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‘Time for international tribunal or ICC referral on Sri Lanka’ – TNPF

The leader of the Tamil National People's Front (TNPF) told the United Nations Human Rights Council that with Sri Lanka having withdrawn from co-sponsorship of a resolution on accountability, that it was time for the gobal body to call for Sri Lanka to be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) or call for the setting up of an ad hoc international tribunal.

Delivering a statement at the Council in Geneva, Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam said “Tamil victims of Genocide being extremely skeptical of the substance of the resolution as falling far below their expectations on promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights”.

“Our organisation repeatedly pointed out that resolution 30/1 was cleverly worded to contain accountability to an internal investigation, as opposed to a hybrid criminal justice mechanism as sold to the Tamil victims,” he added.

Ponnambalam went on to state that the current Sri Lankan regime led by Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who he said “stands accused as the mastermind to all the crimes that occurred, “not surprisingly has formally announced to this council its withdrawal from the cosponsor ship of resolution 30/1 and thereby a rejection of the resolution itself”.

“Madam President and Madam High Commissioner, is it not at least now time to own up to the severe shortcomings of this Council’s ability to promote criminal justice on a reluctant State and call for Sri Lanka to be referred to the ICC or call for the setting up of an ad hoc international tribunal?,” he concluded.

Ponnambalam’s statement comes as several international human rights organisations also called on the UN Human Rights Council to establish “an international accountability mechanism on Sri Lanka”.

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