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HR groups urge US to bash SL in Geneva – The Island

[MISC, Monday, 30 May 2011 15:59 No Comment]

Several international organisations at the behest of the LTTE rump want the US to rap Sri Lanka at the 17th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, in Geneva, beginning today (May 30). The sessions continue till June 17.

A senior security official told The Island that among the NGOs gunning for Sri Lanka at the Geneva meet are the Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and International Crisis Group. They turned down an invitation from the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation commission (LLRC) to make representations on behalf of those affected by the war.

The 11-member collective of outfits has written to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton requesting the US to take a strong position against Sri Lanka at the Geneva meet.

In a letter dated May 27, the group, while appreciating the continued US support for their cause, particularly a statement attributed to US Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Susan Rice pushing for independent investigation with regard to accountability issues in Sri Lanka.

Sources said that the group had gone to the extent of advising the US regarding the position it should take on Sri Lanka at the Geneva meet. Their recommendations were (a) welcome the Darusman Report (b) express the US Government’s concern about the credible allegations detailed in the report, including the seriousness and scale of the crimes described, (c) express concern at the report’s findings of the failure of the Sri Lankan government to investigate and prosecute those involved in these crimes (d) note the Panel’s findings that the LLRC is "not tailored to investigating allegations  of serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law," and has "not sought to investigate systematically and impartially the allegations of serious violations on both sides of the war;" and (e) call for the full implementation of the Panel’s recommendations, in particular the establishment of an independent international mechanism with a mandate to conduct investigations into alleged violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, including war crimes.

The anti-Sri Lankan grouping comprises Adotei Akwei (Managing Director, Government Relations, Amnesty International), Karin Ryan (Director, Human Rights Program, Carter Center),Don Kraus(Chief Executive Officer, Citizens for Global Solutions), Dokhi Fassihian (Executive Director, Democracy Coalition Project),John Bradshaw (Executive Director, Enough Project),Paula Schriefer (Director of Advocacy, Freedom House), Tom Malinowski, Washington Director (Human Rights Watch), Mark Schneider (Senior Vice President, International Crisis Group), Jerry Fowler (Senior Policy Analyst, Open Society Foundations),Hans Hogrefe (Chief Policy Officer/Washington Director, Physicians for Human Rights) and Aung Din, (Executive Director, U.S. Campaign for Burma).

Sources told The Island that Global Tamil Front, along with British Tamil Front had been involved in this latest project, though they had not written to the US Secretary of State Clinton.

Sources said that the UK-based Diaspora groups would hold a meeting in a EU country in June to drum up support for the controversial Darusman report.

[Full Coverage]

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