This year marks the 12th year memorial of the Mullivaikkal Massacre, an act of genocide on the Eelam Tamils perpetrated by the Sri Lankan state. Despite the passing of twelve years the perpetrators and architects of the Tamil genocide remain free shielded from justice and being held accountable for their heinous acts of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The Sri Lankan state’s genocide on the Eelam Tamils reached its height in May of 2009. The failure of international bodies and institutions to prevent genocide of the Tamil people resulted in one of the most heinous genocides of the 21st century. In May 2009 alone, tens of thousands of Eelam Tamils lost their lives and countless others were maimed and injured. Furthermore, credible grassroots civil organisations from the Tamil homeland estimate that 146, 679 remain unaccounted for and are presumed dead.
During the height of the Tamil genocide in 2009, no fire zones were assigned for Tamil civilians to take refuge and be protected and sheltered. However, the Sri Lankan state’s deceitful act of cruelty shone through when they started attacking the district of Mullivaikkal, a government declared “no fire zone”. The Sri Lankan forces attacked makeshift hospitals continuously, killing, and wounding many people. The Tamil civilians were denied medical supplies and essential foods such as powdered milk for children, causing them to die of malnutrition. As a result of all these attacks according to the United Nations conservative estimates over 70,000 Tamil civilians were killed during the height of the Tamil Genocide.
The Genocide Convention signifies the international community’s commitment to “never again” and provides the first international legal definition of “genocide,” widely adopted at national and international levels. It also establishes a duty for State Parties to prevent and punish the crime of genocide. It is the responsibility of the International Community to hold perpetrators of the Tamil genocide accountable and to deliver justice to the Tamil nation. To date, not a single perpetrator of the Tamil genocide has been held accountable and justice for Tamil victims continue to be elusive.
Currently, the Sri Lanka state is engaged in structural and cultural genocide of the Tamil nation. Sri Lanka has intensified the implementation of policies that target the Tamil Nation’s traditional homeland, demographics, economy, distinct culture, history, heritage, and language with the intent of eliminating the Tamil Nation from their traditional homeland, Tamil Eelam. More recently, in January 2021 Sri Lankan authorities with the direction from the government destroyed the Mullivaikkal Memorial Monument erected to honour the victims of the Tamil Genocide at the Jaffna University, a clear manifestation of denying the right to remember of Tamils. The Tamil nation still awaits and long for the peace and justice they deserve.
The state continues to strip the Tamil nation of their basic human right, the right to remember. There has been a continuous attempt in erase the Tamil Genocide by the Sri Lankan State from the destruction of the Mullivaikal Genocide Memorial Monument at Jaffna University, to last week’s destruction of the public monument and suppression of access to Mullivaikal to the memorial of the murdered innocent Tamil lives.
On the twelfth-year memorial of May 18th, which is recognised globally by Tamils as Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day, we make the following requests to the government of United Kingdom to seek justice for the Tamil genocide:
1) Recognise the ongoing genocide of Eelam Tamils perpetrated by the Sri Lankan state
2) Supporting the Referral of Sri Lanka to the International Criminal Court or the creation of an ad-hoc Tribunal that will investigate the charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes levelled at the Sri Lankan state
3) Supporting a political solution that will address the legitimate aspirations of Tamil nation based on their right to self-determination
Let us commemorate the victims of the Tamil genocide by remembering their suffering, acknowledging that justice for them has been elusive for them and by recommitting to prevention, not just in our words but also through our actions.
Tamil Youth Organisation UK