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Sri Lanka will never deliver true justice to Tamils, NPC councillor tells UN Human Rights Chief

The Northern Provincial Councillor, M K Shivajilingham, told the UN High Commissioner that Tamils "do not believe Sri Lanka will ever deliver true justice to the Tamils", stating that "instead, [Sri Lanka] will use the time and space to hoodwink the International Community again, and try to derail the UN process of accountability and justice to the Tamils."

In a letter to High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, dated February 23, Mr Shivajilingham expressed disappointment over the UN Human Rights Council's decision to delay the publishing of the UN inquiry report into mass atrocities committed against the Tamil people, and urged the UNHRC to "set clear requirements to measure the progress of commitment of Sri Lanka."

"If Sri Lanka has genuine intention of cooperating with the UN, and genuinely interested in accountability, justice and permanent political solution, it must show progress to the International Community and to the UN, before September on all fronts.  The Tamil people hope that the International Community obtains unambiguous commitment from Sri Lanka to fulfill these," Mr Shivajilingham wrote, outlining key issues that needed to be urgently addressed.

"I respectfully request you, UNHRC Member countries, and the International Community to urge Sri Lanka to show progress before September, on both the Accountability as well as the political solution. Here I list some of the major requests:

Accountability:

a) Sri Lanka must allow the UN Investigative Team to enter Sri Lanka and visit any areas without any restrictions.

b) The UN Team must be able to meet up with victims, and witnesses. It must be able to meet with military officials that were involved in the war. The UN Team must be able to visit the areas of mass-killings, mass-graves and others places of interest to the Investigative Team. They should be able to visit prisons and other places where the Tamil prisoners are kept.

c) The witnesses must be given protection, and conditions must be created for the witnesses and victims, such a way that they will be able to meet the UN Team without any fear or reprisals.
 
Political Solution:

a) Towards finding a permanent political solution, Sri Lanka must accept technical assistance from the UN, and accept mediation by the EU, India, US and the UN. The Negotiation must start as soon as possible and progress be made before September.

b) The Negotiation must begin from the Oslo Declaration where both the Tamil side and Sri Lanka side agreed on Dec 5, 2002 to explore political solution based on a federal structure. The current Prime Minister Hon Ranil Wickremasinghe was also the Prime Minister of the government that agreed to the Oslo Declaration in Oslo, Norway in the presence of Norwegian facilitators.

c) If Sri Lanka is unwilling or unable to find a permanent political solution, I request you and the International Community to help conduct a UN monitored Referendum for the Tamil people to determine their political destiny."

See full letter here.

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