Pressure is mounting on Sri Lanka to deliver on its promises to the Tamils of the northern province. In a detailed statement calling the government's bluff, the Tamil National Alliance, an umbrella organisation of political parties representing Tamils of the province, urged the United Nations Human Rights Council to “act now.”

‘Broken Promises,' the 14-page booklet traces the historical struggles that the Tamils undertook and describes their current plight. The TNA said: “Sri Lanka's failure to make good on its own assurances requires that the Council act now. The principle of complementarity in international law requires that where a State is unwilling or unable to institute credible measures to advance justice in keeping with its commitments, international mechanisms must be activated,” it said.

The TNA warned that the failure of the Council to act would embolden governments, “which in fact demonstrates no commitment to change, to escape their obligations by merely making empty promises of reform. This will entrench a dangerous and harmful precedent of Council-sanctioned impunity.”

The TNA criticised the Sri Lankan stand at the UNHRC and said nothing would be achieved by giving the government more time. The claim — that, if provided time and space, it will evolve home-grown processes that will address the need for a political solution — must be evaluated against the chronic unwillingness of the government to honour its own commitments to the people of Sri Lanka and the international community, the TNA said. “Some of these commitments have been repeated for many years, with no progress made on the ground,” the statement, signed by TNA leader R. Sampanthan said.

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