Thursday 10 January 2019

To: Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) 
Palais Wilson 
52 rue des Pâquis 
CH-1201 Geneva, Switzerland.

The unprincipled, undemocratic  removal of the Tamil Leader of the Opposition  and placement of Sinhalese leader under whose Administration Tamils suffered untold misery is the last straw that broke the political Equality of Tamils, which we believe we earned through principled  democratic process.
The Tamil Leader of the Opposition wrote to the then Speaker, the Hon Chamal Rajapaksa on 10 April 2015
After the conclusion of the Presidential election in January 2015 the Leader of the UNP has become the Prime Minister and a number of  members of parliament of the UNP are Cabinet Ministers constituting the government. The Leader of the UPFA is the President and a member of the Cabinet ( in fact the head of  the Cabinet) and a number of UPFA members of parliament( in excess of 26) are Ministers some of them in the Cabinet, therefore the Government today is composed of both the UPFA and the UNP, disentitling both of those parties from occupying the seat of the Leader of the Opposition. No member of parliament elected from the UPFA or UNP can be the Leader of the Opposition. This clearly is the legal position as well as one that accords with parliamentary tradition, both of our country and the Commonwealth. the resultant position is that it is the ITAK that is entitled to the post of the Leader of the Opposition, having 14 members of parliament. The DNA has 7 members one of whom is also a Cabinet Minister now.
We consider it necessary to  write this to you in view of the views expressed by  you on Wednesday the 8th of April 2015.’

We consider this firm stand to be confirmation of our higher commitment to principles and laws in a democratic structure.

Legitimate Expectations of the Tamil Community

The repeated unprincipled ‘dismissals’ of Tamil leaders by both major parties in National Parliament confirm to us that we as a community are better equipped to manage ourselves through principles of democracy. We seek the mandate of the UNHRC to preserve and nurture our inalienable Human Rights by facilitating  self-governance of minorities :
(1)  By recognizing that blind application of majority rule has translated as dictatorship
(2)  By recognizing that the above incurable weakness would continue to divide Sri Lanka further and further – until we become stateless.
(3)  By recognizing that the first victims of this would be minorities who claimed Equal status and have been harshly punished for protecting their human rights.
(4)  Recognize that - Denial of equal status to a culturally diverse community has been confirmed time and time again, including through the denial of the position of Leader of the Opposition by a political party that has maintained its purity of Opposition and is Tamil in its makeup.
(5)  By recognizing that the leaders of Sinhala-Buddhist community have demonstrated that they are not  committed to upholding the principles of  Democracy but continue to show Sri Lanka as a Buddhist Nation through article 9 of the Constitution.
(6)  Recognize that this is in breach of the fundamentals of democracy which require all religions to be recognized as being Equal or that religion is not part of the Administrative measure.
(7)  Recognize that  Article 9 which renders Buddhism foremost status in Sri Lanka, is in breach of the basic Human Right to practice one’s belief in any form in one’s home territory.
(8)  Recognize that the effects of Article 9, have been confirmed in the latest shifting of power from Hindu leader to Buddhist leader – bypassing the fundamentals of democracy.
(9)  Recognize that common belief is the authority for one human being  to administer another and that the current Constitution of Sri Lanka prohibits Buddhists from administering Non-Buddhists.

Proposed Action at global level:

(1)  Find Sri Lankan Government guilty of continuous racial discrimination
(2)  Place Sri Lanka as a junior in accessing Common UN Resources and closely monitor all resource allocations and report periodically to all investors in Democracy.

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam
10 January 2019

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