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“Sri Lanka – What now must be done ?”

“Sri Lanka – What now must be done ?”


Mr Geoffrey Robertson QC
Renowned human rights lawyer and first President of the
UN’s War Crimes Court in Sierra Leone

On 28th March, the Human Rights Council will decide whether to make the Government of Sri Lanka accountable for the killing of an estimated 40 000 – 70 000 civilians, the rapes and the death squad victims resulted its assault on the northern province in 2009, and the continuing human rights violations thereafter. Will the proposed Commission of Inquiry be followed by the establishment of an international court, with a prosecutor capable of proceeding against very powerful officials? What kind of international court is needed, where should it be based and who should be prosecuted? What other reforms are necessary in Sri Lanka before the Tamil people are safe?

The Parliament of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) has invited Mr Geoffrey Robertson QC to explain how the Sri Lanka motion, if passed on 28th March, should work. As a leading expert in the establishment of justice mechanisms, he will show how it can be used to examine the case for genocide as well as war crimes. He will assess very recent evidence about the continuance of racially-motivated rapes and disappearances, and indicate a view as to whether repression of the Tamil people in the North has reached such a level of severity that it could justify, as a matter of international law, a right to self-determination. He will also announce the details of a number of individual cases of torture which will be submitted to the Human Rights Committee on 25th March and explain the role that the HRC could play in requiring Sri Lanka to compensate victims. Mr Robertson’s presentation will be followed by an introduction by Mr Manicka Vasagar, TGTE Ministry for International Affairs to the Transitional Parliament, a body whose members have been elected from the Tamil diaspora, and an account by Mr Ali Beydoun, a US attorney, explaining the legal work undertaken on behalf of the TGTE.

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