UN HRC Archived Tweets

UN


By Together Against Genocide (TAG), On Tuesday, June 28 2016

      Note: In para 33 the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has called for an independent investigation into the use of cluster munitions in Sri Lanka's conflict, citing the recent news report (by Emanuel Stoakes in the Guardian, based on photos provided by TAG, see our news section).  Full Text. Human Rights Council Thirty-second session Agenda item 2 Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and reports of the Office of the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General               Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka* 1.  This oral update is presented pursuant to Human Rights Council Resolution 30/1 on promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka, which was adopted by consensus with the co-sponsorship of Sri Lanka.  The Human Rights Council noted with appreciation the High Commissioner’s report on Sri Lanka to its 30th session, including the  Read on...

 
By Together Against Genocide (TAG), On Tuesday, February 09 2016

 
By Together Against Genocide (TAG), On Monday, January 25 2016

Together Against Genocide (TAG) is horrified at Sri Lanka’s U-turn on the pledges it made, just 4 months ago, to the UN Human Rights Council (HRC), to implement the recommendations of the OISL (Investigation on Sri lanka of the Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights).     Contrary to pledges to the UN Human Rights Council to include “commonwealth and other foreign judges, defence lawyers, authorised prosecutors and investigators”, Sri Lanka’s President now says ‘he will never agree to international involvement’ in the justice process for mass atrocities committed by his armed forces.   The OISL, in a report released at the HRC’s 30th session, detailed mass atrocities and crimes against humanity committed on predominantly Tamil civilians by Sri Lanka’s military as well as by the LTTE.   Of circa 430,000 Tamil civilians living in the de-facto state created by the LTTE, some 147 000 are missing and unaccounted for six  years after the end of the war. Of those 147K, one in  Read on...

 
By Together Against Genocide (TAG), On Monday, January 25 2016

Together Against Genocide (TAG) is horrified at Sri Lanka’s U-turn on the pledges it made, just 4 months ago, to the UN Human Rights Council (HRC), to implement the recommendations of the OISL (Investigation on Sri lanka of the Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights).     Contrary to pledges to the UN Human Rights Council to include “commonwealth and other foreign judges, defence lawyers, authorised prosecutors and investigators”, Sri Lanka’s President now says ‘he will never agree to international involvement’ in the justice process for mass atrocities committed by his armed forces.   The OISL, in a report released at the HRC’s 30th session, detailed mass atrocities and crimes against humanity committed on predominantly Tamil civilians by Sri Lanka’s military as well as by the LTTE.   Of circa 430,000 Tamil civilians living in the de-facto state created by the LTTE, some 147 000 are missing and unaccounted for six  years after the end of the war. Of those 147K, one in  Read on...

 
By Together Against Genocide [TAG], On Thursday, October 01 2015

  Together Against Genocide (TAG) notes with appreciation the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) Resolution on Sri Lanka that follows the HRC-mandated report of the investigation of the Office of the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights into Sri Lanka (OISL).     We are pleased the HRC resolution, co-signed by Sri Lanka, has adopted the recommendations of the OISL in so far as it has affirmed that any transitional justice mechanism in Sri Lanka must, in order to be credible, involve international investigators, prosecutors, lawyers and judges.  The HRC also encourages and Sri Lanka has now consented to strengthen its Witness and Victim Protection by effective measures. We note with satisfaction the HRC encourages and the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) has now consented to investigate all alleged attacks by individuals and groups on journalists, human rights defenders, members of religious minority groups and other members of civil society, as well as places of worship, and to hold perpet  Read on...

 
By Together Against Genocide [TAG], On Thursday, September 24 2015

The following resolution has been agreed between the Sri Lankan government and the US, UK, Macedonia and Montenegro (the core group) HRC 30th Session – Draft Resolution   Item 2:  Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka   The Human Rights Council,     Pp1 Reaffirming the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, Pp2 Guided by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Human Rights and other relevant instruments,   Pp3 Recalling also Human Rights Council resolutions 19/2 of 22 March 2012, 22/1 of 21 March 2013, and 25/1 of 27 March 2014 on promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka,   Pp4 Reaffirming its commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka,   Pp5 Reaffirming that it is the responsibility of each State to ensure the full enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms of its entire population,   Pp6 Welcomin  Read on...

 
By Together Against Genocide [TAG], On Wednesday, September 23 2015

Below is the draft resolution on Sri Lanka put forward by the core group (US, UK, Montenegro, Yugoslavia) on the 19th September, 2 days after the release of the report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.  HRC 30th Session – Draft Resolution   Item 2:  Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka   The Human Rights Council,   Preambular paragraphs   Pp1 Reaffirming the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, (HRC 25/1)   Pp2 Guided by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Human Rights and other relevant instruments, (HRC 25/1)   Pp3 Recalling also Human Rights Council resolutions 19/2 of 22 March 2012, 22/1 of 21 March 2013, and 25/1 of 27 March 2014 on promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka, (HRC 25/1 updated)   Pp4 Reaffirming its commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka, (HRC 25/1)   Pp5 Reaffirming t  Read on...

 
By Together Against Genocide [TAG], On Wednesday, September 16 2015

At the Geneva Press Club: Investigative journalist Emanuel Stoakes interviews key witnesses who gave evidence in 2014 to the ongoing UN investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL). The OISL report will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council on 30th September 2015. Witnesses from across the world explain what they saw in 2009 and why they cannot speak out in Sri Lanka on the mass atrocities that took place.   Trailer : SriLanka's Silenced Witnesses from Together Against Genocide on Vimeo. NGOs Society For Threatened People (STP) and Together Against Genocide (TAG) will release their written submissions and full report to HRC 30 on the persecution of witnesses in Sri Lanka. For more details see http://2013.pressclub.ch/fr/conference/film-sri-lankas-silenced-witnesses   Read on...

 
By Together Against Genocide [TAG], On Wednesday, September 16 2015

Together Against Genocide (TAG) unreservedly welcomes the report of the OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka1.  We urge the government of Sri Lanka to accept in whole the recommendations of the report.   This is a hopeful first step on the long road to justice. Each of the lives lost remains precious to us and we continue to hope to see them fully accounted for and their families granted justice.   We note High Commissioner Zeid’s statement that the government of Sri Lanka, though cordial did not change from former President Rajapaksa’s stance on allowing access to the country to OHCHR investigators.   A next step must be for UN investigators to be granted access to the many sites of mass graves and scenes of grave crimes for forensic analysis, as well as to be able to interview witnesses within SriLanka. To-date the majority of witnesses who have been interviewed remain outside of Sri Lanka.   We urge the UN Human Rights Council to address the needs of the many survivors who have   Read on...

 
By Together Against Genocide (TAG, formerly Tamils Against Genocide), On Thursday, March 27 2014

 
By Together Against Genocide (TAG, formerly Tamils Against Genocide), On Friday, March 21 2014

[Opening statement by Mrs Kelebone D Skelemani, Former Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministries of Health, Trade, Home Affairs in Botswana]   Ladies and Gentlemen! I greet you from the Republic of Botswana in Southern Africa. When I received an invitation from the organisers of this event, I welcomed it with open arms because I view this meeting as a golden opportunity for all concerned parties to get to the table to openly discuss problems that have been bedevilling their society. I should have arrived in Geneva in the evening of Sunday the 16th March, but a minor freak accident forced me to abandon the journey in Johannesburg and to return to my country on Sunday evening. I therefore wish to start my brief remarks by apologising most sincerely, to the organisers, for my inability to be with you this afternoon. I also wish to thank, upfront, Tamils Against Genocide and The Society for Threatened People for their kind invitation. The topic for today’s debate   Read on...

 
By Together Against Genocide (TAG, formerly Tamils Against Genocide), On Friday, March 21 2014

Watch this space: We will be releasing the transcript of this event and the exclusive less-censored footage of Gender-based violence put together by Callum Macrae as soon as they are available.  Read on...

 
By TAG, On Wednesday, March 12 2014

March 11, 2014   Day 7 of the 25th session of the Human Rights Council continued apace, with interactive dialogue (ID) with the Special Rapporteurs (SRs) on the rights to food and adequate housing, which began on Day 6.   At the end of the clamorous ID, two UN independent experts - the first on the issues of human rights, obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment, and the second on the effects of foreign debt and other related international financial obligations - presented their opening remarks. These were followed by the ID with member states, NHRIs and NGOs.   The often complementar y relationship between Human Rights and environmental issues was one of the main discussion themes during the clustered ID. The United States highlighted the absence of human rights obligations specific to the environment in any globally applicable, binding instrument or as a matter of customary international law. The EU also noted its act  Read on...

 
By TAG, On Tuesday, March 11 2014

Day 6: March 10,2014 The second week of the 25th Human Rights Council Session started with the presentations of the Special Rapporteurs (SR) on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.: Mr. Juan Mendez and Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Mrs. Margaret Sekaggya. Their presentations were followed by clustered interactive dialogues  with  the member states NHRIs and NGOs. Special procedure for human rights defenders is currently one of the nine requests that have not been adequately addressed by the Government of Sri Lanka. SR on torture Juan Mendez highlighted the importance of the country visits of his mandate’s work.  Juan Mendez said “ The prohibition against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment enjoys the enhanced status of a  jus cogens or peremptory norm of general international law and requires states not merely to refrain from authorizing or conniving at torture or other  Read on...

 
By Together Against Genocide (TAG, formerly Tamils Against Genocide), On Tuesday, March 11 2014

 
By TAG, On Friday, March 07 2014

  Day 3: March 5, 2014 Sri Lankan Minster of External Affairs G.L. Pieris delivered Sri Lanka's opening address to the 25th session of the Human Rights Council on Day 3 of the session. In the address, Sri Lanka completely rejected High Commissioner Navi Pillay's recent report on SL stating that it was 'fundamentally flawed', and raised issue at the onset regarding the financial independence of the Office of the High Commssioner for Human Rights. Minister Pieris stressed the suggestion that the High Commissioner's actions would create a negative impact on reconciliation in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka also attacked the High Commissioner's report as being based on 'questionable and baseless material' while Minister Pieris himself quoted statistics relating to IDP resettlement and denial of militarization which were contrary to the reality on the ground.  A copy of the 14-page address was passed around to members of the HRC and can be found here. Day 4: March 6, 2014 UN  Read on...

 
By TAG, On Wednesday, March 05 2014

4 March 2014 Following on from the strong statements on Sri Lanka made by the International Community on day 1 of the 25th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, the United States and Denmark both added their voice.   Sarah Sewall, US Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights noted  that without rigorous fact -finding that addresses grievances, impunity would be allowed to triumph and new abuses would occur. Sewall said: "In 2012, and again this year, this council urged the government of Sri Lanka to launch an independent investigation into the deaths of thousands of civilians during that country’s terrible civil war. To date, the government has refused.  Accordingly, the United States has introduced a resolution this year calling upon the Office of the High Commissioner to conduct an investigation into past abuses and to examine more recent attacks on journalists, human rights defenders, and religious minorities."   In his opening s  Read on...

 
By TAG, On Tuesday, March 04 2014

3 March 2014 On a rousing first day of the 25th session of the UNHRC, representatives of the UK, Canada and the European Union all made strong statements calling for an international investigation into war crimes in Sri Lanka.   In his opening statement to the Session, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon welcomed Navi Pillay' s report on Sri Lanka, and sounded a warning note that the Council was keeping an eye on human rights abusers. This raised a few eyebrows, but is unsurprising considering the fact that Sri Lanka was also raised in the High Commissioners Annual Report. Nevertheless, this is a signal of the importance of this resolution on the HRC agenda. The UK's statement, made by FCO Minister Hugo Swire, followed up on the pledge made by Prime Minister David Cameron last November, after his visit to Sri Lanka. At the time, the PM called for CHOGM to support an international investigation on Sri Lanka. Swire said, "The Government of Sri Lanka has failed to ensu  Read on...

 
By TAG, On Monday, March 03 2014

A first draft of the Resolution on Sri Lanka has been circulated by the United States, United Kingdom, Montenegro, Mauritius and Macedonia. While it stops short of calling for an international commission of inquiry or other international mechanism, it seeks minimally to ensure continued consideration of this issue at the twenty eighth session.  This is a deeply disappointing starting position both for Tamil victims/survivors and for INGOs who have campaigned for a International Investigation into Sri Lanka's mass atrocities of 2009 to be established at this 25th session of the Human Rights Council.  A key passage is at para 8: "Welcomes the High Commissioner's recommendations and conclusions on the need for an independent and credible international investigation in the absence of a credible national process with tangible results, and requests the Office of the High Commissioner to assess progress toward accountability and reconciliation,, to monitor relevant national process  Read on...

 
By TAG, On Monday, February 24 2014

With the current focus on the High Commissioner's country specific report on Sri Lank it is easy to miss the significance of Sri Lanka in the annual report in the context of the 'Rights Up Front' plan and the need to address  the UN's own failings. The Human Rights High Commissioner’s annual report to the Human Rights Council  highlights the recognition of the importance of human rights within the United Nations system and as one of the three pillars of the Organization, together with peace and security, and development. As an important development in this light she pointed out the report of the Secretary-General’s Internal Review Panel on United Nations action in Sri Lanka, together with the subsequent “Rights Up Front” plan of action.  The High Commissioner said that it “reaffirmed the centrality of human rights to the work of the United Nations, and provides critical recommendations for the whole system to be more responsive and responsible in preventing and addressing promptl  Read on...

 
By Together Against Genocide (TAG, formerly Tamils Against Genocide), On Thursday, February 20 2014

The High Level Panel on the 65th Anniversery of the Convetion on the Prevention of Genocide takes place on the 5th of March. In this context, we recap the significance for advocates of Genocide recognition in SriLanka of the 2011 advisory report of the UN Panel of Experts. The report strongly supports our position that Sri Lanka has been engaged in a genocide of the Tamil people. It provides estimates of Tamil civilian deaths in the final phase of the war ranging from 40 000, 75 000 to 80000 and 120 000 respectively based on different credible methodologies. The UN report concludes that a range of 40 000 deaths cannot be ruled out and finds that “most civilian casualties in the final phase of the war were caused by government shelling”   The Panel found credible evidence that the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) committed  murder, extermination, and persecution  of the Tamil population of Vanni, all of which constitute crimes against humanity (as defined in the Rome Statute of the I  Read on...

 
By TAG, On Thursday, February 20 2014

The High Level Dialogue on Preventive Approaches within the UN system takes place on the 4th of March. In this context we republish our Press Release on the UN Petrie Report on Mass Atrocities in Sri Lanka, arguably the UN' s worst failure this century. The UN INTERNAL REVIEW PANEL REPORT ON SRI LANKA Tamils Against Genocide (TAG) welcomed the release of the Internal Review Panel Report on Sri Lanka, hereafter the Petrie Report. One of the key acknowledgements of the report was of a bias towards the Sri Lankan State, despite the availability of evidence that it was the State that was the greatest perpetrator of both war crimes and crimes against humanity. Detailed at length are numerous instances of UN knowledge of and access to evidence of atrocities at the hands of the Sri Lankan state, and both the failure of the UN to effectively challenge the Rajapaksa Government regarding these crimes and abuses, and its failure to communicate them to member states. Not only did the UN   Read on...