Doctor, Scholar Urge Four Nations to Drop Food and Medicine into "Safe Zone" in Sri Lanka

Share Article

A Tamil American doctor and an Illinois legal scholar urged India, the U.S., Britain and France--the nations who can--to air drop food and medical supplies to civilians inside the "safe zone" in northern Sri Lanka. The doctor provided a lengthy description of the public health disaster that is currently going on in the ludicrously named "safe zone." The legal scholar explained that the four countries are obliged under the U.N.'s Geneva Conventions and Protocol to intervene to stop "illegal methods of warfare" and to help the victims.

A Tamil American doctor and an Illinois legal scholar urged India, the U.S., Britain and France--the nations who can--to air drop food and medical supplies to civilians inside the "safe zone" in northern Sri Lanka. The doctor provided a lengthy description of the public health disaster that is currently going on in the ludicrously named "safe zone." The legal scholar explained that the four countries are obliged under the U.N.'s Geneva Conventions and Protocol to intervene to stop "illegal methods of warfare" and to help the victims.

The doctor, Sujanthi Rajaram, is a Tamil who was born in Sri Lanka but is now an American citizen. She practices and teaches at a medical college in New Jersey. Dr. Rajaram wrote a report titled "Medical Crisis in Vanni, Sri Lanka" in which she detailed the adverse results of the systematic violence committed by the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) against the encircled civilians in the safe zone, which is then exacerbated by the GoSL's refusal to allow food and medical supplies to reach the safe zone.

In her report Dr. Rajaram described the results of malnutrition; bomb blast, shell and gun shot wounds; psychological trauma; lack of preventive health care, and other factors which affect the Tamils encircled in the safe zone. To read Dr. Rajaram's complete report, go to http://www.tamilsforobama.com/pressrelease/Rajaram_medical_report.html .

Francis Boyle, professor of International Law at the University of Illinois College of Law, explained that "Starvation of civilians as a method of warfare is prohibited" under the U.N.'s Geneva Convention. He wrote that "Starvation of civilians as a method of warfare is a war crime. Every contracting party to the Geneva Conventions and Protocol has the obligation under Common Article 1 thereof 'to respect' the Conventions and Protocol themselves and 'to ensure respect' for the Conventions and Protocol 'in all circumstances' by other contracting parties such as Sri Lanka." He further noted that starvation of the civilian population can be construed as genocide.

Professor Boyle emphasized that this is an obligation incumbent on those nations that have signed the Geneva Convention and are able to act. He writes that "Every state party to the Geneva Conventions and Protocols as well as to the Genocide Convention have the solemn obligation to terminate GOSL's starvation of Tamils as a method of warfare. Under the current 'circumstances' one of the most effective means this can be done is for those states with the capability (e.g., India, United States, Britain, France) to immediately undertake an airdrop of food and other humanitarian relief supplies to the starving Tamils in Vanni."

More of Professor Boyle's opinion can be seen at: http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=29231.

Tamils are an ethnic group living mainly in the northeast of Sri Lanka and southern India. They are a minority population in Sri Lanka, and are currently bearing the brunt of a civil war they regard as genocide. One third of the Tamil population has fled the island and formed a substantial diaspora overseas. Tamils for Obama is comprised of Tamils who have settled in the U.S. or who were born in the U.S.

To contact the group, call at (617) 765- 4394 and speak to, or leave a message for, the Communication Director, Tamils for Obama.
http://www.TamilsForObama.com

###

Share article on socal media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Communication Director