The Australian Tamil Congress (ATC) expressed its “disappointment” with a March 21 United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution on “promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka”.
There have been seven similar resolutions passed since 2009, when the war between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, who were fighting for an independent Tamil homeland in the north and east of the island, ended in the massacre of tens of thousands of Tamils.
According to the ATC, “very little justice has reached victims and survivors” for what it describes as “mass atrocity crimes committed against the Tamil population”.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights had issued a report that included a recommendation calling on member states to prosecute perpetrators of war crimes in Sri Lanka, but this was not adopted by the UNHRC.
“This resolution yet again aids Sri Lanka’s tactic of delaying and hence denying justice to victims and survivors”, said ATC spokesperson Dr Sam Pari.
The ATC has called for “alternate UN processes to be considered such as referral to the International Criminal Court or the establishment of an international criminal tribunal”.
On March 16, in the lead up to the UNHRC discussion, Tamils held a large demonstration in Jaffna, a city in Sri Lanka’s north, demanding an international investigation of crimes including genocide. They also called on the international community to recognise Tamils’ right to self-determination and sovereignty, according to a Tamilnet report.