The Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) points out the hostile attitude adopted by the Government of Sri Lanka towards the investigation on Sri Lanka led by the Office of the High Commisioner for Human Rights (OISL) is a direct challenge to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC).
The TGTE releasing a statement on the present situation – where individuals willing to testify before the OISL are facing threats by GoSL whilst the oral update on the OISL is due to be delivered before the ongoing UNHRC sessions in Geneva – has pointed out the GoSL has been repeatedly threatening prospective witnesses of ‘dire consequences’ that includes legal action.
The TGTE points out that these state-level threats that have been publicly expressed by Government Ministers have been coupled with other intimidation including ‘white-van abductions’ and disappearances and they have placed all potential witnesses in a precarious position.
It has gone on to point out that although many Tamils who are wither victims or witnesses are eager to testify to seek justice, they are becoming increasingly reluctant due to the threats by the GOSL.
“There are also concerns that the Sri Lankan security forces may target relatives of witnesses ho testify overseas,” TGTE adds.
Furthermore in its statement, the TGTE has also reiterated the call made upon the UNHRC to UNHRC to ensure the protection of witnesses and urge the Sri Lankan President not to harm Tamils who testify before this UN body, warn the GoSL of the consequences of intimidating and persecuting potential witnesses and to consider requesting the UN Security Council to ensure witness protection for those who testify before the OISL.