BTF and its partner organisations are actively working to bring awareness of the Sri Lankan situation in the 14th session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) UPR is a good tool to debate Human Rights records of a country; but it can only do very little in the case of Sri Lankan State’s oppression of the Tamils.
But it is important to participate and enlighten the States blindly supporting Sri Lanka. British Tamils Forum will join hands with its partner organisations working in the UNHRC Project. This is part of our Geneva project and we seek your support and participation in our advocacy actions.
UPR Working Group started on Monday 22nd October 2012 with Sri Lanka on the agenda on 1st of November. BTF made its submission in April 2012 focusing on Systematic land grab by the State and demographic alterations with a political motive. Along with BTF many Diaspora organisations and International NGOs made their submissions; this time we took an initiative to coordinate the work to avoid overlaps. A three-member delegation from BTF will be traveling to Geneva today to be present at the second cycle of the UPR with side events planned as well as materials produced for advocacy work.
In March 2012 Sri Lankan diplomats exerted all its political capital to avoid a resolution on Sri Lanka by pushing the "agenda" from the 19th session of the UNHRC to 14 working group session of the UPR.
But our coordinated effective Geneva advocacy with international pressure pushed through a resolution on Sri Lanka during the 19th session of the Human Rights Council.
UPR is non-binding recommendations; during the first cycle of UPR in 2008 Sri Lanka rejected over 25 recommendations which were crucial to protect the Tamils. The common pattern is that the Sri Lankan state will accept any recommendations, which are not measurable by external independent people.
On the other hand it has rejected all the recommendations, which suggested having any independent elements to evaluate or validate Sri Lankan records.