Six key Tamil diaspora organisations said they were disappointed by the failure to secure a time bound pathway of implementation of Sri Lanka's co-sponsored UN Human Rights Council resolution, ensuring accelerated progress.
"The Australian Tamil Congress (ATC), the British Tamils Forum (BTF), the Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC), the Irish Tamils Forum (ITF), the New Zealand Tamil Society (NZTS), and the US Tamil Political Action Council (USTPAC) acknowledge the passing of the resolution 'Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka' (40/1) at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), and thank the Council members who worked towards it. However, we would like to express our strong disappointment that, despite Sri Lanka's repeated failures, the resolution failed to set a clear pathway for accelerated progress on full implementation of Resolution 30/1, including transitional justice and accountability for mass atrocity crimes committed in Sri Lanka," the organisations noted in a joint statement on Friday.
"We urge member states to prevent perpetrators of these international crimes in Sri Lanka from evading justice, and to adopt a parallel process on accountability, such as an international criminal tribunal, to supplement efforts by the UNHRC to deal with mass atrocity crimes in Sri Lanka during and after the war that ended ten years ago," the groups added.
The statement follows the adopt of a roll-over resolution granting Sri Lanka another two years to implement the original resolution 30/1.
Further extracts reproduced below:
"We in the Diaspora share the strong sentiments within the victimized Tamil community in the island that the additional two years without strict time frames and consequences for failure would inadvertently aid Sri Lanka's tactic of delaying and hence denying justice."
"Not a single case involving wartime atrocities has been resolved in a court of law. Not a single Tamil victim of enforced disappearance has been accounted for or the circumstances of their disappearance revealed, and there is no end to the mental anguish of their surviving families."
"Sri Lanka's abject failure and delay in implementing its key commitments, the continuing sufferings of the victims and their families, and the need for accelerated progress on constitutional reform for devolution of power, security sector reform and other important commitments have not merited a mention in Resolution 40/1, thus falling seriously short of required action. While the need for a time-bound implementation strategy is acknowledged in the resolution, the lack of specificities about how it will become operational needs to be addressed sooner rather than later."