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Urgent international Commission of Inquiry needed say Tamil civil society activists

The Tamil Civil Society Forum, a network of Tamil civil society activists including the Bishop of Mannar Reverend, Rayappu Joseph, urged the UNHRC member states to pass a resolution that calls for the establishment of "an urgent, Independent International Commission of Inquiry".

Speaking to the Tamil Guardian, lecturer in law at the University of Jaffna, K. Guruparan of the Tamil Civil Society Forum, said,

"The current draft resolution on Sri Lanka effectively calls on the Sri Lankan government to investigate itself. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is merely entrusted with weak oversight responsibilities. What is desperately needed is an international Commission of Inquiry to investigate all violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law including the alleged crimes of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity."

Through a text laying out the Tamil civil society activists' desired 'model' resolution, circulated amongst key drafter amongst UNHRC member states last month, the
Tamil Civil Society Forum also called for a UN Special Rapporteur to be appointed to monitor the human rights situation in the North and East.

Highlighting the government's failure to take credible steps towards a reconciliation, the Tamil civil society activists, detailing the intensifying repression of the Tamil people in the North and East:

"the appropriation of land belonging to the Tamil people by the Government of Sri Lanka, the continuous detention of Tamil political prisoners without due process, the use of sexual violence against Tamil female headed house hold and ex-female LTTE cadres by armed forces attached to the Sri Lankan Government, the denial of psycho-social support for the war affected Tamils, the ever increasing role of the military in the daily lives of the Tamil people, the relocation of Tamil IDPs in places other than their historical areas of habitation, the continuous neglect of the livelihood of those resettled, the intimidation, forced use of long-term contraceptives, destruction of non-Buddhist religious places, violence perpetrated against Tamil civil society and political activists and the denial of the right to collective memory of the Tamil people."

See full text of the Tamil Civil Society Forum's desired resolution here.