Handover investigations to international judicial mechanism, NPC tells Geneva
[TamilNet, Friday, 17 March 2017, 09:26 GMT]
While the uprooted people and the families of enforced disappeared in Trincomalee, Vavuniyaa, Mullaiththeevu, Ki'linochchi and Jaffna are staging continuous protests demanding the UN human rights regime in Geneva not to provide any more ‘time and space’ for the genocidal SL State and its military to escape accountability on international crimes committed in the land of Eezham Tamils, the elected council of Northern Province passed a resolution echoing the feelings of the people on the ground and urged the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva to refer the case to an international judicial mechanism. “[W]ithout truth, justice and an equitable political solution, neither reconciliation nor permanent peace is possible”, the NPC resolution said and said that the international community should initiate a UN-mediated negotiation process to resolve the national question.
Protest at Nalloor Jaffna, demands international judges to investigate crimes reported in the island
Uprooted families from Keappaa-pulavu stage protest in front of Mullaiththeevu base of occupying SL military
Medical assistance to Keappaa-pulavu women on fasting campaign
Families of enforced disappeared at the hands of occupying SL military staging a protest at Vadamaraadchi East
At minimum, the SL State should recognize Tamil people as a distinct nation entitled to self-determination in the merged and contiguous North-East and provide a ‘full and complete’ federalism with explicit declaration and recognition of such system in the Constitution, the NPC resolution said.
The uprooted people and the families of enforced disappeared are planning to continue their struggle to the end of this year demanding concrete action from the international community.
Families of enforced disappeared in Vadamaraadchi East have joined the struggle launching a continuous protest at Maruthangkea'ni for the third day on Friday. The families of enforced disappeared in Ki'linochchi are continuing their protest for 26th day.
In the meantime, Major General W B D P Fernando, the commander of occupying SL Army in Mullaiththeevu, having the main base for the district at Keappaa-pulavu, was trying to stop the people of Keappaa-pulavu from continuing their struggle through the SL Judiciary.
However, the Judge at Mullaiththeevu Magistrate court on Thursday rejected the attempt made the SL Police to issue an interim injunction to prevent the peaceful struggle being waged by the uprooted families.
SL military has sent instructions to SL police to deploy police commandos in the coming week as it was expecting the peaceful protesters to escalate the protest targeting 22 March when the issue is scheduled to be addressed by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Following the NPC Council Resolution, the uprooted people from Valikaamam North and organisations representing the enforced disappeared took to the street in Jaffna on Thursday. Their protest march demanded de-militarisation and urged the UN to change the course and impose international investigators in the so-called transitional justice project, which has not delivered anything so far in the island.
Full text of the NPC Resolution follows:
My No: R/88/2017/355
Zeid Ra’ad Hussein Esqr
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10,
Resolution No: R/88/2017/355
I forward herewith a copy of the Resolution No: R/88/2017/355 adopted by the Northern Provincial Council at its sittings held on 14.03.2017, for your kind attention and suitable action.
“In reference to UNHRC Resolution 30/1 Co-sponsored by Sri Lanka in September 2015 Sessions
Recalling that the Government of Sri Lanka was a co-sponsor and signatory to the Resolution 30/1 titled “Promoting reconciliation, accountability and Human rights in Sri Lanka” at the UNHRC session in Geneva in September 2015, committing itself to establish a judicial mechanism with a special counsel to investigate allegations of violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law, as applicable and affirming that a credible justice process should include independent judicial and prosecutorial institutions led by individuals known for their integrity and impartiality; and also affirming in this regard the importance of participation in a Sri Lankan Judicial mechanism, including the special counsel’s office, of Commonwealth and other foreign judges, defense lawyers and authorized prosecutors and investigators;
Noting with concern that the Government of Sri Lanka has not taken any meaningful steps to implement its own commitment to establish an impartial credible mechanism;
Recognizing that the victimized Tamil people do not have any confidence on any domestic judicial mechanism that does not contain majority of foreign judges, lawyers, prosecutors and investigators;
The Northern Provincial Council of Sri Lanka resolves that:
- The Government of Sri Lanka has not taken adequate measures to fully implement the Resolution 30/1 that it co-sponsored at the UNHRC Session in September 2015, especially with regard to the accountability, establishment of a Commission for truth, reconciliation; non–recurrence of oppression, return of lands to its rightful civilian owners and an office of reparation
- The Government of Sri Lanka has not taken any meaningful steps for a credible justice process and an accountability mechanism that it had accepted, promised and committed to the UNHRC and to the International Community.
- Since Sri Lanka being unable or unwilling to implement its own commitment, this Council calls upon the UNHRC to refer the case to an International judicial mechanism;
- This Council emphasizes that without truth, justice and an equitable political solution, neither reconciliation nor permanent peace is possible in Sri Lanka;
- This Council calls upon the UNHRC and the International Community to require Sri Lanka to agree to an International accountability mechanism, ratify the Rome Statute as recommended by the OHCHR investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL) Report of September 2015 and offer the Tamils a political solution with the Mediation of the UN;
- Recognizing that the Tamil People are a Distinct Nation with their traditional homeland in the contiguous North–East region of Sri Lanka, and they are entitled to self–determination, the Government of Sri Lanka must offer the Tamils an equitable political solution which at the minimum shall consist of the merged Northern and Eastern Provinces offering full and complete federalism with explicit declaration and recognition of such system in the Constitution.”
With kind regards
Northern Provincial Council
Copy to: Hon. Antonio Guterres, Secretary General, United Nations.