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International criminal tribunal must be pursued - Australian Tamil Congress

The Australian Tamil Congress (ATC) released a statement earlier this week, calling for an international criminal tribunal to be pursued in order to prosecute those responsible for mass atrocities in Sri Lanka.

In a statement released at the start of the UN Human Rights Council’s 43rd session this week, the ATC said that Sri Lanka’s decision to withdraw from co-sponsorship of a UN resolution on accountability “further proves warnings by the Tamil community that the cosponsoring was in itself not genuine and a delaying tactic.”

“We are extremely concerned that the process of accountability and justice cannot be achieved through the UNHRC alone and alternative mechanisms such as through an international criminal tribunal must be pursued,” the statement continued.

The ATC conveyed the decades of discrimination faced by the Tamil people stating that they have ben "affected by persecution, human rights abuses and acts of mass atrocity crimes". 

“A decline in human rights will also mean more Tamils risking their lives to seek asylum elsewhere, including attempting perilous boat journeys to Australia,” the organisation added.

Taking this into consideration, the ATC requested that Australia take a "strong stance" at the UN “to ensure that successful mechanisms which can actually obtain justice for the victims and survivors of mass atrocity crimes are established”.

“Accountability for the gross violations of international humanitarian law should not be given an opportunity to be further delayed,” they concluded.

See the full text of the statement here.

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