It is about destroying the identity of a Community - Sri Lanka -
Ethnic cleansing is about assimilating a people. It is about destroying the identity of a people, as a people. And it often occurs in stages. The preferred route of a conqueror is to achieve his objective without resort to violence - peacefully and stealthily. But when that fails, the would be conqueror turns to murderous violence and genocide to progress his assimilative agenda.
In the island of Sri Lanka, the record shows that during the past sixty years and more, the intent and goal of all Sinhala governments (without exception) has been to secure the island as a Sinhala Buddhist Deepa. Rule by a permanent ethnic majority within the confines of a single state is the dark side of democracy. The Sinhala Buddhist nation masquerading as a multi ethnic 'civic' 'Sri Lankan' nation set about its task of assimilation and 'cleansing' the island of the Tamils, as a people, by
- depriving a section of Eelam Tamils of their citizenship,
- declaring the Sinhala flag as the national flag,
- colonising parts of the Tamil homeland with Sinhala people,
- imposing Sinhala as the official language,
- discriminating against Tamils students seeking University admission,
- depriving Tamil language speakers of employment in the public sector,
- dishonouring agreements entered into with the Tamil parliamentary political leadership,
- refusing to recognise constititutional safeguards against discrimination,
- later removing these constitutional safeguards altogether,
- giving to themselves an authocthonous Constitution with a foremost place for Buddhism,
- and changing the name of the island itself to the Sinhala Buddhist name of Sri Lanka - appropriately enough, on the 'tenth day of the waxing moon in the month of Vesak in the year two thousand five hundred and fifteen of the Buddhist Era'.
When these attempts at ethnic cleansing were resisted by the Tamil people by non violent means and parliamentary struggle, Sinhala governments resorted to violence in 1956, in 1958, in 1961 and again in 1977 - a murderous violence directed to terrorise the Tamils into submission.
The inevitable rise of Tamil armed resistance to State terror was then met with enactment of laws which were an 'ugly blot on statute book of any civilised country', with arbitrary arrest and detention, torture, extra judicial killings and massacres, indiscriminate aerial bombardment and artillery shelling, wanton rape, and genocide - together with press censorship, disinformation and murder of journalists. And the impunity granted to Sinhala armed forces, para military groups, goondas and Sinhala thugs, exposed the encouragement, support and direction given by successive Sri Lanka governments for the crimes committed against the Tamil people.
In 1987, at the invitation of Sri Lanka President J.R.Jayawardene, Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi sent the Indian Peace Keeping Force to subdue Tamil resistance to alien Sinhala rule.
"Over a period of about 20 days (commencing 9 October 1987) , the Indian Army's direct attack on LTTE positions, and defence from LTTE attacks, was coupled with the Indian Army's attack and storming of still unevacuated Jaffna - and many villages and settlements throughout the Peninsula - with widespread (insofar as territory), indiscriminate (insofar as targeting) and sustained (insofar as intensity) artillery shelling. Only less widespread, sustained and indiscriminate, there was air-strafing from helicopter as well. It was not "cross-fire" that incidentally killed thousands of civilians. The majority were killed unavoidably inside their houses and huts under shelling, or were shot at random by the roads and on the streets. A large number of people were "only" wounded - yet, many of them died in the absence of medical care, especially under the 24-hour curfew over a period of about one month, to mid-November."Eduardo Marino, Report to International Alert, 1987
In 2006 and 2007, the President Rajapakse government pursued the Sinhala assimilative agenda by reneging on the 2002 Oslo Declaration, by refusing to recognise the existence of the Tamil homeland, and by perpetuating a Sri Lankan state structure within which the Tamil people may continue to be ruled by a permanent Sinhala majority. And in January 2008, the Sri Lanka government unilaterally abrogated the ceasefire agreement which it had solemnly entered into in February 2002 and which agreement had received internationally recognition.
The genocidal intent of the President Rajapakse government was reflected in the war crimes committed by the Sri Lankan armed forces under the President's command and by the Sri Lanka para military. They have raped, murderedTamil Parliamentarians, Tamil journalists, executed Tamil students with impunity, arbitrarily arrested and detained Tamil civilians, abducted Tamil refugee workers, orchestrated attacks on Tamil civilians and Tamil shops, bombed Tamil civilian population centres and displaced thousands of Tamils from their homes.
Human Rights Violations Against Tamils in Sri Lanka
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