A resolution has been passed at long last at the UN Human Rights Council on March 27, 2014 calling for war-crimes investigations in Sri Lanka. As David Cameron the Prime Minister of the UK has noted, this is a victory for the people of Sri Lanka who need to know the truth. This would not have been possible without the active support of Canada, the US and the UK, and the UN Human Rights Commissioner Navaneetham Pillai as well as of Amnesty International, the International Crisis Group, Human Rights Watch and many organizations which never let the world forget the large scale murder in Sri Lanka in January to May 2009.
First, before I speak, just a reminder on signing the important petitions from AI before you go. These are on human rights activists at risk, the disappeared Prageeth Eknaligoda, the five bright Tamil students from Trincomalee murdered by Sri Lankan forces between high school and college, and a more general one on Prevention of Terrorism Act detainees long after the war. As someone supported and helped by AI, I tell you that these petitions help. So please do sign before you go.
As a speaker I can claim a kind of neutrality. In 2006 the Tamil Tigers came after me and I had to flee my homeland. In 2011 again, I had to flee when the government issued an open warrant for my arrest because I wrote of the election rigging that I was witness to. I aver a firm opposition to anyone violating human rights, be it the government or the Tamil Tigers.
*The speech made on last night (March 31, 2014) accompanying the screening of No Fire Zone at the Student-Chapter of Amnesty International at Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48864, USA . To read the full speech “Looking Ahead: After the UNHRC Resolution Mandating the Office of the High Commissioner to Undertake a War Crimes Investigation in Sri Lanka” click here