Arguing the UN Human Rights Council process has failed to provide justice to Tamil victims of mass atrocities in Sri Lanka, the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) announced yesterday it would be seeking data and information from the UN investigations in order to push for private prosecutions of war criminals.
“We will exercise our Right to the Truth and our Right to Know under international law to obtain access to information gathered by the UN Secretary-General and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights,” the TGTE said in a statement published on April 1.
“Today, the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) commenced a Victim Driven International Justice (VDIJ) initiative to assert the rights of Tamil victims under international law. The TGTE invites other Tamil organizations to join us in this important initiative. The initiative will consist of the following:
1. On behalf of all Tamil victims of atrocities, we will exercise our Right to the Truth and our Right to Know under international law to obtain access to information gathered by the UN Secretary-General and High Commissioner of Human Rights in three independent investigations into international crimes committed in Sri Lanka. We will analyze and translate this information for the victims and their families so that they may finally know the fate of their loved-ones. We have engaged international lawyers with expertise in the Right to Know and the Right to Truth to assist us in obtaining this information. Today, we have sent a letter to H.E. Ms. Michelle Bachelet Jeria, High Commissioner of Human Rights informing her of our VDIJ and our legal representatives have formally requested access to the information she has in her possession.
2. We have engaged the services of a respected international lawyer who has led the investigation and prosecution of several international criminal cases. He and his team, with the assistance of Tamil lawyers, will review this information and assemble dossiers of evidence.
3. Over 90 UN member states have provisions in their laws for private prosecutions by victims. We will work with and support Tamil victims living in those countries and human rights organizations working on their behalf to commence domestic prosecutions for international crimes with universal jurisdiction.”