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UN’s credibility on delivery of justice seriously eroded: rights activist in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Saturday, 02 July 2016, 23:12 GMT]
Even after coming up with resolutions and reports, the response coming from Human Rights chief with regards to practical delivery on international justice is based upon the thinking of giving more time and space to the Sri Lankan regime, which is acting against the spirit of accountability, Justice and rule of law, says Kathir Barathythasan, a leading human rights activist from Batticaloa. In an interview to TamilNet this week, the activist, who has served as the secretary of Citizens’ committees in Batticaloa and Ampaa’rai and Gandhi Seva Sangam, said the people on the ground, particularly the victims, will remain firm on seeking justice to thousands of their kith and kin perished in the 2009 onslaught and in demanding the whereabouts of those who have been reported missing.

The UN rights regime should know that is should not trade off accountability to the past crimes in North-East with delivery of future ‘good governance’ measures, he said.

The Tamil people are now realizing that the foreign NGOs have also been attempting to water-down their accountability demands through deploying so-called development assistance, Barathythasan said.

The people on the ground were initially betrayed when they were expecting, until the last moment of the onslaught in 2009 that UN would intervene to avert the annihilation. During the 2009 mass atrocity, the UN was not even prepared to do what India was prepared to do in 1987, when India dropped humanitarian supplies [during the so-called Operation Liberation by the SL State], he said.

The last phase of the war was conducted by the SL State with the backing of international powers. Many countries have in fact admitted that. They are also aware that sections of Tamils are rightfully blaming them for their role. These international powers think that they could make it up simply through providing development assistance. Even though some lands have been released, the people realize the structural limitations only after accessing these lands. What is taking place on the ground is that the SL State is proceeding with structural land grab.

The member State of the UN should respect the UN Charter and push for real accountability without further delay, the rights activist said. One of the key aspirations of the establishment of the UN was to avert mass atrocities against the people, he said.

Each time, when Colombo was under pressure, it came up with measures such as the provincial councils and the so-called decentralization of administration. But, these measures were applied to the whole of the island while Tamil people were expecting a federal solution as the minimum.

The arrangements enacted to the island, as a whole, didn’t deliver anything to Tamils.

Despite the establishment of the provincial councils under the 13th Amendment, Tamil people, who were supposed to have control on their own lands and police have not received such powers.

Even the divisional secretariat system, which was supposed to de-centralize the District Secretariat system further, has ended up as a tool of control for the Colombo-based central government, he said.

Last year, some of the leaders in the SL regime were openly claiming that the 6-months delay of OISL report was a victory for the government.

Everyone in the government is trying to protect the Sri Lankan military.

How could one argue that the Sri Lankan government is engaged in a positive track when it is refusing to admit what had happened to the missing ones who were handed over to the military by the families at the end of the war, he asked.



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