Remember the dead in Sri Lanka – 18 May

Thousands died because of war crimes in Mullivaikal, Sri Lanka a year ago. We can do our bit here in Malaysia by attending a Remembrance Event tonight at Brickfields Girls Guide Hall (or at least light a lamp at home) and signing Amnesty International’s petition. Details below.

Source: International Crisis Group

Source: International Crisis Group

One year ago, thousands of Tamils lost their lives in the dying days of the Sri Lankan civil war. Despite calls by numerous international agencies, the Sri Lankan government has blocked any independent inquiry into allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity. For background information, read here.

Today is the 1st anniversary of that tragic event. It will be celebrated in Sri Lanka as a day of victory. It will be mourned in the rest of the world, particularly by members of the worldwide Global Tamil Forum as a day of tragedy.

Amnesty International has launched a global campaign calling for an independent inquiry into this tragedy. They point out:

One year on, the situation for civilian communities caught up in the conflict shows no sign of improving:

  • Some 80,000 people remain in camps and funds for their support are running out.
  • The rest of the 300,000 displaced civilians who have tried to resettle remain vulnerable and struggle to survive in communities where homes and infrastructure were destroyed.
  • Thousands of people detained for suspected links to the LTTE remain in detention without access to the courts.
  • The government continues to extend the state of emergency, restricting many basic human rights and freedom of speech.
  • No meaningful action has been taken to investigate reports of war crimes

The New York Times also reports that “Tens of thousands of Tamil civilians died in the last, bloody months of Sri Lanka‘s civil war, the International Crisis Group said in an investigative report to be released Monday, most of them as a result of government shelling of areas that were supposed to be safe zones” and ends:

All but a small portion of these deaths were due to government shelling,” the report said. (International Crisis Group)

Those of us in Malaysia can take action and show our respect for the innocent who died in 3 ways:-

1. Sign Amnesty’s online petition by clicking here.

2. Attend the Remembrance Gathering tonight organised by the Malaysian Tamil Forum at the following venue:

Tuesday , May 18, 7.00 p.m. @ Girl Guide’s Association Hall, Jalan Sultan Abdul Samad, Brickfields

(Near Vivekanda Secondary & Tamil Methodist Church)

Light refreshments will be served

3. As a mark of respect and of remembrance, light a lamp or candle, or fly a white flag, at home tonight.

Related Internet Links:

Sri Lanka: Inside the war zone – The Guardian UK

Sri Lanka under fire for killing thousands – The Sydney Morning Herald

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