Fr. Emmanuel Statement to UNHRC

Statement by Fr.S.J.Emmanuel on the 30th Sept.2015 at the UNHRC

We give a cautious but hopeful welcome to this Resolution. We thank the High Commissioner and his team for the Report – a historic document in promoting Truth, Justice and Accountability for all the peoples of Sri Lanka.

How far the mechanism proposed in this draft resolution will prove to be credible and serve truth, justice and accountability, will depend largely on the sincere and genuine cooperation of the Sri Lankan Government.

The victims of war understandably have no confidence in leaving the implementation of the High Commissioner’s Report to the Government of Sri Lanka and its own local mechanism. The silver line of hope for us all is the international component of this proposed mechanism and the sincere and genuine cooperation of the new government as promised by its Foreign Minister here in this aula.

Tamils have been admittedly let down, more than once, by the United Nations and its agencies in not stopping the massacre of so many civilians during the war. Here is a chance for this Council to act as guardian and guarantor for the future conduct and cooperation of one of the members of the United Nations.

The new government has shown some signs of good will but not yet shown the needed courage and strength to rectify all the injustices still suffered by the victims of the war. A clear example is that even under this new government, instead of demilitarization of Tamil areas there is further escalation of military presence.

We strongly exhort the government to translate their own promises into quick actions. We wish much sincerity, good will and courage to all leaders of this august Assembly in Geneva to continue its active vigilance on Sri Lanka as well as to the political, religious and civic leaders of all the peoples of Sri Lanka to grasp this great opportunity and move meaningfully to reconciliation and peace.

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