The Tamil Rights Group (TRG) is seeking Justice for Eelam Tamils at the International Criminal Court (ICC). The group, together with the Tamil Refugee Assistance Network (TRAN) has submitted an application requesting a preliminary investigation to crimes committed by Sri Lankan officials, including deportation, and persecution.
The application is under article 15 of the Rome Statue in the International Criminal Court (ICC), which deals with aggression on a state level, including war crimes . "Twelve years have passed since the United Nations first started trying to hold Sri Lanka accountable for its gross violations of human rights, and international humanitarian laws," Tamil Rights Spokesperson Katpana Nagendra said. The complaints date to the end of the 26-year long civil war. Approximately 25,000 people were internally displaced according to the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR).
"The current regime has not only unilaterally withdrawn from the United Nations Human Rights (UNHC) Council Resolutions that the state itself co-sponsored in 2015, but President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has also publicly vowed to protect the armed forces from any domestic or international accountability measures," Nagendra added. The application argues that ICC would have jurisdiction to investigate crimes against humanity based on a precedent set in a previous ruling on case between Myanmar/Bangladesh, where Myanmar was not a party to the statue, while Bangladesh was. They're arguing that the crime of deportation ends at the final destination. Many Eelam Tamil refugees have fled to Australia, the United Kingdom and Canada, which are all countries that are party to the Rome Statue
The Tamil Rights Group are being represented by David Matas, and Sarah Teich. To read the full communication visit their website
Laura Steiner, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Milton Reporter, Milton Reporter