Conference on the Conflict in Sri Lanka
27 April 2005
The International Conference on the Conflict in Sri Lanka
The civilised world must act on the historic responsibility to save the peopulation from this long suffering and restore their justice,and enable thems to live in their homeland with genuine democratic and human rights.
The Long bombing campaigns have destroyed much of the infrastructure of the tamil homeland, and allegations and counter allegations of victimisation of innocent civilians on both sides of the conflict in sri lanka.
Since the civil war commenced there have been many attempts at finding a peaceful solution to the crisis. Each attempt has been marred with frustration, anger and eventual breakdown in negotiations. Independent reports of the Overseas Service Bureau have cautiously put the blame for the consistent breakdown in peace negotiations at the door of the sinhala hard-line regimes .
Sri Lanka is comprised of two main nations,Sinhalese and Tamils . This division has existed for many centuries. Prior to the arrival of the Portuguese in 1505, the Sinhalese and Tamils governed themselves with their own kingdoms, with the Tamil kingdom located in the north and east, and the Sinhalese kingdoms in the south.The Portuguese and the Dutch who colonoised the area administered the Tamil and the Sinhalese regions as separate areas, being conscious of the religious and cultural divide between the two. With British rule in 1833, however, came a centralised administration of the island for the sake of administrative convenience.
Since Independence the Tamil peopulation have long suffered of genocides and discrimination at the hands of the hard-line dominated Sinhala regimes. They claim that 50 years of Sinhalese injust rule has meant suppression and oppression on the Tamil nation foundtions in many ways.
Initially, the Tamil community sought to achieve a due measure of recognition within Sri Lankan society by peaceful means. In the mid 1970s, in an attempt to redress policies which made it impossible for Tamils to take a equal part of the life of Sri Lanka, the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) was formed. The TULF advocated separatism via negotiation and became the major opposition party in Parliament at the General Election in 1977. At the same time, however, a minority of Tamils began to resort to violence to achieve their political aims.
In 1983 the TULF was effectively removed from Parliament by the enacment of the sixth Constitutional Amendment which required the taking of an oath by members renouncing support for a separate state. Since the platform of the TULF included support for a separate state, the TULF members forfeited their right to retain their parliamentary seats. As a result, Tamil participation in Sri Lanka life was effectively removed as their elected representatives could no longer act on their behalf through the normal parliamentary process. This situation has hardly encouraged Tamil involvement in the political life of the nation which is undoubtedly crucial for a resolution to the current conflict.
Since the 1983 Constitutional Amendment, increasing numbers of Tamils have concluded that negotiations will not work, and that armed struggle is the only solution to their situation. the problem by strong legislative, administrative and military measures have not worked - indeed, they appear to have hardened Tamil resistance. Not only has much more of this campaign resulted in overwhelming civilian casualties, the actions of sri lanka whether deliberately or anarchically, have resulted in the disappearances of large numbers of people including children. It is no answer to say that this has happened on both sides, if it has. The Government's action's certainly do not sit comfortably with the country's express commitment to democracy and the protection of Human Rights. In 1983, after many years of frustrated attempts at obtaining equal treatment, In 1987 this area of Sri Lanka was placed under blockade by the State with many essential items including medical supplies and fuel being prohibited from entering the region. Since then, Sri Lanka has continuously been under declared state of Emergency and certain areas in the north have been declared prohibited zones , with the result that many of them same essential items have been prohibited from entering the region.
In April 1995 peace talks between the parties broke down. In December of that year a major push into the northern part of the country around Jaffna by Sri Lankan army displaced more than 500,000 Tamils from the Jaffna Peninsula and caused grave humanitarian crisis of unprecedented magnitude. In November the UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali called for urgent humanitarian aid for the thousands of Tamil refugees who fled from Sri Lankan Government troops invading the Tamil homeland. The Sri Lankan Government expressed its displeasure at these comments and to date has refused to allow international relief agencies free access to the refugee camps.
The result of these policies is human suffering and despair. Long-term bombing campaigns have destroyed much of the infrastructure of the north and east, and allegations and counter allegations of victimisation of innocent civilians on both sides of the conflict. If the sinhala sri lanka regime cannot or will not give back the tamil nation rights .then rest of the civilised world must cut through the historic responsibility save the people from this long suffering and restore Tamil nation sovereignty and justice.
Since the civil war commenced there have been many attempts at finding a peaceful solution to the crisis. Each attempt has been marred with frustration, anger and eventual breakdown in negotiations. Independent reports from reputable Non-Governmental agencies, including Amnesty International, the Overseas Service Bureau and World Vision have cautiously put the blame for the consistent breakdown in peace negotiations at the door of the Government .
The international community have responsibility to use its good offices and diplomatic efforts which have aimed at, the historic responsibility of restore justice of Tamil nation sovereignty.