Addressing the UN Human Rights Council’s 30th session on 28 September 2015, Pasumai Thaayagam called on all states to “actively assist Sri Lanka in setting up an accountability process and urged UN member states to remain vigilant to ensure the consensus resolution on Sri Lanka is implemented, .
The full statement is reproduced below:
Pasumai Thaayagam would like to thank the High Commissioner and his office for the Investigation on Sri Lanka. The OISL report details war crimes and crimes against humanity that took place mainly against the Tamil people. Its evidence, conclusions, and recommendations can only assist Sri Lanka towards justice and reconciliation.
We also thank the core group that tabled the resolution this session. The resolution is founded on the new government’s said commitments to pursue justice. Tamil victims on the ground and in diaspora await meaningful and credible implementation to gauge progress by Sri Lanka. We expect to see significant international involvement in the justice process. As the High Commissioner said, “for accountability to be achieved in Sri Lanka, it will require more than a domestic mechanism.”
We call on all member states to actively assist Sri Lanka in setting up an accountability process that is credible to the victims, who must have confidence in the mechanism for it to be effective.
The OISL report identifies many failures in the country’s witness and victim protection law. Effective protection is essential. The victims in the North-East continue to live in a highly militarized climate, surrounded by the very same military which has been implicated in the OISL report as carrying out the atrocities.
Thousands of Tamils remain missing. Reports of torture and sexual violence by the military continue. Arrests under the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act, which has been listed for review and repeal in the tabled resolution, continue.
We urge the member states to remain vigilant to ensure that the resolution on Sri Lanka is implemented effectively, but promptly. The crimes detailed in the OISL report are of the highest magnitude. Failure to ensure credible justice in Sri Lanka, empowers perpetrators all over the world.