Assimilation or Annihilation: The Future of Eelam Tamils & the Struggle for Transitional Justice’
The Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam
(TGTE) will hold its 2nd Annual Conference on Human Rights titled
‘Assimilation or Annihilation: The Future of Eelam Tamils & the
Struggle for Transitional Justice’ on Saturday, April 25, 2015 from 2:
00pm to 6:00 pm at the Centennial College Residence & Conference
Centre, 940 Progress Ave., Toronto Ontario.
Three eminent speakers, Professor Theodore (Ted) S. Orlin J.D.,
Professor David Akerson B.A., J.D. Ph.D. and Professor Dr. Brian
Senewiratne, will make presentations and lead the discussions with full
Prof. Theodore Orlin will speak on: ‘The Tamil Struggle for Justice
and Human Rights: An International Responsibility’, Prof. David Akerson
on, ‘Prosecuting the Perpetrators of War Crimes in Sri Lanka: Lessons
from Rwanda’ and Dr. Brian Senewiratne on, ‘Prosecuting Mass Crimes: Is
it Possible to Seek Remedial Justice’
An Armenian Scholar from the International Institute for Genocide and
Human Rights Studies (A Division of the Zofran Institute) in Toronto
will also be speaking.
The event is open to the public, admission is free and the organisers say parking is free.
Here below are the profiles of the speakers:
Professor Theodore (Ted) S. Orlin, J.D.
Ted is the Harold T. Clark Jr. Professor of Human Rights Scholarship
and Advocacy at Utica College, Utica, New York and is a founder and
Director of the Human Rights Advocacy Program (HRAP). As an
international human rights lawyer he has worked extensively as a
trainer, consultant and advocate in Eastern Europe and Asia including
India, Taiwan and Sri Lanka. He has been a Fulbright Professor at the
(Finnish) Institute for Human Rights in Turku, Finland and has been the
Senior Human Rights Consultant for the Finnish Human Rights Project in
Kosovo (2000-01) and was lead lawyer for the International Human Rights
Law Group mission to Romania (1992).
He has also contributed articles to the Oxford University Press
Encyclopedia on Human Rights (Right of Privacy) and has published a
chapter on minority linguistic rights in Europe (2009). He was elected
President of International Human Rights Education Consortium (at the
Consortium’s International Meeting, Summer 2005, Roehampton UK). The
Secretariat of the IHREC was housed at Utica College until June 2010.
Professor David Akerson B.A., J.D. Ph.D.
David teaches at the University of Denver and is a trial attorney
with a broad international law and human rights portfolio ranging from
human rights work in apartheid South Africa to prosecuting perpetrators
at the Yugoslavia and Rwanda international criminal tribunals. His
expertise lies in the core international crimes of genocide, war crimes
and crimes against humanity; practice and procedure of the international
tribunals; complex international criminal litigation; and international
tribunal and policy.
He joined the University of Denver Law faculty in 2006 and currently
teaches courses in international criminal law, international criminal
procedure, and genocide and war crimes. He also teaches a “Genocide and
War Crimes” Practicum in which University of Denver students collaborate
with international tribunals and prosecution or defense teams to
research, organize and analyze evidence in global genocide cases.
His recent publications include The Illegality of Fully Autonomous
Lethal Drones, in THE LAW OF ARMED CONFLICT AND THE CHANGING TECHNOLOGY
OF WAR (forthcoming) and PROSECUTING MASS CRIMES: A COMPENDIUM OF
LESSONS LEARNED AND SUGGESTED – Available on the International
Association of Prosecutors website.
Dr. Brian Senewiratne, MA (Cantab), MBBChir (Cantab), MBBS (Lond), MD (Lond), FRCP( Lond), FRACP.
An 81-year-old Australian human rights activist he is a Consultant
Physician in Brisbane, Australia. His advocacy for the oppressed peoples
is known globally.
For many decades, Brian Senewiratne has stood up for the Tamil cause
and has given expression to his own anguish at the suffering of the
Tamil people. He has done so, despite death threats, physical attacks on
his medical office in Australia, and vulgar abuse by Sinhala thugs. He
has had the courage to openly stand up for that which he knows to be the
truth and he has been willing to suffer for that which he believes to
An extract from the writings of Sri. B. Sri-Skanda-Rajah PhD Cantab.,
about Dr. Brian Senewiratne here says, “Brian’s steadfast commitment to
defending human rights and promoting social justice is an inborn trait, a
passion that is so visible in his demeanour and speech that it captures
one’s heart the minute you interact with him – that he has fought
relentlessly and tirelessly for people who are marginalized and
persecuted, based on ethnicity, race, religion, language and culture his
whole life, makes one feel inadequate in front of him. Dr. Senewiratne
has been indefatigable in his efforts to defending the rights of all
oppressed communities and the displaced peoples in Sri Lanka as well as
convention refugees seeking asylum in Australia. He belonged to the
ruling majority community in the island of Sri Lanka and is related to
the Bandaranaike family that has produced two Prime Ministers and a
President. Despite his privileged background he chose to break ranks to
wage a courageous and often lonely campaign against the inexorable
atrocities committed against the Tamil community ever since the island
was granted independence from British rule in 1948.”