The last crime submitted to the Tribunal deals with the charge of “crimes against the peace”. Allegedly, the Government of Sri Lanka and some “external forces” conspired to commit a “war of aggression”. Crimes against the peace were defined in the Nuremberg Tribunal as: (i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances and/or (ii) participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of such acts.
The problem for this Tribunal regarding this part of the accusation is not only with the evidence provided to the Tribunal to support the charge, but also (and mainly) with the consequences of accepting such a concept as part of humanitarian law.
The idea of a crime against the peace supposes that peace exists and that one side of the conflict breaks this peaceful situation through a war of aggression.
However, in the majority of the armed conflicts that humanity have suffered, the situation can be analysed from a more subtle and complex perspective. The definition of the first offender in an armed conflict is difficult to determine and subjective. The manner in which years of oppression accumulate to a critical level may easily become the first act in a “war of aggression.”
That is the case of the years of war within Sri Lanka. The perspective through which the conflict is analysed defines who may be charged with “crimes against the peace”. That is the reason the Tribunal will not endorse specific charges in regards to such a crime.
Nevertheless, on the basis of the evidence obtained and the testimonies heard, the Tribunal acknowledges the responsibilities of the international community, inasmuch it did not take concrete steps to prevent violations of the human rights of the Tamil people, and subsequently omitted the pursuit of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The Tribunal stresses the responsibility of the Member States of the United Nations that have not complied with their moral obligation to seek justice for the violations of human rights committed during the last period of war. After repeated pleas, and in spite of the appalling conditions experienced by Tamils, the UN Human Rights Council and the UN Security Council failed to establish an independent commission of inquiry to investigate those responsible for the atrocities committed due to political pressure exerted by certain Members.
It also highlights the conduct of the European Union in undermining the CFA of 2002. In spite of being aware of the detrimental consequences to a peace process in the making, the EU decided - under pressure from the United States and the United Kingdom - to list the TRM (Tamil Resistance Movement, which included the LTTE) as a terrorist organization in 2006. This decision allowed the Sri Lankan Government to breach the ceasefire agreement and re-start military operations leading to the massive violations listed above. It also points to the full responsibility of those governments, led by the United States, that are conducting the so-called “Global War on Terror” (GWOT) in providing political endorsement of the conduct of the Sri Lankan Government and armed forces in a war that is primarily targeted against the Tamil people.
The Tribunal also points to the direct responsibility of various countries in providing the Sri Lankan Government with weapons. Some of these weapons are banned by conventions such as the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), and others. In addition, some of those countries also trained Sri Lankan military forces during the ceasefire period.