Macron urged to raise accountability for the killing of 17 Tamil aid workers

French President Emmanuel Macron was urged to raise accountability for the killing of 17 Sri Lankan workers for the French aid organisation Action Contre la Faim (ACF) in 2006, with the visiting Sri Lankan President Ranil Wikramasinghe. This appeal was made by the Prime Minister of Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) Mr. Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran.

The aid workers, who were wearing T-shirts with the ACF emblem, were made to kneel and were begging for their lives when they were shot at point blank range. Thus far, no one has been brought to justice in connection with the massacre of the ACF workers, said Mr. Rudrakumaran.

Rudrakumaran further brought the attention the 2012 report by the UN Experts Panel on Accountability in Sri Lanka, appointed by the former Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon and headed by Charles Petrie, which states that there are credible reports that “over 70,000 civilians are unaccounted for” during the final stages of the war. The report also states that there is credible evidence that crimes against humanity and war crimes have been committed. He further brought attention to Berlin Peoples’ Tribunal’s finding that genocide was committed against the Tamil People.Link: https://en.m.wikisource.org/wiki/Report_of_the_Secretary-General%27s_Panel_of_Experts_on_Accountability_in_Sri_Lanka

He further brought attention to the French President about the UN Human Rights Council resolution 30/1 in 2015 calling for an investigation and prosecution with the participation of international experts, which clearly demonstrates that there is no effective domestic accountability process. Also, that same year, former Human Rights High Commissioner Al Hussain recommended that Sri Lanka ratify the Rome Statute.

In addition, former Human Rights High Commissioner Bachelet, who has accused Sri Lanka of reneging on promises to ensure justice, as well as 4 other former High Commissioners, 9 former Special Rapporteurs, and all members of the UN Secretary General’s Panel of Experts on Sri Lanka have called to refer the Sri Lanka matter to the International Criminal Court (ICC), he said.

Last week, with respect to the upcoming universal periodic review of Sri Lanka, Luxembourg, Botswana, Ecuador, and Timor-Leste have called for ratification for the Rome Statute (ICC), said Mr. Rudrakumar.

He appealed to the French President to urge the Sri Lankan President Wickremesinghe, to ratify the Rome Statute retroactively to include the massacre of the ACF workers and the international crimes committed during the final stages of the war.

Rudrakumaran also brought attention to Eelam Tamil People’s position that referendum as the only resolution to the Tamil National Question. This is not only the popular position but also a multinational and institutionally supported one he continued. The Northern Provincial Council in Sri Lanka passed a unanimous resolution calling for a referendum, as did the Tamil Nadu State Assembly in India in 2014. Presently, the Tamil Diaspora is conducting mock referendums in various parts of the world demonstrating this political aspiration.

Eelam Tamils hope to have the support of France, the birth place of referendum, in Tamils pursuit of referendum as the resolution to the Tamil National Question. It will be our honor to carry out the French tradition of referendum, which following the French Revolution and the ideals it embodies and protects, so eloquently articulated by the French Constituent Assembly: that the will of the people should be the basis for any governance. He congratulated French President’s moral courage to hold a referendum in New Caledonia.

Rudrakumaran appealed to urge the Sri Lankan President Wickremesinghe to hold an internationally conducted referendum in the Tamil Homeland and among the Tamil diaspora to resolve the Tamil national Question.

Rudrakumaran also brought the attention to the Sixth Amendment of the Sri Lankan constitution penalizes peaceful advocacy for an independent state, which squashes freedom of speech and curtails the political space for Tamils on the island of Sri Lanka to express their political aspirations.He appealed to urge he Sri Lankan President to take the necessary steps to repeal the Sixth Amendment.

The Eelam Tamil People look to France, as a beacon of democracy and equality and as the cradle of referendum, for guidance and support in our own struggle for liberty and protection of our fundamental human rights, and to the French People as an ally, in the spirit of fraternity. Said Mr. Rudrakumaran.

ABOUT THE TRANSNATIONAL GOVERNMENT OF TAMIL EELAM (TGTE):

The Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) is a democratically elected Government of over a million strong Tamils (from the island of Sri Lanka) living in several countries around the world.

TGTE was formed after the mass killing of Tamils by the Sri Lankan Government in 2009.

TGTE thrice held internationally supervised elections among Tamils around the world to elect 132 Members of Parliament. It has two chambers of Parliament: The House of Representatives and the Senate and also a Cabinet.

TGTE is leading a campaign to realize the political aspirations of Tamils through peaceful, democratic, and diplomatic means and its Constitution mandates that it should realize its political objectives only through peaceful means. It’s based on the principles of nationhood, homeland and self-determination.

TGTE seeks that the international community hold the perpetrators of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide against the Tamil people to account. TGTE calls for a referendum to decide the political future of Tamils.

The Prime Minister of TGTE is Mr. Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran, a New York based lawyer.

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