Sri Lanka: The UN Secretary-General Must Enforce the UN's Own Recommendations for Accountability Over War Crimes.

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The United States Tamil Political Action Council (USTPAC) and 10 other Tamil groups from around the world call on the UN Secretary-General to continue his principled stand on accountability for war crimes in Sri Lanka at the upcoming UN Human Rights Council meetings in a letter released today.

“The United Nations Secretary-General must stand by his own Panel of Experts’ Report and continue his principled stand in support for accountability for both sides for the events in Sri Lanka during the final stages of the war,” said Dr. Elias Jeyarajah, the President of USTPAC. Dr. Jeyarajah was speaking on behalf of 10 other Tamil groups from around the world on the eve of the commencement in Geneva of the 19th Session of the Human Rights Council.

It has been almost a year since the Secretary-General’s Panel of Experts’ Report was released. That Report found credible allegations that serious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law were committed by both the Government of Sri Lanka and by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. “However, none of the key recommendations have been implemented,” Dr. Jeyarajah said, releasing a letter (http://www.ustpac.org/pressrelease/120216%20Joint%20Tamil%20Letter%20to%20UNSG_press.pdf) from his own organization and ten other Tamil groups world wide urging the Secretary-General to remain active in support of the Report he commissioned.

“While the Secretary-General informally forwarded the Report to the President of the Human Rights Council in September last year, it has not been officially acknowledged or tabled, let alone discussed,” Dr. Jeyarajah noted.

“Both by his original principled stand, and in commissioning the Report, the Secretary-General has shown admirable leadership on the issue of accountability for the horrendous events that took place in 2009. This is no time for him to ignore the fate of his own Report and the serious findings of violations of human rights and international humanitarian law it made. On behalf of Tamil groups from all around the world, we urge the Secretary-General to use his good offices to ensure that his Panel of Experts’ Report is formally acted upon by the President of the Human Rights Council, and is given the full and formal consideration it deserves,” Dr. Jeyarajah concluded.

Media Contact: 202-595-3123
email: info(at)ustpac(dot)org
or visit: http://www.ustpac.org
To see the full text of the joint letter http://www.ustpac.org/pressrelease/120216%20Joint%20Tamil%20Letter%20to%20UNSG_press.pdf

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