Archive for June 2011

Memorandum on the lies and misleading statements of the Sri Lanka high commissioners and government

June 24, 2011

The Sri Lankan government has vehemently denied any civilians were ever killed during its final offensive against the Tigers. The Government has claimed that it has embarked upon several initiatives in the areas of resettlement, rehabilitation, economic development, reconstruction and reconciliation to benefit those whose lives were affected by 30 years of conflict. In addition it claims considerable action has been taken by the government to facilitate the restoration of normalcy in the lives of the returning IDPs (internally displaced persons). To support the returnees to their original areas of habitation, a large number of houses have been constructed in the former theatre of conflict and distributed among the resettling IDP families. With regard to rehabilitation, former child combatants have been rehabilitated and have been beneficiaries of educational programs including vocational training.

 

A working visit of three Malaysian MPs Datuk Johari Abdul (Sungai Petani), Suadara Manoharan (Teluk Intan) and Senator S.Ramakrishnan with 2 other activist from the 1st June to 6th June 2011, has found that about 300000 innocent civilian victims mostly women and children, of the war are still held in IDP camps, the LTTE cadres including suspected youths both male and female are held in detention camps. Many family members do not know the whereabouts of these youths including whether these youths are actually alive or not.  Women head most households in the affected areas and nearly one third of households in the Kilinochi (North East of island) area alone are run by women. As single parents, widows or those whose male family members in detention are vulnerable to several social conditions, disadvantages and atrocities.  The areas of concern are broken family institutions, lack of schooling, livelihood, prostitution and sexual exploitation, resettlement, youth development and security. There are no toilets and privacy at all for the women in the IDP camps. The army has robbed of all the belongings of these residents in northern and north eastern provinces. Their houses are flattened during the war. These provinces remain militarized and no outsiders are allowed to visit without the ministry of defense approval.

 

The war is over but the conflict remains unsolved. The grounds that ignited the civil war remains unaddressed and victims left unattended and victimized by their very own government. The government is still on triumphant mood and adopting a winner takes all approach.  There is no civil law in north and north eastern province. The army personals in north and north east are the kings who lord, loot and terrorize the people who have nothing left but want to rebuild their lives. The huge presence of military is a hindrance and delays the return to normalcy. All the talk of rehabilitation, reconstruction and reconciliation are not translated into action yet. The proposal to construct houses by India is deliberately delayed by the Sri Lankan government. The government of Sri Lanka is not serious of return to normalcy in northern and north eastern province. The international community is being misled by all the rhetoric on promises of efforts to rebuild, rehabilitate, reconstruct and reconciliation in the war affect north and north east provinces by the Sri Lankan government.  The residents of north and north east provinces have lost all their basic human rights to the army and looking to the international community to help and to voice out for them.


The government of Sri Lanka claim to have established the lesson learnt and reconciliation commission on May 2010, but there is no evidence of any such initiatives towards restorative justice in the war affected areas.

 

In view of above facts we the Malaysian members of parliament condemn the actions of the Sri Lanka government and the military in particular for not engaging in true, sincere and serious efforts towards reconstruction, reconciliation and rebuilding the affected areas and the people therein. Instead of nation building the Sri Lanka government’s very actions seems to be reflecting the root causes of the war itself. There are evidently proof of human rights violations and crimes against humanity for which Sri Lankan  government must be held accountable and responsible.

 

Therefore we demand:

  1. Immediate action to be taken to provide the people in the IDP camps to be provided with all basic needs including sanitation and clean drinking water.
  2. Immediate withdrawal of military personnel and be replaced with full civil administration in the north and north eastern provinces.
  3. Immediate stop of all resettlement of Singhala people in Tamil areas.
  4. Allow immediate access to the ICRC into the affected areas without any conditions.
  5. Allow immediate access to international NGOs, parliamentarians and government delegations to have full access to the affected areas.
  6. Initiative immediate resettlement of the people in IDP camps and detentions to the original homes.
  7. Take all other necessary steps to rebuild the north and north eastern provinces with good governance, equality and fairness.

Datuk Johari Abdul Member of Parliament Sungai Petani

 

M. Manogaran Member of Parliament Teluk Intan

 

Senator S. Ramakrishnan 

S. Manickavasagam Member of Parliament Kapar 

R. Siva Rasa Member of Parliament Subang 

Tan Kok Wai Member of Parliament Cheras 

Mohd Yusmadi Mohd Yusuf  Member of Parliament Balik Pulau

Surendran Vice President National Justice Party

 

Charles Santiago Member of Parliament Klang

 

Gobind Singh Deo Member of Parliament Puchong 

John Fernandez Member of Parliament Seremban 

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Sri Lanka has abdicated the Tamils after the war

June 10, 2011

Sri Lanka government is continuing to mutilate and neglect the war victimized Tamil community in northern and eastern Sri Lanka. The Ruling government is only interested in further cleansing any LTTE remnants and mentally rehabilitating LTTE cadres into accepting the current Singhala political mastery in Colombo. It continues to militarize and Singhalarize the whole northern and eastern province. The traumatized and grieving Tamil population is under complete control of the army. The army controls and in the process rapes, robs, sexually harass and looting the Tamils with whatever little they have. Tamil people in northern and eastern province will not be able to recuperate and settle back to normalcy for a long time to come. The army is the lord unto themselves and they control and monitor any outside contact and help given to the captive Tamil people in internally displaced persons camps (IDPs).

The Sri Lankan government is misleading the whole into believing that it is doing everything to rehabilitate, reconstruct and reconcile the Tamil population back to normalcy. But on the other hand it is neglecting and hindering the rehabilitating and reconstruction initiatives of India and the Tamil Diaspora. The destabilized Tamil community is struggling among themselves to share very limited resources and the past family cohesiveness and supportiveness is fading away. Their houses flattened and their other belongings are looted by the army itself. Any note of complain and reclaim falls in deaf ears of the army authority. To add injury to insult the Sri Lankan government is attempting to settle Singhala people in Northern Province which is the Tamil homeland for centuries.

Till today nobody is held accountable for war crimes and on the other hand many war criminals are appointed to high ranking offices and ambassadors to foreign countries. So far Sri Lankan government civil wars atrocities have gone unpunished by the international community. The current Rajapakse dynastic rule in Sri Lanka is still celebrating and jingoistic on the war victory. The war may have ended but the conflict remains deep and hurt in the minds of the afflicted people. Opposition politicians and civil society live in fear of government reprisal to speak about the war crimes and post war conduct of the military government in northern and eastern provinces. The military has taken over the civil responsibilities of administering and restoring the northern and eastern provinces. All plans to undertake welfare and rehabilitating work by anybody has to be approved by the ministry of Defense.  The heavy presence of military is a hindrance and deterrence for normalcy to return for the civilian people.

The Tamil Diaspora must undertake humanitarian work to rehabilitate the war traumatized Tamil people at this hour of need. The Sri Lankan government delays the release of detained LTTE cadres for every action, protest or call for Tamil Ellam by overseas Tamil. The failure of LTTE war for Tamil homeland has taken Tamil people 50 years backward. There is no hope for any freedom struggle now. The urgent task is to bring the Sri Lankan government to war crime tribunal and undertake humanitarian work urgently. All attempts must be made to demilitarize the military zones and decentralize the governance and administrative function to the Northern Province. Under the current jubilant and chest beating mood of the Rajapakse government, changes have to be initiated externally and through international bodies. Within Sri Lanka people live in fear and nothing meaningful can be initiated. Aids given to Sri Lankan government may not reach the war victims in north and east. Local NGOs currently involved in welfare and resettlement work can be an alternative to channel aids.

Senator S.Ramakrishnan and Manoharan M.P. for Teluk Intan

10/6/2011