USTPAC along with other diaspora organizations Endorse Human Rights Council’s Call for Clear Timeline for Action on Sri Lanka’s Transitional Justice Commitments

Geneva March 26, 2018:
As the 37th session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) ends in Geneva, the US Tamil Political Action Council (USTPAC), British Tamils Forum (BTF), and Australian Tamil Congress (ATC) would like to thank Deputy High Commissioner Kate Gilmore for emphasizing the importance of return of land for trust in the government’s good faith, the need for an end to impunity, the worrying attacks on ethnic communities, continued reports of torture of Tamils and surveillance, harassment of human rights defenders and the fact that the Office of Missing Persons is still not actually in operation in her presentation of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights’ (OHCHR) written report (A/HRC/37/23) on progress on implementation of HRC Resolution 30/1.
We fully concur with the Commissioner’s assessment that, “it seems doubtful that the transitional justice agenda committed to by the Government under this Council’s resolution 30/1 could be fully implemented before our next report in March 2019.” We wholeheartedly support her ‘strong advice’ “that this Council continue to focus its attention on the human rights of the people of Sri Lanka and in particular on the processes in place for accountability and reconciliation.”
We strongly agree with the Commissioner’s concern related to the Government of Sri Lanka’s lack of progress on its own commitments on accountability. She said, “[T]he Authorities have yet to demonstrate the willingness or the capacity to address impunity for gross violations of international human rights and international humanitarian law…This strengthens the argument for the establishment of a specialized court to deal with serious crimes, supported by international practitioners.”>>

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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.