As UNHRC meets: Massive Protest & Shutdown by Tamils in Sri Lanka Against Giving Extension of Time for War Crimes Probe


A Section of the Crowd

As UNHRC meets: Massive Protest & Shutdown by Tamils in Sri Lanka Against Giving Extension of Time for War Crimes Probe

A Section of the Crowd

“Some of the current Tamil Members of Parliament – who have access to international diplomatic community – do not speak for Tamil victims like us”

“Even though the war has ended about ten years ago – Tamils are still waiting for justice for the Mass Killing, Disappearance, and Rape committed against Tamils by Sri Lankan Security Forces.”— Tamil Mothers of the DisapperedKILINOCHI, SRI LANKA, February 25, 2019 / —

As UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) begins it’s Session, a huge protest took place in the Northern town of Kilinochi and life came to a standstill in Tamil areas amid complete shutdown against giving any additional time to Sri Lanka for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Sri Lanka. Protesters also Urged to Refer Sri Lanka to International Criminal Court (ICC). UNHRC is going to consider Sri Lanka at this Session.

Tamil Mothers of the Disappeared organized this rally and shutdown. The rally was joined by huge crowds, including former Northern Province Council Chief Minister Justice C.V. Wigneswaran.

In a letter sent to UN High-commissioner for Human rights by Tamil Mothers of the Disappeared stated that:

“We want to bring to your attention that some of the current Tamil Members of Parliament, who have access to international diplomatic community, do not speak for the victims like us. They are supporting the Sri Lankan Government on the contrary to their election manifesto, ignoring the promises given to the Tamil people. They are trying to safeguard the Sri Lankan Government evading from their obligations outlined in the UNHRC Resolutions 30/1 and 34/1.

“Most of us personally and voluntarily handed-over many of our family members, including Babies and Children, to the Sri Lankan Security forces at the end of the war in May 2019 in reliance on assurances that they would be safe. But almost ten years have passed, but there is no answer from the Government about those we surrendered and they all remain disappeared.”

“Even though the war has ended about ten years ago, Tamils are still waiting for justice for the mass atrocities committed by the Sri Lankan Government. According to UN and other international organizations tens of thousands of Tamils were killed and numerous Tamil women were sexually assaulted and raped by the Sri Lankan Security Forces, in the final six months of the war that ended in May 2009.”

“UN Human Rights Council passed two Resolutions on abuses committed against Tamil people including about the disappeared. Sri Lanka voluntarily co-sponsored Human Rights Council Resolution 30/1 and 34/1 and assured to the UN body, that they will fulfill the requirements of the Resolution. But two year extension has passed but Sri Lanka did not fulfill its promise and voluntary commitment to the UNHRC.”


A report by the International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) published details of Sri Lankan Military run “Rape Camps”, where Tamil women are being held as sex slaves.

The report states the following:

“A senior officer came into the room and was asked to take his pick, like we were meat in a meat market. He looked around and chose me. He took me to another room and raped me” “Two of the women describe being detained in a group in one room, available for any soldier to come and chose from and take to an adjacent room or tent to be raped,” says ITJP.


There are around 90 thousand Tamil war widows facing numerous challenges from the Security forces to them and especially to their daughters. The same security forces that committed sexual abuses are still stationed in very large numbers in Tamil areas; living among the same women they committed sexual violence and killed and disappeared their husbands and children.


Sri Lankan Government half-heartedly established the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) to satisfy the international community, especially the UNHRC. We have difficulty trusting OMP, given that a former senior military officer is serving as an OMP Commissioner. Furthermore, according to the law that established OMP, any evidence obtained by the OMP cannot be used for prosecuting any suspect in a court of law. This leaves us solely to depend on international mechanisms to find our loved ones and to get justice.


Recently a large mass grave was found in Sri Lanka in the Northern Province town of Mannar, consisting of 300 skeletons including 23 children below the age of 12. Some of the victims were bound. The bodies had been heaped up and found “dumped”, instead of being “laid to rest” beside each other, as would be the case in a cemetery. The Military intelligence was occupying a building close by. Even though the war has ended almost ten years ago, still there is very large number of security forces stationed in Tamil areas, raising concerns that these Security forces may tamper and destroy the evidence of war crimes, including that’s found in mass graves. Several mass graves were found since 1990’s, but none was held accountable or evidences preserved by a neutral body.


1) Not to fall into Sri Lanka’s trap like “Truth and Reconciliation” by giving any more additional time to Sri Lanka. Giving extension of time will embolden Sri Lankan Security Forces stationed in Tamil areas to continue their abuses and destroy vital war crimes evidences. Additionally, giving Additional time will permanently deny justice for Tamils.

2) To refer Sri Lanka to the International Criminal Court (ICC) or to a specially created international criminal tribunal for Sri Lanka.

3) To appoint a UN Special Rapporteur for Sri Lanka, to monitor and report to the Council every six months about the plight of the war affected and other international human rights and humanitarian issues.

Tamil Mothers of the Disappeared


+94 77 886 4360

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