Hundreds of Australian Tamils gathered outside Parliament House in Canberra from today (19 March) to call for a stronger UN Human Rights Council resolution on Sri Lanka and to urge for Australia’s support.
Buses ferried participants from Sydney and Melbourne, and organisers say more than 200 cars with supporters arrived in Canberra.
The organisers say that the two UNHRC resolutions on Sri Lanka, passed in the last two years, called for an improvement in human rights, though neither have been successful in pressuring Sri Lanka to stop state sponsored violence, arbitrary detention and disappearance, sexual abuse and militarisation against the Tamil people and Tamil homeland in the island.
“Each day the international community fails to act, the Sri Lanka state is one step further in executing the structural genocide of the Tamil people,” said Seran Sribalan, an Australian Tamil activist. “Sri Lanka has arrogantly disregarded the calls of the past two resolutions. Soft diplomacy has reaped no benefits and it is time for an international independent investigation into crimes against humanity and charges of genocide,” he added.
In the last few days alone, Sri Lankan authorities have arbitrarily detained and tortured several human rights defenders and activists, predominantly Tamils from the North and East, the organisers added. This includes a mother who has campaigned for those disappeared, a pregnant woman and a priest, according to the organisers of the rally.
Published in Indian magazine, Australia