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Tamil political leaders demand UN resolution on Sri Lanka includes referral to ICC

Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day - Melbourne Rally (2021)

Tamil leaders of political parties in Sri Lanka jointly release a letter, with urgent request that the current draft of the Sri Lanka Resolution at the UNHRC refer Sri Lanka to the ICC. 

The Core-Group on Sri Lanka, comprised of the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Germany, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Malawi, drafted the resolution which fails to “[...] include the recommendation by the UN High-Commissioner for Human Rights in her report to the UNHRC calling to refer Sri Lanka to the International Criminal Court (ICC).” 

‘Given our devastating experience, we are seriously worried that if Sri Lanka is not Referred to ICC, it will embolden extremely large number of troops stationed in Tamil areas to commit mass atrocities against Tamils without any hesitation, knowing well that they will not be held accountable. Please note that the same troops that are stationed in Tamil areas are the ones who killed thousands of Tamils and sexually assaulted and raped hundreds of Tamil women and girls,” the letter stated. 

The joint letter underscores that the “[...] recommendation was endorsed by all previous UN High Commissioners for Human Rights, nine former UN Special Rapporteurs all of whom have visited Sri Lanka and wrote reports and all the members of UN Panel of Experts on Sri Lanka.”

"This joint call by these senior UN officials was strongly endorsed by the Victim groups, Tamil political parties, Members of Parliament and Civil Society who jointly wrote a letter to all of you about the importance of Referring Sri Lanka to ICC in your resolution [...] As you are aware, we have paid a heavy price for the inaction of the international community. For example, according to UN’s Internal Review Report on Sri Lanka, around 70 thousand Tamils were killed or unaccounted for during the final six months of the war. International Truth and Justice Project in February 2017 handed over details to UN of Sri Lankan Military run "Rape Camps", where Tamil women are being held as “sex slaves”. Furthermore, Thousands of Tamils had disappeared, including babies and children,” said the letter.

The letter concludes by stating: "At this crucial time in the Resolution process, we again strongly urge you not to ignore our request as well as senior UN officials' request to Refer Sri Lanka to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in your Resolution."

Read the full letter here

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