Activists Lobby U.N. on Sri Lanka

Leading human rights advocates, led by the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, have written an open letter calling on the U.N. Security Council to take immediate action to prevent atrocities in Sri Lanka. A rebel force fighting the Sri Lankan government, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, is refusing to let noncombatants leave the combat zone and is using the noncombatants as human shields. The Sri Lankan army has begun a final assault on the rebels that could lead to the deaths of thousands of civilians.

John Holmes, the U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator, has said that “a bloodbath...seems an increasingly real possibility.” Navi Pillay, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, has stated that casualties may reach “catastrophic levels” if the fighting is not stopped. “At the core [of the responsibility to protect] is the obligation to act preventively to protect peoples from genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing, rather than waiting until atrocities have already occurred, as states have too often done in the past,” said the letter’s signatories.

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

The data and facts are clear: If you care about working families and sound economic policy, SNAP is the program for you.
Meghan J. ClarkMay 26, 2017
Discussions that lead to cooperative compliance are better than banning speech.
Ellen K. BoegelMay 26, 2017
Pope Francis talks with U.S. President Donald Trump during a private audience at the Vatican May 24 (CNS photo/Paul Haring).
I am praying that Pope Francis’ words have a lasting impact on the president.
Zac DavisMay 26, 2017
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos shakes hands with Alexis Stratton, a freshman at Providence Cristo Rey High School in Indianapolis, during the secretary's May 23 visit to the school. (CNS photo/John Shaughnessy, The Criterion)
The secretary of education arrived in Indiana's capital to address the national policy summit of the American Federation for Children, a national advocacy organization for school choice.