UN report slams Sri Lanka's 'pattern of abuse' against Tamils

Tamils in Sri Lanka have been subject to 'decades of violations' of their human rights.

The Australian Tamil Congress (ATC) has welcomed a September 16 report released by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, which "identified patterns of grave violations in Sri Lanka between 2002 and 2011, strongly indicating that war crimes and crimes against humanity were most likely committed by both sides to the conflict".

Stating "years of denials and cover-ups", the report identifies the Sri Lankan system as "not yet ready to handle these types of crime". It says "a purely domestic court procedure will have no chance of overcoming widespread and justifiable suspicions fuelled by decades of violations, malpractice and broken promises".

Instead, the report recommends establishing a hybrid special court, integrating international judges, prosecutors, lawyers and investigators, to ensure a less biased investigation into allegations of abuses in war against the Tamil minority.

The Sri Lankan government, however, has ruled out any option other than a purely domestic mechanism.

The report comes ahead of a scheduled resolution on Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council this month.

The ATC urged all UNHCR member countries to take into account the UN report, and its call for a hybrid mechanism. The ATC called for passing a resolution that will work towards establishing justice and bringing closure for victims and survivors in Sri Lanka.

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