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Sri Lanka War Crimes: Tamil Leaders and Victims Jointly Urge UN Not to give Extention and Refer to UN General Assembly

COLOMBO, SRI LANKA, March 2, 2017 / --

Joint Appeal to the UN Human Rights Council by Tamil Elected Representatives and Victims

We, the undersigned democratically elected Representatives of the Tamil people and victim groups are writing to the Member States of the UN Human Rights Council with the following requests:


1) We urge you not to give any extension of time to the Sri Lankan Government to fulfill its commitment to the unanimously adopted UN Human Rights Council Resolution 30/1 on accountability beyond its March 2017 deadline. Sri Lanka voluntarily co-sponsored this Resolution and committed to fully implement the requirements of the Resolution by March 2017. Extensions and grace periods have been given already, but no progress has been made on any front,

2) The only way to protect us and give us justice and safety is for the UN Human Rights Council to refer Sri Lanka to the UN General Assembly, along with a recommendation to the UN Security Council that Sri Lanka be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) or that an ad-hoc International Criminal Tribunal be created on Sri Lanka, similar to the procedure followed to assure accountability for North Korea’s Crimes Against Humanity.

Tamil’s safety will be in danger:

We fear that any extension of time will embolden and encourage Sri Lankan Government to commit human rights abuses against Tamils without any fear and Tamils safety will be in danger. Tens of thousands Sri Lankan Security forces who committed mass killings and sexual violence are still stationed in Tamil areas and live among the victims. There are numerous reports of current abuses against Tamils, including a recent report by UN Special Rapporteur on torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment Mr. Juan Mendez.


Creating an international mechanism to prosecute war crimes has been the fervent wish and aspiration of the Tamils ever since the war ended in 2009. The Resolution passed by the UN Human Rights Council in 2015 gave a glimmer of hope that their wishes and aspirations would be fulfilled.

However, we observed with alarm and concern the attempts made by the Government of Sri Lanka and its leaders reneging on their own commitments incorporated in the Resolution which they co-sponsored. It is obvious that there is nothing ambiguous about the Government’s strategies vis-à-vis the Geneva Resolutions. In its attempt to mislead and deceive the international community over and over again, Sri Lanka seeks to further delay the process, thus escaping from accountability for the mass killing and sexual violence of Tamils in 2009 in Mullivaikal, where according to the UN Internal Review report on Sri Lanka around 70 thousand Tamils were killed in six months.

After co-sponsoring the Geneva Resolution and agreeing to the creation of court comprising foreign and local jurists to investigate war crimes, Sri Lankan leaders have been acting contrary to the letter and spirit of the Resolution and their maneuvers are designed to frustrate and defeat the UNHRC process.

As Sri Lanka has accomplished almost none of the commitments it voluntarily made in 2015 to the UN Human Rights Council, any extension of time given to Sri Lanka beyond March 2017 will result in no accountability for war crimes and crimes against humanity it committed against Tamils.

No Political will:

Any number of years of extension will not yield any results, because there is no political will by successive Sri Lankan Governments to hold those committed gross abuses against Tamils accountable.

Volte - Face by Government Leaders:

In an affront to the UN Human Rights Council, the current Sri Lankan Government also made the military chief who commanded the troops during these atrocities, General Sarath Fonseka, a Cabinet member and gave him the highest military honor Field Marshal.

President Sirisena, Prime Minister Wickremasinghe and their Ministers have, individually and in unison rejected main aspects of the Resolution on different occasions, through state-owned media interviews and from public platforms.

Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga one of the powers behind the throne has in her recent press interview, impulsively laid open the government’s plan. She has brazenly said that with the making of a new Constitution, and the establishment of the Office of the Missing Persons, “there would not be any necessity to have courts to probe war crimes” (Daily Mirror, 2nd Feb. 2017).

Will embolden other abusive countries to commit mass killings & Sexual violence:

The extension of Time to Sri Lanka will also embolden other abusive countries around the world to commit mass killings and sexual violence without any fear and follow Sri Lanka’s example to evade UN Human Right’s Council’s Resolutions.

North Korea Example for Accountability:
In the case of North Korea, North Korea was only accused of committing Crimes against Humanity, but Sri Lanka was accused of committing both War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity.

Documented evidence against Sri Lanka is far more extensive, in-depth, and numerous in comparison to North Korea. Thousands of Tamil victims and witnesses are eager to testify.

Due to North Korea's inaction, the UN Human Rights Council referred North Korea to the UN General Assembly, urging the Assembly to recommend the UN Security Council to refer North Korea to the International Criminal Court (ICC). North Korea is in the UN Security Council’s agenda now.

Thank you for your attention.


1)S. Sritharan M.P.
2)Selvam Adaikalanathan M.P.
3)Dharmalingam Sitharthan M.P.
4)S. Yogeswaran M.P.
5)Sivasakthi Ananthan M.P.
6) G. Srinesan M.P.
7) Charles Nirmalanathan M.P.
8) Mrs. Shanthi Srish Kantharaja M.P.
9) Dr. Siva Mohan M.P.
10)S. Viyalanderan M.P.
11)K. Kodeeswaran M.P.



1. Association of Families Searching for their Enforced Disappeared Relatives.
2. War effected Tamil women’s Association.
3. Displaced Peoples Association: Vavunia.
4. Surrendered, Disappeared families organization.
5. Voice for the North - East Enforced Disappeared (VNEED).
6. North- East Association for the abducted.


1) Confederation of Civil Society organizations (Mannar).
2) Tamil Women Development Association.
3) Centre for Human Rights and Development (CHRD).
4) Tamil Lawyers Forum (Sri Lanka).
5) Silampu Women’s group.
6) Mannar Citizens Committee.
7) Pupils Salvation Forum (Batticaloa).
8) People’s Movement for Social Justice (Vavunia)
9) Citizens Committee: Vavunia
10) Villager’s Association: Vavunia
11) Women’s Association: Mannar
12) Sri Lanka Tamil Teachers Association.


1) Suresh Premachandran (Former M.P.)
2) N. Sri Kantha (Former M.P.)
3) Ariyanenthiran Pakiyaselvam (Former M.P.)
4) Chandranehru Chandraganthan (Former M.P.)

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