Press Releases

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.

-Desmond Tutu

Apr 03, 2021
USTAG and Tamil Americans Commemorate Life of Bishop Rayappu Joseph

While Tamils all over the world mourn the passing of the former Catholic Bishop of Mannar, Sri Lanka,
the Rt. Rev. Dr. Rayappu Joseph, Tamils in the homeland resolve to uphold
the values, strength, and steadfastness with which he espoused the cause
of Tamils in the country. Never leaving his flock, he stood by his people
during the worst of times – the disappearances, the killing of his Catholic
diocesan priests, the bombing of fishing villages in Mannar, the Sri Lankan
government shelling of the Shrine of Our Lady of Madhu killing 40 refugees
on November 20, 1999 to the many massacres of civilians ultimately leading
to the genocide of Tamils in Mullivaikkaal in 2009.

February 01, 2021
The 46th UNHRC Session

The importance of Tamil-American Advocacy now than ever before.

Thank you thus far for your continued support of USTAG’s work and mission. It is with your valuable support that we are able to continue our important advocacy work as the 46th UNHRC session approaches.

July 01, 2020
TAMIL DIASPORA ORGANIZATIONS CALL FOR ACTION ON THE EVE OF SRI
LANKA’S 70TH INDEPENDENCE DAY

PUBLIC STATEMENT REGARDING ALLEGATIONS AND THREATS AGAINST YASMIN SOOKA
BY THE GOVERNMENT OF SRI LANKA

The undersigned organisations and individuals wish to express our strenuous opposition to the unfounded allegations made by the Government of Sri Lanka against Ms Yasmin Sooka. These allegations and threats against Ms Sooka seek to undermine Ms Sooka’s long standing reputation as a human rights defender and globally recognised justice advocate.

Mar 10, 2020
TRINCOMALEE SECRET TORTURE SITE

International Truth & Justice Project in Sri Lanka

Aug 30, 2019
Sri Lanka’s Disappeared Must have Justice

Australian Tamil Congress (ATC), British Tamils Forum (BTF), Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC) and US Tamil Action Group (USTAG) once again on the International Day of the Disappeared draw attention to the large number of enforced disappearances in Sri Lanka and the utter lack of resolution of their cases, particularly for the Tamil community. We stand in solidarity with the Mothers of the Disappeared who have been protesting for over 900 days in the North East and with those rallying today throughout Sri Lanka and in Australia, Canada, Europe, the US and the UK.

Mar 11, 2019
Four Major Tamil Diaspora Groups Welcome OHCHR Report on Sri Lanka

Geneva March11, 2019: The Australian Tamil Congress (ATC), the British Tamils Forum (BTF), the Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC) and the US Tamil Political Action Council (USTPAC) today welcomed the UN Office of the High Commissioner’s report to ongoing 40th session of the UN Human Rights Council on progress made in implementing the transitional justice program Sri Lanka committed to in 2015’s Resolution 30/1, reaffirming that commitment in 2017’s 34/1, following atrocity crimes committed during and after the war that ended in 2009.

Mar 25, 2018
ATC, BTF & USTPAC Endorse Human Rights Council’s Call for Clear Timeline for Action on Sri Lanka’s Transitional Justice Commitments

GENEVA, March 25, 2018: As the 37th session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) ends in Geneva, the US Tamil Political Action Council (USTPAC), British Tamils Forum (BTF), and Australian Tamil Congress (ATC) would like to thank Deputy High Commissioner Kate Gilmore for emphasizing the importance of return of land for trust in the government’s good faith, the need for an end to impunity, the worrying attacks on ethnic communities,

Mar 09, 2018
ATC, BTF & USTPAC Call for Strong Action to End Anti-Muslim Attacks in Sri Lanka & Address Root Causes

March 09, 2018 London, Washington DC, Canberra: The US Tamil Political Action Council (USTPAC), the British Tamils Forum (BTF) and the Australian Tamil Congress (ATC) express our deepest sympathies to the victims of the recent anti-Muslim pogrom in the Kandy and Amparai districts in Sri Lanka. We are deeply frustrated that ethnic violence continues, reinforcing the profound insecurity which citizens who are neither Sinhalese and nor Buddhist feel on this multi-ethnic island.

Mar 02, 2018
Leading Tamil Diaspora Organizations Welcome UN Human Rights Commissioner’s Report on Sri Lanka and Call for International Action

GENEVA, March 2, 2018: The United States Tamil Political Action Council (USTPAC), the British Tamils Forum (BTF) and the Australian Tamil Congress (ATC) welcome the report by High Commissioner Zeid to the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) as the current Council session commenced on the progress made by Sri Lanka in implementing the HRC resolutions it co-sponsored.

Feb 03, 2018
Tamil Diaspora Organizations call for action on the eve of Sri Lanka’s 70th Independence Day

On February 4 Sri Lanka marks its 70th year of independence from Britain. Historically, this day has been a painful one for the Tamils both who live in Sri Lanka and those who have been forced into exile by discrimination and anti-Tamil violence.

Aug 30, 2017
International Day of the Disappeared 2017, Are they alive?

The British Tamils Forum (BTF) and the US Tamil Political Action Council (USTPAC) today commemorate the International Day of the Disappeared that gives the opportunity for us to draw attention to those who have been forcibly disappeared and to show solidarity with their loved ones

May 30, 2017
British Tamils Forum and USTPAC call upon UNHRC to intervene immediately to protect Tamils campaigning for the cause of missing persons in Sri Lanka, who are marking 100 days of peaceful protest

The British Tamils Forum (BTF) and US Tamil Political Action Council (USTPAC) express deep concern over reports of intimidation and disruption of the peaceful protests in NorthEast Sri Lanka by the Sri Lankan armed forces. The protest by the relatives of the missing persons has marked 100 days today and is continuing.

May 23, 2017
No Time to Spare: Tamil Community Calls for Concrete Action on Accountability, Reconciliation and End to Human Rights Abuses in Sri Lanka

May 03, 2017
USTPAC welcomes High Commissioner Zeid’s report on Sri Lanka, calls on the government to publicize a comprehensive reform and transitional justice plan

Feb 01, 2017
The European Parliament and Council of the European Union must perform due diligence on Sri Lanka’s human rights abuses before reinstating GSP+

Jan 24, 2017
USPAC Calls for Autonomous NorthEast Region for Tamils within Sri Lanka

Nov 16, 2016
USTPAC and BTF call on the Swiss authorities to detain Sisira Mendis on charges of torture

Jun 30, 2016
USTPAC welcomes High Commissioner Zeid’s call for sustained international engagement on Sri Lanka

Jun 08, 2016
CONFIDENCE BUILDING MEASURES IN SRI LANKA – STATUS AS OF JUNE 2016

Jan 25, 2016
Alarmed at President Sirisena’s recent Comments regarding International Involvement on Accountability Mechanism – Global Tamil Forum

January 01, 2015
Joint New Year Message from World-wide Tamil Organizations and Entities: A Solemn Pledge to Work for Justice, Protection, and Freedom of the Tamil People

On this New Year’s Day, January 1, 2015,Tamil organizations and entities around the world pledge our renewed commitment to bring dignity, freedom, justice, and peace to our Tamil brethren living in the occupied NorthEast region constituting the Tamil Nation in the island of Sri Lanka. We are united in our quest for freedom for our people who have been oppressed by successive Sri Lankan regimes.

July. 30, 2014
USTPAC marks 31st anniversary of anti-Tamil violence in Sri Lanka, highlights the denial of justice to the victims of Black July and urges international action.

WASHINGTON, July 30 2014: July 2014 marks the 31st anniversary of “Black July 1983,” the pogrom against the Tamils living in Sri Lanka, carried out with total impunity by Sinhala Buddhist mobs with the encouragement and support of the Government of Sri Lanka. Unites States Tamil Political Action Council (USTPAC) joins Tamils in the United States and the rest of the world, and somberly remember and commemorate these dark days with religious observances and reflection.

June. 18, 2014
USTPAC Condemns The Violence Against The Muslims In Sri Lanka

WASHINGTON, June 18, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The United States Tamil Political Action Council (USTPAC) strongly condemns the attack on the Muslims in the town of Aluthgama in Sri Lanka on Sunday and calls on the international community to address the rampant impunity on the island.

Mar. 28, 2014
USTPAC Welcomes UN Human Rights Council-led Investigation

WASHINGTON DC, March 28 2014: On Thursday, March 27, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) adopted a resolution on Sri Lanka, A/HRC/25/L.1/Rev.1, which creates an international investigation into widespread human rights violations committed during the war that ended in May 2009.

Feb. 11, 2014
International Probe a Must in Sri Lanka – USTPAC

WASHINGTON, Feb. 11, 2014 — /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — United States Tamil Political Action Council (USTPAC) welcomes recent high level visits to Sri Lanka by Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia,Nisha Biswal and Ambassador-At-Large for Global Criminal Justice,

Jan. 2, 2014
Worldwide Tamil Entities Pledge to Bring About International Investigations into the Genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka

USTPAC joins fifty-five organizations world-wide in a New Year message, casting grave doubts on domestic probes by the Sri Lankan government, and pledging to promote credible international investigations into the deaths of tens of thousands of Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka.

Jan. 01, 2014
Joint New Year Message from World-wide Tamil Entities:
A Solemn Pledge to Work for International Investigation

On this New Year’s Day, January 1, 2014, Tamil entities around the world pledge our renewed commitment to bring freedom, justice, peace and dignity to our Tamil brethren living in the occupied NorthEast of Sri Lanka.

Nov 15, 2013
US Congressional Caucus on Ethnic and Religious Freedom in Sri Lanka Praised by USTPAC

WASHINGTON, November 15, 2013: The United States Tamil Political Action Council (USTPAC) welcomes the launch of the Congressional Caucus on Ethnic and Religious Freedom in Sri Lanka at the US Congress this week, and hopes this will be a turning point for the Tamils in the occupied North-East of Sri Lanka. The Caucus spearheaded by Congressmen Danny Davis (D-IL) and Bill Johnson (R-OH) will inform Members of Congress on human rights conditions in Sri Lanka and work towards a solution for the protection of Tamils, Muslims, Hindus and Christians in the strategic Indian ocean island.

Sept 27, 2013
USTPAC Commends UN Human Rights Chief’s Challenge to Sri Lankan Government to Prosecute Perpetrators or Face International Inquiry in March 2014

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights reports on Sri Lanka’s failure to address past and ongoing rights violations. The report, which follows two UN Human Rights Council resolutions on Sri Lanka

Sept 24, 2013
USTPAC Hails Tamils’ Landslide Victory in Sri Lanka’s Provincial Vote

In Sri Lanka’s Northern Provincial Council vote held on Saturday, the Tamil National Alliance defeated the Sri Lanka government alliance securing firm control of the Council. Despite violence and voter intimidation with suffocating military presence, Tamils signal to chart their own destiny.

July 25, 2013
USTPAC Remembers 30th Anniversary of “Black July”- A State-abetted Pogrom against Tamils in Sri Lanka

United States Tamil Political Action Council marks 30-yr anniversary of anti-Tamil violence in Sri Lanka, expresses concern over further deterioration and calls for international action to protect Tamils. July 25, 2013: Washington, DC- This week Tamils living in the US and all over the globe somberly remember the dark days of “Black July 1983,”

March 22, 2013
US Tamil Political Action Council (USTPAC) Accords Cautious Welcome to the UN Human Rights Council Resolution on Sri Lanka

The Geneva based UN Human Rights Council adopted a second resolution on Promoting Accountability and Reconciliation in Sri Lanka, putting Sri Lanka under close scrutiny for grave rights violations, but the new resolution falls short of creating an international investigation mechanism called for by the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

February 13, 2013
Tamil Groups Welcome UN Rights Chief’s Call For Independent International Investigation in Sri Lanka

The British Tamils Forum, the Canadian Tamil Congress, and United States Tamil Political Action Council acknowledge the Report by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, which emanates from United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution 19/2. While welcoming High Commissioner Navanethem Pillay’s continuous commitment to human rights in Sri Lanka, the use of the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) as a framework against which to measure progress is a grave mistake. The LLRC’s fundamental and well-documented flaws preclude its position as the authoritative institution regarding accountability in Sri Lanka.

January 14, 2013
The USTPAC Condemns the Saudi Execution of Sri Lankan Maid Rizana Nafeek

USTPAC condemns the Saudi Arabian government for beheading young Sri Lankan maid who was a child when the alleged offence took place, and blames Sri Lankan government for failure to rise above ethnic considerations to adequately intervene to stop the slaughter.

January 1, 2013
Joint New Year Message from Tamil Organizations and Entities World-wide, Supporting Tamils in Sri Lanka

On this New Year’s Day, January 1, 2013, the Tamil organizations around the world pledge their renewed commitment to work together to bring justice, peace and dignity to our Tamil people living in the island of Sri Lanka. We also pledge to lend our support and assistance to any organizations or entities that work for the rights of the Eelam Tamils living in the island.

December 21, 2012
International Boycott Day – Protests Held Globally Against Clothing ‘Made in Sri Lanka’

Consumers and human rights activists across the globe staged protests in front of clothing outlets on December 15, 2012 to warn holiday shoppers to “check the label” and boycott products made in Sri Lanka. Boycott Sri Lanka Campaign activists in U.S. cities handed out leaflets, held signs and talked to customers in Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Washington, Raleigh, and San Francisco. They picketed outside GAP and Victoria’s Secret stores advocating for human rights and educating consumers that money spent on Sri Lankan-made clothing helps fund the genocidal war on the Tamil people. Similar boycott protests occurred in Chennai, India and Toronto, Canada.

November 20, 2012
Internal Probe Finds UN Culpable of Inaction in Preventing Mass Atrocities in Sri Lanka: Tamils Demand Independent International Investigation

The United States Tamil Political Action Council (USTPAC) welcomes the Report of the United Nations Secretary General’s Internal Review Panel on UN Action in Sri Lanka, released November 14th, 2012. This internal review, undertaken by Charles Petrie, reveals UN involvement in Sri Lanka to be a “grave failure” in preventing the mass atrocities that occurred at the end of the civil war in 2009.

September 25, 2012
United States Tamil Political Action Council Applauds U.S. Lawmakers’ Letter-Writing Campaign to Secretary Clinton Calling for Concerted Action on Sri Lanka

On the last day of congressional sessions before they went on recess for the November elections, 31 US lawmakers wrote a letter to US Secretary of State Clinton making a strong case for heightened engagement on Sri Lanka. The letter initiated by Representatives Bill Johnson (Ohio), William Keating , Michael Grimm and Walter Jones quickly gained bipartisan support and included Representative Steve Chabot , chair of the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia. The lawmakers said that UNHRC Resolution 19/L.2 passed in March 2012 “signaled an important step forward in placing additional pressure on the Government of Sri Lanka to implement constructive recommendations contained in the LLRC report, while also noting that the report failed to adequately address serious allegations of violations of international law.” They went on to say that “despite these initial steps toward reconciliation and accountability, we remain concerned that the Government of Sri Lanka will resist taking the good faith steps necessary to implement both its obligations under the UNHRC Resolution and the LLRC Report.”

August 12, 2012
Act Now and Save Lives in Syria – Urges USTPAC

The US Tamil Political Action Council (USTPAC) urges the US government to take urgent and immediate action to invoke R2P – Responsibility to Protect, to save the lives of Syrians facing continued massacres from Syrian security forces that are following the ‘Sri Lanka Model’ for the suppression of rebels.

April 29, 2012
USTPAC Condemns Sri Lanka for Attack on Mosque and Calls for Protection of Religious Freedom

United States Tamil Political Action Council (USTPAC) denounces the recent violent attack on a mosque in Dambulla, Sri Lanka by a large group of Sinhala hardliners led by some Buddhist monks. “Tamils all over the world are united in solidarity with their Muslim brethren in Sri Lanka in roundly condemning the attack on Dambulla Mosque, and call upon Sri Lanka to halt its attempts to dislocate the Muslim worship place,” said USTPAC spokesperson, Dr. Elias Jeyarajah.