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Tamil activists and politicians call for Sri Lanka to be referred to ICC ahead of UNHRC session

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Tamil civil society organisations, activists and politicians have repeated their calls for Sri Lanka to be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in a joint letter to the Core Group on Sri Lanka. 

In their letter, they expressed their "concerns of continued failure for accountability for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed against the Tamil people." 

The letter calls on the Core Group, comprised of Canada, Germany, Malawi, Montenegro, North Macedonia, the UK and the United States, to "clearly urge UN Security Council to refer Sri Lanka to the ICC."

"We as representatives of Tamil people strongly believe that anything short of calling for the referral to ICC will permanently eliminate any chance of getting justice for the mass atrocities we faced," the letter added. 

The signatories highlighted that successive Sri Lankan government have stalled accountability and "have adopted different tactics to drag the accountability process to hoodwink UNHRC."

The letter also noted that aside from the lack of progress made by Sri Lanka in achieving justice and accountability, the state has continued it's oppression of the Tamil nation by continuing to heavily deploy it's forces in the region. Moreover, the state has continued to take away Tamil lands in an attempt to alter the demographic of those areas. 

In last year's report, outgoing High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet encouraged member states to take steps to refer Sri Lanka to the ICC as well as using their own courts to investigate and prosecute war criminals under universal jurisdiction. 

Next month, Sri Lanka will be on the agenda of the 51st session of the UNHRC in Geneva.

Read the full letter here


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