More than 250 Tamil Organizations based in the UK have come together in a bid to push the British Government to sponsor a Resolution in relation to Sri Lanka at the 46th UN Human Rights Council session in March 2021.
Following a series of discussions with senior diplomats, intellectuals, prominent human rights experts, and international lawyers, it was unanimously agreed and decided by all major diaspora organizations in the UK to make a request to the UK Government to sponsor a Resolution to create an International Independent Investigative Mechanism (IIIM) to investigate and prosecute the War crimes, Crimes against Humanity and the Genocide in Sri Lanka. The demand dated 05 Jan 2021 signed by the UK based organizations and institutions had been submitted to the Rt. Hon. Dominic Rabb MP, and Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth and Development Affairs and Rt. Hon. Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State for the South Asia and the Commonwealth.
The demand starts with the introduction, “On behalf of the British Tamil community, we the undersigned, write to request you to sponsor a Resolution at the 46th UN Human Rights Council to create an International Independent Investigative Mechanism relating to Sri Lanka to investigate and prosecute for serious international crimes committed in Sri Lanka, including the crime of genocide of Tamils”.
It further goes on to set out the history of previous resolutions as, “As you will no doubt be aware, in March 2014 the UN Human Rights Council passed a resolution mandating the UN Human Rights Commissioner’s Office to investigate human rights violations and war crimes which took place between 21st February 2002 and 15th November 2011. Its report was published in September 2015 and documented the international crimes committed during the war. We would note further that despite the war having ended in May 2009, the genocide of Tamils continues unabated”.
“The Sri Lankan Government has now had almost 12 years since the end of the war but has sought to prevent any meaningful investigations. The clear impression given by successive governments of Sri Lanka, including the government of the current President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, is to continue to deny that any crimes were committed on the part of the Sri Lankan state and prevent any investigations from taking place, and continue with the Genocide. Sri Lanka is certain to continue its propaganda of false reconciliation and advance genocide of indigenous Tamils. British Tamils are very well aware of this advancing threat by the Sri Lankan state, having already suffered under the Sri Lankan state before fleeing to Britain and call for the British Government to act on our behalf.”
It concludes as, “In the circumstances, we respectfully ask our Government to sponsor a Resolution at the 46th UN Human Rights Council to create an International Independent Investigative Mechanism like the one established for Myanmar mandated to collect evidence of the most serious international crimes and violations of international law and prepare files for a criminal prosecution, A meaningful International Independent Investigative Mechanism should gather evidence from the Tamils affected by the genocide whilst also making use of the information and evidence contained in the OISL Report of September 2015”.
It is significant that so many Tamil Organizations have come together and expressed their demand for a III mechanism unitedly. Whilst this campaign has been initiated by the major political and human rights organizations including Tamil Coordinating Committee (TCC), Word Tamil Historical Society (WTHS), Tamil Youth Organization (TYO), Tamil Information Centre (TIC), British Tamil Chamber of Commerce (BTCC), Tamils Against Genocide (TAG), International Centre for Prevention and Prosecution of Genocide (ICPPG), International Centre for Eelam Tamils Rights (ICETR), Tamil Solidarity (TS), British Tamil Conservatives (BTC), Tamils for Labour, Tamil Friends of Lib Democrats, TNA-UK, TELO-UK, Naam Thamilar Brithania, Veerathamilar Munnani-UK, Tamils for NLP, Nation Without States (NWS), Refugee Rights Campaign and others, it is fully supported and endorsed by more than 250 organizations including several University Tamil Societies, educational institutions, Tamil Schools, Sport and Recreation Centers, Community Centers, Clubs, Charities, Religious Bodies, Places of Worship, Professional Organizations, Commercial enterprises and media organizations. It is of particular note that this is also supported by the Independent non-Tamil Organizations such as Migrant Organise and Room To Heal.
The campaign is said to be on-going and a public plea had been made by the joint letter coordinators to all other organizations, institutions, and professional bodies to join and support the demand.
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