Back UN resolution on Sri Lanka, govt told (FMT)

Back UN resolution on Sri Lanka, govt told

G Vinod | March 22, 2012

A coalition of 58 NGOs wants the government to extend the same consideration and support given to Palestinians and the Bosnians, to Sri Lankan Tamils.

PETALING JAYA: A coalition of NGOs urged the government to support a UN resolution to investigate human rights violation in Sri Lanka towards the end of its civil war in 2009.

Fifty-eight NGOs, led by Suaram, said Malaysia must assist in the reconciliation process of Sri Lanka and show the same commitment it had exhibited in the conflicts in Bosnia and Palestine.

“The current reconciliation process in the post-war Sri Lanka falls short of a full accountability and is shrouded with impunity,” said Suaram chairman K Arumugam.

Among the 58 NGOs are the All Women’s Action Society (Awam), Association for Promotion of Human Rights in Malaysia (Proham), Community Development Centre (CDC) and the Kuala Lumpur Selangor Chinese Assembly (KLSCA)

In the final months of the bloody war in 2009, the UN estimated that 40,000 people had died in the battle between the Singhalese government and the Tamil separatists.

The Sri Lankan government was alleged to have killed thousands of civilians in a move to weed out the rebels.

Motion shot down in Parliament

Arumugam said although the Sri Lankan government had conducted its own investigations, the probe had failed to provide proper explanation on the allegations of extra judicial killings.

“It maintained that its army had acted appropriately. It failed to make credible recommendations on post-war governance and the need for a long term political solution,” said Arumugam.

Even Amnesty International in a report in September 2011, Arumugam added, had alleged that the Sri Lankan army had targeted hospitals and used civilians as human shields during the war.

“It used its Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), which conducted the probe, as its trump card to lobby against an international investigation,” he said.

Malaysia is one of 47 members countries in the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva.

It has kept mum on the matter although Pakatan Rakyat leaders had called on the nation’s leadership to back the resolution to investigate the atrocities committed by Sri Lankan forces.

Dewan Rakyat Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia, on Monday, shot down a motion by Teluk Intan MP Manogaran to debate the UN resolution, saying it would affect “the good relationship” Malaysia has with Sri Lanka.

The UN Human Rights Council will vote on the resolution in Geneva tomorrow.

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