Tamil Solidarity condemns the ban of 15 diaspora organisations and news website colombotelegraph and the black-listing of around 424 individuals. This reflects the dictatorial nature of Sri Lankan regime and its continued suppression of democracy and all political activities.
Sri Lankan regime is increasingly humiliated regarding the war crimes it committed during the war in 2009. Recently the regime came under heavy pressure to agree to a certain investigation mechanism. A resolution passed in the UNHRC, though it fell far short of any action against the government, marked a propaganda defeat for the Sri Lankan regime. Sri Lanka’s foreign minister Gamini Lakshman Peiris categorically denied any call for cooperation in any war crimes investigation. He declared: “Sri Lanka will not be participating in the inquiry. We don’t accept this inquiry and we will not be part of it”. He also declared that they don’t accept the authority of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay to conduct an investigation because “Pillay has a prejudged mind” – meaning that she has a Tamil background. Previously another minister in Rajapaksa’s government Marvin Silva said he was willing to Marry Navi Pillay to give her a history lesson. Such is the level of anti-Tamil mentality that exists among the leading members of current ruling regime in Sri Lanka.
Since the massacre in 2009, democratic rights and all political activities have been severely supressed by the regime. Despite this ongoing onslaught there are number of activists in the country who are speaking out. Despite the different character of various diaspora groups, they are united in supporting the plight of activists who dare to raise their voice in Sri Lanka. These voices have given strength to the campaigns against Sri Lankan government. To supress this and as a counter measure to the UNHRC resolution, the regime had banned number of political organisations.
Some of those denounced as “terrorists groups” are not even radical action groups. They work with governments such as Australia, Britain etc. Some organisations do not even exist anymore. Some black-listed people were no longer alive – some have been tortured and killed by the military. This ban further exposes the incompetence and heavy handed suppressive methods of Sri Lankan regime. Using this ban any Tamil political activist could be named a terrorist and imprisoned. In a way this effectively rules out activists in Sri Lanka participating in diaspora activities.
This is part of ongoing scaremongering going on in the country to consolidate chauvinist support for the regime. Over 500 military and police surrounded the home of a 13-year-old girl and her mother and arrested them. The fate of Vipooshika Balendren is still not known. Her crime was to bravely protest against the illegal detention of her brother. The regime is sending a clear message that if anyone dares to oppose it, then they will be punished. It is trying to make sure that no one comes out to report about the atrocities committed by the regime. This latest ban on diaspora groups is part of this gross attack.
The government had claimed that it “ended the war and killed all the terrorists”. While Rajapaksa family wealth is growing exponentially, the poor across Sri Lanka have not seen any peace dividend. This and attack on democratic rights are leading to possible decline of support for the regime. In order to counter this, the regime once again is using ‘terrorism scaremongering’ to further consolidate nationalist support. Recent rumours of new LTTE leaders and house-to-house searches are part of this tactic of creating fear among the Tamil population to make them submissive and silent about the worst kind of killings that ever took place in that region.
Tamil Solidarity condemns this ban. Tamil Solidarity will continue to cooperate with all those to prepare to fight against this brutal regime.