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Call for submissions as 'OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka' begins

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The terms of reference for the UN inquiry on mass atrocities in Sri Lanka - 'OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL)', which begins work this week, were published on Tuesday, detailing the legal and time framework to be applied and how to submit evidence.

Based on the resolution adopted by the UN Human Rights Council in March this year, the OISL, led by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is to investigate the period covered by the LLRC, looking in to "alleged serious violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes by both parties to the conflict".

The time frame of the LLRC has been stated as "from 21 February 2002 until 15 November 2011".

"In order to establish the facts and circumstances of alleged violations, abuses and crimes by both parties, the OISL will conduct a desk review of existing documents and information, including government and civil society reports, collect and document victims’ testimonies and the accounts of survivors, witnesses and alleged perpetrators, as well as seeking information from other relevant sources such as satellite images, authenticated video and photographic material and official documents.  In analysing the information collected, it will seek to corroborate facts and accounts to meet the agreed standard of proof," the document published by the OHRHC reads.

The OHCHR stressed the importance of witness protection and reiterating Sri Lanka's obligation to ensure the safety of all witnesses.

See more here.

Any state, individual or organisation may submit information directly to the inquiry in writing, in English, Tamil or Sinhala.

(Maximum 10 pages. No photographic, video evidence is to be sent via email. Contact the OISL to make arrangements).

All submissions must be sent before midnight Geneva time on 30 October 2014, via the following email address - [email protected] or postal address:

OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL)

8-14 Rue de la Paix,
CH-1211 Geneva 10,

See here for more on how to submit evidence.

See here for information on how to submit in Tamil.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, in June appointed three international experts to lead the investigation - Mr. Martti Ahtisaari, former President of Finland, Ms. Silvia Cartwright, former High Court judge of New Zealand, and Ms. Asma Jahangir, former President of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.

See more here.

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