Shivajilingam calls for an OHCHR office in North and East

Tamil National Alliance, Northern Provincial Counmcil member M K Shivajilingam has called for the establishment of an Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in the North and East.

In a statement to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Shivajilingam said the Tamil people in Sri Lanka have suffered tremendously for the last 70 years, and today more than ever, they are counting on the UN and the international community to give them justice and their political rights, and assure their protection.

He said the Tamil people have long history of disappointment and deception by the successive Governments of Sri Lanka.

“After numerous reports, resolutions, and investigations by the UN, Sri Lanka finally agreed last year, and co-sponsored a Resolution calling for a judicial mechanism that will include foreign judges, prosecutors and investigators. Not too long after its promises, several high-ranking members of its Government, including the President and the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka have clearly, categorically, and publicly retracted from their promises made to the UN, declared that they will not allow foreign judges, prosecutors and investigators, and vowed to “protect” their military,” he said.

Shivajilingam said the Tamil people want all crimes committed against them to be investigated, including the crime of Genocide.

He said there will not be any justice to the Tamils without the involvement of foreign judges, prosecutors and investigators.

Shivajilingam said the UN must firmly and categorically require Sri Lanka to fully implement each section of the Resolution 30/1 without any delay.

“The UN must ensure that the judicial process consists of foreign judges, prosecutors and investigators as stated in the Resolution, and if Sri Lanka continues to delay and deceive, the UN must take further measures,” he said.

He also said the UN/OHCHR should open its offices in the North-East region where the crimes were committed, so that it can facilitate the victims, and provide some protection to the witnesses.(Colombo Gazette)