Sri Lankan Tamils must look elsewhere than UNHRC for justice!

The Tamils in the previous war zone of Sri Lanka, subjected to Genocide, Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes are demanding justice!

Sri Lankan minority communities have seen many of their rights granted at the time of independence in 1948 gradually eroding away. On realisation of this reality, as a mark of protest, the leaders of the Tamil minorities, in the sixties of the last century stopped co-operating with the Sinhala leaders.

Thereafter, it was the norm for governments be formed by majority of the Sinhalese people. However, significant number of pro-government minority parties have repeatedly misled their communities by working with the government of the day for personal gains.

Over the years the rulers have continued introducing more discriminatory acts against the Tamils communities resulted in many uprising against the state by the Tamil youths. It led the country to a brutal bloody civil-war lasting many decades; saw many thousands killed and larger number injured. Finally, the guns of the youths were silenced in 2009 by the state with a heavy assistance of many nations.

It is a well known fact that from day one, both parties involved in the armed conflict did commit too many excessives. Yet no single individual has yet been prosecuted – let alone convicted – for the atrocity crimes committed, on unarmed civilians during and after the war. Worst off were the Tamil civilians and their leaders claim that a genocide took place to end the civil-war.

The Tamils are again waiting on the international institutions, notably the United Nations, for justice and accountability, knowing that there is no space in Sri Lanka for Justice for Tamils due to entrenched and pervasive extremism in the polity and institutions coupled with the fact it was the state itself committed those henious crimes.

In this context, following the end of the war in 2009, there has been negative peace for the Tamils, as they are still left with unresolved ethnic problem and other problems caused by the long drawn civil-war. Thus the activities of the leaders of the Tamil-speaking parties have been perceived as weak by the Tamils themselves.

When the war was brought to finish in 2009, there was high expectation in the mind of the people, that through a process of reconciliation, their battered lives and the nation will be rebuilt. But opportunity was missed by all successive governments since 2009, have failed to address the issues of the Tamil-speaking people in the country.

Lack of action by the State has made life miserable for the whole country, in particular the Tamil- speaking minorities. A decade has passed and the country is still a failed State, drifting away from democratic rule; a fact reflected by the many civil rights activists and religious groups coming out with a call for justice denied to the minorities by the State.

In this scenario, the Sri Lankan minority communities, in particular the Tamils in the previous war zone of northeastern region, subjected to Genocide, Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes are looking to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for justice.