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UN Human Rights Chief Urge the Council to Explore All Possible Avenues for Advancing Accountability in Sri Lanka - Rejects the Gov's Another Commission of Inquiry

Geneva, 27 February 2020 - "The fundamental problem remains that Sri Lanka has still not addressed impunity for past violations, nor undertaken the security sector reforms needed to address their drivers and enablers. Systemic barriers that continue to exist within the criminal justice system remain an impediment to real justice. Domestic processes have consistently failed to deliver accountability in the past and I am not convinced the appointment of yet another Commission of Inquiry will advance this agenda. As a result, victims remain denied justice and Sri Lankans from all communities have no guarantee that past patterns of human rights violations will not recur. I urge the Council to remain alert to this situation in terms of prevention and to explore all possible avenues for advancing accountability," United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Ms. Michelle Bachelet said today.

Sri Lanka: Need an International Accountability Mechanism - Amnesty, HRW, ICJ ...

Establish an International Accountability Mechanism - Amnesty International, HRW, ICJ, 8 International HR Organisations, Sri Lanka Campaign, Tamil Torture Survivors, Pearl Action, TGTE, Australian Tamil Congres Statements.

Sri Lanka: Withdrawal from UN Commitments Requires Robust Response by Human Rights Council: Establish an International Accountability Mechanism - Amnesty International

 Amnesty International, 27 February 2020 - Following Sri Lanka’s decision to withdraw from its commitments to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva this week, Amnesty International calls on the Council to establish an international accountability mechanism to ensure the victims of decades-long conflict get the justice that is owed to them.

The call comes as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ latest report on Sri Lanka raises concerns about human rights commitments being rolled back.

Sri Lanka: Now the Human Rights Council needs to create an international accountability mechanism as a matter of urgency - HRW

Human Rights Watch, February 28, 2020

UN rights body should ensure accountability in Sri Lanka, independent reporting on Xinjiang, and annual updating of OPT database

Statement on Item 2 General Debate at HRC43

Purely International Processes and Universal Jurisdiction: The Only Remaining Options for Sri Lanka - ICJ

International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), February 28, 2020 - At the UN Human Rights Council, the ICJ today urged renewed international action to ensure justice and accountability for crimes under international law in Sri Lanka.

The statement, delivered during a discussion of updates and reports from the High Commissioner for Human Rights, read as follows:

“The ICJ deeply regrets the Sri Lankan Government’s withdrawal of support for the process under resolutions 30/1 and 40/1. ICJ supports the joint statement read by IMADR.

France Asks Sri Lanka to Honor UN Pledges on Rights

February 27, 2020, COLOMBO — France asked Sri Lanka to end impunity and ensure ethnic reconciliation a day after Colombo withdrew from a United Nations resolution investigating alleged atrocities during its decades-long separatist war, says a AFP News Agency report from Colombo.

Thierry Mathou, director of Asia and Oceania for the French Foreign Ministry said Colombo could not wish away the 2015 Human Rights Council resolution which the previous Sri Lankan administration co-sponsored with the unanimous support of UN's rights body.

International HR Organisations Call on the UNHRC to Establish an International Accountability Mechanism on Sri Lanka

Geneva, 28 February 2020 - "We urge this Council to hold Sri Lanka accountable to its obligations under international law. Given this week’s announcement that the new Government will not continue to engage with the clear framework agreed through resolution 30/1; the failure of past domestic reconciliation and accountability mechanisms; and the ongoing compromise of the rule of law as pointed out by the High Commissioner yesterday, we call on the Council to establish an international accountability mechanism on Sri Lanka," eight International Human Rights organisation stated today in a  Joint Oral Statement at the ongoing 43rd session of the Human Rights Council.

Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena in another statement at the UNHRC refuted allegations

Geneva, 27 February 2020 - Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena for the second day making a statement at the UN Human Rights Council refuted the allegations mentioned in the High Commissioners report.

Sri Lanka Withdraws from Co-Sponsorship of UNHRC Resolution 40/1 on Promoting Reconciliation, Accountability and Human Rights

Geneva, 26 February 2020 -  Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, addressing the 43rd Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva today, announced Sri Lanka’s decision to withdraw from co-sponsorship of Resolution 40/1 on ‘Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka’ which also incorporates and builds on preceding Resolutions 30/1 of October 2015 and 34/1 of March 2017.

Tamil Diaspora Organisations Call for Accelerated Implementation of the UNHRC Resolution on Sri Lanka and a Parallel International Criminal Tribunal

GENEVA, March 22, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The Australian Tamil Congress (ATC), the British Tamils Forum (BTF), the Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC), the Irish Tamils Forum (ITF), the New Zealand Tamil Society (NZTS), and the US Tamil Political Action Council (USTPAC) acknowledge the passing of the resolution 'Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka' (40/1) at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), and thank the Council members who worked towards it.

Sri Lanka: New UN Human Rights Council resolution must be followed with clear timeline for action -  Freedom from Torture

23 March 2019 - "New UN Human Rights Council resolution must be followed with clear timeline for action," Freedom from Torture said after the UNHRC's new resolution on Sri Lanka. 

Sri Lanka: New HRC resolution must lead to faster progress: Gov should work with the OHCHR to develop a time-bound strategy - Amnesty International

22 March 2019 -The adoption of the draft UN Human Rights Council Resolution 40/L.1 is an important step in the pursuit of justice for the victims of alleged international crimes during Sri Lanka’s decades-long internal conflict. It is disappointing, however, that the final text of the resolution failed to address Sri Lanka’s failure to meet its commitments to date.

All other promised transitional justice institutions must be established without further delay - Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka

Geneva, 20 March 2019 - "We are pleased to note that our Commission entered into a MOU with the Office of Missing Persons to streamline collaboration between our two institutions.  All other promised transitional justice institutions must be established without further delay," Ms. Deepika Udagama Nelum, Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, said through a Video Statement at the Interactive dialogue on the OHCHR report on Sri Lanka, at the 40th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

UNHRC Resolution Passed Without A Vote: UK Encourages Sri Lanka to Accelerate for Full Implementation With a Time-bound Plan - Sri Lanka Says the  Extension of 2 Years A Mark of Recognition

Geneva, 21 March 2019 - "The resolution encourages Sri Lanka to accelerate its efforts to achieve full implementation of its 2015 undertakings and to set out a time-bound implementation plan to help it to make progress.

Only possibility for the Tamil victims to seek criminal justice is by refering Sri Lanka to the ICC or by setting up an ad hoc international criminal tribunal - Tamil National People's Front (TNPF) Leader

Geneva, 20 March 2019 -  "When Sri Lanka's most top leaders so consistently rejected criminal accountability, it is amply clear that the UNHRC is not going to deliver on the core demand of Tamil victims. Would the High Commissioner agree, at least now that it is ten years since the end of the war, that the only possibility for the Tamil victims to seek criminal justice is by refering Sri Lanka to the ICC or by setting up an ad hoc international criminal tribuna," Tamil National People's Front (TNPF) Leader Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam said yesterday at the Interactive dialogue on the OHCHR rep

Waiting in Vain: Amnesty, HRW, ICJ, Asian Forum, IMADR and LRWC Call for Justice for Victims in Sri Lanka

Geneva, 20 March 2019 - Amnesty International, Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development, Human Rights Watch, International Commission of Jurists, International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR) and Lawyers' Rights Watch Canada - Oral Statements today at the Interactive dialogue on the OHCHR report on Sri Lanka, at the 40th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

La Suisse déplore l’absence totale en Sri Lanka de mesures de sensibilisation expliquant à la population le lien entre traitement du passé, paix durable et prospérité économique

Geneva, 20 March 2019 - "La Suisse salue l’ouverture du bureau pour la recherche des personnes disparues et l’adoption d’une loi instituant un mécanisme de réparations. Elle reste toutefois préoccupée par des retards dans la mise en œuvre des mesures de réconciliation et déplore l’absence totale de mesures de sensibilisation expliquant à la population le lien entre traitement du passé, paix durable et prospérité économique.

Ireland appreciates Sri Lanka Gov efforts, Much remains to be done

Geneva, 20 March 2019 - "Ireland is pleased to note the steps taken by the Government of Sri Lanka to implement Resolutions 30/1 and 34/1. We appreciate that the Government has continued to engage constructively with UN human rights mechanisms in the period under review. Although progress has been made, much remains to be done.

Liechtenstein calls upon Sri Lanka to take necessary measures to fully implement the transitional process especially in the field of criminal accountability

Geneva, 20 March 2019 - "We share the High Commissioner’s concern about the slow rate of the progress in establishing meaningful transitional justice measures. This has engendered mistrust among victims and other stakeholders. Liechtenstein calls upon Sri Lanka to take necessary measures to fully implement the transitional process outlined in the Council’s resolution 30/1, especially in the field of criminal accountability where no substantial progress had been achieved.

Germany Recommends to the Gov of Sri Lanka to establish a comprehensive and time-bound strategy on transitional justice in order to implement its pending obligations

Geneva, 20 March 2019 - "We are concerned about public statements on the enforcement of death sentences – despite Sri Lanka’s international commitment to the UN moratorium on the death penalty. We also share the concerns stated in the report of OHCHR. The country must ensure the replacement of the Prevention of Terrorism Act and review all cases of detainees thereunder. Transparent and reliable jurisdiction is a key to societal reconciliation, as we know in Germany.

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