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“Right now today as we are speaking the Government of Sri Lanka is deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about the physical destruction of the Tamils in whole or in part. We have to prevent that. That is the obligation of the Genocide Convention.” 

- Professor Francis Boyle, Keynote Address 

arafathDecember 9th, 2020 marked the International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime. The Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam’s next generation team known as “Alaigal” organized a virtual symposium to remember those who lost their lives in Tamil Eelam as victims of state terrorism inflicted by the Sri Lankan government. Speakers from across the globe convened to discuss the Tamil Genocide and propose ideas on how best to seek justice moving forward. 

Kumanan Kunaratnam, a teacher by profession and currently a research student completing his Masters of Education in the field of Leadership, Evaluation, Curriculum Theory and Policy Studies at the University of Ottawa, started off the symposium by presenting the eight stages of genocide by Dr. Gregory Stanton. These include (1) classification (2) symbolization (3) dehumanization (4) organization (5) polarization (6) preparation (7) extermination and (8) denial. He explained how those stages transpired in Tamil Eelam during the Tamil Genocide, which still continues today. Mr. Kunaratnam also put forth a petition that he will be launching to lobby the Government of Canada to seek justice for the Tamil Genocide. Following Mr. Kunaratnam’s presentation, Mr. Balakrishnan, popularly known as Bala Master, took the stage to talk about his accounts of witnessnessing the genocide first-hand. He narrated the heinous acts committed by the Sri Lankan army and paramilitary organizations that he saw in Tamil Eelam, highlighting their calculated intent to annihilate the Tamil civilian population of the island.

The keynote address was given by Professor Francis Boyle, a well-known lawyer who in 1993, represented Bosnia and Herzegovina before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), and won two world court orders under the Genocide Convention. Professor Boyle also authored “The Tamil Genocide by Sri Lanka” and has not only been a voice in the struggle for the rights of Eelam Tamils since 1995 but also, has been a vocal supporter of the independence and sovereignty of Tamil Eelam. During his keynote, Professor Boyle stated, “The fact that the Tamils have been victims of genocide by the government of Sri Lanka strengthens and reinforces their right of self determination under International Law including establishing their own independent state of Tamil Eelam.” Coming from the Irish Republican Army (IRA) tradition of national liberation himself, he claimed that he understood the legitimacy of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam’s (LTTE) struggle and that compensation for these heinous acts of genocide must be sought through the International Criminal Court (ICC). The Prime Minister of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam Mr. V. Rudrakumaran is currently working to seek the cooperation of countries that can help aid the Tamil community in this ICC process. Professor Boyle also put forth the idea that the Tamil community should set up a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against the Government in Sri Lanka, similar to what happened against the apartheid regime in South Africa, due to its success in the past. It is how we can resist the ongoing genocide and win the case as we have truth and justice on our side.

Following the keynote, Mr. Nitharshan from Phoenix The Next Generation, presented the Mahavamsa mindset and the various facets of this ideology that eventually transpired into the Tamil Genocide. He discussed how this was implemented and institutionalized, and how structural genocide still continues to date. Mr. Shaniyat Chowdhury, a candidate for the fifth congressional district of New York election and a part of U.S Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign came onto the show to share a few words about standing in solidarity with the Tamil community. It is notable that he was the first person in American politics to publicly announce that the Tamil Genocide took place. The symposium concluded with a panel discussion on enabling solutions moving forward and various avenues of seeking justice. On the panel was Prime Minister of TGTE Mr. Rudrakumaran Visuvanathan, Mr. S.A.N Rajkumar, a participant at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Mr. Sabapathy Kirusaanth, the Master of Ceremonies for the symposium, and Mr. Nitharshan. The Prime Minister concluded the panel discussion by saying that the United Nations and various governments have a good amount of evidence and we need to get this key information under the legal concepts of “right to know” and the “right to truth” under domestic legislation. Under the project of “Victims Driven International Justice”, they are collecting the names and signatures of the victims and plan on sending it to the High Commissioner to release whatever documents the United Nations has and similarly take legal actions in various countries.


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