|By PR Newswire||
|January 2, 2014 09:32 AM EST||
USTPAC joins fifty-five organizations world-wide in a New Year message, casting grave doubts on domestic probes by the Sri Lankan government, and pledging to promote credible international investigations into the deaths of tens of thousands of Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka.
WASHINGTON, Jan. 2, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The United States Tamil Political Action Council (USTPAC) joined fifty-five other Tamil organizations worldwide in an annual joint New Year message. This year's message by 56 organizations and entities from 10 countries expressed their resolve to "fully commit ourselves to mobilize the International Community to establish an independent international investigation by the United Nations to investigate war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide against Tamils." The statement also questions the viability of any credible domestic inquiry by Sri Lanka for these serious crimes. A copy of the message and the endorsing entities can be seen here: http://ustpac.org/world-wide-tamil-entities/
USTPAC president Dr. Elias Jeyarajah said, "We are happy to join this global effort. USTPAC has been consistently campaigning for an International Independent Investigation of all sides for the atrocities committed against the Tamil people in Sri Lanka. We have also highlighted that based on 30-year history of entrenched impunity, no domestic mechanism can deliver justice to the victimized Tamils and permanent peace to the island."
Many world leaders, including UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay and British Prime Minister David Cameron have expressed dismay at Sri Lanka's lack of progress for a genuine and meaningful process of accountability and justice, and have called for an Independent International Investigation into human rights and humanitarian law violations in Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan government, however, has continued to ignore two UN Human Rights Council resolutions and has accelerated its Genocidal agenda through demographic change and military occupation of the NorthEast, the traditional homeland of the Tamils. Mass graves continue to be unearthed in the former conflict areas, and proper international forensic expertise is not forthcoming.
Realizing that the international community's patience has worn thin, according to press reports, Sri Lanka is now 'studying' a Truth and Reconciliation Commission and seeking help from South Africa. "After four years of mocking the Tamils and the intelligence of the world community by claiming there were zero civilian casualties, Sri Lanka's latest offer of yet another domestic process is merely a sham to deflect international scrutiny," said Dr. Jeyarajah.
USTPAC notes the significant differences between the conflicts of South Africa and Sri Lanka - chief among them the fact that those oppressed under apartheid chose to grant forgiveness and amnesty after the defeat of apartheid, which is now illegal under current international law. "We continue to urge the international community to support the efforts of the United States at the UN Human Rights Council and help to institute an independent international process without delay. We firmly believe that justice is a necessary and inviolable precursor to reconciliation," said Dr. Jeyarajah.
The joint New Year message ended calling for "a peaceful world thriving with justice, equality and freedom for all."
Media contact: Elias Jey +1 202 595 3123 www.ustpac.org
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SOURCE The United States Tamil Political Action Council