NPC members seek UN led judicial process

Northern Provincial Council members M K Shivajilingam and Ananthy Sasitharan have urged the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to ensure a judicial process on the war in Sri Lanka, under the control of the UN.

In a letter to the UNHRC member countries, Shivajilingam and Sasitharan noted that the judicial process must have the jurisdiction to handle all international crimes, including Genocide.

They urged the Council to include their request in the resolution on Sri Lanka expected to be submitted to the Council during the ongoing 30th session of the UNHRC in Geneva.

In the letter the two Tamil National Alliance members said that in consultation with the victims, the UN must be in charge of selecting the judges, prosecutors, and other officials for the judicial process. The UN also must ensure protection of the witnesses.

sivajilingam“The Tamil people in Sri Lanka have suffered tremendously for the last 67 years ever since the island got its independence in 1948, and today more than ever, counting on the UN and the International Community to give them justice and assure their protection. The Tamil people have been subjected to Genocide and massacres, their churches and temples have been destroyed, their lands have been taken away, their rights have been denied, and they have been oppressed and occupied. The injustice against the Tamils continues even today, at this very moment,” they said.

The NPC members noted that the Northern Provincial Council unanimously passed the “Sri Lanka’s Genocide Against Tamils” resolution in February 2015, providing historic proof for the Genocide of Tamils, and urging the UN to properly investigate the crime.

Similarly, two weeks ago on September 01, 2015, another resolution was passed by the Northern Provincial Council, citing reasons why a domestic process would be a travesty of justice. The resolution specifically called against any judicial mechanism instituted by the Government of Sri Lanka, and called on the International Community to set up an international criminal tribunal on Sri Lanka.

“The Tamil people request the UN to recommend the referral to the International Criminal Court or to an international special criminal tribunal for Sri Lanka. The UN must require Sri Lanka to provide data on at least the 12,000 missing persons, and at least the 6000 within those several thousand LTTE members and their family including children, that surrendered to the Sri Lankan military, and unaccounted for so far. The UN must require Sri Lanka to become signatory and ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court to act as deterrence and ensure legal avenues against any recurrence.
The UN must offer technical assistance and require Sri Lanka to accept a UN mediated political solution towards finding a permanent political solution that can address the root cause of the war and prevent recurrence. The UN must require Sri Lanka for a time-bound withdrawal of military from the North-East region, and return all private lands to the rightful owners. The UN must require Sri Lanka to free all those Tamil political prisoners that are in prisons,” the letter said.

Shivajilingam and Sasitharan also said that there must be a follow up during the March 2016 UNHRC Session to evaluate the progress of the process related to Sri Lanka. (Colombo Gazette)