On this New Year’s Day 2017, the undersigned Tamil diaspora organizations appeal to the International Community, particularly the western and regional powers with influence and involvement in Sri Lanka, to ensure justice and lasting peace in Sri Lanka following up on the consensus UN Human Rights Council Resolution 30/1.
The genocidal war against the Tamils was brought to a violent end in May 2009. Successive UNHRC resolutions, the Secretary General’s Panel of Experts report, and the OISL investigation culminated in the adoption of the consensus Resolution on October 1, 2015.
This Resolution called for the establishment of a credible accountability mechanism with strong international participation to investigate the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during and after the war that ended in 2009. The Resolution also called for demilitarisation of the North-East, a truth commission, action on tracing the missing persons, reparations to the victims and a political solution to the ethnic conflict that guarantees non-recurrence.
We would like to bring to the attention of the international community that in the 15 months since the resolution, even basic pledges have been broken by the government – the commitment to release all political prisoners, return of occupied land that belongs to the Tamil people and repeal of the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) are all promises which have not been fulfilled. Meanwhile, the present Sri Lankan regime continues to act like the international component of any accountability mechanism is a negative aspect which needs to be avoided and overcome. Senior leaders have made pronouncements reneging on international commitments.
Alienation of Tamils in their homeland, without any marked changes in their living conditions will lead to further political turmoil and conflict. Only an urgent, decisive and concerted action by the international community can secure a solution to prevent the unresolved national conflict manifesting into yet another conflagration in Sri Lanka.
We the undersigned organisations call upon the international and regional governments to get involved in the new constitutional process, thereby ensuring that the transitional justice mechanisms promised through the HRC 30 Resolution are fully implemented and the new constitution delivers a just and sustainable political solution to the ethnic conflict.
- British Tamil Conservatives
- British Tamils Forum [BTF]
- Solidarity Group for Peace and Justice in Sri Lanka
- Swedish Tamils Forum
- Tamils for Labour
- Tamil Friends of Liberal Democrats
- Tamil Information Centre
- Together Against Genocide [TAG]
BTF Media Coordinator
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