Four Major Tamil Diaspora Groups Welcome OHCHR Report on Sri Lanka

Geneva March 11, 2019:
The Australian Tamil Congress (ATC), the British Tamils Forum (BTF), the Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC) and the US Tamil Political Action Council (USTPAC) today welcomed the UN Office of the High Commissioner’s report to ongoing 40th session of the UN Human Rights Council on progress made in implementing the transitional justice program Sri Lanka committed to in 2015’s Resolution 30/1, reaffirming that commitment in 2017’s 34/1, following atrocity crimes committed during and after the war that ended in 2009.

The OHCHR under the leadership of different High Commissioners has been instrumental in ensuring that human rights and accountability in Sri Lanka remain under the international spotlight. Mr. V. Ravi Kumar, General Secretary of the British Tamils Forum noted, “We are pleased with the forthright and thorough assessment done by High Commissioner Bachelet in her report and endorse her calls “for the Government to demonstrate sustained commitment and leadership to move that agenda forward”, and “for the Council to continue to monitor and engage on developments in the country.

“The report, in many aspects, is spot-on,” said Mr. M. Manokaran, Chairman of the Australian Tamil Congress (ATC). “While acknowledging some positives such as engagement with UN systems and incipient institution-building, the report rightly points out that these actions ‘have yet to produce concrete benefits for individual right holders,’ and ‘such slow progress in establishing meaningful transitional justice measures has engendered mistrust among victims and other stakeholders.’ As for the non-existent progress in criminal accountability, we fully concur with the report’s assessment that ‘virtually no progress has been >>

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Achievements

 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.