By Colombo Telegraph –
One hundred and thirty three Christian priests from Sri Lanka have written to the UN Human Rights Council urging much tougher action on war crimes and human rights. The priests call for a strong and action oriented resolution on Sri Lanka at the 22nd session of the UN Human Rights Council.
We publish below the statement in full;
As a group of concerned Christian clergy living and serving in North and East of Sri Lanka, we are writing to appeal for a strong and action oriented resolution in relation to accountability, reconciliation and human rights in Sri Lanka, which will go beyond the resolution adopted at the 19th session of the Council.
- 1. Note the lack of progress on human rights and reconciliation since the last year’s resolution, the continuing repression of minorities and those with dissenting views and unwillingness of the Sri Lankan government to address allegations of past violations
- 2. Establish an international and independent commission of inquiry to look into allegations of violations of international law by all sides during the war, with a proper witness protection mechanism and including with specific reference to findings and recommendations of the UN Secretary General’s Panel of Experts report
- 3. Appoint a Special Representative / Rapporteur on Sri Lanka with a broad mandate to address the past and on-going violations and assist and advice the government on future reconciliation initiatives
- 4. Identify a team of thematic UN Special Procedures to visit Sri Lanka considering pending requests for visits
- 5. Set up an accountability mechanism for UN officials implicated in the failure of the UN’s protection mandate in relation to last stages of war in Sri Lanka as identified in the UN’s own Internal Review
- 6. Welcome the report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to the 22ndsession of the Council and request her to report back to the Council’s 25thsession her observations on progress of the above and recommendations.
Read the full text of the statement and annexes here.