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[SU] LAW FOR POL STP AVO
TO FOREIGN, AND NATIONAL EDITORS:
USTPAC Reiterates Call for Commission of Inquiry on Sri Lanka
WASHINGTON, March 5, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The United States
Tamil Political Action Council (USTPAC) expressed its deep
disappointment with the United States' draft resolution on Sri Lanka,
presented at the 25th session of the United Nations Human Rights
Council. The absence of a clear call for international investigations
into the mass atrocities of 2009 has shocked the international human
rights community, civil society and advocacy organizations like
"In light of the Sri Lankan Government's failure to act, the United
States' apparent decision to call again, for the third year in a row,
another domestic investigation by the Sri Lankan government, while not
seeking to formalize an OHCHR investigation into a Commission of
Inquiry is a profound disappointment to the victimized Tamil
community," said Dr. Karunyan Arulanantham, President of USTPAC.
UN bodies and human rights organizations have estimated that over
40,000 ethnic Tamil civilians were killed during the final months of
the war in 2009. These killings occurred as part of a systematic
program in which the Sri Lankan government designated areas, including
hospitals, as "No-Fire" zones, and then extensively bombed and shelled
those same areas.
The United States Department of State's own 2013 report on Sri Lanka
recorded deteriorating human rights climate in Sri Lanka ripe with
torture, extra-judicial killings, arbitrary arrest and detention,
attacks on journalists, and "widespread impunity for a broad range of
human rights violations." Despite overwhelming evidence of these
horrific crimes, the Government of Sri Lanka has failed to take even
modest steps to ensure accountability for the war crimes for the last
USTPAC calls on the United States' government to heed the growing
consensus in the international community, as expressed by the United
Nations' High Commissioner for Human Rights, by amending its
resolution to call for an independent international investigation in
the form of a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the atrocities
committed by both sides during the final stages of the ethnic
conflagration in 2009. "Permitting the Sri Lankan government to thumb
its nose at the international human rights community only encourages
impunity and further mass atrocities in Sri Lanka and elsewhere,"
observed Dr. Arulanantham.
Media contact: Elias Jey: 202-595-3123
Read more news from USTPAC.
SOURCE United States Tamil Political Action Council
/Web Site: http://ustpac.org
CO: United States Tamil Political Action Council
ST: District of Columbia
SU: LAW FOR POL STP AVO
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