Leading Tamil Diaspora Organizations Welcome UN Human Rights Commissioner’s Report on Sri Lanka and Call for International Action

Geneva March 2, 2018:

The United States Tamil Political Action Council (USTPAC), the British Tamils Forum (BTF) and the Australian Tamil Congress (ATC) welcome the report by High Commissioner Zeid to the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) as the current Council session commenced on the progress made by Sri Lanka in implementing the HRC resolutions it co-sponsored. The report notes that progress is ‘virtually stalled,’ so we call on member states to assure that Sri Lanka presents a time-bound plan for moving forward on its commitments and that Sri Lanka stays on the Council’s agenda until those commitments have been met.

USTPAC, ATC and BTF fervently endorse the High Commissioner’s call to the Member States to “explore other avenues, including the application of universal jurisdiction that could foster accountability.”

After two and a half years since Sri Lanka committed to implement Transitional Justice measures called for by Resolution HRC-30/1, and nearly nine years since the end of war, the Tamil areas of NorthEast Sri Lanka remain heavily militarized. Disturbingly, there are ongoing violations of arbitrary arrests, surveillance, and torture of Tamils continuing to take place. Yearlong protests by relatives of the missing Tamils have been ignored causing despondency and distrust. Attacks by Sinhala Buddhist mobs against other communities .>>

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 Working with many organizations at UNHRC, and helped pass resolution calling for justice, equity, accountability and reconciliation and assuring Sri Lanka stays on international agenda.

 54 co-sponsors on US House Resolution 177 – calling for an independent international investigation of war crimes and crimes against humanity & a new US policy.

Senate Resolution 84 – passed unanimously calling for international investigation.

5 or more One Minute Speeches on Tamil issues in Congress 2010, 2011, 2012.