Sri Lankan Solidarity Movement
31st March, 2016
Prince Said Raad Zeid Al-Hussein,
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights,
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR),
52, rue des Pâquis,
We Totally Reject The OHCHR Report And The US Sponsored Resolution Against Sri Lanka Based Upon That Report, Urge Total Non-Interference In Sri Lanka’s Internal Affairs And Urge You To Educate Yourself About The Many Atrocities Committed By The LTTE Over The 26 Year War
The United States (US) has sponsored a resolution against Sri Lanka at the United National Human Rights Council (UNHRC) sessions. This US sponsored resolution has given rise to interfering in Sri Lanka’s internal affairs which is against the United Nations Charter. Provided below are details of the concerns of the people of Sri Lanka with regard to the US sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka.
- The People of Sri Lanka totally reject the contents of the report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) as presented by the UNHRC High Commissioner at the last UNHRC session, in which sentence after sentence (or in its entirety) is supposition, innudendo and downright lies.
- The people of Sri Lanka demand from the OHCHR why the massive number of war crimes committed by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) terrorists, at the behest of their leader Prabhakaran, are neither acknowledged nor any sympathy shown towards these victims of the LTTE and Prabhakaran.
- Over 26 years of war, these have included hundreds of massacres of primarily Sinhala and to a lesser extent Muslim civilians in what were known as ‘threatened villages’, at places of worship and in their agricultural fields in the Eastern, the North Central and parts of the North Western Provinces (massacring civilians intentionally, is a war crime). Over 360,000 Sinhala villagers and over 560,000 Muslim villagers were living in fear of their lives for over 26 years in the Eastern Province alone, due to the threat of being massacred by the LTTE. Over 1.2 million Sinhala villagers in the North Central Province also lived in fear of their lives due to threats by the LTTE. In certain village massacres carried out by the LTTE, the villagers were hacked to death using axes. From time to time, once a massacre by the LTTE occurred in a Sinhala or a Muslim village, the entire local area evacuated to what were known as temporary Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps. This was the fate of primarily the Sinhala and to a lesser extent, Muslim villagers of the Eastern and the North Central Provinces. Bombs, improvised explosive devices, claymore mines were used to create explosions at the roadsides against civilians, especially against civilian modes of transport such as buses and vans on many occasions by the LTTE, to massacre primarily Sinhala and to a lesser extent Muslim villagers in these provinces.
The Sri Lankan Government at the time created what is known as the Civil Defense Force to guard each threatened village. The Civil Defense Force consisted of a villager from each threatened village, trained to guard the village and provided with a shotgun to guard the village from an LTTE attack. This was how vulnerable these villages were to LTTE attacks.
In the Anuradhapura Massacre, on 14th May, 1985, LTTE gunmen shot dead 146 Sinhala civilians and injured 85 others at the Sri Maha Bodhiya, a sacred Buddhist Shrine in the North Central Province. The Kattankudy Mosque Massacre was the killing of over 147 Muslims at a mosque by the LTTE on 3rd August, 1990. The Aluth Oya Massacre (also known as the Habarana Massacre) was the massacre of 127 Sinhala civilians by the LTTE on the 17thApril, 1987, near the village of Aluth Oya on the Habarana Trincomalee Road in the North Central Province. On the 18th of September, 1999 in Ampara, the Gonagala Massacre took place. LTTE cadres entered Gonagala village and hacked to death 50 Sinhala civilians while they were sleeping. On 10thApril, 1992 in Ampara Town, an LTTE bomb exploded in a bus killing 25 Sinhala civilians and injuring 33. One policeman was also killed and two army personnel were wounded. On 25th May, 1986, the Mahadivulwewa Village Massacre took place. The LTTE killed 20 Sinhala villagers by shooting them dead and set alight 20 houses. On 25th March, 1987, the Serunuwara Massacre took place. LTTE cadres stormed the Serunuwara village, herded the Sinhala villagers at gunpoint onto a road. 25 villagers were then were shot dead, execution style. On 9th October, 1988 at Mahakongaskada Medawachchiya, LTTE cadres shot dead 44 Sinhala villagers and set fire to 11 houses. On 14th November 1998, at Paniketiyawa, Gomarankadawela, Trincomalee, LTTE cadres shot dead 28 Sinhala civilians, including two security forces personnel.
On the 25th May,1995, in what is known as the Kallarawa Massacre, LTTE cadres attacked the fishing village of Kallarawa and hacked and shot dead 42 Sinhala civilians. On 23rdJanuary, 1991, at Bogamuyaya, Maha Oya, Ampara, LTTE cadres hacked to death 25 Sinhala villagers and injured nine others. Four subsequently succumbed to their injuries. In the Palliyagodalla Massacre on the 15th of October, 1991, at Palliyagodalla, the LTTE cadres shot and hacked to death 182 civilians (171 of whom were Muslims), 12 policemen and 8 soldiers. 83 others were injured. On 26th July, 1990, at Thammannaelawake, Medawachchiya, LTTE cadres hacked and shot to death 19 Sinhala persons and set fire to 30 houses. On 6th August, 1990, at Ampara, LTTE cadres killed 33 Muslim farmers working in their rice fields. On 7th August, 1990, at Bandaraduwa, Uhana, Ampara, LTTE cadres killed 30 Sinhala villagers and injured 4. On 27th June, 1991 at Lahugala, Ampara, LTTE cadres exploded two claymore mines and opened fire at at the passengers of a bus killing 16 Sinhala civilians and wounding 8.
In the Wilpattu Village Massacre, on 5th May, 1985, Wilpattu, a Sinhala village in the Anuradhapura district was the target of a raid of an armed group of LTTE cadres, who killed 18 villagers that included women and children. On 19th February, 1986, when villagers from Serunuwara, Dehiwatta were being escorted by army personnel along the Ella/Kantale road, the LTTE exploded a mine killing 35 Sinhala civilians and four army personnel. In the Mollipothana Village Massacre, on 9th July, 1996, Mollipothana village was stormed at night by a group of armed LTTE cadres who killed 16 Sinhala civilians, most of them women and children. At Mamaduwa, Vavuniya, on 22nd July, 1986, LTTE cadres exploded a landmine under a civilian bus, killing 32 Sinhala civilians and injuring 20 others. On 20th April, 1991, at Niyadella, Okkampitiya, Moneragala, LTTE cadres attacked the village and hacked and shot to death 21 Sinhala civilians, inclusive of women and children.
These are a few examples of the hundreds of massacres of primarily Sinhala and to a lesser extent, Muslim civilians that took place in threatened villages and at the roadsides.
- Large scale bomb attacks were carried out by the LTTE in the Western Province, particularly in the capital Colombo, and in other main cities at shops, oil storage facilities, airports, buses, trains, hotels and at temples (bombing civilian targets intentionally and massacring civilians is a war crime). Provided below are a few of the many hundreds of bomb attacks carried out by the LTTE against civilians.
In the Central Bank Bombing of 31st January, 1996 in Colombo, a truck cantaining 440 pounds of high explosives crashed through the main gate of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. The blast killed at least 91 people and injured 1,400 others. At least 100 people lost their eyesight. In the Katunayake International Airport attack, the only international airport in the country was attacked on 24th July, 2001 by the LTTE and at least 7 Sri Lankan Forces members died restoring the airport back to normal. Over half of Sri Lankan Airlines fleet, of 6 airbuses, 3 totally and 3 partially, was destroyed due to the attack. On 3rd May, 1986, an Air Lanka plane was bombed by the LTTE and around 21 foreign tourists died due to that bomb attack, while 41 were injured. On the 20th of October, 1996 at Kolonnawa, Colombo, the LTTE attacked the oil storage complexes at Kollonnawa and Orugodawatta. Suicide bombers blew up the tanks destroying the tanks. 22 security personnel were killed while diesal, aviation fuel and crude oil worth over US $ 10 million was destroyed. The oil tanks burned for many days.
The Central Bus Station Bombing was the car bombing of the central bus terminal of Colombo carried out on the 21st of April, 1997 in Colombo killing 113 civilians. On the 28th of November, 2007, an LTTE parcel bomb blew up a Department Store in Colombo killing 20 civilians. In the Moratuwa Bus Bombing of 6th June, 2008, a roadside bomb exploded targeting a passenger bus killing 23 civilians and wounding 80 more. On 16th January, 2008 at Buttala, a roadside bomb targeting a passenger bus exploded killing 27 civilians and woundng 67 more. On the 24th July, 1995, in the Dehiwela Train Bombing, the LTTE exploded 4 bombs in a train at Dehiwela killing 60-70 civilians. On the15th of October, 1997 in the Colombo World Trade Centre Bombing, an LTTE bomb exploded at the Colombo World Trade Centre, killing 13 and injuring hundreds.
- In the early 1980’s, the ethnic cleansing (which is a war crime) of the entire Sinhala people of the North took place at the behest of the LTTE leader Prabhakaran. In the 1990’s, the ethnic cleansing of the entire Muslim people of the North took place at the behest of Prabhakaran. Over 65,000 Sinhala people and over 75,000 Muslim people were ethnically cleansed. Until 2009, these desperate and unfortunate people were living in small tin roofed huts in the Puttalam District and in other parts of the country for over 26 years. We demand that the over 65,000 Sinhala people and their descendents ethnically cleansed from the North be resettled immediately in the North. Similarly, the over 75,000 Muslims and their descendents ethnically cleansed from the North should also be resettled immediately in the North. According to the most recent census carried out in 2012, over 32,000 Sinhala people and over 32,000 Muslim people have been resettled in the North. Therefore, the majority of the Sinhala and Muslim people displaced from the North are yet to be resettled. If their original lands and houses have been granted by the LTTE to family members of LTTE cadres, then these Sinhala and Muslim people displaced from the North should be provided with alternative lands, adequate alternative housing facilities and resettled immediately.
- During the conflict, almost all Sri Lankan Forces members, Police Force members and Civil Defense Force members who were captured by the LTTE, were executed on the spot by the LTTE. Executing prisoners of war (POWs) is a war crime. However, the LTTE leader Prabhakaran had a ‘take no prisoners’ policy. Therefore, thousands of Sri Lankan Forces, Police Force and Civil Defense Force members who were captured by the LTTE, were executed on the spot by the LTTE, in this way. Over 5,000 complaints have been received regarding Sri Lankan Forces, Police Force and Civil Defense Force members being to this day, ‘missing in action’, due to the LTTE executing them on the spot in this way, by a Sri Lankan Government appointed commission of inquiry. The over 5,000 complaints have been made by the relatives of these ‘missing in action’ Sri Lankan Forces, Police Force and Civil Defense Force members. Provided below are some examples of occasions where the LTTE executed POWs. There are hundreds of other examples of occasions where the LTTE executed POWs.
On 18th July, 1996, the Mullaitivu Sri Lankan Army Camp was captured by the LTTE. During this battle, the Sri Lankan Military lost 1,242 troops. Sri Lankan Military alleged that 207 Sri Lankan Forces members who surrendered to the LTTE and who were POWs were executed on the spot by the LTTE. Hundreds of Sri Lankan Forces members, who were unconscious, appeared to have been herded together, doused in kerosene and burnt alive by the LTTE. The Sri Lankan Military complained about this barbaric execution of POWs by the LTTE at that time. On 22nd April 2000, during the capture of the Elephant Pass Sri Lankan Army Camp by the LTTE and in its aftermath, 758 Sri Lankan Forces members were killed and 2,368 were injured. 349 Sri Lankan Forces members were ‘missing in action’ which means they were executed by the LTTE when they should have been taken as POW. During the capture of the Elephant Pass Army Camp, its water supply, which was a well, was blocked by the LTTE. As a result, Sri Lankan Forces members dehydrated to death. Such barbaric acts by the LTTE should be condemned unreservedly.
On November 10th 1993, at Pooneryn, 241 Sri Lankan Military personnel were killed inclusive of 8 officers, in an LTTE attack on the Pooneryn defenses. The LTTE also executed 200 soldiers of the Sri Lankan Military who surrendered during the attack on the Pooneryn Sri Lankan Army Camp when they should have been detained as POWs.
- Contrary to the LTTE leader’s ‘take no prisoners’ policy (executing POWs is a war crime), the Sri Lankan Forces always followed, as a matter of policy, detainment and rehabilitation of any LTTE cadres who were captured or who surrendered (following international norms). However, there may be occasions where LTTE cadres did perish when hostilities took place between the Sri Lankan Forces and the LTTE and who could be construed today very wrongly as ‘missing’ by LTTE supporters but in reality these LTTE cadres have died during hostilities (just as thousands upon thousands of Sri Lankan Forces members died!).
Further, there are a large number of former LTTE cadres domiciled in countries such as the UK, Canada, US, EU countries, Norway, Sweden, Australia etc. There are many scams taking place where these former LTTE cadres who are supposed to be ‘missing’ are actually living in countries such as the UK, Canada, US, EU countries, Norway, Sweden, Australia etc. where they have claimed political asylum under new identities.
- The UNICEF itself acknowledged in one of their reports in 2007 that the LTTE at the behest of its leader Prabhakaran, has perhaps recruited over 20,000 child soldiers (those under 18 years of age). The recruitment of child soldiers is a war crime. When Tamil head teachers and teachers complained to the LTTE about the LTTE recruiting students from their schools, head teachers and teachers were shot dead from time to time for complaining by the LTTE which add up to a notable number, over the 26 years of war. Over 11,000 complaints have been received, predominantly against the LTTE (and other Tamil armed groups), of forced recruitment of young persons by the LTTE (and other Tamil armed groups) into their ranks, by a Sri Lankan Government appointed commission of inquiry.
- The LTTE, at the behest of Prabhakaran, has killed hundreds of Sri Lankan politicians, civil servants, senior military and police officers, prelates, activists, academics, journalists and other professionals not to the LTTE leader Prabhakaran’s liking. Prabhakaran commenced his career by gunning down the Mayor of Jaffna, Alfred Durayappah on 27th July, 1975. Since then, he has executed hundreds of Sri Lankan politicians who he found irritating. Most prominent among them was a former Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka, Lakshman Kadirgamar, assassinated by the LTTE on 12th August, 2005. A former President of Sri Lanka, Ranasinghe Premadasa was blown up in a suicide bomb attack on 1st May, 1993. A former Presidential Candidate and a Minister, Gamini Dissanayake, was blasted to pieces in a massive bomb blast at an election rally in Colombo on 24th October, 1994 where over 50 people died, with 75 being seriously injured. Prabhakaran even blasted to pieces the Prime Minister of India Rajiv Gandhi along with 13 civilians using a suicide bomber on 21st May, 1991. On 7th May 1990, a Tamil member of the Sri Lankan parliament, Sam Thambimuttu and his wife were blasted to pieces in their car, by use of a car bomb in Colombo. On 29th July, 1999, a prominent Tamil lawyer, Neelan Thiruchelvam was blasted to pieces in his car by use of a suicide bomber in Colombo. In 2005, a Tamil journalist not to Prabhakaran’s liking, along with her husband, was assassinated at their home in Colombo by the LTTE pistol gang. Over 120 noteworthy Sri Lankan politicians, civil servants, senior military and police officers, prelates, activists, academics, journalists and other professionals were assassinated by the LTTE. They were only but a few of the hundreds of assassinations carried out by the LTTE.
- Although the OHCHR report tries to hide facts, the reality is that the majority of those who perished in the war of over 26 years have been on the Sri Lankan Government’s side. Over 31,000 Sri Lankan Forces members, Police Force members and Civil Defense Force members have perished at the hands of the LTTE over the 26 years. This number along with over 1,200 Indian Peacekeeping Force members, over 2,000 members of various Tamil armed groups who were against the LTTE and on the Sri Lankan Government’s side, over 6,000 primarily Sinhala and to a lesser extent Muslim civilians and along with those Tamil civilians who perished at the hands of the LTTE, over 43,000 in total have died at the hands of the LTTE and its leader Prabhakaran. Around 31,000 LTTE terrorists perished too. Therefore a total of around 76,000 have perished on both sides of the war of over 26 years. Therefore it is very clear that the majority of those who perished in the war were on the Government of Sri Lanka’s side, which is around 43,000, and who perished at the hands of the LTTE.
The LTTE cracked down hard on Tamil dissenters, other Tamil armed groups, those who were deemed as ‘Government Informers’ or those who were seen as ‘collaborating with the Government’ and others who opposed the LTTE’s grip on the community.
- Over 10,000 Sri Lankan Forces members today are deemed disabled due to the conflict, according to records of the Sri Lankan Ministry of Defense. Over 6,000 Sri Lankan Forces members are permanently disabled and receiving assistance, according to records of the Sri Lankan Ministry of Defense. Over 23,000 Sri Lankan Forces members were both permanently and temporarily disabled during 26 years of war and received assistance, according to records of the Sri Lankan Ministry of Defense. Over 136,000 Sri Lankan Forces members have been wounded over the 26 year period due to hostilities with the LTTE.
- Sri Lanka, for over 2600 years, has been a unitary state. When observing the history of the island of over 2600 years, it is very clear that a Sinhala civilization existed since 600BC on the island. Sinhala Prakrit writing, which is over 600BC years old, was the earliest writing found on the island. The Sinhala Buddhist civilization of Rajarata (600BC-1400 AD) was located in the dry zone of the country encompassing today’s North Central, North Western, Eastern and Northern Provinces. This Sinhala Buddhist Kingdom was based on building thousands of irrigation reservoirs in the dry zone of the country. An irrigation reservoir map in The National Atlas of Sri Lanka, Second Edition, 2007, published by The Survey Department of Sri Lanka, depicts the thousands of irrigation reservoirs built by this Sinhala Buddhist civilization and there are hundreds of ancient irrigation reservoirs located in the North and the East of the country too, built by Sinhala kings. Many Buddhist archaeological sites are located all over the dry zone, inclusive of the over 273 important Buddhist archaeological sites present in the North and in the East, and in particular the over 21 Buddhist archaeological sites in Jaffna in the North. We urge that the over 273 important Buddhist archaeological sites present in the North and in the East, and in particular the over 21 Buddhist archaeological sites in Jaffna, be preserved and to ensure their security. The preservation and the security of hundreds of minor Buddhist archaeological sites in the North too should be ensured.
- Subsequently, the Kandyan Kingdom located in the Central highlands (1400AD until the British colonial times of 1815) existed, encompassing most of the island inclusive of today’s Eastern and Northern Provinces. Today’s provinces were created by British colonialists only recently during British colonial times for their administrative purposes, without any input whatsoever from the Sinhala people and do not tally with the actual history of the island which was a unitary state or one country. The British found the Sinhala unruly and rebellious and took every possible action to suppress them.
- Over the years, other peoples have migrated to the island and today, Sri Lanka is a multi ethnic country. Today, Sri Lanka comprises over 74.9% Sinhala, 11.2 % Sri Lankan Tamil, 9.3% Muslim, 4.1% Indian Tamil and 0.5% Malay, Burgher and others. Since Sri Lanka is a multi ethnic country, taking into account the fact that most provinces themselves are mixed, it defies belief how the OHCHR can suggest that somehow certain parts of Sri Lanka should belong to certain ethnic groups. This does not tally with the very long history and archaeology of the island, as stated above, where we find that the island has had a very long Sinhala Buddhist civilization of over 2600 years which encompassed the dry zone of the country, which includes the North and the East. All provinces of Sri Lanka today are mixed in terms of ethnic groups. Therefore the island is one country and is the homeland of its entire people in total. Therefore no part of this island can belong exclusively to any exclusive group of people. If someone claims such, it is definitely a human rights violation of all the other islanders and does not tally at all with the history and archaeology of the island which for over 2600 years has been Sinhala Buddhist, as described above.
- For the purpose of administrative ease, powers have been delegated today to the provinces as provincial councils, which have now been functioning for almost 30 years and should continue to function as at present without any change whatsoever. No external power or the OHCHR has the right to suggest any alternative political arrangement for Sri Lanka than there is at present. Sri Lanka’s internal affairs are its own business and not the business of anyone else.
- Although the Sri Lankan Government accepted the US sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka, the people of Sri Lanka totally reject the US sponsored resolution in its entirety that was forced upon Sri Lanka at the UNHRC.
- The people of Sri Lanka say an absolute no to setting up of an office of the OHCHR in Sri Lanka to implement the US sponsored resolution, which the people of Sri Lanka reject in total.
- Absolute no to hybrid courts, foreign judges, foreign defense lawyers, foreign prosecutors, foreign investigators or any foreign technical assistance (whose salaries will be paid by the OHCHR which in turn is financed by US which means that the outcome would be what the US would want it to be).
- Absolute no to any domestic court either (whose salaries will be paid by the OHCHR which in turn is financed by the US which means that the outcome would be what the US would want it to be). Sri Lanka only wants a commission of inquiry into any outstanding issues (not a judicial process), if at all necessary. Sri Lanka has already held many commissions of inquiry into all outstanding issues, commencing with the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission.
- Absolute no to any new Acts of Parliament which, if approved, will enable courts of law in Sri Lanka to accept evidence provided by anonymous witnesses whose identities will only be revealed after twenty years (these so called ‘witnesses’ are in fact LTTE terrorists or their supporters and their ‘evidence’ are all bogus lies). At present, a witness has to appear in person in a court of law so that the defendant’s lawyer can cross examine any witness to figure out if the witness is lying. Not being able to do so is a grave injustice, not justice.
Further, there are a large number of LTTE supporters as well as former LTTE terrorists domiciled in countries such as the UK, Canada, US, EU countries, Norway, Sweden, Australia etc. It is they who have taken the lead in creating false allegations and encouraging certain persons in the North to create false allegations which have been incorporated into the OHCHR report. These ‘witnesses’ are all anonymous and their identities will only be revealed in twenty years time. This is a grave injustice, since it is based on these false allegations that the OHCHR report has been written. However Sri Lankan laws require any accuser to prove in a court of law, in person, their allegations. Therefore, if any person has concrete proof of any wrongdoing, why have they not lodged any cases in courts of law in Sri Lanka so far? This proves that allegations in the OHCHR report are all false.
- Absolute no to any new Acts of Parliament containing new sets of laws which were not around when the war was conducted. However if approved, the Armed Forces of Sri Lanka will be judged under these new sets of laws which were not around when the war was conducted. This is totally unethical. It is also a grave injustice, not justice.
- No to the abolition of the Prevention of Terrorism Act. Abolition of this Act means all those who are in prison or in detention due to carrying out grave acts of terrorism (there are only some 200 plus persons in prison due to this Act at present) will automatically be released. If it has any shortcomings, it can be amended. There is no need to abolish it. However, this does not mean that even these 200 plus former LTTErs who have committed grave acts of terrorism such as bombing civilian targets should not be placed on a suitable rehabilitation programme and if those who run such a programme are satisfied with the rehabilitation, be considered for release at such a time. However, under no circumstances should the Prevention of Terrorism Act be abolished.
Further, there are a large number of LTTE supporters as well as former LTTE terrorists domiciled in countries such as the UK, Canada, US, EU countries, Norway, Sweden, Australia etc. For over thirty years, subsequent Sri Lankan Governments requested these countries to take action to terminate fund raising on a large scale, amounting to millions of dollars each year, which was carried out by these LTTE supporters in these countries. It is using these funds that the LTTE purchased sophisticated weapons inclusive of all conventional weapons necessary to wage a conventional war, equivalent to or even better than what the Sri Lankan Forces had, which perpetuated the war for this long. Sophisticated bomb making material, claymore mines, improvised explosive devises etc. were purchased with which civilians were blasted to pieces. If the UK, Canada, US, EU countries, Norway, Sweden, Australia etc. did not allow this fund raising to take place in their respective countries, the war in Sri Lanka would have ceased a long time ago, with many lives being saved as a result.
In addition to purchasing the most advanced and sophisticated weapons, the LTTE possessed a telecommunication system encompassing the latest technology and a transportation system equivalent to or even better than what the Sri Lankan Forces possessed, purchased using the above mentioned funds raised in the UK, Canada, US, EU countries, Norway, Sweden, Australia etc. Criminal activities of the LTTE included extortion of money from those who entered, exited or were domiciled in their former areas of control, extortion of money from those who lived in foreign countries, robbing banks, robbing railway stations, robbing cooperatives, weapons smuggling, people smuggling, arms smuggling, money laundering, passport forgery, blowing up railway lines, bridges, buses, trains, vans, cars, fishing boats, ferries, planes, private ships, post offices, railway stations, bus stations, fuel facilities, the national electricity transmission system and the national communication transmission system, sea piracy, assassinations using the LTTE pistol gang etc.
- Under no circumstances should the Public Security Ordinance be amended. If this Ordinance is amended, the President of Sri Lanka will have no powers to take over the running of a Provincial Council, if the Provincial Council acts out of line and demanded separate states and the like.
- No to reducing of any High Security Zones (HSZs). The HSZs exist due to security reasons. It is up to the Sri Lankan Army, Navy or Air Force to decide if HSZs should be reduced or not. There are HSZs in the other eight provinces not just in the Northern Province and yet no one in these provinces is demanding that HSZs be removed from their provinces except for a few persons in the North. Those persons whose lands have been taken over due to HSZs can be provided with alternative lands. Sri Lankan law states that any land can be taken over by the state for national purposes as long as the affected persons are provided adequate compensation or alternative lands.
- No to removal of any Sri Lankan Army, Navy or Air Force Camps from the North or anywhere else. It is totally up to the Sri Lankan Army, Navy or the Air Force to decide where their camps should be located and in what numbers according to the security situation. The other eight provinces are not demanding that Sri Lankan Army, Navy or Air Force Camps within their provinces be removed. So why should there be any special considerations for the North?
- No to converting the Palali Air Force Base in the North into a civilian airport, Palali is one of the most important Air Force Bases belonging to the Sri Lankan Air Force. It should not be converted into a civilian airport as India wants. There are sufficient domestic airports to serve local people’s needs. India need not involve itself in any internal affair of Sri Lanka which is Sri Lanka’s business only.
- Immediately release all of the Sri Lankan Army, Navy and Sri Lankan Army Intelligence personnel detained in prison without any evidence whatsoever to justify such a detention in any of the individual detention cases that have taken place so far. Are these personnel detained for no reason whatsoever to please the US, EU countries, UK, Norway, India and the OHCHR?
- Immediately reinstate the Sri Lankan Navy’s Naval Cordon around the Northern and the Eastern Seas of Sri Lanka in order to immediately stop the substantial amounts of illegal fishing conducted using illegal fishing methods such as bottom trawling by Indian fishermen thus devastating the Sri Lankan marine eco system. If illegal fishing on such a large scale by Indian fishermen continues, the Sri Lankan marine eco system which includes the endangered dugong, stingrays, dolphins, whales, large coral reef systems, mangroves etc will be totally devastated. Illegal fishing by Indian fishermen deprives local fishermen of their incomes and livelihoods. Another reason to reinstate the Naval Cordon is due to arrival of illegal immigrants, contra brand, illegal drugs etc.
Sri Lanka today is recovering from over 26 years of war, forced upon it by the LTTE and its leader Prabhakaran. After two generations, the present generation at long last, is in a fortunate position to move forward in peace, to create a more developed country and to live a peaceful life. We urge the OHCHR and the UNHRC not to deprive Sri Lanka of this historic opportunity to move forward towards a peaceful future. We also urge the OHCHR and the UNHRC not to interfere in Sri Lanka’s internal affairs. Interfering in a country’s internal affairs is against the UN Charter. Considering Sri Lanka’s over 2600 years of history of a Sinhala Buddhist civilization, we hope that the OHCHR and the UNHRC respect that history, take our concerns outlined above into account and ensure that Sri Lanka’s unitary status, integrity, sovereignty, independence and freedom are not compromised in anyway under any circumstances.
Sri Lankan Solidarity Movement
Sinhala Welfare Association, UK
Videshagatha Sri Lankikayo Mawbima Wenuwen
Sri Lanka Freedom Party – UK Branch
Jathika Nidahas Peramuna -UK Branch
Sri Lankan Solidarity Movement