UN Human Rights Chief Urged to Request the UN Security Council to Ensure Witnesses protection to UN War Crimes Investigation on Sri Lanka: TGTE

TGTE1) UN Urged to warn the Sri Lankan government of the consequences for its tactic of “intimidation and persecution of potential witnesses for UN War Crimes Investigation.”2) Non-cooperation by the Sri Lankan government is one thing; but, persecution of potential witnesses is another.3) Applicable International Criminal Law is Crime of Genocide.4) UN Human Rights Chief Urged to Request the UN Security Council to Ensure Witnesses protection to UN War Crimes Investigation on Sri Lanka.

The Prime Minister of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam Mr. Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran sent a letter congratulating the new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein for his new position. Noting his impressive human rights credentials, the letter stated that the TGTE is confident that Prince Al Hussein will be the �conscience for the world in the coming years.”

The TGTE also congratulated the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) for issuing the Terms of Reference with respect to the investigation into violations on human rights, and other related crimes in the island of Sri Lanka mandated by the Human Rights Council Resolution (A/HRC/RES/25/1).

Commenting on the necessity of contextual analysis when identifying the nature of the crimes perpetrated in the island of Sri Lanka, the TGTE commended the Commission on its willingness to consider evidence outside of its established timeframe of 2002 to November 2011. The letter pointed out that contextual analysis is essential to identify the nature of the crimes.

Highlighting the explicit and covert threats made by Sri Lankan politico-military leaders to potential witnesses, the TGTE emphasized the importance of witness protection in fact finding. It was also asserted in the letter that, “Non-cooperation by the Sri Lankan government is one thing; but, persecution of potential witnesses is another.”

Pointing out the recent robust interactions between the UN Security Council and OHCHR, the TGTE called upon OHCHR to request the UN Security Council to �seize the matter of the protection of witnesses,� and to warn the Sri Lankan government of the consequences for its tactic of �intimidation and persecution of potential witnesses.�

Moreover, it was also noted in the letter that the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL) is also required to apply international criminal law indentified in the Rome Statue to the International Criminal Court comprised of crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression.

In closing, the TGTE thanked OHCHR for its efforts in advancing human rights around the globe.

The TGTE also sent a letter to the outgoing OHCHR Commissioner, Hon. Navaneetham Pillay, praising her work on Libya, North Korea, Sri Lanka and Syria and noting that she was the first High Commissioner to push the UN to recognize and protect gay rights, along with championing the abolition of capital punishment in the UN. In conclusion, it was stated that as she moved on she is certain to continue to be �squarely and unequivocally on the side of victims.”

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