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Tamil Rights Group Initiates Global Campaign Seeking Justice for Eelam Tamils at the International Criminal Court

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 9, 2021

Markham, Canada – In a major move to seek justice for Eelam Tamils and fight against impunity in Sri Lanka, Tamil Rights Group (TRG) has submitted a Communication under Article 15 of the Rome Statute to the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC), requesting a preliminary examination into crimes against humanity of deportation and persecution committed against Eelam Tamils within the territories of state parties to the ICC.

There is mounting evidence that the Eelam Tamil population in Sri Lanka was subject to atrocities that amounted to crimes against humanity and war crimes, particularly in the final stages of the protracted civil war that ended in 2009. Recognising that the ongoing actions of the Sri Lankan state have proven its unwillingness to investigate and prosecute such crimes within domestic judicial institutions, the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner, in January 2021, called for member states to become involved in working to end the impunity surrounding the Sri Lankan armed conflict, both by utilising the principle of universal jurisdiction to initiate prosecutions in foreign domestic courts, and by taking steps toward seeking justice at the international level, including at the ICC.

While Sri Lanka is not a state party to the Rome Statute, there is compelling evidence that various actors, including members of the Sri Lankan government and armed forces, committed the crimes against humanity of persecution and deportation through coercive acts, and that part of the actus reus of these crimes occurred on the territories of state parties, including Canada, Australia, Germany, France, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Co-authored by the International Tamil Refugee Assistance Network over the past year, the Communication further contends that, on the basis of the precedent set by the Myanmar/Bangladesh case, the Court should have jurisdiction to investigate the crimes against humanity of deportation and persecution committed by Sri Lankan officials.

“Twelve years have passed since the United Nations first started trying to hold Sri Lanka accountable for its gross violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. Since then, the genocide of Eelam Tamils on the island of Sri Lanka has only continued unabated even as the space for civil society generally in the country shrinks at an alarming pace. The current regime has not only unilaterally withdrawn from the UNHRC Resolutions that the state itself co-sponsored in 2015 but President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has also publicly vowed to protect the armed forces from any domestic or international accountability mechanisms. Against this backdrop, Tamil Rights Group and others have little recourse but to relentlessly seek transitional justice through universal jurisdiction and lawfare, and in this instance specifically at the International Criminal Court.”

– Katpana Nagendra, Secretary and Spokesperson, Tamil Rights Group

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For all media inquiries:
Jaskaran Sandhu
+ 1 647-990-8720
jaskaransandhu@statestrategy.ca

சர்வதேச குற்றவியல் நீதிமன்றத்தில் ஈழத் தமிழர்களுக்கு நீதி கோரி தமிழர் உரிமைக்கான குழுமம் ஓர் உலகளாவிய பரப்புரையை ஆரம்பிக்கின்றது

உடன் வெளியீட்டுக்காக நவம்பர் 9, 2021

மார்க்கம், கனடா – ஈழத் தமிழர்களுக்கான நீதி வேண்டியும் இலங்கையில் தண்டனையின்மைக்கு எதிராகப் போராடும் ஒரு முக்கியமான சர்வதேச நடவடிக்கையாகவும், ரோம சாசனத்திற் கையொப்பமிட்டுள்ள உறுப்பு நாடுகளின் எல்லைகளுக்குள், ஈழத்தமிழர்கள் மீது இழைக்கப்பட்ட மனித குலத்திற்கெதிரான குற்றங்களான துன்புறுத்துதல், நாடு கடத்தல் ஆகியவற்றுக்கு எதிராகவும் ரோம சாசனத்தின் 15 வது பிரிவின் கீழ் பூர்வாங்க ஆய்வொன்றினை மேற்கொள்ளக் கோரும் தகவல் அளிப்பு அறிக்கை ஒன்றினை சர்வதேச குற்றவியல் நீதிமன்ற (ICC) வழக்குரைஞர் அலுவலகத்தில், தமிழர் உரிமைக்கான குழுமம் (TRG) சமர்ப்பித்துள்ளது.

இலங்கையில் ஈழத் தமிழ் மக்கள் மனித குலத்திற்கு எதிரான குற்றங்கள் மற்றும் போர்க்குற்றங்கள், குறிப்பாக 2009 இல் முடிவடைந்த நீண்ட உள்நாட்டுப் போரின் இறுதிக் கட்டத்தில் அட்டூழியக் குற்றங்களுக்கு ஆளானார்கள் என்பதற்கு பெருகிவரும் சான்றுகள் உள்ளன.

இலங்கை அரசின் தற்போதைய நடவடிக்கைகள் உள்நாட்டு நீதித்துறை நிறுவனங்கள் மூலம் இத்தகைய குற்றங்களை விசாரித்து வழக்குத் தொடர விரும்பவில்லை என்பதை நிரூபித்துள்ளமையை இனம் கண்டு வெளிநாடுகளுடைய, உள்நாட்டு நீதிமன்றங்களில் வழக்குகளைத் தொடர்வதற்கு உலகளாவிய அதிகார வரம்பு என்ற கோட்பாட்டைப் பயன்படுத்துவதன் மூலமும், ஐசிசி உட்பட சர்வதேச மட்டத்தில் நீதியைப் பெறுவதற்கான நடவடிக்கைகளை எடுப்பதன் மூலமும் இலங்கையின் ஆயுத மோதலைச் சுற்றியுள்ள தண்டனையின்மையை முடிவுக்குக் கொண்டுவரும் பணியில் ஈடுபடுவதற்கு முன்வர வேண்டுமென்று, உறுப்பு நாடுகளுக்கு ஐக்கிய நாடுகள் மனித உரிமைகள் ஆணையர், 2021 ஜனவரியில், அழைப்பு விடுத்தார்.

ரோம சாசனத்தில் இலங்கை ஒரு அரச தரப்பு அல்ல என்றாலும், இலங்கை அரசாங்கத்தின் உறுப்பினர்கள் மற்றும் ஆயுதப் படைகள் உட்பட பல்வேறு தரப்பினர் மனிதகுலத்திற்கு எதிரான துன்புறுத்தல் மற்றும் நாடு கடத்தல் ஆகிய குற்றங்களைக், கட்டாயப்படுத்துதல் மூலம் செய்தார்கள் என்பதற்கான ஆதாரங்கள் உள்ளன. இந்தக் குற்றங்களின் ஒரு பகுதி கனடா, அவுஸ்திரேலியா, ஜெர்மனி, பிரான்ஸ், சுவிற்சர்லாந்து மற்றும் ஐக்கிய இராட்சியம் உள்ளிட்ட உறுப்பு நாடுகளின் நில எல்லைகளுக்குள் நடந்தது.

மியான்மார்/பங்களாதேஷ் வழக்கினது முன்மாதிரியின் அடிப்படையில், இலங்கை அதிகாரிகளால் இழைக்கப்பட்ட, நாடு கடத்தல் மற்றும் துன்புறுத்தல் போன்ற மனிதகுலத்திற்கு எதிரான குற்றங்களை விசாரணை செய்வதற்குச் சர்வதேச நீதிமன்றத்திற்கு அதிகார வரம்பு இருக்க வேண்டும் என்று, கடந்த ஆண்டு சர்வதேச தமிழ் அகதிகள் உதவி வலையமைப்புடன் இணைந்து எழுதப்பட்ட, தகவற் தொடர்பாடல் மேலும் வாதிடுகிறது.

“மனித உரிமைகள் மற்றும் சர்வதேச மனிதாபிமானச் சட்டங்கள் ஆகியவற்றின் மொத்த மீறல்களுக்காக இலங்கையைப் பொறுப்புக்கூற வைப்பதற்கு ஐக்கிய நாடுகள் சபை முதன்முதலில் முயற்சி செய்யத் தொடங்கி 12 ஆண்டுகள் கடந்துவிட்டன. அன்றிலிருந்து, இலங்கைத் தீவில் ஈழத் தமிழர்கள் மீதான இனப்படுகொலையானதும், நாட்டில் பொதுவாக சிவில் சமூகத்துக்கான இடைவெளி ஆபத்தான வேகத்தில் சுருங்கிக் கொண்டிருத்தலும், தடையின்றித் தொடர்கிறது. 2015 ஆம் ஆண்டு அரசு தானாக முன்வந்து இணை அனுசரணை வழங்கிய ஐ.நா.மனித உரிமைகள் சபையின் தீர்மானங்களில் இருந்து தற்போதைய ஆட்சி ஒருதலைப்பட்சமாக விலகியது மட்டுமன்றி, எந்தவொரு உள்நாட்டு அல்லது சர்வதேச பொறுப்புக்கூறல் பொறிமுறையிலிருந்தும் ஆயுதப்படைகளை பாதுகாப்பதாக ஜனாதிபதி கோட்டாபய ராஜபக்ச பகிரங்கமாகச் சூளுரைத்துள்ளார். இந்தப் பின்னணியில், தமிழர் உரிமைக்கான குழுமமும் மற்றும் ஏனைய தரப்பினரும் உலகளாவிய அதிகார வரம்பு மற்றும் சட்டத்தின் மூலமும், குறிப்பாக இந்தச் சந்தர்ப்பத்தில் சர்வதேச குற்றவியல் நீதிமன்றத்தில் நிலைமாறுகால நீதியை இடைவிடாமல் தேடுவதைத் தவிர, வேறு வழி இல்லை.”

– கற்பனா நாகேந்திரா, செயலாளர் மற்றும் பேச்சாளர், தமிழர் உரிமைக்கான குழுமம்

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அனைத்து ஊடகத் தொடர்புகளுக்கும்:
ஜஸ்கரன் சந்து
+ 1 647-990-8720
jaskaransandhu@statestrategy.ca

Un groupe de défense des droits des Tamouls lance une campagne mondiale visant à obtenir justice pour les Tamouls de l’Eelam devant la Cour pénale internationale

POUR DIFFUSION IMMÉDIATE novembre 9, 2021

Markham, Canada – Dans le cadre d’une initiative majeure visant à obtenir justice pour les Tamouls de l’Eelam et à lutter contre l’impunité au Sri Lanka, le Tamil Rights Group (TRG) a soumis une communication en vertu de l’article 15 du Statut de Rome au Bureau du Procureur de la Cour pénale internationale (CPI), demandant un examen préliminaire des crimes contre l’humanité d’expulsion et de persécution commis contre les Tamouls de l’Eelam sur le territoire des États appartenant à la CPI.

Il y a de plus en plus de preuves que la population tamoule de l’Eelam au Sri Lanka a été soumise à des atrocités qui équivalaient à des crimes contre l’humanité et à des crimes de guerre, en particulier dans les dernières étapes de la guerre civile prolongée qui a pris fin en 2009. Reconnaissant que les actions en cours de l’État sri-lankais ont prouvé sa réticence à

enquêter et à poursuivre de tels crimes au sein des institutions judiciaires nationales. Le Commissaire aux droits de l’homme des Nations Unies a appelé, en janvier 2021, les États membres à s’impliquer dans les efforts visant à mettre fin à l’impunité entourant le conflit armé sri-lankais, à la fois en utilisant le principe de compétence universelle pour engager des poursuites devant des tribunaux nationaux étrangers, et en prenant des mesures en vue de la justice au niveau international, y compris à la CPI.

Bien que le Sri Lanka ne soit pas signataire du Statut de Rome, il existe des preuves convaincantes et de divers acteurs, y compris des membres du gouvernement sri-lankais. Des forces armées, ont commis les crimes contre l’humanité, de persécution et d’expulsion par des actes coercitifs, et qu’une partie de l’actus reus de ces crimes s’est produite sur le territoire des États parties, y compris le Canada, l’Australie, l’Allemagne, la France, la Suisse et le Royaume-Uni. Co-rédigée par le Réseau international d’aide aux réfugiés tamouls au cours de l’année

écoulée. La communication soutient en outre que, sur la base du précédent établi par l’affaire Myanmar/Bangladesh, la Cour devrait être compétente pour enquêter sur les crimes contre l’humanité d’expulsion et de persécution commis par des fonctionnaires sri-lankais.

« Douze ans se sont écoulés depuis que les Nations Unies ont commencé à essayer de tenir le Sri Lanka responsable de ses violations flagrantes des droits de l’homme et du droit international humanitaire. Depuis lors, le génocide des Tamouls de l’Eelam sur l’île du Sri Lanka ne fait que se poursuivre sans relâche, même si l’espace pour la société civile en général dans le pays se rétrécit à un rythme alarmant. Le régime actuel s’est non seulement retiré unilatéralement des résolutions du HCR que l’État lui-même a coparrainées en 2015, mais le président Gotabaya Rajapaksa a également promis publiquement de protéger les forces armées de tout mécanisme national ou international de responsabilisation. Dans ce contexte, Tamil Rights Group et d’autres n’ont guère d’autre recours que de rechercher sans relâche la justice transitionnelle par le biais de la compétence universelle et du droit, et dans ce cas spécifiquement à la Cour pénale internationale.

– Katpana Nagendra, secrétaire et porte-parole, Tamil Rights Group

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Pour toutes les demandes des médias :
Jaskaran Sandhu + 1 647-990-8720jaskaransandhu@statestrategy.ca

Tamil Rights Group initiiert globale Kampagne zur Erlangung von Gerechtigkeit für Eelam-Tamilen vor dem Internationalen Strafgerichtshof

ZUR SOFORTIGEN VERÖFFENTLICHUNG November 9, 2021

Markham, Kanada – In einer groß angelegten internationalen Aktion zur Erlangung von Gerechtigkeit für die Eelam-Tamilen und zur Bekämpfung der Straflosigkeit in Sri Lanka hat die Tamil Rights Group (TRG) eine Mitteilung gemäß Artikel 15 des Römischen Statuts an die Anklagebehörde des Internationalen Strafgerichtshofs (IStGH) gerichtet, in der sie um eine vorläufige Untersuchung der Verbrechen gegen die Menschlichkeit im Zusammenhang mit der Deportation und Verfolgung der Eelam-Tamilen innerhalb der Gebiete der Vertragsstaaten des IStGH ersucht.

Es gibt immer mehr Beweise dafür, dass die Eelam-tamilische Bevölkerung in Sri Lanka Gräueltaten ausgesetzt war, die als Verbrechen gegen die Menschlichkeit und Kriegsverbrechen einzuordnen sind, insbesondere in der Endphase des langwierigen Bürgerkriegs, der 2009 endete. Die Menschenrechtskommissarin der Vereinten Nationen erkannte an, dass die anhaltenden Handlungen des sri lankischen Staates seine mangelnde Bereitschaft bewiesen haben, solche Verbrechen im Rahmen der nationalen Justiz zu untersuchen und strafrechtlich zu verfolgen. Sie rief die Mitgliedstaaten im Januar 2021 dazu auf, sich für die Beendigung der Straflosigkeit im Zusammenhang mit dem bewaffneten Konflikt in Sri Lanka einzusetzen. Dies solle geschehen durch die Anwendung des Grundsatzes der universellen Gerichtsbarkeit, um strafrechtliche Verfolgungen vor nationalen Gerichten der Mitgliedsstaaten einzuleiten, und durch Schritte zur Erlangung von Gerechtigkeit auf internationaler Ebene, einschließlich des IStGH.

Sri Lanka ist zwar kein Vertragsstaat des Römischen Statuts, doch gibt es stichhaltige Beweise dafür, dass verschiedene Akteure, darunter Mitglieder der sri lankischen Regierung und Streitkräfte, die Verbrechen gegen die Menschlichkeit der Verfolgung und Deportation durch Zwangshandlungen begangen haben und dass ein Teil des actus reus dieser Verbrechen auf dem Hoheitsgebiet von Vertragsstaaten wie Kanada, Australien, Deutschland, Frankreich, der Schweiz und dem Vereinigten Königreich stattfand. In der Mitteilung, die vom International Tamil Refugee Assistance Network im vergangenen Jahr mitverfasst wurde, heißt es weiter, dass der Gerichtshof aufgrund des Präzedenzfalls Myanmar/Bangladesch für die Untersuchung der von sri lankischen Beamten begangenen Verbrechen gegen die Menschlichkeit (Deportation und Verfolgung) zuständig sein sollte.

“Zwölf Jahre sind vergangen seit die Vereinten Nationen zum ersten Mal versucht haben Sri Lanka für seine groben Verstöße gegen die Menschenrechte und das humanitäre Völkerrecht zur Rechenschaft zu ziehen. Seitdem hat sich der Völkermord an den Eelam-Tamilen auf dem Inselstaat Sri Lanka unvermindert fortgesetzt, während in dem Land der Raum für die Zivilgesellschaft im Allgemeinen mit alarmierender Geschwindigkeit schrumpft. Das derzeitige Regime hat sich nicht nur unilateral von den UNHRC-Resolutionen zurückgezogen, die der Staat selbst 2015 mitgetragen hat, sondern hat durch Präsident Gotabaya Rajapaksa auch öffentlich geschworen, die Streitkräfte vor jeglichen nationalen oder internationalen Rechenschaftsmechanismen zu schützen. Vor diesem Hintergrund bleibt der Tamil Rights Group und anderen kaum etwas anderes übrig, als sich unermüdlich um Übergangsjustiz zu bemühen, und zwar über die universelle Gerichtsbarkeit und Strafverfolgung, und in diesem Fall speziell vor dem Internationalen Strafgerichtshof.”

– Katpana Nagendra, Vorstandsmitglied and Pressesprecherin, Tamil Rights Group

– Katpana Nagendra, Vorstandsmitglied and Pressesprecherin, Tamil Rights Group

ජාත්‍යන්තර අපරාධ අධිකරණයේ ඊළම් දෙමළ ජනතාවට යුක්තිය පතා, දෙමළ අයිතිවාසිකම් කණ්ඩායම කැනේඩියානු ව්‍යාපාරයක් අරඹයි

වහාම නිදහස් කිරීම සඳහා වහාම නිදහස් කිරීම සඳහා

මාක්කම්, කැනඩාව – ඊළම් දෙමළ ජනයාට යුක්තිය සහ, ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ දණ්ඩමුක්තියට එරෙහිව සටන් කිරීම සහ,රෝම ප්‍රඥප්තිය අනුමත කළ රාජ්‍ය පාර්ශවයන් බල ප්‍රදේශ තුළ, ඊළම් දෙමළ ජනයාට එරෙහිව සිදු කරන ලද, පිටුවහල් කිරීම සහ හිංසා කිරීම වැනි මනුෂ්‍යත්වයට එරෙහි අපරාධ පිළිබඳ මූලික පරීක්ෂණයක් ඉල්ලා සිටින,ප්‍රධාන ජාත්‍යන්තර ඛ්‍රියාමාර්ගයක් ලෙස, දෙමළ අයිතිවාසිකම් කණ්ඩායම (TRG),රෝම ව්‍යවස්ථාවේ 15 වැනි වගන්තිය යටතේ ජාත්‍යන්තර අපරාධ අධිකරණයේ (ICC) අභිචෝදක කාර්යාලයට සන්නිවේදනයක් ඉදිරිපත් කර ඇත.

මානව වර්ගයාට එරෙහි අපරාධ සහ යුද අපරාධවලට සමාන සාහසික ක්‍රියාවලට, විශේෂයෙන්ම දිගු කලක් පෑවතී, 2009 දී අවසන් වූ , සිවිල් යුද්ධයේ අවසන් අදියරේ දී ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ ඊළම් දෙමළ ජනතාව ගොදුරු වූ බවට වැඩි සාක්ෂි තිබේ.

දේශීය අධිකරණ ආයතන තුළ එවැනි අපරාධ විමර්ශනය කිරීමට සහ නඩු පැවරීමට ඇති අකමැත්ත ශ්‍රී ලංකා රාජ්‍යයේ අඛණ්ඩ ක්‍රියාවලින් ඔප්පු වී ඇති බව පිළිගනිමින්, විදේශ, දේශීය උසාවිවල නඩු පැවරීම ආරම්භ කිරීම සඳහා විශ්වීය අධිකරණ බලයේ මූලධර්මය භාවිතා කිරීම සහ ජාත්‍යන්තර මට්ටමින් යුක්තිය පසිඳලීම සඳහා පියවර ගෑනීම වෑනි දෙමාර්ගයෙන්, ශ්‍රී ලංකා සන්නද්ධ ගෑටුමෙ අවට තිබි දණ්ඩමුක්තිය අවසන් කිරීම සඳහා, කටයුතු කිරීමට සම්බන්ධ වන ලෙස, සාමාජික රටවල් වලින්, 2021 ජනවාරි මාසයේදී එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ මානව හිමිකම් කොමසාරිස්,ඉල්ලා සිටියේය.

ශ්‍රී ලංකාව රෝම ප්‍රඥප්තියට රාජ්‍ය පාර්ශවයක් නොවන අතර, ශ්‍රී ලංකා රජයේ සහ ත්‍රිවිධ හමුදාවේ සාමාජිකයින් ඇතුළු විවිධ ක්‍රියාකාරීන් බලහත්කාර ක්‍රියාවන් හරහා පිටුවහල් කිරීම සහ හිංසා කිරීම වැනි මනුෂ්‍යත්වයට එරෙහි අපරාධ සිදු කළ බවට ප්‍රබල සාක්ෂි තිබේ.

ශ්‍රී ලංකාව රෝම ප්‍රඥප්තියට රාජ්‍ය පාර්ශවයක් නොවන අතර, ශ්‍රී ලංකා රජයේ සහ ත්‍රිවිධ හමුදාවේ සාමාජිකයින් ඇතුළු විවිධ ක්‍රියාකාරීන් බලහත්කාර ක්‍රියාවන් හරහා පිටුවහල් කිරීම සහ හිංසා කිරීම වැනි මනුෂ්‍යත්වයට එරෙහි අපරාධ සිදු කළ බවට ප්‍රබල සාක්ෂි තිබේ.

“ශ්‍රී ලංකාව මානව හිමිකම් සහ ජාත්‍යන්තර මානුෂීය නීති උල්ලංඝණය කිරීම් සම්බන්ධයෙන් වගකිව යුතු බවට එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ සංවිධානය ප්‍රථම වරට උත්සාහ කිරීම ආරම්භ කර වසර දොළහක් ගතවී ඇත. එතැන් සිට,සාමාන්‍යයෙන් රට තුළ සිවිල් සමාජය සඳහා ඇති අවකාශය භයානක වේගයකින් හැකිලෙන විට පවා, ශ්‍රී ලංකා දූපතේ ඊළම් දෙමළ ජන සංහාරය නොනැවතී අඛණ්ඩව සිදු වූයේ.”

වත්මන් පාලනය 2015 දී රාජ්‍යය විසින්ම සම අනුග්‍රහය දැක්වූ එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ මානව හිමිකම් කවුන්සිලයේ යෝජනාවලින් ඒකපාර්ශ්විකව ඉවත් වූවා පමණක් නොව, ඕනෑම දේශීය හෝ ජාත්‍යන්තර වගවීමේ යාන්ත්‍රණයකින් සන්නද්ධ හමුදාවන් ආරක්ෂා කරන බවට ජනාධිපති ගෝඨාභය රාජපක්ෂ ප්‍රසිද්ධියේ ප්‍රතිඥා දී ඇත.

එවැනි පසුබිමක් තුළ, දෙමළ අයිතිවාසිකම් කණ්ඩායමට සහ අනෙකුත් අයට ඇත්තේ අල්ප පිළිසරණකි. නමුත් නිර්දය ලෙස විශ්වීය අධිකරණ බලය සහ නීතිය හරහා සංක්‍රාන්ති යුක්තිය සෙවීමට, මෙම අවස්ථාවේ දී ඈත්තේ විශේෂයෙන්, ජාත්‍යන්තර අපරාධ අධිකර්නයයි.”

– කැට්පනා නාගේන්ඩ්‍රා, දෙමළ අයිතිවාසිකම් කණ්ඩායමේ ලේකම් සහ ප්‍රකාශක

-30-

සියලූම මාධ්‍ය විමසීම් සඳහා
ජස්කරන් සන්දු
+ 1 647-990-8720
jaskaransandhu@statestrategy.ca

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

The aim of this Communication is to refer atrocity crimes committed against Eelam Tamils to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and request its Chief Prosecutor to initiate an investigation proprio motu into crimes against humanity perpetrated by Sri Lankan officials. The goal is to make the perpetrators of such egregious crimes accountable for their actions and be brought to justice to end the impunity prevalent in Sri Lanka. We are hoping that the pertinent facts and arguments presented in the Communication will persuade the Chief Prosecutor to open a preliminary examination that will ultimately lead to the identification and prosecution of the perpetrators to ensure that such unimaginable atrocities that deeply shock the conscience of humanity will not go unpunished as affirmed under the statutory framework for the ICC.

In this communication, we: summarize the pertinent facts related to the crimes committed against Eelam Tamils; clarify on what legal basis the Court may have jurisdiction (temporal, subject-matter and territorial) on a reasonable basis pursuant to the Rome Statute to commence an investigation and also present the information required to address the admissibility requirements of complementarity and gravity , all of which are essential for filing a successful Communication to the ICC.

In terms of establishing the jurisdiction on a reasonable basis: temporal jurisdiction is satisfied by the crimes being committed after the entry into force of the Rome Statute in July 2002; subject-matter jurisdiction is satisfied by evidence that Sri Lankan officials committed Crimes Against Humanity; and territorial jurisdiction is satisfied specifically in the cases of the Crimes Against Humanity of Deportation and Persecution, because these are crimes that occurred on the territories of states parties to the Rome Statute.

The Communication also shows that the admissibility requirements are satisfied: complementarity is satisfied by the fact that Sri Lanka has not itself taken any meaningful action to investigate the crimes; gravity is satisfied by the vast scale, the horrific nature and the systematic manner in which the crimes were committed against the Eelam Tamil population.

Tamil Rights Group (TRG) is an international not-for-profit organisation, established in 2021 and headquartered in Markham, Canada. TRG seeks to strengthen advocacy efforts for transitional justice and universal jurisdiction for Eelam Tamils through leveraging international law, expanding global diplomacy, and defending their civil liberties within Sri Lanka. TRG brings together a multigenerational team, deep networks within civil society in the traditional homelands and across the diaspora, and activists directly connected to the struggle for Eelam Tamil rights since the early 1970s. TRG is firmly committed towards the relentless pursuit of justice and accountability for the Eelam Tamils using all avenues available under international law and human rights principles.

International Tamil Refugee Assistance Network (I-TRAN) is an international non-governmental organisation that is actively involved in helping refugees who have been displaced by violence, conflict, and persecution to survive, recover and rebuild their lives. I-TRAN works to address the global Tamil refugee crisis, by protecting Tamil refugees and displaced persons around the world and promoting durable solutions. I-TRAN sees the large impact that the deportations and persecutions have had on the Tamil refugee and displaced persons populations, and I-TRAN believes that ending impunity for these crimes, including through the ICC, is important for promoting durable solutions.

The International Criminal Court sits in The Hague, Netherlands and operates under the legal framework established by the Rome Statute, an agreement which was signed in 1998 after lengthy negotiations between UN member states to establish the ICC. The ICC then came into force in July 2002.

The ICC prosecutes only the most serious crimes, namely Genocide, Crimes Against Humanity, War Crimes, and in some cases, the Crime of Aggression. The ICC generally only prosecutes these crimes when committed on the territory of a state party to the Rome Statute, or when committed by state party nationals (unless a situation is referred to the court by the UN Security Council, as described below). It also only prosecutes crimes when the state’s national justice systems are unwilling or unable to do so themselves.

The Prosecutor’s office begins by opening a preliminary examination into a situation. Then, the second stage is launching an investigation, if the preliminary examination reveals a reasonable basis to believe that crimes were committed and that the Court has jurisdiction. Finally, the third stage involves the Prosecutor’s office launching specific prosecutions against individuals responsible.

A preliminary examination may start in one of three ways. The situation may be referred by a state party to the Rome Statute; it may be referred by the UN Security Council (in which case there are no territorial jurisdiction limitations); or the Prosecutor may open a preliminary examination on his own initiative. In the third instance – namely, if the Prosecutor opens a preliminary examination on his own initiative – he will need to go through an extra step of requesting authorization from the Pre-Trial Chamber before opening an investigation (the second stage).

The Office of the Prosecutor collects evidence independently, impartially, and objectively. An investigation can take as long as needed to gather the required evidence. Once complete, the Chief Prosecutor will request the Judges to issue summons or arrest warrants against suspects for the commencement of a trial.

Through the above process, the perpetrators of the heinous crimes in Sri Lanka can be charged and convicted before the Court. The Court can punish the perpetrators with appropriate sentences to provide justice and accountability for Eelam Tamils. The Court can order reparations for the victims as warranted to compensate them for losses and/or sufferings.

There is mounting evidence that the Eelam Tamil population in Sri Lanka was subject to atrocities that amounted to crimes against humanity and war crimes, particularly in the final years of the protracted armed conflict that ended in 2009. There are credible reports ranging from the UN Secretary General’s Panel of Experts, the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights, to other reputable organisations such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International that have documented the widespread and systematic violence and human rights abuses perpetrated against the Tamil people. We have captured the pertinent facts and have submitted a strong case to demonstrate that the nature and gravity of the crimes together with the persecution and coercion that forced Eelam Tamils to flee the island of Sri Lanka will enable the ICC to commence a preliminary examination that will eventually lead to justice and accountability long overdue for the Eelam Tamil population.

As affirmed in its preamble, the goal of the Rome Statute is to put an end to impunity for the most serious crimes of international concern, and thus to contribute to their prevention. We are determined to work relentlessly in supporting our case throughout this process with the ICC in pursuit of a successful outcome to satisfy our quest for justice for the Tamil people.

The subject-matter jurisdiction of the ICC, as set out in the Rome Statute, extends to: (a) the crime of Genocide; (b) Crimes Against Humanity; (c) War Crimes; and (d) the crime of Aggression.

There is evidence that Sri Lankan officials committed numerous Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes. However, because of the limitations of territorial jurisdiction (the Court may only investigate crimes committed on the territories of states parties, and Sri Lanka is not a state party to the Rome Statute), we are only asking the Court to consider the Crimes Against Humanity of Deportation and Persecution, consistent with the jurisdictional precedent established in the Rohingya Myanmar/Bangladesh case.

The Court’s territorial jurisdiction is limited to those crimes where at least part of the actus reusiv occurred on the territories of states parties, and Deportation and Persecution are Crimes Against Humanity that fit this jurisdictional requirement.

While there are many high-ranking officials that can be considered to be known as perpetrators, including at the very highest levels of government against whom there is mounting evidence, we have not specifically identified the perpetrators that are allegedly responsible for committing these crimes. We respect the independence and impartiality of the Chief Prosecutor and are certain that he will conduct a thorough examination of the pertinent facts and as part of the findings of an investigation will be able to identify individual perpetrators at the appropriate stage of the proceedings.

We will not seek to either pre-empt or limit the scope of investigations in any way and consider it proper to wait for the Chief Prosecutor to complete the due process to identify the individual perpetrators most responsible for the crimes in question.

Yes, perpetrators in Sri Lanka can be held accountable for these crimes. Generally, for the ICC to have jurisdiction over a case, the crime has to be committed either on the territory of a state party or by a state party national.

Sri Lanka is not a state party to the Rome Statute. This is why, for many of the crimes committed in Sri Lanka (including torture, mass arbitrary detentions, killings, etc.) – the ICC will not have jurisdiction. However, the specific Crimes Against Humanity of Deportation and Persecution did occur on the territory of states parties. This is because the Crime Against Humanity of Deportation necessarily occurs on the territories of more than one state; and the Crime Against Humanity of Persecution, when connected with Deportation, similarly occurs on multiple territories. This was the recent ruling of the Court in the Rohingya case involving Myanmar/ Bangladesh. In that case, individuals were deported through coercive acts from a non-state party (Myanmar) to a state party (Bangladesh). Rohingya people were persecuted in Myanmar and forced to flee (Deported) across the border into Bangladesh to save their lives. The Court ruled that it had jurisdiction, because at least part of the actus reus of the crime occurred on the territory of a state party (Bangladesh).

Our communication relies on this precedent. The Eelam Tamils were similarly subjected to a coercive environment, rife with torture, killings, and other atrocities, and were forced to flee their homeland due to this persecution and coercion, to seek refuge in other countries including Canada, Australia, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Switzerland, which are all state parties to the Rome Statute. Therefore, we now reasonably believe that the required jurisdiction can be established for the Crimes Against Humanity of Deportation and Persecution, allowing us to submit this referral to the ICC to hold perpetrators in Sri Lanka accountable for these crimes.

We are specifically focusing on the Crimes Against Humanity of Deportation and Persecution, because based on the legal precedent set by the Myanmar/Bangladesh case, these are crimes over which the ICC can have jurisdiction. Furthermore, many of the serious crimes are constitutive of Persecution and directly related to the crime of Deportation.

The Crimes Against Humanity of Deportation and Persecution are the crimes we are asking the Chief Prosecutor to investigate. Due to the severe persecution that Eelam Tamils were subjected to in Sri Lanka and the coercive environment that existed due to crimes such as mass murder, detentions, abductions, torture, rape, sexual violence and enforced disappearances, the Eelam Tamils were forced to flee from Sri Lanka and seek refuge in countries such as Canada, Australia, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Switzerland which are all states parties to the Rome Statute. There is strong evidence that such crimes reached the threshold of gravity, which the Court should not ignore. All these propositions are similar to the Myanmar/ Bangladesh case, where the Rohingya people were persecuted and forced to flee from Myanmar to seek refuge in Bangladesh, a state party to the Rome Statute. The Myanmar/Bangladesh case is one of the first cases where crimes committed in a non-state party to the Rome Statute are being investigated by the ICC without being referred by the Security Council. The Chief Prosecutor at the time asked for a ruling on whether the ICC could exercise jurisdiction and the Pre-Trial Chamber made the ruling in the affirmative. This precedent makes the Myanmar/Bangladesh situation legally relevant to the similar case of Eelam Tamils fleeing to foreign countries from Sri Lanka.

The current submission to the ICC is focused on highlighting the atrocity crimes perpetrated on Eelam Tamils, including in the final stages of the war, where according to credible international reports at least around 40,000 innocent people were massacred in Mullivaikkal. While the Eelam Tamils have been subjected to persecution through many atrocious campaigns of violence and pogrom since Sri Lanka’s independence in 1948, this submission involves only specific crimes committed against Eelam Tamils from 2002 onwards to conform with the ICC’s temporal jurisdiction requirements. Other ethnic groups such as Sri Lankan Muslims have also been targeted for persecution in Sri Lanka and our intention is also to make submissions related to other ethnic groups progressively to ICC based on our experience with the current submission.

Yes, the ICC may name and provide specific victims the right to participate and provide testimony and serve as direct witnesses to the crimes of Deportation and Persecution suffered by the Eelam Tamils. The Court has protection programs that are used to maintain confidentiality and safeguard the wellbeing of witnesses called upon to give evidence.

All states parties to the Rome Statute are required to cooperate with the Court. Therefore, if an individual is subject to an arrest warrant by the Office of the Prosecutor, and that individual travels to any state party, that state party would be obligated to detain and send him or her to the Court in The Hague. Once there, the charged individual would likely be held in the Court’s detention centre pending trial. If convicted and sentenced to a term of imprisonment, the individual would be imprisoned.

Even more broadly, international investigation at the ICC has value. An investigation would bring the Court’s resources to bear on these issues; the process of investigation will unearth new facts and testimonies, shed light on the historic reality of crimes committed, publicly bear witness to the severity of crimes that have taken place, and ultimately discourage future crimes from taking place.

The Sri Lankan judicial system is not independent enough to withstand political interference by past and current high-level government officials. There are strong personal and political incentives for Sri Lanka to not prosecute crimes committed by its own officials. In both its 2015 and 2021 reports on Sri Lanka, the OHCHR has acknowledged the failure of domestic mechanisms to investigate allegations of serious human rights violations and has actively encouraged the international community to seek accountability though the ICC and domestic foreign courts through the principle of universal jurisdiction.

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      The Ealam Tamil people in Sri Lanka have waited for 12 years even as the genocide continues.

      It’s now time for the @IntlCrimCourt to hold @GotabayaR and others to be held universally accountable for their crimes. tamilrightsgroup.org/icc-campaign