Sri Lanka Helped Pakistan's Killing of Bangladesh Civilians During the War of Independence says TGTE

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The Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) today reminded the people of Bangladesh about the role Sri Lanka played in the massacre of Bangladesh civilians during the war of independence in 1971. During the war Sri Lanka refueled Pakistani Aircraft and offered other assistance to ferry Pakistani troops to fight in Bangladesh. "Since Pakistan could not fly over India, they needed an alternate route to send their troops and Sri Lanka officered that help" said TGTE spokesman. Only Tamils protested this assistance. Sri Lankan President is currently visiting Bangladesh on a State visit.

The Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) today reminded the people of Bangladesh about the role Sri Lanka played in the massacre of Bangladesh's civilians during the war of independence in 1971.

"Pakistan's attempt to put down the independence movement in East Bengal was determined and merciless," said a spokesman for TGTE. "We think that no one would remember this better than the Bengalis."

The spokesman then cited a report by Gendercide Watch, a human-rights group that pays special attention to gender-specific atrocities, which reported that "In an attempt to crush forces seeking independence for East Pakistan, the West Pakistani military regime unleashed a systematic campaign of mass murder which aimed at killing millions of Bengalis, and likely succeeded in doing so."

"Remember that Sri Lanka was more than willing to help Pakistan," the spokesman continued. "Of course, Pakistan's planes could not fly over India, so Sri Lanka helped Pakistan by refueling Pakistani Aircraft in Colombo."

"Sri Lanka also offered Pakistan other facilities to transport Pakistani troops to Bangladesh to join the fight," added a spokesman for TGTE. "These Pakistani troops were involved in the slaughter and rape of Bangladesh's civilians."

"At that time, only Tamils objected and protested this assistance," said the spokesman for TGTE.

"Tamils held demonstrations in the Tamil province of Jaffna against this help. The demonstrators were beaten by the Sri Lankan police and security forces," added the TGTE spokesman.

"It is an irony that the President of Sri Lanka is currently visiting Bangladesh on a State visit," said the TGTE spokesman. "The Sri Lankan government was recently accused by the United Nations of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity against in the final months of the Sri Lankan civil war," which ended in 2009.

According to a UN report, Tens of thousands of Tamils were killed during the final months of the war. The UN report also highlights rape, summary execution, enforced disappearances, widespread shelling, and denial of food and medicine. The UN report recommendede an International Commission of inquiry into these killings.

"If People of Bangladesh cannot understand our pain and suffering no one can," said Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran, Prime Minister of TGTE. He appealed to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed to actively support the creation of the International Commission of Inquiry and to urge UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to refer these Sri Lankan matters to the International Criminal Court prosecutor.

According to the TGTE, around 80,000 Tamil civilians were massacred in the final stages of the war that ended in May 2009. Hospitals were repeatedly bombed and food was prevented from reaching trapped Tamil civilians, resulting in several deaths due to starvation. The International Red Cross (ICRC) reposted that it was prevented from treating injured civilians, resulting in numerous people having bled to death. When Tamil civilians fled, they were kept in concentration camps.

"TGTE hopes that this report is the first step in holding Sri Lanka's political and military leaders to account," said the TGTE spokesman. "We expect that these men will eventually face war crimes, crimes against humanity, and Genocide charges.

"It is the earnest hope of the TGTE that this report will also initiate a dialogue for remedial measures," the TGTE spokesman went on. "We believe that the Tamil nation and the Sinhala nation can coexist as good neighbors, but that requiring them keeping them to remain in a single state is analogous to keeping them in a forced marriage. We favor a two-state solution."

The Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam was formed when overseas Tamils in twelve countries acted to elect Members of Parliament. This parliament then drafted and adopted a Constitution, elected a Prime Minister, Speaker and a ten-member Cabinet. For further information

contact: Jey Jeyalingam: Phone: 1 646 363 6418

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