Jaffna NGOs appeal to UN

[TamilNet, Friday, 10 December 1999, 21:42 GMT]
The Consortium of Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in Jaffna, Sri Lanka has appealed to the Secretary-General of United Nations to prevail on the warring parties to agree for an immediate cessation of hostilities and to initiate peace talks.

The Consortium has made this appeal in a memorandum sent in connection with International Human Rights Day celebrated today.

"We write this letter to you, from a land where Emergency Rule has become the norm" says the Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies which comprises sixteen member organisations.

The letter further states:

"In our case, we have been experiencing only the steady erosion of our rights over the years. Now, under the emergency rule,most of the rights enshrined in the Human Rights' Charter have been derogated. Even the sacred right not to be subjected to torture, which cannot under any circumstances be derogated, is in practice denied, as evidenced by the Forensic Experts involved in the exhumation of the graves at the village of Chemmani. The problem of hundreds of disappearances is being treated with utter indifference by the relevant authorities. For a small nation like ours, the blood shed has been too enormous and the violence to human dignity too barbarous.

"At present, the plight of starving people in the war-torn Vanni district without food and medical supplies for a over a month is totally ignored by the authorities whose entire attention is focussed on the forthcoming presidential election.

"Last month, the leader of the LTTE publicly declared his readiness for peace negotiations through a third party mediation. We firmly believe that the United Nations is the most suitable mediator.

"Hence, on this sacred day of Human Rights, we earnestly appeal to you to prevail on the warring parties to agree for an immediate cessation of hostilities and to initiate peace talks."


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