NGO briefings in UN highlight Sri Lanka rights violations, Impunity

[TamilNet, Saturday, 13 June 2009, 18:16 GMT]
International Non-Governmental Organisations - NGOs participating in the 11th session of the UN Human Rights Council had two different briefings, as parallel events to the main plenary, focusing mainly on Sri Lanka, one organized by Switzerland-based ECOSOC NGO, Interfaith International, and co-sponsored by the Foundation France Liberty – Danielle Mitterrand and International Education Development - IED, and the other briefing organized by Amnesty International and co-sponsored by Human rights Watch and the International Commission of Jurists.

Both meetings were well attended by several NGOs and government delegates, including members of the Sri Lankan delegation.

The Amnesty meeting had a witness who was speaking on the cold-blooded killing of his son in Sri Lanka, and how he has been refused justice. The participants were shocked to hear his testimony, which was also heard by members of the Sri Lankan delegation.

While the above meeting was on "Impunity on Sri Lanka," attendees observed that the participating NGOs avoided using the word "Tamil," and the speculation among attendees was if this was another condition imposed by the Sri Lankan delegation on the participating NGOs.

NGO UN Human Rights Council briefing in Geneva
NGO UN Human Rights Council briefing in Geneva
The meeting organised by Interfaith International was presided over by its Secretary General Dr. Charles Graves. The speakers were Mr Biro Diawara, Ms Deirdre McConnell, Ms Oretta Bandettini di Poggio and Mr. S. V. Kirubaharan.

The Paris-based Tamil Centre for Human Rights (TCHR) circulated latest information to the participants of the 11th session of the Human Rights Council.

Topics including Tamils struggle for right to self-determination, genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity figured prominently in this briefings, according to TCHR officials.


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