UN System Owes Sri Lankan Tamils Remedial Justice


“In the end, it comes down to values, as was said so many times today. We want the world our children inherit to be defined by the values enshrined in the UN Charter: peace, justice, respect, human rights, tolerance and solidarity.”  ANTÓNIO GUTERRES – New UN Secretary General

It is very sad that UN an international institution particularly was initiated to protect the civilians during conflicts and other matters affecting the civilians failing from its duty by ignoring the genocide in Sri Lanka.  UN failed in stopping the genocide in Rwanda and other countries and lately in Sri Lanka.
Where we’ve said ‘Never again!’ before: Halabja 1988, Rwanda 1994, Srebrenica 1995, Grozny 1999, Sri Lanka 2009.
How many never again to follow.????

Once again, the Tamil people have been left alone to seek truth and justice. They are daunted by the task ahead but they do not despair. You can kill thousands of people, but you can never kill the human spirit.


It is high time for UN to rights its wrongs:

Sri Lankan Governments since independence from the British in 1948 signed pacts with Tamil leaders that never ever implemented:


  1. On 24 March 1965,  PM Dudly Senanayaka signed a pact with the Tamil Leader S.J.V. Chelvanayagam promising to redress Tamil grievances, in return for Tamil support for the PM’s party to form the government. Most provisions in the pact were not implemented, and the Tamil leadership withdrew their support for the government.


  1. On 25 July 1958 an agreement was signed between the PM  S.W.R.D.Bandaranayake and the Tamil leader S.J.V. Chelvanayagam.  ON April 1958 Mr. Bandaranayake , under pressure from extremist Buddhist monks, unilaterally abrogated the pact.


  1. The present government is trying its delaying tactics as usual in implementing the UNHRC recommendations fully, denying federal system of government, unwilling to engage foreign judges and foreign involvement in the war crime investigation. It is very clear that Tamils will never ever get justice from the politicized judicial system viewing the latest verdicts regarding the killing of Tamil Parliamentarian and human rights activist Ravi Raj.


UN can urge Sri Lanka to find a just and durable political solution to the Tamils in the North and East of Sri Lanka under a Federal System of Government with the right of self-determination.  Failing which UN must take action to conduct a referendum in the North and East of Sri Lanka to get the people’s voice regarding their future; – [either they prefer unitary system, federal system or separation]


Tamils have waited too long for justice. Justice delayed is justice denied;
Secretary-General’s Internal Review Panel on United Nations Action in Sri Lanka
Secretary-General’s Internal Review Panel (IRP) on United Nations Action in Sri Lanka or Independent Review Panel on Sri Lanka is an internal United Nations review panel headed by Charles Petrie. The Panel produced a report (Internal Review Panel Report or Petrie report) that describes a “systemic failure” of United Nations action during the Final Stages of the Sri Lankan Civil War including the withdrawal of UN staff in September 2008 which removed the ‘protection by presence’ capacity of the United Nations, shortly before months of intense armed conflict that left tens of thousands of dead. The report suggested that more than 70,000 people may have been killed during approximately the last 6 months of the conflict. The report concludes with a series of recommendations on how the United Nations can strengthen its protection of human rights in similar situations in the future. The report was presented to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.

Charles Petrie Report
Report of the United Nations Secretary General’s Internal Review 
UN Action in Sri Lanka released November 14th, 2012. This internal review, undertaken by Charles Petrie, reveals UN involvement in Sri Lanka to be a “grave failure” in preventing the mass atrocities that occurred at the end of the civil war in 2009

Kumarathasan Rasingam is a Senior Citizen of Canada, Human rights activist, Former President of the Tamil Canadian Elders for Human Rights Org.


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