people. The call by the new Sri Lankan government for a domestic or hybrid mechanism to replace any international judicial process is an attempt to deflect the call for referral to the ICC and to delay other meaningful actions on accountability. Efforts to establish a domestic Truth and Reconciliation Commission is another diversionary tactic to protect those who committed serious crimes against Tamils.3) It is emphasized in the Petition attached to the Campaign that the crimes against the Tamils on the island of Sri Lanka were perpetrated by the State itself. The petition also pointed out, as observed by the UN Panel of Experts Report, that there existed no political environment to mete out justice for Tamils,” the signature campaign notes.
It also notes that the promise made by the Sri Lankan Ambassador to the UN following the 1983 racial pogrom – that they will hold an investigation – has never been kept.
he Petition is available in Tamil, Sinhala, English, Russian, Chinese, Malay, Bangla, Urdu, Hindi, French, German, Arabic, Swahili, Turkic and Spanish. (Colombo Gazette)