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USA ignores requests of Mannaar Bishop on UNHRC Resolution

[TamilNet, Friday, 7 March 2014 08:56 No Comment]

Bishop of Mannaar Rt. Rev. Dr. Rayappu Joseph had sent a model resolution to the foreign diplomatic missions, including the Embassy of USA in Colombo, well in advance of the draft resolution by the USA was leaked in Geneva this Monday. The proposal presented by Mannaar Bishop was demanding international investigations on genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Prepared by the Tamil Civil Society Forum, the proposal also called upon the “UN Secretary General and the UN Security Council to activate procedures that will lead to a UN sponsored international mechanism to assess the democratic aspirations of the Tamil People, both in the homeland and in the diaspora for a permanent political solution.”

The proposal by the Tamil civil society also urged the UN to consider a Transitional Administration in the North-East of the island to prevent and protect the Tamil people from the continued crimes listed in the document.

“Please see attached a proposal for a draft resolution in the upcoming UNHRC sessions in Geneva on accountability and reconciliation in Sri Lanka. The draft has been put together by Tamil civil society activists and is being sent to you to provide a perspective as to our expectations of the Geneva sessions. We hope that this document proves to be useful in your deliberations regarding the matter.” Mannaar Bishop had urged the foreign missions.

The document was released to media on Tuesday, a day after the US draft has been leaked in Geneva.

The proposal from the Tamil civil society should be considered as a model resolution to be compared with the leaked draft resolution and its future versions for the edification of Tamil activists in the homeland, in Tamil Nadu and in the Diaspora, Tamil activists for alternative politics in the island told TamilNet on Wednesday.

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Following is the full text of the draft resolution presented by Mannaar Bishop.

Human Rights Council

Twenty-Fifth session

Agenda item …

Draft Resolution

Accountability and the human rights situation of the Tamils in the North-East of Sri Lanka

The Human Rights Council,

Guided by the Charter of the United Nations and General Assembly resolution 60/251 of 15 March 2006,

Recalling Human Rights Council resolutions 5/1, on institution-building of the Council, and 5/2, on the code of conduct for special procedures mandate holders, of 18 June 2007,

Reaffirming the purposes and principles of the Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and relevant international human rights treaties, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and that all States are bound to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Reaffirming the purposes and principles of the Genocide Convention, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and the Four Geneva Conventions and their additional protocols,

Recalling that each individual State has responsibility under International Law to protect its populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity

Recalling the responsibility to take collective action, in a timely and decisive manner when national authorities manifestly fail to protect their populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity

Recalling also in particular the UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/63/308 on the Responsibility to Protect

Recalling Human Rights Council resolution 19/2 of 22 March 2012 on promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka,

Recalling also Human Rights Council resolution 22/L.1 of 21 March 2013 on promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka

Expressing serious concern at the lack of implementation by the Government of Sri Lanka of previously adopted resolutions and recommendations of the Council relating to the human rights situation in Sri Lanka,

Noting with concern the observation by the High Commissioner in her oral update on promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka on 27 September 2013 about the considerable military presence in the Tamil homeland in the island of Sri Lanka, the high level of surveillance of returnees, rehabilitees and detainees who have been released, the compulsory acquisition of private land for installing military camps and other installations, the prominent role of military in areas of civilian administration and economic activity, including education, agriculture and tourism.

Noting also the observation by the High Commissioner in her oral update on promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka on 27 September 2013 that no new or comprehensive effort to independently or credibly investigate the allegations.

Noting further that the Government of Sri Lanka has failed to act on the High Commissioner’s suggestion to the Government of Sri Lanka to show a credible national process with tangible results, including the successful prosecution of individual perpetrators by March 2014

Noting further that the Government of Sri Lanka’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission report and its recommendations have failed to bring about truth, justice and reconciliation for Sri Lanka

Reaffirming the right of the Tamil people in the island of Sri Lanka to self-determination

Noting further that successive Governments of Sri Lanka including the present have not taken any credible steps towards accommodating the Tamil people’s legitimate desire for self-determination and self-government within a united Sri Lanka.

  1. Unequivocally condemns the appropriation of land belonging to the Tamil people by the Government of Sri Lanka, the continuous detention of Tamil political prisoners without due process, the use of sexual violence against Tamil female headed house hold and ex-female LTTE cadres by armed forces attached to the Sri Lankan Government, the denial of psycho-social support for the war affected Tamils, the ever increasing role of the military in the daily lives of the Tamil people, the relocation of Tamil IDPs in places other than their historical areas of habitation, the continuous neglect of the livelihood of those resettled, the intimidation, forced use of long-term contraceptives, destruction of non-Buddhist religious places, violence perpetrated against Tamil civil society and political activists and the denial of the right to collective memory of the Tamil people.

  2. Requests all relevant special procedures mandate-holders, in particular the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the human rights of internally displaced persons, the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, arbitrary, summary executions, the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, the Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression, the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, the Independent Expert on minority issues, Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence, the Special Rapporteur on the right to education, Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, the Special Rapporteur on Cultural Rights, the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and on the right to non-discrimination in this context, to urgently seek and gather information on violations of the human rights of the Tamil people and submit their reports to the Council at its next session;

  3. Decides to appoint a special rapporteur to monitor the situation of human rights in the North-East of Sri Lanka and to make recommendations for its improvement; to offer support and advice to civil society; to seek, receive, examine and act on information from all relevant stakeholders pertaining to the situation of human rights in the North-East of Sri Lanka; and to report annually to the Human Rights Council and to the General Assembly in accordance with their respective programmes of work;

  4. Calls upon the UN Secretary General and the UN Security Council to activate procedures that will lead to the setting up of a UN Transitional Administration in the North-East of Sri Lanka to prevent and protect the Tamil people from those issues identified in paragraph 1 above.

  5. Decides to dispatch an urgent, Independent International Commission of Inquiry, to be appointed by the President of the Council, to investigate all violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law including the alleged crimes of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, committed in the post-colonial Sri Lanka, and calls upon Sri Lanka not to obstruct the process of investigation and to fully cooperate with the Commission

  6. Requests the Secretary-General and the High Commissioner to provide all administrative, technical and logistical assistance required to enable the above-mentioned special procedures mandate-holders and the fact-finding mission to fulfil their mandates promptly and efficiently.

  7. Calls upon the UN Secretary General and the UN Security Council to activate procedures that will lead to a UN sponsored international mechanism to assess the democratic aspirations of the Tamil People, both in the homeland and in the diaspora for a permanent political solution.

  8. Decides to remain seized of the matter.

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