On January 10, 2023, Canada imposed sanctions on former Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Mahinda Rajapaksa was President, and his brother Gotabaya Rajapaksa was the defence minister, during the final onslaught of Sri Lanka’s war on Tamils in 2009. The Federation of Global Tamil Organization wholeheartedly thanks Global Affairs Canada and the Canadian government for taking this vital step toward justice for the crimes of genocide committed by several Sri Lankan governments.
The Tamil Diaspora has been calling for a Nuremberg-like Tribunal to prosecute the leadership of the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) accountable for the crime of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity and also requesting Canada to help bringing the Sri Lankan state to the International Court of Justice (ICJ ) for Sri Lanka’s genocide against Tamils.
Tamils in Tamil Eelam, Tamil Nadu, and the Tamil diaspora have continuously requested the United Nations to refer Sri Lanka to the ICC (International Criminal Court) for crimes of genocide. The Tamil Diaspora has been calling for a Nuremberg-like Tribunal to prosecute the leadership of the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) accountable for the crime of genocide war, crimes, and crimes against humanity.
Tamils have also continuously requested civilized countries worldwide to bring the Sri Lankan state to the International Court of Justice (ICJ ) for Sri Lanka’s genocide against Tamils.
Sri Lanka is a signatory to the Statute of the ICJ, and recognizes that Court’s jurisdiction. Sri Lanka has also ratified several international treaties and conventions, violations of which may be heard at the ICJ, such as the Genocide Convention, the Apartheid Convention (apartheid is a crime against humanity, and overlaps with the crime of genocide in several aspects), the Geneva Conventions (which define war crimes), the Convention Against Torture, the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, etc. Showing Sri Lanka’s state responsibility, for internationally wrongful acts committed against Tamils, at the ICJ is therefore an actionable and effective route to secure justice for Tamils.
Canada’s recognition of the Tamil Genocide and May 18 as Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day in 2022 provided hope for justice. The sanction on the former presidents of Sri Lanka is another step forward.
The Federation of Global Tamil Organisations (FGTO) held the second Global Tamil Summit on January 29, 2023, in Ottawa, Canada. During the summit, an interactive session was held among the delegates of the Tamil diaspora. Topics about various ways to get international justice for victims of Tamils in Sri Lanka’s genocide were discussed. The other discussed topics were improper decolonization, and a referendum for a permanent solution based on self-determination. An update on Tamil Eelam Humanitarian Assistance Fund (TEHAF) was also presented. A consensus among the participants was that while requesting Canada to get Sri Lanka to ICJ for crimes of genocide against Tamils, the Tamil diaspora also take additional measures to get the needed support from G7 countries and other nations. It was also felt that more work on evidence collection for genocide and legal strategies. The consensus was also reached to urge the G7 countries to put the sanction on presidents similar to what Canada imposed last month.
The Tamil Diaspora believes that the dispute between Tamil Eelam and Sri Lanka can be resolved only via a democratic referendum based on the right of self-determination of Tamil Eelam Tamils. The origin of the conflict stems from improper decolonization from the late 1940s to the early 1970s, when the British left the Island and Ceylon reconstituted itself as a republic named Sri Lanka. The Tamil Diaspora also believes the International Community acted unfairly or wrongly in dismantling the Norwegian-facilitated peace process in 2002, which tilted the balance of power toward the genocidal Sri Lankan state.
The Tamil diaspora also continues to advocate and request the world’s nations to bring Sri Lanka to the international judiciary, as this is the only possible form of justice for Eelam Tamils.
Federation of Global Tamil Organizations, http://fgto.org | (647) 875 7354 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Present member organizations: Tamil Genocide Memorial (TGM), Tamil Americans United PAC (TAUPAC), Global Tamil Movement (GTM), Ottawa Tamil Association (OTA), Quebec Tamil Development Association (QTDA), World Tamil Organization (WTO), ABC Tamil Oli, Ilankai Thamil Sangam-Florida, Tamil Canadian Centre for Civic Action (TCCCA)