The Global Tamil Forum (GTF) has called for an operational arrangement to be worked out on the Resolution on Sri Lanka which was passed by the UN Human Rights Council yesterday.
In a statement today the GTF said that there is strong disappointment in the Tamil community that ten years after the end of the war, and three years after Sri Lanka co-sponsored Resolution 30/1, there is very little progress on accountability and transitional justice.
“Therefore, the burning question among the victims and the Tamil community is – what difference is another resolution going to make, considering this is the seventh UNHRC resolution in the decade after the end of the war? It is this dismal performance by the Sri Lankan government and the increasing frustration among the victims that UNHRC will not be able to course-correct Sri Lanka towards an acceptable pace of progress that contribute to calls by many that UNHRC should refer Sri Lanka to the UN Security Council for further action,” GTF said.
GTF noted that while the need for a time-bound implementation strategy as mentioned in the new Resolution is acknowledged, it is disappointing that the Resolution lacks specificities of how it will become operational.
“It is our earnest request that such an operational arrangement be worked out as an urgent priority with the full involvement of the OHCHR,” GTF said.
GTF, an influential lobby group, said that strongly articulated positions are critical to emphasize urgency and commitment to the political leadership of the country and to prevent the victims’ further descent into despair.
“We firmly believe that steady progress and eventual success of the current transitional justice initiatives in Sri Lanka is crucial – not only to maintain and enhance the reputation of the UNHRC as an effective UN organ capable of living up to its creation mandate, but also specifically for Sri Lanka to prevent any seeds of potential conflict germinating in the hopeless and desperate situation most victims find themselves in,” GTF added.
GTF urged member states to take note of the High Commissioner’s recommendation that they “investigate and prosecute, wherever possible, in particular in accordance with universal jurisdiction principles, those allegedly responsible for such violations as torture, enforced disappearance, war crimes or crimes against humanity; and explore other options to advance accountability in the absence of credible domestic processes.”
GTF also urged member states to consider adopting parallel processes on accountability to supplement efforts by the UNHRC to deal with atrocity crimes in Sri Lanka during and after the war that ended ten years ago. (Colombo Gazette)