On the second day of the conference during a session regarding the resolution, TYO UK addressed delegates to “welcome this resolution as an unanimous recognition that the situation is one of the genocide of the Tamil nation” and urged “all organisations present, and all political parties present to work towards international recognition of these key points”.
A transcript of the intervention made a delegate of the TYO UK:
Vanakkam. I speak on behalf of the Tamil Youth Organisation.
We at the TYO have been mobilising British Eelam Tamil youth towards pushing for an international, independent investigation since 2009. We believe the government of Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan state has proved itself incapable and unwilling to make any meaningful progress towards accountability. We view the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission as a farce and will not accept this as a mechanism of justice. In the absence of military intervention, the international community has a responsibility to initiate an investigation as the only way to ensure independence and truth.
We welcome this resolution adopted by this conference. In particular we welcome the clear recognition of the genocide of the Tamil nation. It is crucial that the situation is not diluted into a question of war crimes or human rights. We note that there is an increasing attempt to portray as such within the international community.
We do have concerns with two aspects of the resolution.
Firstly, the TYO believes it is the duty of the UN Secretary General to investigate the allegations. We do not feel it is appropriate to express “appreciation” for when it is in fact a duty.
Secondly, we are concerned with regards to the 4th call on the international community. The statement implies that demilitarisation of the North-East would lead to Tamils being free from the fear of persecution. The TYO believes that given the long history of genocide, so long as the Tamil nation is within a united Sri Lankan state, it cannot be free of persecution.
We also express concern that the statement implies that demilitarisation would lead to Tamils having democratic rights when in fact it was the failure of the post-colonial Sri Lankan state to secure the democratic rights of the Tamils which led to the conflict in the first place.
A discrimination of the Tamils is enshrined within the Sri Lankan constitution. The militarisation is a mere consequence of the structural flaws within the unitary Sri Lankan state. Demilitarisation will thus not solve the problem in the North-East.
We do however, nonetheless, welcome this resolution as a unanimous recognition that the situation is one of the genocide of the Tamil nation – as asserted by the Bishop of Mannar last week during the UN Human Rights Council.
We urge all organisations and political parties present to work towards international recognition of these key points.