In a call for action to stop the humanitarian crisis facing hundreds of thousands of Tamil civilians, a group of young Tamil Australians have initiated the statement below. Published at Fastuntoaction.wordpress.com, they are calling for as many people as possible to add their name.
The statement will be sent to the media and Australian government on June 15. To sign this statement, email your name and details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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We are Australian citizens who share a deep concern about the humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka now affecting more than 300,000 people, according to United Nations estimates.
We call on the Australian government to demand the government of Sri Lanka immediately:
a) Gives the UN, International Committee of the Red Cross, non-governmental organisations and all local and international media unrestricted access to the Tamil civilians trapped in the former war zone and those indefinitely confined in detention camps for internally displaced people;
b) treats all members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), former members, suspected combatants, non-combatant cadres and their families according to international law, including the Geneva Conventions, which have been ratified by Sri Lanka, and allow independent international monitors to be part of the Sri Lankan government's "screening process";
c) releases the more than 300,000 Tamils from government-controlled concentration camps and allow them to return to their homes;
d) releases the three arrested doctors who treated hundreds of severely wounded civilians in understaffed makeshift hospitals in the country's war zones; and
e) releases journalist Mr. J.S. Tissainayagam, detained without charges by the Sri Lankan government since March 7, 2008.
We strongly urge the Australian government to support calls by Nave Pillay, UN high commissioner for human rights, for an international independent investigation into alleged war crimes by the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE.
Furthermore, we recognise the Tamils in Sri Lanka have been subject to ethnic discrimination by successive Sri Lankan governments since Sri Lankan independence in 1948.
We acknowledge that all people, including Tamils, have the right to self-determination and must freely determine their political status and pursue their economic, social and cultural development.