Speech by Dr. ANBUMANI RAMADOSS MP at the 34th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council – March 22, 2017, Geneva
Item 2 – Interactive Dialogue with High Commissioner’s report on Sri Lanka
I’m Dr.Anbumani Ramadoss, Member of Parliament and former Indian Health Minister. I come here on behalf of 78 million Tamil people in India.
The Tamils in Sri Lanka has been subjected to constant racial abuses, ethnic cleansing and structural genocide since its independence, which culminated in the killings of more than 1,00,000 Tamils in 2009 by the Sri Lankan Government forces. Even after 8 years Justice has not yet reached the victims.
The report of the High Commissioner on Sri Lanka assesses the progress the Government of Sri Lanka has made on transitional justice as ‘worryingly slow,’ describing actions taken so far as ‘inadequate to assure real progress.’ It is vital, therefore, that the Human Rights Council continue its oversight of the accountability process in Sri Lanka with renewed vigor.
The High Commissioner’s report reiterates the need for international involvement in a special hybrid court for crimes committed during and after the war. A weak and ethnicized judicial system refuses to punish military personnel when the victims are Tamils. Just last week, we learned that ten Sri Lankan soldiers accused of the 1997 murder of two Tamil youths in Siruppiddy are to be acquitted on the instructions of the Attorney-General.
The structural genocide of Tamil Eelam continues as Sinhalisation, land grab and military presence in the Tamil region remains. The democratically elected Tamil Nadu assembly in India representing 78 million Tamil people, had unanimously passed three resolutions demanding a Judicial tribunal on war crimes and genocide and conducting a referendum.
Sri Lanka has got the audacity to not only kill its own citizens but also the neighbouring Indian citizens as well. Just a fortnight ago the Sri Lankan navy brutally shot and murdered an Indian Fisherman from Tamil Nadu called Bridjo. It is highly condemnable that Sri Lankan Navy has murdered more than 600 Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu in the last 35 years and still continue to do so.
The President and Prime Minister of Sri Lanka have repeatedly stated that no international involvement will be allowed, contrary to commitments made in resolution 30/1. As the next step of non-compliance, Pasumai Thaayagam strongly recommends that the UNHRC must immediately refer Sri Lanka to the General Assembly and the International Criminal Court (ICC).
It is high time the UNHRC and the International Community respects the right of the Tamils to exercise the right to self determination and find a lasting solution through a referendum.
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