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Final Report on the People’s Tribunal on Sri Lanka

[Press Release, Monday, 25 January 2010 20:15 No Comment]


Press Release, 24 Jan. 10

Final Report on the People’s Tribunal on Sri Lanka

Irish Forum for Peace in Sri Lanka




Please find attached a preview of the report completed by the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal following their investigation into alleged human rights abuses and war crimes in Sri Lanka.

The findings fall into four broad categories:

1. The Sri Lankan Government and Security Forces and aligned paramilitary groups have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity;

2.That the international community, particularly the UK and USA, share responsibility for the breakdown of the peace process.The European Union has been complicit in the obstruction and dismantling of the peace process and stigmatizing Tamil groups in banning the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam;

3. Numerous countries have facilitated the Sri Lankan Government in perpetration of the above-mentioned crimes by bolstering its military capabilities;

4. The International Community has neglected its duty to promote peace in the region.

The Tribunal goes on to make the following recommendations to the Sri Lankan Government:

1. The establishment of an authoritative Truth and Justice commission;

2. The immediate repeal of Prevention of Terrorism Act, 1979;

3. Ensure the protection and welfare of the 12,000 political prisoners currently being held in Sri Lanka;

4. Disband all paramilitary forces and reduce military presence in Tamil areas;

5. Implement a political power sharing solution with the full participation of the Tamil people.

Further, the Tribunal makes two core recommendations to the International Community, including the Sri Lankan Government:

1. Appoint a UN special rapporteur for Sri Lanka to investigate and identify responsibilities for human rights violations, violations of humanitarian law and war crimes committed by all

parties in conflict;

2. Support the establishment of an independent group of eminent persons to investigate the responsibilities of the international community in the disruption of the ceasefire agreement

and subsequent war crimes and crimes against humanity and provision of the Sri Lankan Government with weapons during the ceasefire.

The Irish Forum for Peace in Sri Lanka welcomes the findings of the Tribunal. However, the abuses continue and this is only the first step in the process. It is hoped that international community and the media will continue to pay attention and fulfil their obligations to those who are suffering due to needless violence in Sri Lanka.

To that end, we request that all recipients of this email read the report attached and assist in the dissemination to the information contained therein.

The Tribunal concludes its report as follows:

"Therefore, the PPT declares that any harm that might happen to those that testified or to their families should be considered as the exclusive responsibility of those authorities and actors addressed within our judgement. We commit ourselves to maintain a sharp attention to the safety of the witnesses who have courageously contributed to the fact-finding task of the tribunal. If anything would happen to any of them, we will hold the government of Sri Lanka responsible for that."

Mr Denis Halliday, former Assistant Secretary General to the United Nations and member of the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal, has offered to do interviews with any media organisations who wish to cover the recent work of the tribunal.

Mr Halliday can be contacted in Ireland at (00353) (0)95 21341 until 29th January email:clip_image001djhalliday@msn.com.

Prof. Francois Houtart, Chairperson of the Tribunal on Sri Lanka and Prof. Emeritus of Catholic University of Louvain is also available to interviews. He is currently in Ecuador and can be contacted at 0032 476 31 50 53. Email: francoishoutart@yahoo.fr

(We remind all those wishing to make contact with Tribunal members of time zone differences)

Should you wish to contact the Irish Forum for Peace in Sri Lanka, details of officers are listed below.


Dr. Jude Lal Fernando

(00353) (0) 851562980

(On behalf of the Irish Forum For Peace in Sri Lanka)

"The Government of Sri Lanka pursued military actions in violation of international law, including the Geneva Conventions and the Declaration of Human Rights. The resulting atrocities of rape, torture, assassinations, “disappearances,” and withholding of food, water and medical supplies brutalised and threatened the survival of the Tamil community."

- Page 15 Report of the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal on Sri Lanka

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