Amnesty seems silent on the victims of terrorism

I would like to respond to the letter from Patrick Corrigan, Northern Ireland director of Amnesty International, and his statement on the Sri Lanka government.

Sunday, 22nd July 2018, 8:09 pm
Updated Sunday, 22nd July 2018, 9:14 pm
Investigators check on damage caused by an explosion when Tamil Tiger rebels detonated a truck loaded with explosives inside the car park of a tourist hotel in Colombo October 15 1997. Some 15 people were killed

The strapline on the Amnesty website is, “We are ordinary people from across the world standing up for humanity and human rights.”

I have to question Mr Corrigan on his assertion that Amnesty stands up for human rights for all or is it just for those whose plight is consistent with the organisation’s ethos (which many view as being anti-state)

Mr Corrigan’s accusation is that the Sri Lankan government committed human rights violations against the Tamil minority, especially near the end of the civil war in that country.

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He fails to mention the involvement of the LTTE (Tamil Tigers) in the 26 year civil war in Sri Lanka, and their many atrocities committed by them against the Sinhalese majority, and the legitimate government on the island.

Indeed, it was the LTTE who fashioned the tactic of the suicide bomber now used by many other terror organisations around the world.

A particular example of the level of atrocity committed by the Tamil Tigers was on 11 June 1990, when they massacred 600 Sri Lankan police officers in the Eastern Province after they had surrendered on promises of safe-conduct.

Prof Kieran McEvoy of the Transitional Justice Institute in the book, Human Rights, Equality and Democratic Renewal in Northern Ireland, p226, states that Amnesty’s condemnation of murders “has oscillated somewhat between vague formulations which obscure the distinctions between civilian and military targets”.

Likewise, we have heard many times from Mr Corrigan and Amnesty NI about the alleged human rights abuses by the British government.

Where has Amnesty’s concern been concerning collusion/collaborative action between the Republic of Ireland government and the Provisional IRA?

There has been a deafening silence around Amnesty’s response to the terrorist organisations that were responsible for 90% of deaths connected with the Northern Ireland Troubles.

Do the the innocent victims of those terror organisations not warrant your support Mr Corrigan and that of the organisation to which you are employed?

Ken Funston, Advocacy Services Manager, South East Fermanagh Foundation (SEFF), Lisnaskea, Fermanagh