ICC Referral is the only way to achieve accountability – Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam

HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL               Delivered by:- Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam

37th Session

ITEM 4 – General Debate

Mr. President,

This statement is made in collaboration with the Tamil National People’s Front.

We are deeply concerned about the human rights situation in Sri Lanka. This Council is aware that the Muslim community has been systematically targeted over the last two weeks by Sinhala Buddhist racist gangs. There have been several similar crimes committed against the Muslims since the end of the war in May 2009. The respective governments of the day did nothing or very little to contain the violence until the intended outcome of the perpetrators was achieved, which was to financially cripple the Muslim community.

The systematic targeting of the Muslims soon after the conclusion of a Genocidal war against the Tamil people, can only be explained by the phenomenon of the Sri Lankan State transforming itself into a Sinhala Buddhist Ethnocracy. This transformation has become emboldened by the international community, including this Council, inadequately addressing the violations of international human rights and humanitarian laws that were committed against the Tamils. Consequently the culture of impunity in Sri Lanka has now led to the Muslims being targeted as well.

It is this context that we call upon member states to refer Sri Lanka to the ICC or to set up an Ad hoc International Criminal Tribunal. Nothing short will break this cycle of impunity.

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