Hundreds of Tamil activists gathered outside US embassy on Tuesday to protest against the OISL deferral mooted by the USA, the key actor behind the UNHRC discourse on Sri Lanka. Endorsing the petition drafted by the Tamil Coordinating Committee – UK, the protesters demanded immediate referral of Sri Lanka to the UN Security Council and urgent action to stop ongoing structural genocide of the Eelam Tamil nation. The protesters also burnt the photos of TNA’s Parliamentary Group Leader R. Sampanthan and the nominated parliamentarian of the alliance M.A. Sumanthiran, blaming the duo for deceiving Tamils from achieving international justice.
“Continued international involvement in delivering justice by holding those responsible for genocidal crimes to account, establishing the entire truth of what happened in order for victims’ families to find closure, appropriate reparations, including the release of all political prisoners and the return of all forcibly seized lands to their rightful owners, and overarching institutional reform that includes a referendum among the genocide affected Eelam Tamil nation on their political future are necessary,” the appeal said.
“United States, as the chief sponsor of the original resolution, and as a ‘partner’ of Sri Lanka during the period that was being investigated by OHCHR, has responsibility ensure appropriate follow-up action. Release of the OHCHR findings as planned is only a minor signal of intent to the victims. Timely referral of Sri Lanka to the UN Security Council is the foremost step towards securing lasting peace on the island,” the appeal by the TCC-UK said.
The April 2014 resolution of the UN Human Rights Council(UNHRC) requesting the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to investigate violations of international law on the island of Sri Lanka between 2002 and 2011 was limited in scope. Eelam Tamils never believed that the investigation on its own could deliver justice.
“Despite their well founded reservations, many victims of Sri Lanka’s genocide risked their lives to give evidence to the OHCHR in hope that facts corroborated by a UN initiative will go someway in recognising their suffering. The delay in publication of the OHCHR findings, in the view of many victims, is a political decision that is in contravention of states’ commitment to prevent and punish the crime of genocide,” the appeal further said.
The new government in power in Sri Lanka has spent nearly 50 days in same rhetorical “peace building” as all its predecessors. From the new President, who was acting Defence Minister during peak of the genocidal massacres, to his special advisors, most of the members of the new government were deeply entrenched in the genocide that has transcended governments. The current government lacks both will and credibility to be trusted to lead any of the justice, truth finding, reparation or state reform processes, the protesters said.