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May-02-2011 14:20printcomments

USTPAC Welcomes UN Panel's Report on Sri Lanka

Group Urges US to Help Establish International Investigation.

Sri Lanka and the UN
Sri Lanka photo: TopNews.In

(WASHINGTON D.C.) - Welcoming the official release of the UN Panel of Expert’s War Crime report on Sri Lanka yesterday, the President of USTPAC (The united States Tamil Political Action Council), Dr. Elias Jeyarajah said, “With the release of this report, the world has come to know the extent of the brutality of the war crimes committed against the Tamil people living in Sri Lanka, and it is the obligation of the International Community to investigate these grave crimes against humanity and bring those responsible to an international court of law.”

Welcoming the official release of the UN Panel of Expert’s War Crime report on Sri Lanka yesterday, the President of USTPAC Dr. Elias Jeyarajah said, “With the release of this report, the world has come to know the extent of the brutality of the war crimes committed against the Tamil people living in Sri Lanka, and it is the obligation of the International Community to investigate these grave crimes against humanity and bring those responsible to an international court of law.” He added “True reconciliation, leading to long term peace in the island can begin only when the truth comes out, accountability is established, and justice is given.” He urged President Obama’s Administration to work with the UN and other countries towards establishing an international mechanism to independently investigate the war crime charges described in the UN Report.

USTPAC released its own report today, entitled “The Track Record of Sri Lankan Commissions and the Need for an International Investigation of War Crimes.” (Link: http://www.ustpac.org/Articles%5CSriLankasTrackRecordAndTheWarCrimes.pdf ) This 34-page report highlights the Sri Lankan Government’s attempts to resist international pressure to investigate violations of human rights abuses against the Tamil people over the past 35 years. The “investigations” by the Government of Sri Lanka have never produced any results nor established any accountability for the violence against the Tamil people.

Releasing the Report by the USTPAC’s War Crime Prosecution Committee, one of its members said “the Tamil people are clearly the victims of violence and injustice by the Government of Sri Lanka for the last 60 years and they deserve justice. Only an impartial international investigation can bring justice to the Tamils and avoid repetition of the same.” He added “Although the war ended, the conflict has not. An international investigation can be the first step towards ending the conflict and bringing permanent peace to Sri Lanka.”

The USTPAC has been working on highlighting the oppressive conditions of the Tamil people by the government of Sri Lanka and the need for a political solution.

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The activists in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia urged shoppers outside a GAP store not to buy any items from Sri Lanka. The city is largely populated by professionals working in the federal civil service, the U.S. military, or for one of the many private companies which contract to provide services to the federal government. One of the organizers said the activists were encouraged by the reception they got from the shoppers and the drivers passing by them honking from their vehicle to show their support for the cause. 

Boycott Sri Lanka Campaign in the US Gains Momentum and Goes Global

September 29, 2010

San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) September 29, 2010 -- Another successful nationwide boycott campaign against clothing made in Sri Lanka was conducted Saturday, September 25, 2010 between 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM local time in several US cities and in London, UK. The United States Tamil Political Action Council (USTPAC) has been conducting Sri Lanka Boycott Campaign in 16 major cities across the US, with the aim of informing the consumers how they can make a difference in a far-away country to end oppression of people based on ethnicity and promote equality. ACT NOW, a human rights group based in London held simultaneous protests in front of GAP stores in six locations to high-light continuing oppression of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka.   USTPAC Commemorates Black July and Calls for Justice to Tamils in Sri Lanka

July 30, 2010

Washington, DC (PRWEB) July 30, 2010 -- Twenty seven years ago on a sunny July day, the lives of the Tamil people living in the island of Sri Lanka turned upside down without any warning. Under the pretext of retaliating for the deaths of 13 soldiers belonging to the ethnicity of the ruling elite, Sinhalese soldiers and hoodlums were set loose on innocent Tamil civilians living in the south. Tamil homes and businesses were looted and burned. Tamil political prisoners under State custody were butchered. Nearly 3,000 Tamil men women and children were murdered, many burnt alive. Tens of thousands of Tamil survivors were shipped to their homeland in the Northeast, having lost all their possessions and livelihood. Western countries shocked by the horror opened their doors to the fleeing Tamils. Thus began a massive exodus of the Tamils from the island.  

Rally Against War Crimes in Sri Lanka: Tamil Americans to hold protest in front of the UN in New York -September 22, 11am to 3pm

September 21, 2010

New York, September 21: US Tamil Political Action Council joins concerned human rights groups in the US and Canada in organizing the “Rally against War Crimes” during the General Assembly sessions of the United Nations in New York this week. The purpose of the rally is to expose Tamil Genocide conducted by the Rajapaksa Government in Sri Lanka and to call for War Crime Investigations, calling on the UN Secretary General to promptly start the work of the Advisory Panel. 




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Peter Hill May 4, 2011 12:18 am (Pacific time)

Sri Lanka "No Fire Zone" was kill Zone On many occasions, the Sri lanka government and the military declared no-fire zones (NFZ) and claimed the “security forces are fully committed to provide maximum safety for civilians”. Far from being protected, civilians were slaughtered in their thousands as the military mercilessly subjected these areas to aerial and artillery bombardment. The UN panel report said:“In the early morning hours of January 24, hundreds of shells were rained down in the NFZ. Those with access to the bunkers dove into it for protection, but most of the Tamils did not have bunkers and nowhere to seek cover. People were screaming and crying for help.” Clearly marked hospitals were not spared. The Vallipunam hospital located in the no-fire zone was shelled on January 20, killing a number of patients. The Udayaarkaddu hospital in the same zone was hit on 24 January. The Puthukkudiyiruppu (PTK) hospital was bombarded every day between January 29 and February 4, and took at least nine direct hits that killed staff and patients. On February 12, the military declared a second no-fire zone covering a 12-kilometre coastal strip. The UN estimated that more than 300,000 civilians—men, women and children—were packed into the area, which had already been heavily bombarded from February 6. UN staff who left the no-fire zone along with the Red Cross on January 25, described what they saw:“The scene inside the NFZ along the road to PTK, the A35, was one of great destruction, and even the vegetation was shredded. Dead or severely injured civilians lay along the roadsides, amidst shattered shelters, strewn belongings and dead animals. Hundreds of damaged vehicles also lay along the road.” UN security official inside the zone telephoned Sri Lankan military chiefs, including the commander responsible for the operation, requesting that the shelling stop, but to no avail. When UN officers emerged from their bunker,“mangled bodies and body parts were strewn all around them, including those of many women and children”. Sri Lanka Army's barrage continued on a daily basis well after the announced no-fire zone. The UN report cited several examples: “On 25 March, an MBRL [multi-barrel rocket launcher] attack on Ambalavanpokkanai [village] killed around 140 people, including many children. On 8 April 2009, a large group of women and children, who were queued up at a milk powder distribution line were shelled at Ambalavanpokkanai.” Makeshift hospitals at Putumattalan, Mullivaikkal and Vellamullivaikkal also came under fire. The conditions at the hospitals were appalling. At Putumattalan hospital, the report noted: “A large number of amputations were performed without anaesthetic, using butcher knives rather than scalpels. Sanitary pads and cotton cloths were used as bandages, and intravenous drips were hung from the trees, with the severely-injured patients lying on the ground under them.” An estimated 100,000 civilians remained in the no fire zone, crammed together in intolerable conditions without adequate food, water, shelter or medicine. The military deliberately restricted emergency supplies while the Rajapaksa government falsely claimed that only 10,000 civilians remained. The UN report stated: “Due to lack of space in the third NFZ, civilians had nowhere to hide from shelling, which was coming from all sides… Many died and were buried under their bunkers without their deaths being recorded.” Doctors and the remaining chief administrative officer repeatedly called for a halt to the attacks to attend the wounded, but in vain. The final days of the war that ended on May 18 were an “unimaginable human catastrophe” when 40 000 Tamil people were slaughtered


Joey May 2, 2011 10:33 pm (Pacific time)

From the Veteran who graced the May 15 Tamil Remembrance of last year in front of the Lincoln Memorial and Reflecting Pool in DC, to Salem-News, it is heartening to see more and more non-Tamil Americans voicing for Justice for the grave crimes against humanity unleashed by the Sri Lanka regime against Tamils. Like last Sunday's Gospel reading, "Blessed are those who believe, though they didn't see."


Sandra May 2, 2011 5:21 pm (Pacific time)

The efforts of Salem News in bringing out the voice of a vulnerable society are very much appreciated. With the local media oppressed and international media kicked out from the conflict zone, according to the 214 page UN Panel Report, Sri Lanka has committed every violations in International Humanitarian Law and ICRC Geneva Conventions. It is imperative that justice is done to the people who were massacred after being made to starve and humanitarian relief prevented Worst of all, degrading treatment to the dead by Sri Lankan mono-ethnic military.

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