At the end of the 2nd International Conference on Tamil Nationhood and Genocide in Sri Lanka, held in Ottawa from May 5th -7th, 2018, the organizing committee aims to find a sustainable political solution that addresses the national question of the Eelam Tamils, in their traditional homeland in the North and East of the island called Sri Lanka. The genocidal approach continues to be deployed against the Tamil people, setting a dangerous paradigm for the entire world. In accordance with the academic research presented at this conference, the Organizing committee makes the following resolution:
Whereas the United Nations Charter enshrines the right of all peoples to self-determination, and Article 1 of the United Nations’ International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) declares “All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right, they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development”;
Whereas the Eelam Tamils are a nation on the island, since the times of the earliest known documentary evidence, culminating in their historically and geographically defined homeland, distinct language, culture and collective consciousness;
Whereas the Eelam Tamil Nation historically lost sovereignty to Portuguese colonial conquest, followed by the Dutch and the British;
Whereas since the independence of Ceylon (currently known as Sri Lanka) in 1948, the Eelam Tamil Nation had non-violently struggled to protect their rights for 30 years; and the Eelam Tamil Nation were never a party to the republic constitution of 1972, both of which prompted the Eelam Tamil Nation to the historic Vaddukkodai declaration of independence in 1976, endorsed by a mandate of the people of the North and East in the 1977 general election;
Whereas with the brutal suppression of non-violent means, another 30 years of armed struggle impelled by state oppression, culminated in a deliberate mass-scale massacre of innocent civilians at Mullivaaikkal in 2009, with the intent to destroy the Eelam Tamil Nation; and the military occupation of the North and East continues in an explicit, intense, intended and accelerated genocide, despite Sri Lanka’s claims of a “post-war” normalcy;
Whereas considering the current ground realities in the Tamil homeland, which include heavy militarization, accelerated Sinhala colonization, forced disappearances and structural abuse of the Eelam Tamil Nation, all targeted to destroy the identity of the Eelam Tamil Nation, and the territorial integrity and contiguity of the Tamil homeland;
Whereas considering the international community’s call for an international accountability mechanism in Sri Lanka (and, specific to Canada, that all three political parties called for an international investigation into genocide); and also, the Northern Provincial Council in Sri Lanka and the State Assembly of Tamil Nadu in India (where more than 72 million Tamils live) passed resolutions demanding an international investigation into genocide;
Whereas any internal mechanisms by the Sri Lankan state, such as the LLRC that claims to address the systemic injustices meted out to the Tamil people, and the promised constitutional reform claiming to address the aspirations of
Tamil people are themselves fundamentally flawed and yet failed to deliver meaningful progress;
Whereas the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has passed Resolution A/HRC/34/L.1 addressing human rights violations in Sri Lanka; and the Sri Lankan Government endorsed this consensus resolution; yet Sri Lanka has not followed through on its commitments, and thus this resolution seriously lacks progress in implementation;
Whereas all avenues have failed to resolve the Tamil national question and to restore the rights of Eelam Tamil Nation, and the deception practiced by the Sri Lankan State has been clearly established;
BE IT RESOLVED THAT only an independent international investigation into the charge of genocide can be acceptable.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT pursuing alternative strategies and avenues such as diplomatic and economic sanctions, and travel restrictions; universal jurisdiction as stated by the UN human rights High Commissioner during the UNHRC’s 37th session.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT no solution could be found within the unitary state structure of Sri Lanka. Therefore, we call upon Canada and the international community to intervene and enforce international law, to recognize the Tamil people as a nation and to acknowledge their right to self-determination.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT it is not within the ambit of the Eelam Tamil Nation and its representatives to speak about the political aspirations of the Muslim people on the island. However, any just solution for the Eelam Tamil
Nation will rightfully incorporate a just and equitable solution on the question of the Muslim people in the Tamil homeland.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT based on the applicability of the principles of historical, earned and remedial sovereignty; as well as Article 1 of the ICESCR; there should be an international decision to conduct and monitor a referendum among the traditional inhabitants of the areas of historical habitation of the Tamil-speaking people in the island of Sri Lanka and its Diaspora, to arrive at a just political solution.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT this conference requests Canada and the international community to help the Eelam Tamils to rebuild their nation shattered by the genocidal war; to provide funding and assistance in creating transparent structure; to administer the flow of international relief efforts to war-affected people of the North and East. To enable immediate funding and assistance in creating mechanisms to rehabilitate and resettle war-affected civilians (mainly widows, children, differently-abled and injured) to lead a dignified life; to provide long term funding, expertise and support in education, health and sanitation, capacity-building, creating employment opportunities, and in rebuilding physical infrastructure.
These Resolution are endorsed by the following organizations:
Brampton Tamil Association (BTA)
Mississauga Tamil Association (MTA)
National Council of Canadian Tamils (NCCT)
Ottawa Tamil Association (OTA)
Quebec Tamil Development Association (QTDA)
Tamil Canadian Civil Society Forum (TCCSF)
Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE)
People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL)
International Council of Eelam Tamils (ICET)
World Thamil Organization (WTO)
Australian Tamil Congress (ATC)
IlankaiTamil Sangam (ITS)
United States Tamil Political Action Council (USTPAC)
British Tamil Forum (BTF)
Tamil Association of McGill (TAMill)
University of Ottawa Tamil Student Union (TSU)
Carleton University Tamil Student Association(CUTSA)
Tamil Youth Organization – Canada (TYO-Canada)
Concordia University Tamil Mandtram (CUTAM)
Canadian Tamil Youth Alliance (CTYA)
Wilfrid Laurier University’s Tamil Students’ Association (LUTSA)