U.S. official Shannon Urged to Raise Ongoing Persecution of Tamils During U.S. – Sri Lanka Partnership Dialogue: TGTE
International accountability for thousands of Tamils who were killed and women raped by Sri Lankan Security forces in 2009 should be added to Dialogue agenda
US-Sri Lanka Partnership Dialogue will become meaningless unless ongoing persecution of Tamils are discussed”— Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE)
Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) today urged visiting U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas A. Shannon to raise the ongoing persecution of Tamils – including the plight of Tamil political prisoners and Prisoners of War (POW), Tamils who were subjected to enforced disappearance, and international accountability for the mass killing of Tamils – during the U.S.-Sri Lanka Partnership Dialogue to be held in the week of November 6th, in Sri Lanka.
There is continued militarization of Tamil areas, adversely affecting Tamil’s lives. According to a recent report by Think-Tank Adayaalam Center for Policy Research, there is one Sri Lankan Soldier to every two Tamils in the Northern district of Mullaitivu.
TGTE also urged that international accountability for tens of thousands of Tamils who were killed and women sexually assaulted and raped by the Sri Lankan Security forces during the final months of the war in 2009, be added to the agenda of the dialogue.
The US-Sri Lanka Partnership Dialogue will become meaningless unless the above mentioned critical issues are discussed during the Dialogue, said TGTE.
Hundreds of Tamil Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War (POW) are imprisoned, some for over fifteen years. The current Government gave several assurances that these prisoners will be released. But years have passed without any results.
The plight of thousands of Tamils who were subjected to enforced disappearance, including several who surrendered to the Sri Lankan Security forces, remain unknown for several years.
HERE ARE SOME FACTS:
• Around 70,000 Tamils were killed in six months and women were sexually assaulted and raped by Sri Lankan Security Forces in 2009. (Source: UN Internal Review Report on Sri Lanka). Tamils were killed due to deliberate and intense shelling and bombing of areas designated by the government as “no-fire zones”, where Tamil civilians had assembled for safety. Sri Lankan Government also restricted food and medicine for Tamils, resulting in large numbers dying from starvation and many of the injured bleeding to death.
• A recent report by the International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) published details of Sri Lankan Military run “rape Camps”, where Tamil women are being held as sex slaves. This is one of the rare documented “Rape Camps”, since Japanese Imperial Army held mostly Korean and Chinese women as “Comfort Women” during the Second World War.
• There are 90,000 Tamil war widows, forced to live among the same Security forces who killed their loved ones. (Source: May 2012 report by British Foreign and Commonwealth Office on Human Rights and Democracy).
• No one was held accountable for the repeated mass killings of Tamils in 1958, 1977, 1983 and 2009. Members of the Sri Lankan Security forces are almost exclusively from the Sinhalese community and the victims are all from the Tamil community.
• A Buddhist monk shot and killed a Sri Lankan Prime Minister in 1957 for having dialogue with Tamils.
ABOUT TRANSNATIONAL GOVERNMENT OF TAMIL EELAM (TGTE):
Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) is a democratically elected Government of a million strong Tamils (from the island of Sri Lanka) living in several countries around the world. TGTE was formed after the mass killing of Tamils by the Sri Lankan Government in 2009.
TGTE held two internationally supervised elections among Tamils around the world to elect 132 Members of Parliament. It has a bicameral legislature and a Cabinet. It held one of its Parliamentary sittings in the British Parliament.
TGTE is leading a campaign to realize Tamils’ political aspirations through non-violent, democratic and diplomatic means. The Constitution of the TGTE mandates that it should realize its political objective only through peaceful means.
The Prime Minister of TGTE is Mr. Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran, a New York based lawyer.
Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam
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