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08 June, 2005 - Published 13:31 GMT

Appeal to UN on Bindunuwewa

Human rights campaigners urged the United Nations to seek justice for Sri Lanka's Tamils beyond the country's system of justice.

Saying that Sri Lankan justice system has “abysmally failed” the Tamils, North East Secretariat on Human Rights (NESOHR) has sent an urgent appeal to the UN High Commission on Human Rights.

The NESOHR says outcome of all investigations on violence against Tamils in the recent history show a “continuation of a pattern”.

“Even when investigations are initiated under heavy pressure they are being stalled at every stage.”

The group recalls investigations on Bindunuwewa, 1977 riots against Tamils and large scale disappearances in mid-90s were all ended up with a similar pattern of failure.

27 Tamil inmates were murdered and another 14 were seriously injured in a mob attack on Bindunuwewa rehabilitation centre, where surrendered Tamil Tigers and child soldiers were being held, on October 25 in 2000.

“During the attack no attempts were made to stop the invading crowd although 60 police officers were stationed around the camp to protect the inmates. Not a single arrest was made during the attack.”

Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court on appeal acquitted and released all remaining four accused, who were convicted by the High Court in 2003, on the grounds of insufficient evidence last month.

The NESOHR says although some human rights violations at the hands of security forces have been investigated, only a few were ever convicted.

It called on the human rights campaigners to seek justice for the Tamils beyond Sri Lanka's justice system.