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INTERNATIONAL MECHANISM FOR INQUIRY: JOINT CIVIL SOCIETY MEMORANDUM TO THE HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL AND THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY

Centre for Policy Alternatives, Mar 4, 2014 - In these circumstances, we are of the firm belief that there is no alternative but the establishment of an international mechanism for inquiry into human rights abuses, accountability for war crimes and crimes against humanity with a UNHRC technical cooperation team and a time bound action plan. We endorse the recommendations made by the High Commissioner in her report submitted to HRC 25 (A/HRC/25/23). In conclusion, we wish to state that civil society remains committed to reversing the culture of impunity, the collapse of the Rule of Law, all forms of human rights violations and religious extremism that make up for the authoritarianism our country is challenged with. We will defend our democratic rights at all times!

Sri Lanka Campaign: Our new report points to ongoing crimes against humanity in Sri Lanka's north

Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice, 04 March 2014 - We have today released a report that presents credible allegations pointing to the commission of crimes against humanity by Sri Lankan security forces during the five years since the civil war ended. These crimes include rape, sexual violence, torture, murder, imprisonment, enforced disappearance, other inhumane acts, and land grabs against Tamil civilians in the Northern Province. This report is the first to allege that the Government's subsequent actions after the war and through to the present day also point to the commission of such crimes. These findings underscore the urgent need to demand accountability now, for both post-war and wartime violations. This report makes the legal case for an investigation into post-war violations using the framework of international criminal law. It relies on public source reports of post-war violations that have been assessed as credible, corroborating these reports with 26 in-country interviews with survivors, attorneys, journalists, and human rights campaigners.

UK urges the Council to unite to support the call for an independent investigation on Sri Lanka

Geneva, 03 March 2014 - British Minister of State in Charge of the Commonwealth Office Hugo Swire, speaking at the 25th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva today, urged the Council to unite to support the call for an independent investigation into alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka.

Navi Pillay: "Those who ignore voices often find themselves being called to account - sooner or later - and lose their power"

Geneva, 3 March 2014 - United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay at the opening of the twenty-fifth regular session of the Human Rights Council: "Despite the challenges, attention to human rights is going from strength to strength. One cannot read a newspaper, a blog, or switch on a channel without hearing about human rights. Those who ignore these voices often find themselves being called to account – sooner or later –and lose their power. Respect for human rights is not a mere legal obligation but also bestows legitimacy on those leaders who ensure this respect."

Ban Ki-Moon Welcomed Navi Pillay's Report on Sri Lanka - "Accountability and an end to Impunity is Critical"

Geneva, 03 March 2014 - United Nation's Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon today welcomed the High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay's report on promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka. "As we survey crises and challenges around the world, your work for accountability and an end to impunity is critical", Ban Ki-Moon said at the opening of the twenty-fifth regular session of the Human Rights Council at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

UNHRC 25th Session: Written statement by France Libertes - Fondation Danielle Mitterrand: An international war crimes investigation is needed; Pay Justice to the Victims of a Wounded People

UNHRC 25th Session (3 - 28 March 2014): Written statement by France Libertes - Fondation Danielle Mitterrand:- All delegates to the Human Rights Council are urged to grasp and understand the background and root causes of this urgent situation in Sri Lanka and to take decisive action, i.e. by adopting a resolution, in order, to say the least, trying to pay justice to the victims of a wounded people. An international war crimes investigation is needed to ascertain the responsibility of some 70.000 Tamils killed in the “No-Fire Zones” established by the Sri Lanka Government during the last five months of the war in 2009.

Sri Lanka: International Investigation NOW: Solidarity groups launch Social Media Campaign!

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND, February 27, 2014 /EINPresswire.com/ -- Transnational solidarity groups have launched a Social Media Campaign, using Facebook and Twitter, to call for an International Investigation on Sri Lanka at the upcoming United Nations Human Rights Council session in March.

Tamils for Obama to Kerry: Include Referendum for Independence and Protection for SL Tamils in UNHRC Resolution

New York, New York (PRWEB) February 27, 2014 - "We sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry concerning the UNHRC resolution the US is expected to introduce in March 2014. We said that the resolution must include two important points," said the press spokesman for Tamils for Obama."The first was that there has to be a referendum in northeastern Sri Lanka, similar to the one that took place in South Sudan. The referendum must be about what kind of government the Tamils in the northeast want for themselves.

Briefing Note: Reconciliation and Accountability in Sri Lanka: UNHRC action remains crucial - ICG

International Crisis Group - Brussels, 28 Feb 2014 - Following South African President Zuma’s November 2013 meeting with President Rajapaksa, senior Sri Lankan officials have suggested they are considering the possibility of establishing a truth and reconciliation commission (TRC). This is not an appropriate mechanism to address Sri Lanka’s challenges in the current context described above. Critically, the achievements of the South African TRC depended on its being part of a larger democratic transition, managed by the post-Apartheid government, with wide-ranging legal and institutional changes that increased political space, guaranteed new rights, and placed checks on the security forces and executive power. In contrast, post-war Sri Lanka is moving in a dangerous, anti-democratic direction, with reduced space for free expression and criticism of state policies, continued rights abuses, and weakened democratic and independent institutions. A well-designed TRC could eventually be a useful complement to – but not replacement for – investigations and prosecutions. Truth and accountability, as in South Africa’s TRC, must go together. An international commission of inquiry will not solve all of Sri Lanka’s problems. However, progress on accountability and the other key concerns cited in the 2013 HRC resolution remain critical if Sri Lanka is to repair its democratic institutions, protect the rights of Sri Lankans belonging to all communities, devolve power to the north and east and build a new sustainable multi-ethnic and multi-religious future.

We Will Do It In Sri Lanka - Countries That Deny Human Rights Challenge Our Interests - US Secretary of State John Kerry

Washington, February 28, 2014 - "We will do it in Sri Lanka, where the government still has not answered basic demands for accountability and reconciliation, where attacks on civil society activists, journalists, and religious minorities, sadly, still continue. Our concern about this ongoing situation has led the United States to support another UN Human Rights Council resolution at the March session. We will do so because we know countries that deny human rights and human dignity challenge our interests as well as human interests. But we also know countries that advance those values, those countries that embrace these rights are countries that actually create opportunities", US Secretary of State John Kerry said yesterday releasing the Annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2013.

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