Global Tamil Forum Calls for More Progress in Sri Lanka

Global Tamil Forum (GTF), a London-based Tamil diaspora organization, issued a statement today. GTF's remarks pertain to Sri Lanka's compliance with an October 2015 U.N. Human Rights Council (HRC) resolution on Sri Lanka and recent developments at the HRC.

The 32nd session of the HRC ended just days ago and Sri Lanka was on the formal agenda. GTF has welcomed the oral report (on Sri Lanka) from U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein and has called upon the Sri Lankan government to make more progress.

Here's part of the statement:

While acknowledging the Sri Lankan Government's progressive initiatives on constitutional reforms and the 'symbolic steps' it has taken to promote reconciliation, and its vastly improved cooperation with United Nations, High Commissioner Zeid was categorical that the Government has not moved fast enough with other tangible measures, viz. - returning army occupied lands to rightful owners; charging or releasing the remaining detainees; reducing the military presence in the North and East; repealing the Prevention of Terrorism Act; formulating effective victims and witness protection arrangements; embarking upon meaningful consultations with victims and their families; and implementing security sector reform - that would help build confidence among victims and minority communities.

Here's another paragraph:

GTF appreciates the commitment shown by the High Commissioner's Office and the member countries of the Council, as reflected in the content and tone set during the session, both in the oral update and in the ensuing statements. Undoubtedly, this gives us hope that the International Community will continue to engage and contribute to make Sri Lanka's transition a long term reality of peace, justice, political power-sharing and prosperity for all its peoples.

The High Commissioner will deliver a written report in March 2017 -- during the HRC's 34th session. Sri Lanka's coalition government has taken some steps in the right direction, although there are outstanding concerns about how much of the previously mentioned resolution will actually be implemented. Over the next nine months, Colombo needs to do much more.