TamilNet reports that Professor Francis Boyle, professor of International Law at the University of Illinois College of Law, has said Britain is obliged to call on the UN Security Council to act over the ‘civil war’ in Sri Lanka.
Pointing to the latest statement during the visit to Sri Lanka by the British Foreign Minister, David Miliband, that ‘this is a civil war that does have regional and wider ramifications,’ Boyle said that Miliband’s statement obligates Britain, as a Permanent Member of the Security Council, under UN Charter Article 35(1) to bring this ‘civil war’ and genocide in Sri Lanka ‘to the attention of the Security Council’ for the purpose of obtaining remedial action under Chapters VI and/or VII of the Charter.’
During a BBC interview, when asked whether it is time for a UN Security Council resolution as Sri Lanka is paying no attention to international opinion, Miliband responded: ‘Well this is the first delegation that’s been allowed in, media are not being allowed in to the north east of the country which only adds to the concern.
‘I think that we were right; Britain, France, the US, to raise this issue at the United Nations last Friday, this does belong on the United Nations Security Council agenda.
‘This is a civil war that does have regional and wider ramifications and, obviously, a massive civilian emergency as well.’
Professor Boyle says: ‘under Article 24 of the United Nations Charter’ the United Nations Security Council has ‘primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security’.
According to UN Charter Chapter VII, Article 39: ‘The Security Council shall determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace or act of aggression and shall make recommendations, or decide what measures shall be taken in accordance with Articles 41 and 42, to maintain or restore international peace and security.’
Professor Boyle adds that according to this latest statement by British Foreign Minister Miliband: ‘This is a civil war that does have regional and wider ramifications . . . .’
In other words, the GOSL (government of Sri Lanka) ‘civil war’ and genocide against the Tamils constitutes a ‘threat to the peace’ for which the Security Council has ‘primary responsibility’ to rectify.
‘Therefore it can no longer be argued by other Security Council Member States such as China and Russia that this is an “internal matter” or a “domestic concern” for which the Security Council does not have jurisdiction to act.
‘Indeed, in light of this recent statement by their Foreign Minister Miliband, Britain – as a Permanent Member of the Security Council – has an obligation under UN Charter Article 35(1) to bring this “civil war” and genocide in Sri Lanka “to the attention of the Security Council” for the purpose of obtaining such remedial action under Chapters VI and/or VII of the Charter,’ Professor Boyle told TamilNet.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) attack crafts, fitted with 100mm cannon, began firing artillery pieces along the shore of Mu’l’li-vaaykkaal last Wednesday around 4:00pm.
At the same time, the makeshift hospital in Mu’l’li-vaaykkaal was hit by artillery shells.
Nine patients were killed and fifteen sustained injuries as many of the remaining patients had to seek shelter elsewhere, according to initial details.
The attack comes after the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) had visited the hospital in the morning, and as UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband and French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner were in Colombo meeting with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse.
Both the ministers had urged an immediate ceasefire earlier in the day.
Gunboats, with deck mounted machine guns, were also firing along the shore, initial reports further said.
Meanwhile, civil officials reported that more than 150 dead bodies of civilians, killed in close-range gunfire by the SLA, were recovered from Mu’l’li-vaaykkaal north in the morning.
The Sri Lanka Army is expected to embark upon the worst phase of massacre any time soon in the narrow stretch of land, 5km long and 1.5km wide, remaining in the so-called safety zone, which is congested with nearly 120,000 civilians, sources in Vanni said.
SLA attacks normally begin in the early hours.
Heavy 100mm cannon fire and machine gun fire from naval craft of the Sri Lanka Navy already began around 4:00pm on Wednesday.
A total of 300 are feared killed in the latest use of heavy weapons.
Meanwhile, reports from Colombo indicate that the ‘ministerial diplomacy’ of UK and France failed to bring in a ceasefire or in sending international observers to the war front.
The latest phase of Colombo’s spree of carnage escalated after discussions with two Indian bureaucrats last Friday.
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse on Wednesday claimed only 15,000 to 20,000 civilians remain in the strip of the so-called safety zone.
Earlier, Rajapakse and his war allies in India were insisting on a total figure of only 70,000 in the safety zone.
However on Wednesday, Rajapakse put the number of captured civilians alone at 180,000.
Meanwhile, hundreds of men, women and children displaced from Champoor East and West, Kooniththeevu and Kadatkaraicheanai Village Officer divisions in Trincomalee district, gathered in the Batticaloa Koaddaimunai Methodist Church on Wednesday to mark the third year of their forced displacement due to Sri Lanka Army (SLA) offensives in 2206, to pray and fast from morning till evening in an effort to draw the authorities’ attention to their plea to be resettled in their original villages, Moothoor East Internally Displaced Peoples’ Welfare Association, which organised the event said.
The villages mentioned above have been declared a High Security Zone (HSZ) by the SLA.
Around 1,750 families from the above village divisions are languishing in temporary welfare centres in Batticaloa and Trincomalee districts.
The internally displaced persons (IDPs) said that though they had made representations to the government officials and ministers nothing had happened.
The IDPs have refused to be resettled in the area chosen by the government as it is unsuitable, and continue to demand to be resettled in their original villages, the organisers of the event said.
The IDPs have requested the area of the HSZ be reduced so that at least Kadatkaraicheanai village officer division could be made available for resettlement.