Feature Article
2ND LEAD (Correction)

Tamil civil groups, political parties, come a step forward if the line is their own

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 29 September 2015, 19:13 GMT]
Thoroughly deceived by the Washington-Colombo genocide partners even in minimum expectations of justice, Eezham Tamil civil groups and a significant section of political parties on Tuesday came hard on the resolution tabled at Geneva. Urging reconsideration of the current draft, the statement coming from 40 civil groups and 4 political parties pointed out that the mechanism largely managed and controlled by the Sri Lankan State loses credibility with the victims, and ‘deeply regretted’ the removal of references to demilitarisation of North-East. With impending further deceptions, whether the response would lead to substantial alternative initiatives and appropriate non-cooperation movement is the question, commented Tamil activists for alternative politics.

Apart from the 40 Civil Society Organisations and Trade Unions, Eelam People’s Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF), Democratic People’s Liberation Front (PLOTE), Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO) and Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF) were the signatories of the statement.

The Civil Society Organisations that welcomed the fundamentally deviatory OISL report a few days ago, have now come a step forward in gathering guts to voice against the ultimate deviators.

The groups and political parties that have come out with the statement can’t face the Tamil people and will be ostracised to oblivion is the hard truth behind the stand taken by them.

What is conspicuous is that TNA is not a party to this response and that is another step forward by the signatories. The TNA, particularly Sumanthiran’s TNA, has ‘graduated’ not to bother about public opinion.

But the crucial question is that to what extent the signatories are going to translate their response into solid political programme of coming out with challenging alternative initiatives or non-cooperation against injustice. Otherwise, they will follow the same legacies of the missed political struggle in 1931 or would become the ‘Second Eleven’ groomed to the same games of the ultimate culprits. The ‘Third Eleven’ also must be in the making, commented the Tamil activists for alternative politics.

* * *


29 September 2015

We release this statement in response to the draft resolution titled 'Promoting Reconciliation, Accountability and Human Rights in Sri Lanka' tabled under Item 2 and scheduled for debate and adoption on the 30th of September 2015.

  1. We reiterate the firm conviction of the victims of the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka, a majority of whom are Tamils, that accountability and justice can only be truly delivered through an international criminal justice process.

  2. We however in deference to the Report of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights' Inquiry on Sri Lanka (the OISL report) were willing to consider the possibility of achieving justice and accountability through a credible hybrid mechanism in the event of the mechanism being led and managed by its international component under the aegis of the UN.

  3. We regret that Operative Paragraphs 4 and 6 of the draft resolution do not adequately provide for the setting up of such a credible hybrid mechanism. The paragraphs when read together only seek to provide the appearance of credibility to a domestic process through the appointment of 'commonwealth and other foreign judges, defence lawyers, and authorized prosecutors and investigators'. The Sri Lankan Government appointing foreign judges to its own judicial mechanism will not address the structural factors that inhibit the domestic structures in Sri Lanka, reasons for which are detailed in the OISL report. A mechanism, which is by and large managed and controlled by the Sri Lankan state, will not in our opinion be deemed credible by the victims in Sri Lanka.

  4. We also deeply regret that references to demilitarization of the North-East and an increased role for the OHCHR which were included in the initial draft of the resolution have been removed from the current draft tabled before the UNHRC. The current draft resolution in Operative Paragraph 3 provides for a 'national' victims consultation process thereby in effect excluding numerous Tamil victims who live outside of Sri Lanka in fear of persecution. The testimonies of these victims from the diaspora were key to the OISL inquiry. We note with deep regret that in the interest of arriving at a consensus resolution with Sri Lanka that many key components of the initial draft have been omitted.

  5. We urge you to reconsider the current draft of the resolution and to redraft it so that it truly serves the purpose of providing the basis for delivering accountability and justice in Sri Lanka.


Political Parties
  1. Eelam People’s Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF)
  2. Democratic People’s Liberation Front (PLOTE)
  3. Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO)
  4. Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF)

Civil Society Organisations & Trade Unions

  1. Tamil Action Committee for an International Accountability Mechanism (TACIAM)
  2. Tamil Civil Society Forum (TCSF)
  3. Centre for Human Rights and Development (CHRD)
  4. Home for Human Rights (HHR)
  5. The Social Architects (TSA)
  6. Ceylon Teachers Union
  7. Vavuniya Citizens Committee
  8. Mannar Citizens Committee
  9. Council of Non Governmental Organisations, Jaffna
  10. Tamil Lawyers Forum
  11. North East Coordinating Committee of the Relatives of the Forcibly Disappeared
  12. Jaffna University Teachers Association
  13. Jaffna University Employees Union
  14. Foundation of Changers - Batticaloa
  15. East Civil society Activist Alliance – Batticaloa
  16. Commission for Justice and Peace of the Catholic Diocese of Jaffna
  17. Batticaloa Social Workers Network
  18. Paduvaankarai People’s Alliance
  19. Mannar Economic and Social Development Organization
  20. Hindu Development Society Karaithivu – Amparai
  21. Tamilar Valvurimai Maiyam
  22. Valikamam North Development Board, Jaffna.
  23. Batticaloa District Civil Society
  24. Tamil Civil Society – Trincomalee (TCST)
  25. Chamber of Commerce and Insustries – Jaffna
  26. Ceylon Tamil Teachers Association
  27. Jaffna District Fishermen’s Cooperative Society Unions Federation
  28. Jaffna Economists Association
  29. Rural Labourers Society – Jaffna District
  30. Northern Province Fisher People’s Unity
  31. Jaffna District Fisheries Solidarity Movement
  32. Valikamam South West Fisheries Co-operative Societies Federation
  33. Trincomalee Tamils Development Federation
  34. Trincomalee Women Headed Families Association
  35. Batticaloa Sri Mamangeswarar Thrift Co-operative Society
  36. Batticaloa District Pensioners Association
  37. Batticaloa Municipal Tax Payers Association
  38. Batticaloa Maamangam Development Society
  39. Batticaloa SriMamangeswarar Hindu association
  40. Batticaloa SriMamangeswarar Women’s Association

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