inquiry commission   Addressing the UN Human Rights Council, Indian NGO Pasumai Thaayagam called upon the Council to establish an international Commission of Inquiry that will investigate the crime of genocide.

Speaking as part of the Council discussion dedicated to the 65th anniversary of the “Convention on the prevention and punishment of the Crime of Genocide”, the organisation stated, “When crimes of genocide and crimes against humanity are left unpunished, and the international community lacks the will to ensure accountability, it creates an environment of impunity that makes the world more vulnerable. Accountability requires first of all fact-finding, then the identification of those responsible, punishment, reparations for victims, and restructuring of national institutions. When accountability is not a priority, prevention against future violations will also suffer.”

Going on to speak on Sri Lanka, the NGO said,

“The Human Rights Council is lagging behind the leadership of its own High Commissioner. In this 25th session, the Council has an opportunity to establish an international mechanism with the mandate to conclusively establish the facts surrounding the now well-documented allegations of widespread systematic and gross violations including intentional shelling of densely populated civilian areas, extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances.”

“We call on UN member states to establish an international commission of inquiry on Sri Lanka to investigate international crimes, including that of genocide.”

In a statement to the UN Human Rights Council at the 25th session, the French Government said that “The fight against impunity is essential everywhere. In Sri Lanka the fight against impunity is indispensable to national reconciliation. It is even a priority. We urge the Sri Lankan authorities to implement recommendations of the reconciliation commission and put an end to the repression against the defenders of human rights. Finally, the Sri Lankan government must shed light on the heinous murders of the 17 workers of Action Contre La Faim there over seven years in 2006,” France said.

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