Joint Statement of Tamil Political Parties, Civil Society & Trade Unions

29  September  2015
We   release   this   statement   in   response   to   the   draft   resolution   titled   ‘Promoting  Reconciliation,  Accountability  and  Human  Rights  in  Sri  Lanka’  tabled  under  Item  2  and  scheduled  for  debate  and  adoption  on  the  30th  of  September  2015.
We   reiterate   the   firm   conviction   of   the   victims   of   the  ethnic   conflict in   Sri  Lanka,   a   majority   of   whom   are   Tamils,   that   accountability   and   justice   can  only  be  truly  delivered  through  an  international  criminal  justice  process.
We   however   in   deference   to   the   Report   of   the   Office   of   the   UN   High  Commissioner   for   Human   Rights’   Inquiry   on   Sri   Lanka   (the   OISL   report)  were   willing   to   consider the   possibility   of   achieving   justice   and  accountability   through   a   credible   hybrid   mechanism   in   the   event   of   the  mechanism  being  led  and  managed  by  its  international  component  under  the aegis  of  the  UN.
We  regret  that  Operative  Paragraphs  4  and  6  of  the  draft  resolution  do  not  adequately  provide  for  the  setting  up  of  such  a  credible  hybrid  mechanism.
The  paragraphs  when  read  together  only  seek  to  provide  the  appearance  of  credibility  to  a  domestic  process  through  the  appointment  of  ‘commonwealth  and   other  foreign   judges,   defence   lawyers,   and   authorized   prosecutors   and  investigators’.
The   Sri   Lankan   Government   appointing   foreign   judges   to   its  own   judicial   mechanism   will   not   address   the   structural   factors   that   inhibit
the   domestic   structures   in   Sri   Lanka,   reasons   for   which   are   detailed   in   the  OISL  report.  A  mechanism,  which  is  by  and  large  managed  and  controlled  by  the   Sri   Lankan   state,   will   not   in   our   opinion   be   deemed   credible   by   the  victims  in  Sri  Lanka.
We   also   deeply   regret   that   references   to   demilitarization   of   the   North­‐East  and  an  increased  role  for the  OHCHR  which  were  included
in  the  initial  draft  of  the  resolution  have  been  removed  from  the  current  draft  tabled  before  the  UNHRC.  The  current  draft  resolution  in  Operative  Paragraph  3  provides  for  a ‘national’  victims  consultation  process  thereby  in  effect  excluding  numerous  Tamil   victims   who   live   outside   of   Sri   Lanka   in   fear   of   persecution.
The  testimonies of  these  victims  from  the  diaspora  were  key  to  the  OISL  inquiry.
We  note   with   deep   regret that   in   the   interest   of   arriving   at   a   consensus  resolution  with  Sri  Lanka  that  many  key  components of  the  initial  draft  have  been  omitted.
We  urge  you  to  reconsider  the  current  draft  of  the  resolution  and  to  redraft  it  so   that   it   truly   serves   the   purpose   of   providing   the   basis   for   delivering  accountability  and  justice  in  Sri  Lanka.
Political  Parties
1. Eelam  People’s  Revolutionary  Liberation  Front  (EPRLF)
2. Democratic  People’s  Liberation  Front  (PLOTE)
3. Tamil  Eelam  Liberation  Organisation  (TELO)
4. Tamil  National  People’s  Front  (TNPF)
Civil  Society  Organisations  &  Trade  Unions
1. Tamil   Action   Committee   for   an   International   Accountability   Mechanism  (TACIAM)
2. Tamil  Civil  Society  Forum  (TCSF)
3. Centre  for  Human  Rights  and  Development  (CHRD)
4. Home  for  Human  Rights  (HHR)
5. The  Social  Architects  (TSA)
6. Ceylon  Teachers  Union
7. Vavuniya  Citizens  Committee
8. Mannar  Citizens  Committee
9. Council  of  Non  Governmental  Organisations,  Jaffna
10. Tamil  Lawyers  Forum
11. North   East   Coordinating   Committee   of   the   Relatives   of   the   Forcibly  Disappeared
12. Jaffna  University  Teachers  Association
13. Jaffna  University  Employees  Union
14. Foundation  of  Changers – Batticaloa
15. East  Civil  society  Activist  Alliance – Batticaloa
16. Commission  for  Justice  and  Peace  of  the  Catholic  Diocese  of  Jaffna
17. Batticaloa  Social  Workers  Network
18. Paduvaankarai  People’s  Alliance
19. Mannar  Economic  and  Social  Development  Organization
20. Hindu  Development  Society  Karaithivu  – Amparai
21. Tamilar  Valvurimai  Maiyam
22. Valikamam  North  Development  Board,  Jaffna.
23. Batticaloa  District  Civil  Society
24. Tamil  Civil  Society  – Trincomalee  (TCST)
25. Chamber  of  Commerce  and  Industries  – Jaffna
26. Ceylon  Tamil  Teachers  Association
27. Jaffna  District  Fishermen’s  Cooperative  Society  Unions  Federation
28. Jaffna  Economists  Association
29. Rural  Labourers  Society  – Jaffna  District
30. Northern  Province  Fisher  People’s  Unity
31. Jaffna  District  Fisheries  Solidarity  Movement
32. Valikamam South  West  Fisheries  Co-operative  Societies  Federation
33. Trincomalee  Tamils  Development  Federation
34. Trincomalee  Women  Headed  Families  Association
35. Batticaloa  Sri  Mamangeswarar  Thrift  Co-operative  Society
36. Batticaloa  District  Pensioners  Association
37. Batticaloa  Municipal  Tax  Payers  Association
38. Batticaloa  Maamangam  Development  Society
39. Batticaloa  SriMamangeswarar  Hindu  association
40. Batticaloa  SriMamangeswarar  Women’s  Association

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