| A Statement issued by the AFTA
( March 16, 2012, Sydney, Sri Lanka Guardian) The Australasian Federation of Tamil Associations (AFTA) wishes to draw the attention of the Governments of Australia and New Zealand, the media and the human rights organisations to a Draft Resolution tabled in the 19th session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) being held in Geneva from 27th of February to 23rd of March. This Draft resolution on Sri Lanka is expected to be debated next week.
It requests the Sri Lankan government (SLG) to present a comprehensive action plan as “expeditiously as possible” detailing the steps the government has taken and will take to implement the LLRC recommendations and also to address alleged violations of
The draft resolution encourages the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to provide, and the SLG to accept advice and technical assistance of implementing those steps. It also requests the OHCHR to present a report to the UNHRC on the provision of such assistance at its 22nd session. Sri Lanka says this resolution is unwarranted and needed more time to implement the LLRC recommendations.
AFTA does not have any faith in the Sri Lankan political establishment that it will fulfil any of the above demands and holds the view that this draft resolution has completely failed to capture the depth of crimes against humanity, the war crimes and genocide of the Tamils committed by Sri Lanka. How could one expect justice from investigations carried out by the very perpetrators of such heinous crimes and an establishment that has miserably failed to offer a so called home grown solution to the ethnic conflict over the past six decades? The British Channel 4 stories on Sri Lanka: Killing Fields including the latest episode screened on 14 March 2012 reinforce the seriousness of the crimes committed.
A statement directed to the UNHRC on 14 March 2012 by the Tamil National Alliance, the main democratic voice of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka, points out that “ The spate of killings and abductions, even in the last few months; the intrusive presence of the military in governance, on the streets, in trade and business as well as in the day-to-day lives of citizens; the negation of effective civilian administration in the North; the expropriation of private lands; the arbitrary utilization of state lands for sectarian purposes; the erection of massive military cantonments in areas where people should have been allowed to resettle; and the abuse of women and children, are all manifestations of how the social and political freedom of the Tamil people in the North and East of Sri Lanka are being severely jeopardized”.
Professor Francis Boyle, an expert in international law and a keen observer of Sri Lanka politics, says the U.S. Government is going along with the Sri Lankan Government’s strategy to run the clock out on the Tamils, just as the Israelis are doing to the Palestinians with USA’s support. He calls this strategy as “ Stall and Delay” to annihilate the identity of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka. Although the draft resolution tabled by the US grossly under represent the past and present ground realities in Sri Lanka, AFTA calls on the Australian and New Zealand Governments to support the efforts of USA and other like minded democratic nations to have an effective resolution passed at the 19th Session of the UNHRC as a first step, of potentially many required, to establish truth, justice, peace and genuine reconciliation in Sri Lanka.