Ilankai Tamil Sangam

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Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

Oral Presentation at the 20th Session of the UNHRC

by Karen Parker, Esq., IED, Geneva, June 27, 2012

While we urge the mandate holders to fulfill the Council’s request, the mandate holders should not be limited to only reviewing the situation from the perspective of the LLRC—mandate holders should review the situation from the perspective of all international human rights and humanitarian law.

UNITED NATIONS

Human Rights Council

20th session

Item 3 (General)

Our organizations are pleased that the Council, in its resolution at the 19th session, indicated that the Council’s mandate holders should monitor the implementation of the recommendations contained in the government of Sri Lanka’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission report. At the present time, there are not only failures to implement the recommendations but there are renewed serious violations of the rights of the Tamil population.  We point out that a High Court in the UK recently annulled a deportation order for 40 Tamil asylum seekers due to arrest, summary execution and torture of Tamils who had been involuntarily repatriated. Tamils seeking to secure their lands and properties from confiscation have been assassinated. We also point out violations including of freedom of expression and freedom of assembly. While we urge the mandate holders to fulfill the Council’s request, the mandate holders should not be limited to only reviewing the situation from the perspective of the LLRC—mandate holders should review the situation from the perspective of all international human rights and humanitarian law.

IED submitted a written statement (NGO/40) on the situation of migrants in and from Libya. We understand that Special Rapporteur Crepeau was able to look into this on his recent visit to Tunisia, and look forward to his recommendations in this regard following his current visits to Turkey and Italy.

Our organizations have for many years focused on the right to self-determination. We are dismayed that in spite of Security Council resolutions regarding the plebiscite to be held in Kashmir, the referendum to be held in Western Sahara, and the clear implications of actions in the UN regarding the status of Tibet. Not only are these situations not resolved, but the subject of self-determination has almost disappeared. We urge the Council to have the right to self-determination as a separate agenda item due to its jus cogens status.