For Immediate Release
by US Tamil Political Action Council, People for Relief & Equity in Lanka, British Tamils Forum, Australian Tamil Congress, Canberra-London-Washington, January 01 2018
Tamil Diaspora Organizations Redouble Efforts to Prosecute War Criminals & Work for Lasting Peace in Sri Lanka
On this New Year’s Day 2018, the undersigned Tamil diaspora organizations resolve to expedite justice and expand relief for the survivors of Sri Lanka’s genocide against Tamils. We appeal to the International Community, particularly the Western and regional powers with influence and involvement in Sri Lanka, to ensure justice and lasting peace in Sri Lanka following up on consensus UN Human Rights Council Resolution 30/1 and the reaffirmation of commitments made therein through HR/34/1 in March 2017.
The resolutions called for the establishment of a credible accountability mechanism with strong international participation to investigate the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during and after the war that ended in 2009. The resolutions also called for demilitarisation of the North and East, a truth commission, action on tracing missing persons, reparations to victims and a political solution to the ethnic conflict that guarantees non-recurrence.
We bring to the attention of the international community that, two years after Resolution 30/1, the Sri Lankan government has failed to implement even a single key mechanism for Transitional Justice. The Prevention of Terrorism Act is still not repealed, the Office of Missing Persons still not operationalized, and the Special Court, truth commission and reparation mechanisms still not initiated. The strong call by High Commissioner Zeid in March 2017, which was echoed by several countries, for Sri Lanka to announce a time-bound action plan for implementation of its commitments remains unfulfilled.
In this New Year, we resolve to use all available diaspora resources to support action against accused war criminals in Sri Lanka through universal jurisdiction.
To this end, we call upon the international community to strongly act, including executing travel bans on the accused and seeking detentions and prosecutions when identified war criminals travel to or through their countries. As the long promised constitutional reform in Sri Lanka drags on, we ask concerned governments and human rights bodies to push for the incorporation of transitional justice provisions in the new constitution. We urge the High Commissioner for Human Rights to issue specific alternative measures to address Sri Lanka’s non-compliance with the Human Rights Council resolutions, including possible referral to the UN Security Council.
US Tamil Political Action Council (USTPAC)
People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL)
British Tamils Forum (BTF)
Australian Tamil Congress (ATC)