Copies of the petition signed by nearly 100 organizations and individuals and dated 13 January 2017 have been given to member countries of the UNHRC.
Organizers of the petition that calls for more time to implement the proposals adopted previously in Geneva are Colombo based civil society organizations.
Coordinated by social activist Marisa de Silva, it has been handed over by senior researcher Bhavani Fonseka of the Centre for Policy Alternatives.
The petition says it welcomes the UNHRC’s observations and the proposal 30/1 for essential reforms and notes it is crucial to assist Sri Lanka to fulfill its promises by extending the term of the proposal.
However, social and political activists of the north and the south who accuse the government of not discharging any of its promises say they are surprised to find their names in the petition.
‘Govt. is afraid of racists’
Prof. Kumar David alleges the government is afraid of Sinhala racists and the pressure being exerted by Mahinda Rajapaksa and is retreating, and is not organizing the people to face the Sinhala racists.
Fr. Sarath Iddamalgoda too, charges the government has delayed fulfilling its promises, adding that the interest shown before January 08 to grant the Tamils their rights is not there any more.
Accusing Colombo based civil society organizations of deception, Fr. Emmanuel Sebamalai of Mannar says his people are adamant the government discharges the Geneva proposals in full immediately.
Fr. Jeyabalan Cruz says a draft shown to him in January did not contain a call to the UN to supervise if the government fulfills the proposals.
Radiogagana says that that letter distributed in January 11 did not suggest extending the period for the proposals.
Organizers admit mistake
When Prof. David inquired about the inclusion of his name, organizers have said there had been a mistake.
Sending email messages to some of those mentioned in the petition, Marisa de Silva says she has not gone through the final draft before it was distributed.
It says there was no intention to mislead anyone, and asks that they could decide for themselves if the changes to the original draft have harmed the focal request contained in it.
Lessons learnt for the future
In an email dated March 01, Bhavani Fonseka says lessens have been learnt for the future.
Radiogagana says according to documents it has received, the organizing of the petition took place at a workshop at Hotel Renuka in Colombo on 15 January 2016 held by a Sri Lankan organization based in Britain.
It adds that there was no response to telephone calls to top officials of that organization.