Shivajilingam calls for an OHCHR office in North and East

Shivajilingam said the UN must firmly and categorically require Sri Lanka to fully implement each section of the Resolution 30/1 without any delay.“The UN must ensure that the judicial process consists of foreign judges, prosecutors and investigators as stated in the Resolution, and if Sri Lanka continues to delay and deceive, the UN must take further measures,” he said.He also said the UN/OHCHR should open its offices in the North-East region where the crimes were committed, so that it can facilitate the victims, and provide some protection to the witnesses. (Colombo Gazette) He said the Tamil people have long history of disappointment and deception by the successive Governments of Sri Lanka. Tamil National Alliance, Northern Provincial Counmcil member M K Shivajilingam has called for the establishment of an Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in the North and East.In a statement to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Shivajilingam said the Tamil people in Sri Lanka have suffered tremendously for the last 70 years, and today more than ever, they are counting on the UN and the international community to give them justice and their political rights, and assure their protection. “After numerous reports, resolutions, and investigations by the UN, Sri Lanka finally agreed last year, and co-sponsored a Resolution calling for a judicial mechanism that will include foreign judges, prosecutors and investigators. Not too long after its promises, several high-ranking members of its Government, including the President and the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka have clearly, categorically, and publicly retracted from their promises made to the UN, declared that they will not allow foreign judges, prosecutors and investigators, and vowed to “protect” their military,” he said. Shivajilingam said the Tamil people want all crimes committed against them to be investigated, including the crime of Genocide.He said there will not be any justice to the Tamils without the involvement of foreign judges, prosecutors and investigators. read more

Annan welcomes Israeli acceptance of Middle East peace plan

“He expects the parties to embark swiftly on implementing the Road Map by taking parallel and reciprocal steps in the security, humanitarian, economic and political fields,” said a statement issued in New York by a spokesman for Mr. Annan. “The Secretary-General reiterates his firmly held belief that only such steps can put an end to terror and violence, provide security and peace, and fulfil the vision of two states living side by side: a secure and prosperous Israel and a viable, democratic and sovereign Palestine.”The statement added: “The Secretary-General underscores the commitment of the United Nations along with the other Quartet partners to helping the Israelis and Palestinians to proceed along the road of peace and reconciliation as operationalized through the Road Map.”Meanwhile earlier Tuesday, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Terje Roed-Larsen, who has been in Beirut for the last two days and had met with Lebanese President Emile Lahoud, said the Road Map is a more radical and far-reaching document than any previous peace plan in the Middle East.”I think all these elements…are good reasons to have hope that we will have a peace process back on track again and also that it is more realistic now than in a very long time that we will achieve these goals of a lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East,” Mr. Roed-Larsen told reporters after the meeting. read more