As a matter of urgency, US groups jointly call on Secretary Blinken to help bring Sri Lanka to International Criminal Court - ICC - World News Report

As a matter of urgency, US groups jointly call on Secretary Blinken to help bring Sri Lanka to International Criminal Court – ICC – World News Report

US Secretary of State Anthony J. Blinken

Anything but referral to the ICC will eliminate any chance of getting justice and encourage security forces to commit atrocities against Tamils ​​without hesitation

As one of the core group countries on Sri Lanka in the UN Human Rights Council, the US plays a critical role in developing a resolution on Sri Lanka in the Council.”

– United States Tamil Groups Joint Appeal

WASHINGTON, USA, September 5, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ —

As a matter of urgency, US-based Tamil diaspora groups are jointly calling on US Secretary of State Blinken to help bring Sri Lanka to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

As one of the major group countries on Sri Lanka in the UN Human Rights Council, the US plays a critical role in drafting the Resolution on Sri Lanka in the Council.

The joint letter from these groups highlights the call by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to refer Sri Lanka to the ICC, which was supported by all four former UN High Commissioners for Human Rights, nine former UN Special Rapporteurs who visited and wrote reports on Sri Lanka, and all three members of the Panel of Experts of the Secretary-General on Sri Lanka.

The letter goes on to say that “We, as members of the Tamil diaspora in the US, firmly believe that anything short of going to the ICC will forever eliminate any chance of getting justice for the massive atrocities that our people have faced. It is also to encourage the security forces and the government to commit massive atrocities against the Tamil people without hesitation.”

The letter highlights a joint letter written by major segments of Sri Lanka’s Tamil community to core group countries on the urgent need for the UN to refer Sri Lanka to the ICC: https://www.einpresswire.com/article/588451342

The letter also addresses the UN Security Council veto: “Some people argue that Sri Lanka’s transfer will be blocked in the UN Security Council (UNSC). This argument is misleading as none of the permanent members of the UNSC has indicated that they will veto any application by Sri Lanka to the ICC.”

“Furthermore, it should be noted that the same concerns have been expressed previously in other situations, but the UNHRC went further and called on the UNSC to refer these countries to the ICC.”

For example:

a) Sudan was referred to the UNSC with a recommendation to refer the case to the ICC. Although Sudan is very close to China compared to Sri Lanka, China did not exercise its veto power, resulting in Sudan being referred to the ICC and then Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir was served with a subpoena to the ICC.

b) Similarly, the UNHRC has referred North Korea to the ICC despite very serious concerns that China has exercised its veto power.

The letter ends with a request:

“For the above reasons, we, as representatives of the US Tamil diaspora, jointly call on you, at the request of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and other UN officials, to call in your resolution to call on the UN Security Council to refer Sri Lanka to the ICC, as was the case with North Korea and Sudan.

FIND THE LETTER AND SIGNATORS BELOW:

The Honorable Anthony J. Blinken, August 31, 2022
US Secretary of State
US Department of State
2201 Street C, NW
Washington DC 20520

Dear Secretary Blinken,

Re: Tamil diaspora organizations urgently call on UN to refer Sri Lanka to International Criminal Court (ICC)

As the United States is a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council Core Group on Sri Lanka (UNHRC), we, representatives of the US Tamil diaspora organizations, are writing to you jointly ahead of the forthcoming UNHRC 51st session in September about our concern about the continued disclaimer of responsibility for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed against the Tamil people.

Principal segments of the Sri Lankan Tamil community have also requested the Sri Lanka Core Group to urgently refer Sri Lanka to the ICC: https://www.einpresswire.com/article/588451342

During this session, Sri Lanka will be assessed for Sri Lanka’s compliance with UNHRC resolutions. We urge you to submit a strong resolution to hold accountable the atrocities committed thirteen years ago, calling on Sri Lanka to refer the case to the International Criminal Court (ICC), as recommended by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in her March 2021 report . to the UNHRC and backed up by all four former UN High Commissioners for Human Rights, nine former Special Rapporteurs who visited Sri Lanka and wrote reports, and all three members of the Secretary-General’s Panel on Sri Lanka.

We in the Tamil diaspora in the US firmly believe that anything short of going to the ICC will forever eliminate any chance of getting justice for the massive atrocities that our people have faced. In addition, it will encourage the security forces and the government to commit massive atrocities against the Tamil people without hesitation.

We collectively urge you to ensure that the Core Group, in its Resolution on Sri Lanka for UNHRC 51, clearly calls on the UN Security Council to refer Sri Lanka to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

* BACKGROUND:

Within a week of the end of the armed ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka in May 2009, the Government of Sri Lanka and the United Nations issued a joint communiqué following the visit of the UN Secretary-General to Sri Lanka on 23 May 2009, in which, inter alia, said:

“Sri Lanka reaffirmed its strong commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights in accordance with international human rights standards and Sri Lanka’s international obligations. The Secretary-General emphasized the importance of the process of holding accountable for violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law. The government will take steps to address these complaints.”

Sri Lanka has not taken any significant steps towards fulfilling the above commitments in the last thirteen (13) years. Over the years, the UNHRC has adopted seven (7) resolutions ending with UNHRC Resolution 46/1 in March 2021. Sri Lanka even co-sponsored some unanimous resolutions, including a resolution to establish mixed courts with international judges, prosecutors, and defense lawyers. Several years have passed, but Sri Lanka has not taken the initiative to create a hybrid court, as promised by the government of the UNHRC.

In addition, successive Sri Lankan governments have used different tactics to drag out the accountability process in order to deceive the UNHRC.
In addition to not addressing accountability, the Sri Lankan government continues its program of Tamil oppression, including maintaining an extremely large military force in Tamil areas despite thirteen years since the end of the war, and land grabs. for the settlement of the Sinhalese in
traditionally Tamil areas with the aim of turning Tamil areas into Sinhalese-dominated areas.

* RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE UN HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AND OTHER SENIOR UN OFFICIALS:

Due to the serious nature of the atrocities committed and the consistent tactics of the Sri Lankan governments to evade accountability, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, in her report to the UN HRC on 12 January 2021, called on the Council to take steps to bring Sri Lanka to the ICC. This call was backed up by several senior UN officials who made the same point.

The report of the High Commissioner for Sri Lanka dated 12 January 2021 regarding Sri Lanka in the ICC states:

“Member States have a range of options to prosecute and provide redress measures for victims. In addition to taking steps to refer the situation in Sri Lanka to the International Criminal Court, Member States can actively investigate and prosecute international crimes committed by all parties in Sri Lanka in their national courts, including in accordance with the principles of extraterritorial or universal
jurisdiction”. https://undocs.org/A/HRC/46/20

Open letter from 20 former senior UN officials dated 18 February 2021. Signatories included all four former UN High Commissioners for Human Rights, nine former Special Rapporteurs who visited Sri Lanka and wrote reports, and all three members of the Panel of Experts of the Secretary-General on Sri – Lanka. This joint letter stated the following:

“The recently released report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Sri Lanka once again highlights the lack of progress in the country in the area of ​​justice and accountability. Based primarily on an analysis of emerging trends, it makes a compelling case for strong international action to ensure justice and accountability for massive human rights violations and atrocities in Sri Lanka as a central element in the search for sustainable reconciliation and the prevention of recurrence of rights violations and conflicts. Given the continued reluctance of the Sri Lankan government to truly uphold human rights for all, only strong international action for justice and accountability can break the periodic cycles of violence in Sri Lanka.”

https://chrgj.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Sewing-the-Seeds-of-Conflict.pdf

* IS A REAL ARGUMENT THAT THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL IS BLOCKING SRI LANKA’S TRANSFER TO THE ICC?

Some people argue that the mention of Sri Lanka will be blocked in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). This argument is misleading as none of the permanent members of the UNSC has indicated that they will veto any referral of Sri Lanka to the ICC.

In addition, it should be noted that the same concern has already been expressed in other situations, but the UNHRC went further and called on the UNSC to refer these countries to the ICC.

For example:

a) Sudan was referred to the UNSC with a recommendation to refer the case to the ICC. Although Sudan is much closer to China than Sri Lanka, China did not use its veto power, which resulted in Sudan being referred to the ICC and then Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir was served with a subpoena to the ICC.

b) Similarly, the UNHRC has referred North Korea to the ICC despite very serious concerns that China has exercised its veto power.

The question then arises as to why this justification is put forward against bringing Sri Lanka to the UNHRC ICC. The only logical conclusion from this argument is that it should protect the political leaders and officers of Sri Lanka from being prosecuted for the massive atrocities committed against the Tamil people.

* REQUEST:

For the above reasons, we, as representatives of the US Tamil diaspora, jointly call on you, in accordance with the request of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and other UN officials, to call in your resolution to call on the UN Security Council to refer Sri Lanka to the ICC, as was the case North Korea and Sudan.

Thank you for your attention.

Sincerely,

1. Federation of Tamil Sangams of North America (FeTNA); [email protected]
2. Ilankai Tamil Sangam; [email protected]
3. Tamil Americans United PAK; [email protected]
4. Tamil Eelam Transnational Government (TGTE); [email protected]
5. US Tamil Action Group (USTAG); [email protected]
6. World Tamil Organization; [email protected]m

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