19 May 2022
EELAM TAMIL GENOCIDE CLAIM IN CANADIAN COURTS
The email was titled Toronto Star | Ontario’s ‘Tamil Genocide Education Week’ Faces Constitutional Challenge
The report concluded as follows:
[A group of Sri Lankan Canadian organizations and individuals have launched a constitutional challenge against the Ontario government over the Tamil Genocide Education Week, arguing the province doesn’t have the authority to adopt the term “genocide” and the designation would promote hatred for one group over another. A hearing is scheduled on May 24 and 25.
“The declaration of a Tamil genocide is wrong as a matter of fact and law, and thus cannot have a valid educational purpose. In proclaiming a ‘Tamil Genocide Education Week,’ the (act) propagates a factual and legal falsehood that in both form and content is devoid of any valid educational purpose,” the applicants said in their court submissions.]
As is my way I sought and found the Wikipedia report on the definition of Genocide:
[In 1948, the United Nations Genocide Convention defined genocide as any of five "acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such." These five acts were: killing members of the group, causing them serious bodily or mental harm, imposing living conditions intended to destroy the group, preventing births, and forcibly transferring children out of the group. Victims are targeted because of their real or perceived membership of a group, not randomly.]
Canadian law is likely to be based on the above definition. The introduction in the above article is as follows:
[Still a toddler, Katpana Nagendra saw her family home in Colombo set on fire during the anti-Tamil riots in 1983. Her mother, with Nagendra and her sister in tow, fled to the north of Sri Lanka and ultimately resettled in Canada two years later as sponsored refugees]
The anti-Tamil 1983 riots from 1956 to 1983 do qualify as per the first two criteria stated above:
[(1)Killing members of the group,
(2) Causing them serious bodily or mental harm]
Given that the policies of the Government – starting with ‘Sinhala only’ policy did show discrimination between the two main ethnic groups, it is highly likely that the thugs translated the policy to their advantage to lower the status of unarmed and unprotected Tamils in Multicultural areas. They were Sri Lankan Tamils by culture. Our family lived in Colombo and after the 1958 riots our father wanted us to move to Jaffna while he continued to live in Colombo due to his work in Public Service. We did not consider it racism at that time, leave alone genocide – but opposed it as wrong policy.
In 1976, the leading Tamil political Party declared Tamil Independence through Vaddukoddai Resolution. By this time, the LTTE was established – and like the Sinhalese free of the bindings of law – they also interpreted it as ‘Separate State’. The Tamils became Equal Opposition in Parliament through the 1977 elections. The 1977 riots followed this due also to Tamils in North retaliating:
[There were several attacks on Sinhalese and their properties in Kilinochchi starting on 19 August. A Buddhist temple was burnt by a crowd of 200, and several boutiques and bakeries were burnt. Sinhalese goods whose owners had fled had also been looted. About 20 Sinhalese wadiyas were burnt in Thallady were burned. A few Sinhalese were assaulted by Tamil rioters. Many Sinhalese took refuge in the police station. A Sinhalese baker from Paranthan noted that there were no Sinhalese remaining in that town. Policemen and soldiers in Kilinochchi had attacked Tamil shops and homes. ]
As per my discovery, when we retaliate in action or words of belief – we form a whole with Equal and Opposite sides – at that level of Opposition. This is why the Opposition in Parliament has Equal rights. Those who Opposed politically got the Equal position in Parliament. This happened in 1977. Those who retaliated in action – formed a different nation at their military level. The seeds were sewn for a separate nation at that level in 1977 – when Tamils in North retaliated. This was made up of Equal and Opposite Tamils and Sinhalese sans Democratic Political power.
In terms of Natural Justice – when Tamils took revenge and attacked beyond defending – they rewarded themselves through their own local laws. To that extent – they were even and did not have the right to use the discrimination policy as a reason. Only those who did not retaliate physically continue to have that right politically.
The 1983 pogrom was more fierce that the 1977 riots. LTTE had no claim at policy level due to the revenge actions it took. It claimed separation through the autocratic pathway. Towards this – it eliminated Tamil Politicians.
This factor is important in determining whether what happened in 2009 was ‘Genocide’ or War-Crimes by both sides. Many civilians were killed by the LTTE – in the war zone. Hence the Genocide claim cannot be applied to the Tamil community as a whole. In terms of LTTE supporters the claim would be seriously diluted by civilians who were forcibly recruited by the LTTE and were wounded when they tried to flee the area.
In summary both sides are guilty of war crimes and neither is guilty of Genocide.