Memorandum on the lies and misleading statements of the Sri Lanka high commissioners and government
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:
- 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.
- Immediate withdrawal of military personnel and be replaced with full civil administration in the north and north eastern provinces.
- Immediate stop of all resettlement of Singhala people in Tamil areas.
- Allow immediate access to the ICRC into the affected areas without any conditions.
- Allow immediate access to international NGOs, parliamentarians and government delegations to have full access to the affected areas.
- Initiative immediate resettlement of the people in IDP camps and detentions to the original homes.
- 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