Facebook icon
Twitter icon
e-mail icon

Tamil families of disappeared leader addresses UN and calls for ICC referral

Leeladevi Anandanadarajah, the secretary of the North-East Relatives of the Missing Persons Association, adressed the United Nation Human Rights Council this week, as she criticised praise of Sri Lanka’s domestic mechanisms, particularly the Office for Missing Persons (OMP), calling instead for a referral to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Ms Ananadanadarajah delivered her statement at the 46th session of the UNHRC. Speaking on behalf of the association, she highlighted the numerous times they have raised their rejection of the OMP and in fact, have proven the incapability of the domestic mechanism to deal with Tamil grievances.

“ In order to expose the hypocrisy of the OMP to the international community, we handed over to the OMP details of the five disappeared persons having strong evidence and requested the OMP commissioners to give us [a] solution at least for one case," she said. "It is now one and a half years elapsed since we handed over the five cases but nothing [has] been heard from the OMP so far. More than this, what else do we need to prove that this OMP is incapable?”

She called upon the UN to "refrain from abetting the Sri Lankan government to thrust the OMP on us". She added that Sri Lanka has failed to investigate crimes of genocide, war crimes and the ignored growing calls of Tamil families. She went on to urge the UN and the international community to refer Sri Lanka to the International Criminal Court and appoint a Special Rapporteur for Sri Lanka.

In the last week, several members of the North-East Relatives for Missing Persons have been harassed and questioned by Sri Lankan military Intelligence, including Anandanadarajah. Several protests have been held by the families of the disappeared calling for Sri Lanka’s referral to the International Criminal Court, with several hunger strikes taking place across the North-East and around the globe.

See her full address to the Council below.

We need your support

Sri Lanka is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist. Tamil journalists are particularly at threat, with at least 41 media workers known to have been killed by the Sri Lankan state or its paramilitaries during and after the armed conflict.

Despite the risks, our team on the ground remain committed to providing detailed and accurate reporting of developments in the Tamil homeland, across the island and around the world, as well as providing expert analysis and insight from the Tamil point of view

We need your support in keeping our journalism going. Support our work today.

For more ways to donate visit https://donate.tamilguardian.com.