Facebook icon
Twitter icon
e-mail icon

Tamil diaspora launches campaign to publicly ban 18 Sri Lankan war criminals on the 'day of mourning'

The Global Tamil Diaspora, representing over one million Tamils who fled Sri Lanka, launched a campaign today to publicly ban 18 credibly alleged war criminals in Sri Lanka. The campaign marks Sri Lanka's Independence Day, or as the groups call it, "a day of mourning" but one "with hope and optimism for the Tamil people from Sri Lanka."

The campaign, put forth by nine global Tamil Diaspora organizations, call on their respective governments to; 

(1) "Place a public ban on the 18 credibly alleged war criminals listed in the Report of the OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL) 16 September 2015."

(2) "Impose a travel ban and asset freeze on these 18 persons and their families."

(3) "Use Universal Jurisdictional avenues applicable to subject them through a judicial process in member states."

A report of the OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka, released in September 2015, explicitly identified the "eighteen Sri Lankan personnel for having command responsibility for committing atrocity crimes towards the end of the war in 2008-09," the organizations stated.

"The Tamil victims of Genocide expect countries valuing democracy, rule of law and human rights to come forward to help" publicly ban credibly accused Sri Lankan war criminals, the groups added.

The global Tamil diaspora called on host countries, UN member states, NGOs and the public to "offer transitional justice to a people who have been subject to a brutal national oppression with genocidal intent by the successive Sri Lankan Governments since gaining independence from the British in 1948."

The Global Tamil Diaspora listed the 18 credibly accused war criminals as; 

(1) Mahinda Rajapaksa - Prime Minister, then President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces 

(2) Gotabaya Rajapaksa - President, then Defense Secretary 

(3) General Sarath Fonseka 

(4) Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva 

(5) Major General Sathyapriya Liyanage 

(6) Major General Kamal Gunaratne 

(7) Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe 

(8) Major General Nanda Mallawarachchi 

(9) Major General Jagath Dias 

(10) Major General Jagath Jayasuriya 

(11) Brigadier Prasanna Silva 

(12) Brigadier Nandana Udawatta 

(13) Brigadier Chagie Gallage 

(14) Colonel G.V. Ravipriya 

(15) Admiral Wasantha Kumar Jayadewa Karannagoda 

(16) Admiral Thisara S. G. Samarasinghe 

(17) Admiral Dissanayake Wijesinghe Arachchilage Somatilake Dissanayake 

(18) C.N.Wakishta 

The letter was signed by the Australian Tamil Congress (ATC); British Tamils Forum (BTF); Irish Tamils Forum (ITF); Maison du Tamil Eelam (France); National Council of Canadian Tamils (NCCT); Solidarity Group for Peace and Justice (SGPJ - South Africa); Swiss Tamil Action Group (STAG); Tamil Movement Against Genocide (Mauritius); United States Tamil Action Group (USTAG)

Read the full letter here.

We need your support

Sri Lanka is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist. Tamil journalists are particularly at threat, with at least 41 media workers known to have been killed by the Sri Lankan state or its paramilitaries during and after the armed conflict.

Despite the risks, our team on the ground remain committed to providing detailed and accurate reporting of developments in the Tamil homeland, across the island and around the world, as well as providing expert analysis and insight from the Tamil point of view

We need your support in keeping our journalism going. Support our work today.

For more ways to donate visit https://donate.tamilguardian.com.