fbpx Sri Lanka: Statement at the 46th Regular Session of the UNHRC | The Oakland Institute
Skip to main content Skip to footer

Sri Lanka: Statement at the 46th Regular Session of the UNHRC

“A government-led effort to geographically fragment the North and East is accompanied by a strategy to systematically erase Tamil culture and history through the establishment of Sinhalese settlements, Buddhist temples, archaeological reservations, and more.”

During the 46th session of the UNHRC, the Oakland Institute in partnership with the Association Bharathi Centre Culturel Franco-Tamoul delivered a statement urging the HRC Resolution on Sri Lanka to emphasize the immediate end of land grabbing and planned settlements; ensure immediate demilitarization of the North and East; appoint a Special Rapporteur on land rights for Sri Lanka; and ensure field presence of the Office of the High Commissioner to monitor and protect human rights of ethnic Tamil and Muslim communities in the country.

GD Item 5: Human rights bodies and mechanisms, including the reports of the Social Forum and the Forum on Minority Issues and the report of the special procedures

Delivered by: Anuradha Mittal


Transcript

Anuradha Mittal: Thank you Chair, this statement is delivered in partnership with the Oakland Institute, regarding the need for particular attention to Human Rights Treaty Bodies on Sri Lanka.

In Sri Lanka, the military occupation of the traditional Tamil land is extreme — with a ratio of one soldier for every six civilians in the Northern Province.

A government-led effort to geographically fragment the North and East is accompanied by a strategy to systematically erase Tamil culture and history through the establishment of Sinhalese settlements, Buddhist temples, archaeological reservations, and more.

Human Rights Commissioner Bachelet has accused Sri Lanka of reneging on promises to ensure justice and stressed the need for the international community's proactive role to stop and prevent future conflict. The Draft Resolution presented by the Core-Group fails to outline a clear approach for ensuring justice and accountability and deviates from the recommendations made by Commissioner Bachelet and those made by four former High Commissioners, nine former Special Rapporteurs – to refer the matter to the International Criminal Court.

There is an immediate obligation on the part of the international community to monitor, protect, and promote human rights of ethnic Tamil and Muslim communities, including the appointment of a Special Rapporteur on land rights for Sri Lanka and field presence of the Office of the High Commissioner in the country.

The HRC resolution on Sri Lanka must include these recommendations and emphasize the immediate end of land grabbing and planned settlements, while ensuring immediate demilitarization of the North and East. Failure to do so will once again be a mockery of the international human rights regime.