Connect with us

News

India receives GTF appreciation for skipping UNHRC vote on Sri Lanka

Published

on

The Global Tamil Forum (GTF) on Tuesday (23) said that by making a public statement before the vote on an accountability resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC and then skipping the vote, India had clearly shown its displeasure at the lack of progress on addressing the alleged violations of human rights and international laws and the non-implementation of Sri Lanka’s numerous public commitments of the past in addressing the grievances of the Tamil people. The GTF said that Tamils were grateful to the Tamil Nadu political parties, particularly the DMK president M.K. Stalin for the recent statement calling on the Government of India not to support the Government of Sri Lanka by voting against the resolution.

The following is the text of statement issued by GTF spokesman Suren Surendiran: The Government of Sri Lanka rejected this resolution, however even all the neighbouring countries did not support that position.

It is significant that the majority of the Latin American countries and all of the European countries voted in favour of the resolution. Majority of the African countries, the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) and the Asian countries did not support the position taken by the Government of Sri Lanka.

It is particularly pleasing that the countries voted in favour cover all regions across the globe and several countries who would have traditionally voted against such a resolution recognised the criticality of the situation in Sri Lanka and decided to abstain. It is indeed encouraging for victims of human rights abuses across the world that UNHRC continues to offer hope, even if the process of seeking justice is painstaking and arduous.

The current process towards this important outcome commenced with the report by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, which powerfully articulated that ‘Sri Lanka is on an alarming path towards recurrence of human rights violations’ and called for urgent action from the international community. The High Commissioner’s call was ably converted into resolution 46/1 by the core group of countries under the leadership of the UK, which in fact is a pragmatic outcome balancing the highly concerning developments in Sri Lanka with challenging geopolitical reality. Strengthening OHCHR’s capacity to collect, consolidate, analyse, and preserve information and evidence, and to develop possible strategies for future accountability processes, with sufficient budgetary and manpower support is a critical and welcoming new dimension in this resolution.

Tamils are grateful to the US Administration that initiated the original process of promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka in 2012.

GTF would like to express its appreciation and gratitude to all progressive forces that made this current outcome possible – the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights, the core group of countries, all countries who voted for and/or co-sponsored the resolution, the countries that abstained without voting against the resolution, eminent persons and dedicated human rights organisations who championed the cause, and more importantly the victims of human rights abuses in Sri Lanka who despite the time elapsed and the risks involved, continue to provide inspiration by bravely fighting for human rights and accountability.

Tamils are grateful to the Government of India for supporting an escalation of the Tamil demand for equality, justice (accountability), dignity and peace at a multilateral international forum like the UNHRC. By specifying India’s support to the international community calling on the Government of Sri Lanka to fulfil its commitments to devolve political power to the Tamils and to allow those devolved powers to be operationalised effectively according to the 13th amendment of the constitution is very significant.

Unlike in the previous years when the outcome at the UNHRC was eagerly sought by the Tamil community, the interests and expectations this year were much more widespread. The Muslim community, which was openly victimised through forced cremations and expected burqa ban; the Christian community which is highly disappointed with the dishonest approach towards Easter bombing investigations, and indeed the majority community which is increasingly becoming unsettled with the authoritarian and militarised trajectory the country is adopting.

GTF believes this convergence of concerns, fears and apprehensions offer hope for all the people of Sri Lanka to come together as equal citizens and communities. Such progress is possible only when all communities stop living a lie based on denial but come to terms with the truth based on evidence. The UNHRC resolution just passed provides a useful framework to work towards such an outcome. We call upon people from all communities, important stakeholders of the country including the leaders of the government and opposition, to stop using the UNHRC initiative for short term political gains, but rather listen to the coherent and powerful voice of the international community, and adopt the parameters of this resolution willingly for the betterment of the country and its people. The Government of Sri Lanka, by rejecting this resolution, is undoubtedly isolating itself from the international community.”



Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

JVP accuses EC of conspiring to delay LG polls

Published

on

By Saman Indrajith

JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake, MP, has told Parliament that the Election Commission and its Chairman are collaborating with the government to postpone the local government elections.

Participating in the Third Reading stage debate on Budget 2023, on Friday, MP Dissanayake said that as local government bodies should be reconstituted before March 20 2023, the Election Commission had to publish a gazette calling nominations by late December or early January.

“The EC has the authority to do so. It has sought the Attorney General’s opinion on some matters. There is no need at all for it to seek the AG’s advice,” he said.

“This is a conspiracy. The Elections Commission can publish the gazette even tomorrow. It is clear that the Elections Commission is collaborating with the government,” he said.

Dissnayake said that Election Commissioner Nimal Punchihewa’s impartiality was in question. “We know where Punchihewa worked before and at what party office. We know the governments and persons he has worked with closely. He is not an independent person.”

Continue Reading

News

Diana wants bars open 24/7

Published

on

By Saman Indrajith

State Tourism Minister Diana Gamage says liquor outlets should be kept open longer if the country wants to boost tourism.Participating in the Third Reading stage debate on Budget 2023 on Friday, State Minister Gamage said: “We have to keep these places open 24/7. I have spoken about it many times. Liquor is the highest tax earner in the country. In this paradise, we are closing bars after 11pm. Foreigners in hotels can’t get any alcohol if they need, because all the places are closed.

We need to keep this country open 24 hours. Like Singapore and other countries, people must have entertainment.”

“I talk about the night life, and when I talked about that earlier many criticized it and saw it as a big sin. That is ones who are incapable of understanding it,” she said.

“What we call night life is actually a night economy. All the countries in the world have developed because of night economy. These countries get 70 percent of their income from the nigh economy. They only get 30 percent during the day time. We have to develop a night economy in this country. That will earn 70 percent of the income. Only that can develop this country.

“We can do that. And also our museum, that closes at 5 pm. In other countries, museums earn most during night. It must be opened 24/7.  This night economy is essential for a country’s economy. People must have places to spend their money.”

Continue Reading

News

SJB asks govt. to introduce political reforms fast

Published

on

By Saman Indrajith

Chief Opposition Whip Kandy District MP Lakshman Kiriella has asked the government when it will introduce the political reforms demanded by the international community.

Speaking in Parliament on Saturday, Kiriella said that when the Opposition parties met the members of the Colombo-based diplomatic community during the Aragalaya protests, the latter had demanded that Sri Lanka implement political and economic reforms to receive foreign assistance to get out of the prevailing crisis. “That was six months ago. We have been asking the government repeatedly to inform this House whether it has implemented those reforms.

“The riginal plan was to establish an interim government for six months to restore the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. It was stated that an election would be held after six months. Now, what has happened? The politicians who are responsible for the crisis are still in power.

“Foreign Minister Al Sabry met USAID Administrator Samantha Power on Friday. Samantha Power called for the same political and economic reforms again. The international community is asking for the same.”

Leader of the House, Minister Susil Premjayantha said that political reforms were being implemented. “It is as part of the political reforms we are setting up a National Council, Sectoral Oversight Committees and three other committees. Counter terrorism act is in the pipeline. It will be taken up within couple of weeks. We passed several bills with your support. There were nine amendments to be introduced to the criminal law,” he said.

Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa: “The bills and amendments that have been passed are not enough as far as the international community and we are concerned. The biggest request is to allow the people of this country for a new mandate. Allow the people to express their will. Give them a chance to establish a new government or to maintain the same government now they have.”

Continue Reading

Trending