The British Tamils Forum, the Canadian Tamil Congress, and United States Tamil Political Action Council acknowledge the Report by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, which emanates from United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution 19/2. While welcoming High Commissioner Navanethem Pillay’s continuous commitment to human rights in Sri Lanka, the use of the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) as a framework against which to measure progress is a grave mistake.
The LLRC’s fundamental and well-documented flaws preclude its position as the authoritative institution regarding accountability in Sri Lanka.
High Commissioner Navanethem Pillay reaffirmed: “her long-standing call for an independent and credible international investigation into alleged violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, which could also monitor any domestic accountability process.” The strength of the High Commissioner’s recommendations underscores the seriousness of the human rights situation, and adds to the volume of credible reports undertaken by the United Nations, including the Secretary Generals Panel of Experts Report and the UN Internal Review on the failings of the UN in Sri Lanka.
“The evidence is mounting, and the reports are repetitive: Sri Lanka cannot evade international scrutiny by seeking more time and space. The Human Rights Council should therefore implement the recommendations of the High Commissioner, by resolving to establish a Commission of Inquiry at the forthcoming session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva,” stated Dr. Yaso Natkunam, spokesperson for the United States Tamil Political Action Council.
“The High Commissioner’s report contextualizes the failure of the Sri Lankan government to meaningfully address its breaches of international human rights and humanitarian law,” concluded Dr. Natkunam. “This report is a strong step forward, and demands stronger, more progressive action on Sri Lanka. It can, and must be used as an opportunity to bring about a more constructive resolution on Sri Lanka based on the principles of accountability, reconciliation, and human rights.”
The British Tamils Forum, the Canadian Tamil Congress, and United States Tamil Political Action Council are Tamil organizations operating in the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States respectively.