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Tutu's letter a wake up call to UN

2014 Mar 08

The New York based human rights group, Human Rights Watch (HRW), says the statement on Sri Lanka from Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu is a wake-up call to UN member states.

HRW Asia Director Brad Adams said that the time for UN action on Sri Lanka at the Human Rights Council is now.

“This statement from Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Sri Lankan activists, and concerned citizens from more than a dozen other countries around the world is a wake-up call to UN member states. Tutu calls for the UN to establish an international investigation into war-time atrocities in Sri Lanka to ensure justice and accountability. Over the past five years the Sri Lankan government has not only failed to investigate the deaths of as many as 40,000 civilians, it has actively prevented independent investigations while denying any responsibility, despite clear evidence to the contrary. The time for UN action at the Human Rights Council is now,” Adams said.

In a letter to the United Nations, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, representing human rights activists, had appealed for a an international commission of inquiry on Sri Lanka.

Tutu said the biggest issue Sri Lanka faces is a systemic lack of respect for the rights of its citizens, particularly – but not exclusively – its minority citizens.

The Bishop said that while post-conflict processes do take time, what matters is getting on the right path. However he says nearly five years after the war ended, the situation appears to be getting worse, not better.

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