Welcoming the report on Sri Lanka by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the British Tamils Forum (BTF) has urged the UNHRC to ensure that its forthcoming resolution on Sri Lanka 1. Addresses the accountability issues through mandating an International Independent mechanism 2. Comprehensively and swiftly deals with the ongoing oppressive regime, humanitarian issues and human right violations, identified in the report.
The full text of the statement released today by the BTF is as follows:
The report, which calls for investigations on more than 10 counts of criminal acts, represents a clear acknowledgement of crimes committed by the Sri Lankan state against the Tamil people. Amongst the criminal acts identified, “directing attacks against civilian object and / or against civilians not taking direct part in hostilities”, “use of starvation of the civilian population as a method of warfare” and “inhumane and degrading treatment of IDP’s “because of their Tamil ethnicity” are significant pointers to the genocidal intent.
A more significant aspect of the report is its recognition at various points, that crimes committed with impunity against the Tamil people are systemic. The report recognises in no uncertain terms the need for an independent inquiry. It also states that “Sri Lanka’s criminal justice system is not yet ready or equipped to conduct the “independent and credible investigation” into the allegations contained in the OISL report, or “to hold accountable those responsible for such violations”, as requested by the Human Rights Council”
With these findings, the Tamil people reaffirm that no less than an International Independent mechanism with a UN monitored witness protection system will be acceptable or fit for purpose, to conduct a criminal inquiry.
With the acknowledgement that “the military retains an oppressive presence in the war-affected areas of the North and East” the Tamil people expect the international community to expedite actions to urge the new Sri Lankan government to demilitarise and return normalcy to their Homeland, without further delay.
The Tamil people who have been waiting for over 6 years since the end of the war to see an end to oppression expect the UN to ensure that a resolution on Sri Lanka,
1. Addresses the accountability issues through mandating an International Independent mechanism
2. Comprehensively and swiftly deals with the ongoing oppressive regime, humanitarian issues and human right violations, identified in the report.