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'Accountability must go beyond the UNHRC' - Jaffna Mayor speaks to Tamil Guardian

Speaking to the Tamil Guardian at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Jaffna Mayor V Mannivannan called for a "strong" resolution that either refers Sri Lanka to the International Criminal Court (ICC) or mandates a special court to investigate Sri Lanka's human rights violations against the Tamil nation. 

"Many resolutions have been passed on Sri Lanka at this Council but none have been implemented by Sri Lanka. International human rights organisations have also highlighted this," Mannivannan said.

The Jaffna Mayor also emphasised that "there is no use in passing further resolutions such as those that have been passed before" and called for a strong resolution this year that will "pave the way for Sri Lanka to be taken to the ICC."

"The need to repeal the PTA has been discussed for many years, and despite commitments from the Sri Lankan government this has not happened. The PTA is now being used to arrest individuals expressing anti government views. I have myself been arrested under this law." 

Last year, Mannivannan was arrested by Sri Lanka's Terrorism Investigation Division (TID), on charges of attempting to resurrect the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The TID claimed that the uniforms worn by the Jaffna Municipal Council task force were similar to those worn by the LTTE police. 

Mannivannan, alongside many others, have travelled from the homeland to attend the 51st session where Sri Lanka's human rights record is being discussed. He called on India and the other member states to use this session to bring about a permanent solution for the Tamil people.

At the opening day of the session, Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister Ali Sabry told the Council that the government "fundamentally" disagreed with the legitimacy of the UN Resolution 46/1 and claimed that the resolution violates the "sovereignty of the people of Sri Lanka."

The session will continue until 7th October. 

See our live coverage of today's session on Sri Lanka here. 



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