September 24, 2015
TNA Statement on the draft text of the resolution on Sri Lanka:
The Tamil National Alliances welcomes the draft text of a resolution on Sri Lanka tabled by the co-sponsors of the resolution today. In particular, we welcome the draft resolution’s call on Sri Lanka to involve foreign and Commonwealth judges, lawyers, investigators and defenders in a judicial mechanism to be set up in Sri Lanka that would be mandated to try international crimes. This constitutes a significant victory for justice in Sri Lanka. The TNA is committed to help the government and international stakeholders evolve such a court, and will support its work. We also wish to note our appreciation of the government’s assent to this text and its willingness to co-sponsor it in the Human Rights Council. A court established on these lines would represent a dramatic break from the past and could herald the beginning of an end to impunity.
The draft resolution tabled today was the product of a difficult consensus. We are acutely aware that some of the language used in the interests of a consensus will not satisfy all victims of the conflict whom we represent and who have reposed their trust in the TNA. However, we are of the view that the draft provides a constructive starting point for what will inevitably be a long road to reconciliation.
We thank the co-sponsors and all other government and non-government stakeholders who stayed true to their convictions, and recognize that the hard work of implementing the government’s commitments and winning back the trust of victims begins now. The TNA stands ready to support such efforts.
Resolution on Sri Lanka at the 30th Session of the UN Human Rights Council
Secretary of State
Today the United States, Sri Lanka, and our partners tabled a resolution at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva that represents a landmark shared recognition of the critical importance of truth, justice, reparations, and guarantees of non-recurrence in promoting reconciliation and ensuring an enduring peace and prosperity for all Sri Lankans.
The Sri Lankan government’s decision to join as a co-sponsor paves the way for all of us to work together to deliver the commitments reflected in the resolution.
In the past year, the Sri Lankan people have twice voted to put Sri Lanka on the path to peace and turned their country away from a divisive approach that for too long sapped Sri Lanka’s strength. This resolution demonstrates our support for Sri Lanka as it takes courageous steps to strengthen its democracy and restore civil liberties for all Sri Lankans, while also addressing the painful experiences of the past to ensure they never recur.
This resolution marks an important step toward a credible transitional justice process, owned by Sri Lankans and with the support and involvement of the international community. The resolution will help families of the missing find answers about their loved ones. And it lays out a path to provide truth, justice, reparation, and guarantees of non-recurrence that the Sri Lankan people deserve while safeguarding the reputation of those, including within the military, who conducted themselves with honor and professionalism.
As I promised in Colombo earlier this year, the United States will remain steadfast in our commitment to walk with Sri Lanka as it takes these important but challenging steps.