Press Release 16th January 2010
In Dublin today, 16th January, at 2.00pm the Peoples’ Tribunal Chairman Francois Houtart read the preliminary findings of the Peoples’ Tribunal on the war in Sri Lanka and its aftermath. There were four findings:
1: That the Sri Lankan Government and its military are guilty of War Crimes;
2: That the Sri Lankan Government is military are guilty of crimes against humanity;
3: That the charge of genocide requires further investigation;
4: That the international community, particularly the UK and USA, share responsibility for the breakdown of the peace process.Harrowing evidence, including video footage, was submitted by eye-witnesses of the use of heavy artillery and phosphorous munitions, and of the continuous violation of human rights by military activity to a panel of ten international jurors over two days.
The Irish Forum for Peace in Sri Lanka welcomed the preliminary findings of the Tribunal. Responding to the findings, the Forum issued the following five demands:
1: We call on the Sri Lankan government to allow the United Nations to conduct an inquiry into war crimes and crimes against humanity perpetrated during the final stages of the war between the Sri Lankan armed forces and the LTTE, and during the war’s aftermath;
2: We call on the Sri Lankan Government to release all those being detained in concentration camps and the estimated 11,000 people being held secretly at unknown locations;
3: We call on the Sri Lankan government to end the use of extra-judicial killings, sexual violence, and the deprivation of food and water as weapons against the civilian population;
4: We call on the Sri Lankan government to end the suppression of political dissent by violent or other means;
5: We call on the Sri Lankan government to fully implement human rights for all citizens of Sri Lanka, and the political solution involving the full participation of the Tamil population, ending the systematic historical discriminatory measures of the Sri Lankan state against the Tamil people.
The Irish Forum for Peace in Sri Lanka asserts that long term peace and stability can only be established on the basis of full justice and rights for all the inhabitants of the island.
People’s Tribunal on Sri Lanka (PTSL)
On behalf of the Irish Forum for Peace in Sri Lanka (IFPSL)