Global Tamil Forum (GTF) spokesman Suren Surendiran told The Island yesterday that the draft resolution tabled at the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council fell short of their expectations.
UK based Surendiran expressed confidence that the proposed resolution could pave the way for what he called a credible accountability process.
Sri Lanka has accepted the resolution, thus ensuring unanimous approval for a series of recommendations, including a Sri Lankan judicial mechanism that accommodated Commonwealth and other foreign judges, defence lawyers and authorized prosecutors and investigators.
Surendiran has sent us the following statement: “The Global Tamil Forum (GTF) cautiously welcomes the draft resolution on Sri Lanka tabled at the UN Human Rights Council on 24th September, which Sri Lanka is widely expected to co-sponsor.
The text is a product of a consensus endorsement including Government of Sri Lanka, and reflects the sometimes competing interests of a wide range of stakeholders. The GTF has consistently called for an international accountability mechanism, and though the tabled resolution falls short, still we view that the proposed resolution can lead to a credible accountability process with substantial international involvement. GTF has always called the investigations to be against the allegations on both sides of the conflict.
While welcoming the government’s commitments, we note that implementing the resolution and the recommendations of the OISL report of the High Commissioner will be the real test of progress, and not merely words. Victims of Sri Lanka’s brutality have heard far too many words, and now deserve credible actions. The draft resolution gives the Government of Sri Lanka the opportunity to achieve that goal.
The GTF has engaged with a wide range of stakeholders on many issues of concern to the Tamil people in Sri Lanka, including governments all over the world, and more recently, even the new Government of Sri Lanka. We believe our continuous efforts have contributed to the outcomes of this week. In this regard, we wish to place on record our very sincere gratitude to Her Majesty’s Government of the United Kingdom, the Government of the United States of America, other European countries who worked hard for this outcome, all co-sponsors of the resolution and close friends within and outside Sri Lanka who helped drive the progress on accountability. We stand in solidarity with all those who fight for justice in Sri Lanka and outside, and hope that this week’s result will be a step in the right direction.
Victims of heinous crimes alleged to have been committed by both sides have waited for over six years for this process to reveal the truth and justice to be served. They sincerely hope that all stakeholders of this process including the international community will not let them down.
We would like to reaffirm GTF’s strong commitment to ensure that this process will lead to true accountability and closure to all victims.”