Human Rights Groups Seek Firm Steps To Probe Lankan Genocide, War Crimes
Calling upon the Centre not to “hide” behind economic and strategic interests and to take a firm step in investigating the genocide and war crimes in Sri Lanka, human rights activists from all parts of the country have unanimously decided to garner support for the initiative in their respective States.
The US-sponsored UNHRC resolution on the Sri Lankan war crimes in their view is ‘mild’ and hence, India should sponsor a separate resolution highlighting the demand for an independent probe into the matter.
“This is not only an issue of the Tamils’ but a serious human rights violation and with the help of human rights organisations in over 25 States, we will spread awareness so that the whole nation rises against the atrocities committed by the Sri Lankan government,” said V Suresh, national general secretary, People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL).
Speaking at a meeting in the city, PUCL State president G Saraswathi said there was a need for a pan-India outcry in support of the issue and demanded that India sponsor a substantive resolution, making an independent investigation as its pivot. “The resolution sponsored by the US and UK does not even mention the word ‘genocide’ and is very mild. Hence, India should take the onus of bringing justice to the Eelam Tamils,” she said.
“The Sri Lankan government should not be allowed more time for reconciliation initiatives and the investigation should be started immediately. The more the delay, more the loss and manipulation of evidence,” added Suresh.
The rights watchdog also demanded that the North Eastern provinces of the island nation be de-militarised and provided with real democratic power under a federal setup.
Other demands include rehabilitation of the 90,000 war widows still living in the Tamil-dominated provinces without any livelihood support. Saraswathy further said that over seven major human rights associations had extended support to the initiave and that the issue would be taken up at the Conference of South Asian Countries on Genocide and War Crimes, to be held in August this year.