Indian MP Dr Anbumani Ramadoss speech at UNHRC today

UN Human Rights Council – General Debate on the report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on Sri Lanka

Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss MP

Thank You Mr.President

This is Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss, Member of Parliament and former Health Minister, Government of India welcoming the OISL report on behalf of Pasumai Thaayagam.

I speak on behalf of the seventy-seven million people of Tamil Nadu in India, who are concerned about the welfare, rights and dignity of the Tamil community in Sri Lanka.

We thank the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights for their strong and comprehensive report on the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during and after the war in Sri Lanka. As High Commissioner stated in his report, that for “accountability to be achieved in Sri Lanka, more than a domestic mechanism is needed”.

The report adequately deals with serious charges or War Crimes and Crimes against humanity and comprises of dedicated sections on

· Unlawful killings

· Violations related to the deprivation of liberty

· Enforced disappearance

· Torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment

· Sexual and gender-based violence

· Abduction of adults and forced recruitment

· Recruitment and use of children in hostilities

· The impact of hostilities on civilians and civilian objects

· Controls on movement

· Denial of humanitarian assistance

· Screening and deprivation of liberty of internally displaced persons in closed camps.

Sri Lanka has categorically stated that only a domestic mechanism would be allowed. This is a challenge thrown at the OISL report needing a proper response, keeping in mind the inadequate joint resolution tabled is not fulfilling the aspirations of the victims.

Sri Lanka stands accused and it has no moral authority to judge its own crimes. As stated in the report, we note that even the new government did not allow the OISL team to visit Sri Lanka.

Tamils still languish as Internally Displaced Persons. Army camps are located in Tamil villages. Land grabbed from the Tamils are yet to be returned. Rape and torture continue, and Tamil people still live in fear. The High Security Zones remain.

We also bring to your attention the resolution passed by the Tamil Nadu State Assembly in India on September 16, 2015, that called on India to move a ‘strong resolution’ at the UNHRC seeking an international probe against Sri Lankan government’s human rights violations and war crimes.

The silence of the Government of India to the pleas of the people of Tamil Nadu, for demanding an International Inquiry, is highly disappointing.

Pasumai Thaayagam urges UNHRC to set up offices in the North and East of Sri Lanka to give adequate witness protection.

We call upon the international community to establish an international judicial process and an accountability mechanism, to ensure credible justice is done in Sri Lanka.

Thank You Mr. President

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