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APPGT says accountability in Sri Lanka and for Tamil diaspora ‘must remain central’

The chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils has called on the British government to ensure Sri Lanka abides by commitments it made to the international community in co-sponsoring a UN resolution mandating a hybrid court.

The resolution, passed by the UN Human Rights Council last month “comes at an important time as we approach the 10th anniversary and remembrance of Mullivaikkal” wrote parliamentarian Paul Scully.

“It is to be welcomed that Sri Lanka co-sponsored the resolution and its public affirmation that it will deliver on previous commitments,” wrote Scully. “We all know however that in many important areas implementation has been slow and reluctant.”

Writing to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Scully added,

“I urge you to continue to work to ensure that the commitments made in front of the international community by Sri Lanka are upheld.”

“The promotion of true reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka and for Tamil diaspora groups must remain a central goal.”

See the full text of the letter here.

Though Sri Lanka co-sponsored the resolution last month, the government has rejected terms of it.  Sri Lanka’s foreign minister spoke out against a hybrid accountability mechanism at the United Nations stating that “at the highest political levels” the Sri Lankan government has reiterated there were “constitutional and legal challenges that preclude it from including non-citizens in its judicial processes”.

The UN human rights chief however told the UN Human Rights Council that “continuing impunity risks fuelling communal or inter-ethnic violence, and instability”, and called on Colombo to hold perpetrators of crimes to account.