Call for global probe on Sri Lanka Tamils

PMK leader and Dharmapuri MP Anbumani Ramadoss on Monday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj seeking a "review of India's position" on the Sri Lankan issue in the UNHCR meeting, in the context of "continuing human rights violations" in that country.

Sri Lanka's main Tamil party, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) opposes the attempt to grant more time for Sri Lanka to implement the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) proposals stipulated in the UN resolution HRC 30/1 adopted in by the Council in October 2015. Titled "Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka", the draft text of the resolution had as its main sponsors, Montenegro, Macedonia, the United Kingdom and the US.

Australia, Canada, Germany, Israel, Japan and Norway have now extended support to the draft text.

Jaffna District TNA parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran addressing media in Jaffna on Saturday said he will be leaving for Geneva to participate in the UNHRC session on 23 March when the decisions will be made following the Interactive Dialogue on the High Commissioner's report on Sri Lanka on 22 March. The follow-up draft resolution on Sri Lanka was submitted to the UNHRC before the deadline for submissions ended last week. The support strengthens Sri Lanka's request for more time to address the issue on accountability over the conflict, according to local civil society groups.

He said a resolution was adopted in the UNHRC sponsored by the U.S. and Lanka in 2015 that called for independent investigation of the war crimes in Lanka with the participation of global judges and lawyers and jurists. Anbumani requested that India should "prevail upon the worldwide community and propose a referendum in the North and East of Sri Lanka to find out the aspirations of the Tamils Right to Self Determination".

Earlier this month, the UNHRC had criticised Sri Lanka's "slow" progress in addressing its wartime past and reiterated its earlier call for hybrid court of global and local judges to investigate allegations of rights violations.

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