UN Sub-Commission urged to protect human rights in the NorthEast

[TamilNet, Thursday, 28 July 2005, 09:54 GMT]
Outlining the bias in the Sri Lankan judicial system against Tamils, the Tamil Centre for Human Rights (TCHR), a France based Tamil rights group, in a letter handed over to Mr. Vladimir Kartashkin, the chairperson of the UN Sub-Commission On Promotiion and Protection of Human Rights, said: "Justice has been denied to Tamils systematically, over several decades, in all aspects of life. They have suffered systematic human rights violations of genocidal proportions, the perpetrators of which have not been brought to book." The UN Sub-Commission opened its fifty-seventh session on Monday.

The Sub-Commission adopted its agenda for this year's session, which includes issues pertaining to the administration of justice, economic, social and cultural rights, prevention of discrimination, protection of indigenous peoples and minorities, women, slavery, and terrorism, according to a UN Press Release issued on Monday.

Extracts from the letter handed over to the chairperson of the Sub-Commision by Ms. Deirdre McConnell, director of TCHR, follow:

"The international community poured generously into tsunami relief funds, and rightly insisted that there should be a joint mechanism to distribute relief and funds for reconstruction. Hopes seemed to be fulfilled when eventually on June 24th the Post-Tsunami Operational Management Structure (P-TOMS) MOU was signed by the government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE. Mr Kofi Annan, said that he 'hopes the agreement will help place Sri Lanka on the road to full recovery from this unparalleled tragedy.'

"However, hopes of imminent joint working were soon dashed. The Supreme Court on 15th July 2005 issued a stay order suspending four key provisions of the newly agreed P-TOMS, upholding a petition filed by Sinhala extremists in which they claimed that their fundamental rights enshrined in the constitution were infringed, and that they wanted the P-TOMS declared null and void."

"The blatant and endemic bias in the Sri Lankan judicial system against Tamils, is a well recorded fact. Justice has been denied to Tamils systematically, over several decades, in all aspects of life. They have suffered systematic human rights violations of genocidal proportions, the perpetrators of which have not been brought to book."

"Now, justice is denied to the Tamils even in the face of the massive suffering caused by the tsunami disaster last December 26. "

"Analysts have warned that the failure of P-TOMS will lead to a breakdown in the CFA and possible return to war."

"Recently a statue of Buddha was erected illegally in Trincomalee, with political motivation, to cause tension among local communities, and clearly not for worship. The District court ordered the removal of the statue. However the Supreme Court has taken decisions negating the district court decision. Increased Sri Lanka armed forces have been stationed in the town. Local people feel insulted and humiliated by this unwarranted oppression. People are demanding impartial implementation in the enforcement of law and order."

"Local people feel the act was part of a calculated plan to destabilize the situation in Trincomalee, and disrupt the implementation of post-tsunami activities that could help in promoting confidence amongst the people in the Northeast. Many believe the ultimate objective of this act is to impede the furtherance of the peace process."

"It behoves yourselves as Members of the Sub-Commission, distinguished specialists in the promotion and protection of human rights, to take action, as an integral part of the international community's duty to pursue peace with dignity."


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