Diaspora invited to UN envoy’s report launch

[TamilNet, Saturday, 15 July 2006, 10:53 GMT]
Amnesty International (AI) and Human Rights Watch (HRW) have invited expatriate Tamils to participate a public meeting on human rights which they are co-hosting on August 5 in London. The chief speaker is Professor Philip Alston, UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, whose report on violence in Sri Lanka was issued earlier this year.

Professor Alston issued a critical report on the deteriorating human rights situation in Sri Lanka and its impact on the Peace Process on 27 March 2006, following his visit to the island in December 2005 at the invitation of the Sri Lankan government.

“Following presentations by Professor Philip Alston, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch an open plenary discussion will be held to address the grave human rights situation in Sri Lanka and the constructive role that could be played by the diaspora to achieve peace in Sri Lanka with democracy and human rights,” it said.

On killings of Tamils civilians, Prof. Alston’s report blames all sides, but considers the Sri Lankan armed forces and anti-LTTE armed groups to have been more “constrained” than the LTTE.

“Governments as well as armed opposition groups are generally constrained to take account of human rights by the need to retain popular support within their constituencies,” the report says.

“The LTTE has, however, been able to circumvent many of these constraints by relying so heavily for its financial and political support on a constituency that is largely exempted from its violence.”

“The diaspora has a responsibility to use its considerable political and financial influence and funding to promote and to insist upon respect for human rights,” the report says.

The Amnesty International – Human Rights Watch hosted meeting will take place on Saturday 5 August 2006 from 2 to 5 pm at the Amnesty International Human Rights Action Centre, 17 – 25 New Inn Yard, London EC2A 3EA, a joint statement said.

Tamil and Sinhala translations of his report will be launched by Professor Philip Alston at the meeting in London, it also said.

External Links:
UN: Civil and Political Rights, including the question of disappearances and summary executions, Philip Alston


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