UNHRC Voting Members To Attend GTF Event
By Easwaran Rutnam
Foreign Ministry representatives from voting countries of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) are scheduled to attend a conference hosted by the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) in the British Parliament on the 27th of this month.
A GTF spokesman said that British parliamentarians, both in the government and opposition, are among a host of invitees scheduled to address the conference.
Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Liberal Democrats Nick Clegg, Senior Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and former Conservative Party Chairman Baroness Warsi, Leader of the Opposition and Labour Leader Ed Miliband, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey and Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander will speak at the event and will be joined by a number of cross party MPs.
David Miliband former British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs will be sharing his views via a video message. He visited Sri Lanka in the final months of the country’s armed conflict in 2009.
Also scheduled to speak is Erik Solheim, former minister in the Norwegian cabinet and main negotiator in the peace process in Sri Lanka.
Leader of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) R Sampanthan and TNA MP MA Sumanthiran, Yasmin Sooka, one of the UN Secretary-General’s Panel of Experts on Sri Lanka and Executive Director of the Foundation for Human Rights in South Africa are also on the guest list.
A GTF spokesman said that the first ever preview of the ‘No Fire Zone’, the third film in the ‘Sri Lanka Killing Fields’ series, directed by Callum Macrae will be presented and screened by Callum at the conference.
The full documentary is also scheduled to be screened in Geneva during the UNHRC session, the GTF said.
Yolanda Foster of Amnesty International will release their “UNHRC submission under Item 4”, at this event and Human Rights Watch will be distributing a report on “Sexual Violence” being published by them on the same day. The International Crisis Group will be advocating a new report “Sri Lanka’s Authoritarian Turn” being published in the week prior.
Members of the International Relations of the African National Congress (ANC) including Sisa Njikelana MP will be in attendance. Award winning Indian journalists in the mainstream Indian TV Channels, who were the prime movers in the media campaign ahead of the UN resolution in March 2012, will also be present, GTF said.