23.02.2012: Today the team started in Ottmarsheim (D 66) and walked till they reached Saint Louis near to Basel, where you can meet them tomorrow at 15.30. Tamil supporters from France and Switzerland, Mulhouse, joined them today and supported their walk. Loganathan Maruthaiah, one of the three men says, “I’m really happy to feel the support of my people. Without this constant support the walk would have been really hard for us. We thank all the people who have supported us so far and will support us the following days. I’m sure we will all gather in Geneva on 5th of March.” A French woman, who heard about Walk for Justice in the news, came to meet them today. Although she was in a hurry she wanted to tell them her best wishes to reach their goals. She told them not to give up the efforts to get justice and that she salutes them for doing a great job.
Walk for Justice is a campaign demanding an international independent investigation on war crimes in Sri Lanka. This demand is directed at the 19th session of the Human Rights Council, in Geneva starting at the 27th of February and running till the 23rd of March 2012. Two former independent nations with their own ethnicity are put together to one nationalistic state, which is not legitimated by the governed people, though. This fact is proofed by several ethnologists. But however this matter of fact is often ignored in the debate on the conflicts in Sri Lanka.
“Freedom from Torture”, a medical foundation for the care of victims of torture, published an article, on the 22nd of February, on a parliamentary debate, in Westminster, on human rights. They write, “MP after MP from all three major parties rose to draw attention to the clear failure by the Sri Lankan government – and in turn the international community – to ensure accountability for war crimes and prevent ongoing torture and disappearances, despite a growing clamour among victims, human rights activists and decision-makers alike for the need for an international investigation to be launched. Parliamentarians pressed the UK government to step up to the plate and ensure Britain is doing what it can to move the situation forward.”
During that debate Shadow Foreign Office Minister Kerry McCarthy MP, for example, flagged that there was no mention at all of torture within the report, while Siobhain McDonagh suggested that the LLRC is an attempt to “brush war crimes under the carpet”. He asked: “What message does Britain send to the world when it sends Tamils back to Sri Lanka and fails to support the UN Secretary General’s Panel of Experts report, [which recommended an international investigation into war crimes in Sri Lanka]?” Lee Scott MP told those gathered that he would personally be travelling to Geneva for the upcoming session of the Human Rights Council to push for action at an international level. Alistair Burt later confirmed to the MPs that, as suggested, the US is drafting a resolution on Sri Lanka for the Human Rights Council and the UK would likely support it. Mike Gapes MP, a member of parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, was among those using their interventions to call for UK action within the Commonwealth and at the UN to work towards an independent international inquiry.
A lot of nations emphasize the need of an international independent investigation on war crimes in Sri Lanka. The WfJ team requests you to join them and support the call of the Tamil nation, in Geneva on the 5th of March 2012.