NE Civil Society Letter to HCHR

by North East civil society, January 30, 2019


Your Excellency,
Re: Your Report to the UNHRC in March 2019 on Sri Lanka
We the undersigned civil society groups, in particular from the North and East of Sri Lanka,
members of war victims’ associations, other likeminded organisations and individuals
concerned about the current state of affairs in Sri Lanka and lack of progress on peace and
justice, bring to your kind attention the following issues to be taken up in your report to the
forthcoming UN Human Rights Council session in March 2019…

Our expectations:
Under the above-mentioned circumstances, we recommend that Your Excellency considers
the following programmatic interventions as relevant for consideration by the HRC session
of March 2019:
1. That in your report to the Council in March 2019, report that Sri Lanka has shown
and is incapable of developing political will for accountability and justice for all
the reasons placed above, and thus recommend to the UN Secretary General to
place the matter before an appropriate forum of the UN for suitable alternative
2. Mandate the Committee on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances to
investigate enforced disappearances in Sri Lanka and if found that Sri Lanka has
refused to deal with the impunity on the subject, bring the matter to the
attention of the General Assembly through the Secretary General.
3. At the very minimum, recommend to the UNHRC that a new resolution be moved
on Sri Lanka, that calls for the fulfilment of all the obligations committed to in
Resolution 30/1, condemning the ones not fulfilled and also calling to remedy
the lapses and structural deformities in the Office of the Missing Persons and the
Office of Reparations by taking into consideration the recommendations of the
Government’s Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms. The
resolution must be timebound for fulfilling the key and important obligations. In
order to assist in it’s implementation and monitor and report on progress to the
a. Appoint a Special Rapporteur on Sri Lanka to report to the Council and
the General Assembly on the developments in relation to the above.
b. Mandate your office to assist in the implementation, monitor and report
regularly to the UNHRC on progress, through the establishment of a field
office of the OHCHR in Sri Lanka with branches in the North and East.
We, the undersigned trust that Your Excellency will take into due consideration our
suggestions and submit a report to the UNHRC that takes seriously our yearning for justice
and peace.

Adayaalam Centre for Policy Research (ACPR) (Jaffna)
Centre for Human Rights and Development (CHRD)
Centre for Justice and Change (Trincomalee)
Centre for Society and Religion (CSR), Maradana
Centre for Society and Religion, Maradana
Ceylon Teachers Union
Child Development Initiative (CDI) (Vavuniya)
Inayam – Batticaloa Consortium of NGOs (Federation of 39 Organizations)
International Centre for Ethnic Studies (ICES)
Justice and Peace Commission, Diocese of Jaffna
Maatram Foundation (Vavuniya)
Mannar Citizens Committee
Mannar Women’s Development Federation
Northern Muslims’ Forum (NMF)
People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (Washington DC, USA)
Tamil Civil Society Forum (TCSF) (Network of more than 100 Tamil civil society activists)
University Employees Union, University of Jaffna
University Students Union, University of Jaffna
University Teachers Union, University of Jaffna
Vallamai (Journey for Social Change) – Jaffna
Women’s Action Network
Rt. Rev. C. Noel Emmanuel, Bishop of Trincomalee Diocese, Sri Lanka
Rt. Rev. Joseph Ponnaiah, Bishop of Batticaloa Diocese, Sri Lanka
Siva Sri R. Baskaran Kurukkal

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