PEARL Co-hosting Panel at UN Human Rights Council Session in Geneva

(March 16, 2017) During the United Nations Human Rights Council’s 34th session currently taking place in Geneva, PEARL will co-host a panel on “Addressing Implementation of Operative Paragraphs 6 & 8 of HRC Resolution 30/1: Sri Lanka, foreign judges and militarization.” The side event, co-hosted with British Tamils Forum (BTF) and Pasumai Thaayagam, will be held at The Palace of Nations in Room XXIV from 11:30AM – 1:00PM.

On October 2, 2015, Sri Lanka co-sponsored HRC Resolution 30/1, which was welcomed by the Human Rights Council as an important step towards accountability on the island. Unfortunately, 18 months later, Sri Lanka has failed to make tangible progress on two of the most important commitments under the resolution in the eyes of the Tamil victim communities: (1) the establishment of a credible accountability mechanism (operative paragraph 6); and (2) meaningful security sector reform (operative paragraph 8).

As the Human Rights Council prepares to grant Sri Lanka another two years to fulfill the obligations of Resolution 30/1, it is critical to consider the on-going importance and urgency around these particular commitments that are a fundamental part of creating sustainable peace for the predominantly Tamil victim community.

This panel will feature a discussion by Tamil civil society and international legal actors on the issues of accountability and militarization through the examples of the Kumarapuram massacre case, and the extensive level of militarization in Mannar (Northern Province).

PEARL will also be releasing its in-depth report on the Kumarapuram massacre case and barriers to credible prosecution of atrocity crimes in the Sri Lankan legal system.


Dharsha Jegatheeswaran
 is the Senior Researcher and Research Co-ordinator of the Adayaalam Centre for Policy Research, a think-tank based in Jaffna, Sri Lanka. She is also the Human Rights Director of PEARL. She will speak on the Sri Lankan domestic legal system’s incapability to credibly prosecute atrocity crimes, focusing on the Kumarapuram massacre.

Father Emmanuel Sebamalai
 is the head of the Mannar Citizens Committee in Mannar, Sri Lanka. He will be speaking about the militarization of the North-East with a specific focus on Mannar.

Dr. Kate Cronin-Furman (via skype)
is a research fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University’s Kennedy School and an expert on accountability for mass atrocities. She will be speaking about the challenges of pursuing transitional justice in the absence of security sector reform.

Moderated by:
Abinaya Nathan, Editor-in-Chief of Tamil Guardian