Brian Senewiratne’s ‘Sexual Violence Against Tamils In Sri Lanka’



By Charles Ponnuthurai Sarvan

Prof. Charles Sarvan

I’ve never met the author (hereafter sometimes referred to as BS), a medical doctor long settled in Australia, but have heard of his reputation as a human-rights campaigner fighting against discrimination and injustice, be they based on ‘race’, religion, caste or skin-colour. Among the recognition he has received is the Canadian Genocide Educators Award (2008). On 13 January 1898 Émile Zola published an open letter to the President of France accusing him of ‘racism’ and injustice in the case of Dreyfus, a member of the small Jewish community. Zola’s ringing J’accuse! is now a common generic expression of outrage and accusation against those who use power unjustly and cruelly. Sexual Violence can be seen as a Sri Lankan “I accuse”, and is dedicated to those who “have no voice, no land, no life and no hope”. (Words within quotation marks, unless otherwise stated, are from this book.) The crime of Tamils is to have been born Tamil, writes BS, and now they are treated as the “spoils of war”. Usually, a war ends when one side surrenders but, sometimes, the aggression continues into (so-called) peace time. Genocide is of two kinds, the second being gradual and relentless, less dramatic, unnoticed by outsiders and, finally, more pernicious (BS). For the accusations he levels, Dr Senewiratne relies, among others, on international publications (including the much-respected medical journal, The Lancet) and, as a medical doctor, on his own examination of some of the victims in Australia.

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Courtesy: Colombo Telegraph