Shri Narendra Modi,
Prime Minister Elect,
11, Kautilya Marg
VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS OF TAMILS IN SRI LANKA
HRDI congratulates you on your remarkable victory in the elections. We are confident that with you as the Prime Minister, India will be strong and self-sufficient nation with greater international clout.
Human Rights Defense International (HRDI) is a New Delhi based international organization taking up Human Rights concerns of Indian-origin people worldwide. We have spoken up/demonstrated against the violation of the human rights of Hindus in Pakistan and Bangladesh, Tamils in Sri Lanka and Malaysia, Buddhists in Bangladesh, Romas in Europe, Indians in Africa and Indian labour in the Gulf in addition to travails of Kashmiri Pandits, freedom of speech & expression and women hunted as witches in eastern India etc.
HRDI is ardent advocate of the human rights of SL Tamils and earnestly believe that Mr. Rajpakse and the officers of his Government are responsible for the genocide of Tamils in SL and be prosecuted for the same.
HRDI is not commenting upon your decision to invite Mr. Rajpakse to join your swearing-in ceremony but we wish to bring to your notice the continuing plight of the Tamils of Sri Lanka.
There is documentary evidence of genocide of Tamil civilians in the final phase of the war. It is five years since the civil war has ended. But the SL Army maintains a formidable presence on Tamil-inhabited Northern Province.
Justice (Retd) C V Wigneswaran, Chief Minister, Northern Province, Sri Lanka and a supporter of HRDI has refused to accompany President Mahinda Rajapakse to your swearing-in ceremony. We are annexing a copy of his letter. He is not against India inviting the SL President. But Justice Wigneswaran says he would be guilty of tokenism if he accompanied the President. It would mean everything is serene in the Northern Province. The truth is that people of the North are engulfed in a climate of fear due to presence of SL army.
The erstwhile UPA-I government facilitated war efforts of Colombo on its Tamil citizens. But it turned a blind eye on the genocide that accompanied the completion of war. We are hopeful that under your able leadership India will be sensitive to the human and civil rights concern of the Tamils in that island. The perpetrators of the genocide must be, through international consensus, brought to justice.
Sir, you are an ardent admirer of Swami Vivekananda, with whom you also share the first name. The Tamils of Sri Lanka were the first to welcome Swami Vivekananda in the Indian subcontinent in January, 1897 on his return from the West. In his Colombo Speech (January 16, 1897) Swami Vivekananda stated to a thoroughly Tamil audience- “If there is any land on this earth that can lay claim to be the blessed Punya Bhumi, to be the land to which all souls on this earth must come to account for Karma, the land to which every soul that is wending its way Godward must come to attain its last home, the land where humanity has attained its highest towards gentleness, towards generosity, towards purity, towards calmness, above all, the land of introspection and of spirituality — it is India” .
The Tamils of Sri Lanka, who are Hindus, have always looked towards India as such. But politics of Sri Lanka have squeezed their living space compelling them to rise in rebellion in the early 1980s. But India’s ill-advised diplomacy under Rajiv Gandhi only contributed to their repression. The unfortunate blowback led to gruesome assassination of Rajiv Gandhi.
Swami Vivekananda was the first to articulate on the violent instincts of Sinhalas against Tamils. At last we have someone in power who is a follower of Swami Vivekananda. We are confident that the safety, justice and dignity of Tamils of Sri Lanka will be secured through your good offices.
With kind regards & best wishes
Encl. Letter of Justice Wigneshwaran
23. 05. 2014
Professor G.L. Peiris, MP,
Minister of External Affairs
Your Fax of even date to hand.
I’m grateful for the invitation extend on behalf of H.E. The President to accompany him to grace the occasion of the swearing in of Shri Narandra Modi, the Prime Minister Elect of India, even at this late stage. I reply having considered your kind request in the company of my Board of Ministers.
It is an auspicious sign that the historic election of Shri Narendra Modi has revived in the Government of Sri Lanka a sense of co-operation and partnership towards the Northern Province. Given the untold hardships of the Peoples of Northern Province and the strictures on the functioning of the Northern Provincial Council, this is indeed welcome.
However, I regret to inform you that I’m unable to accept your kind invitation. Primarily, because acceptance would indicate that exists a strong co-operative spirit prevailing between the Centre and the Province, when in fact, the People of North are engulfed in a climate of fear on account of the continued presence of the Military while the activities of the Northern Provincial Council have been stultified. I would be guilty of facilitating token were I to accept such invitation. Nevertheless I have already sent my best wishes to the Prime Minister Elect of India through the High Commissioner for India in Sri Lanka.
I earnestly hope that the spirit of partnership and goodwill expressed by your kind invitation would nevertheless continue to ensure that the electoral mandate of the Northern Province would be fulfilled and the fundamental rights of its People are preserved.
Justice C.V. Wigneswaran
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