Human rights of Tamils denied in "No war, No peace situation" - JDCHA
[TamilNet, Friday, 10 December 2004, 14:38 GMT]
The Jaffna District Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies (JDCHA) Friday accused the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) that it has failed to address the needs of aggrieved persons in the NorthEast. JDCHA reminded that the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) is a signatory to the UN optional protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The need of the hour is a pragmatic approach by the HRCSL to arrest the deteriorating law and order, it noted.
JDCHA in a memorandum sent to the Chairperson of the HRCSL in connection with the International Human Rights Day through the Jaffna regional co-ordinator said the people in the northeast province had high hopes that the ceasefire agreement signed between the GOSL and the LTTE can create an environment conducive to the return of normalcy after two decades of civil war.
"Presently, under the 'No War No Peace' situation, the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms are denied, articles enunciated in the ceasefire agreement have not been implemented, the right to life, liberty, freedom of worship and security of person are not ensured, freedom of movement and residence are curtailed, equality of rights and non-discrimination on grounds of race, religion or language are not complied and to ensure freedom from torture, arbitrary arrest, to a fair trial and to be presumed innocent until proved guilty are denied," said the memorandum by the JDCHA.
The memorandum further said: "the need of the hour is a pragmatic approach by the HRCSL to arrest the deteriorating law and order. The rule of law situation has been grave and dangerous. The Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) is an opportunity to exploit the law. All actions by the HRCSL to establish the Human Rights and Economic Rights require result oriented approach. In short the right to resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in their own places, Principle 29 and 30 enunciated in the UN guiding principles of internal displacement, right to health care, right to education and right to development are denied".
"It is incumbent on the part of the HRCSL to fortify with the legal means to ensure that justice is meted out to all alike," said the memorandum.
The memorandum quoted a paragraph from the report "Human Development in South Asia-1999" on the topic "The crisis of Governance".
That paragraph follows: -
"South Asia presents a fascinating combination of many contradictions. It has Governments that are high on governing, but low on serving, it has parliaments that are elected by the poor but aid the rich, and societies that asserts the rights of some but perpetuates exclusion for others".
JDCHA in conclusion said, " The clearest sign of progress in human rights is transparency, highlighting issues at international level, it should not be confined as a hidden agenda within a country", and urged HRCSL to promote this objective.