PEARL organizes national lobby days on Capitol Hill in Washington DC, to educate and mobilize Congressional offices towards a sustainable solution in Sri Lanka. Previous lobby days have been held in conjunction with protest rallies, or in conjunction with semi-annual PEARL conferences. Traditionally, lobby days are held in March, July and November. PEARL’s most recent legislative effort was to send letters to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice, urging them to take leadership in protecting Tamil civilians from the Sri Lankan government’s military onslaught. Prior to this effort, PEARL focused on stopping U.S. military funding to Sri Lanka, which it effectively accomplished with Section 699 of HR.2764, which restricted military aid until Sri Lanka met human rights requirements.
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PEARL launched PEARL International in the fall of 2008, and quickly tripled its membership. PEARL now has over 2700 members in the United States and over 7000 members abroad. iPEARL mobilizes activists from around the globe to pressure key international bodies, such as the United Nations and the European Union. iPEARL’s focal campaign was to prevent Sri Lanka from gaining a seat on the UN Human Rights Council. iPEARL submitted an official report to the UN regarding Sri Lanka’s egregious human rights violations, ranging from extrajudicial “disappearances” to indiscriminate bombing and shelling to targeted attacks at Tamil community, religious, and political leaders. This report was cited in the UNHRC explication of its refusal to award Sri Lanka a seat on the UNHRC.
To join iPEARL, click here.