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UN Leaked Document On Sri Lanka War Crimes UN Human Rights Chief Need to Speak Up Now: Tamil Civil Society

The UN Higher Commissioner for Human Rights must respond right away to the yesterday&#8217s exposure by Channel four News relating to a UN initiated strategy to establish a domestic mechanism for accountability in Sri Lanka, the Tamil Civil Society Forum (TCSF) has stated right now.

Zeid Ra&#x002019ad Al Hussein - The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein &#8211 The UN Higher Commissioner for Human Rights

&#8220The UN Higher Commissioner for Human Rights, if he is to sustain the dignity of his office, can’t be silent any longer&#8221, the TCSF stated in a statement.

We publish beneath the statement in complete

The Tamil Civil Society Forum takes critical note of the yesterday&#8217s exposure (28 July 2015) by Channel four News with regards to a UN initiated plan to establish a domestic mechanism for accountability in Sri Lanka. In a joint letter dated the 3rd of July 2015 signed by 15 civil society organizations from the Tamil majority North-East of Sri Lanka addressed to the UN Human Rights Commissioner we raised concerns about the UN in Sri Lanka&#8217s collaboration with the Government of Sri Lanka to set up a credible domestic mechanism in Sri Lanka. The concerns had been raised primarily based on a speech delivered by the UN Resident Coordinator in Sri Lanka on 04 June 2015. The speech appears to have been primarily based on the UN Memo now exposed by Channel 4. In our letter we argued that these moves preempt the OISL report scheduled for release in September 2015. There has been no response to date to our letter from the UN in Sri Lanka or the Higher Commissioner&#8217s office, except for an acknowledgement of receipt from the UN Resident Coordinator&#8217s workplace. Complete text of our letter can be discovered right here.

The leaked document by Channel 4 provides for a domestic mechanism to be run by the Government of Sri Lanka with mere &#8216technical assistance&#8217 from the UN. We condemn and reject these moves hatched in secrecy to establish a domestic mechanism solely negotiated among the Government of Sri Lanka and the UN. The UN clearly does not see the Tamil folks as being partners in the method towards accountability in Sri Lanka, in spite of the truth the High Commissioner has repeatedly insisted on consultation with victims. TCSF has regularly maintained that establishing a credible domestic mechanism in Sri Lanka would be not possible. The UN Higher Commissioner for Human Rights, if he is to preserve the dignity of his workplace, cannot be silent anymore. He should respond quickly.

Kumaravadivel Guruparan &amp Elil Rajan
Co-Spokespersons, Tamil Civil Society Forum.

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