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Home > Human Rights & the Tamil Nation > Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations refuses consultative status to Tamil Centre for Human Rights >  Struggle for Tamil Eelam

Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations
refuses consultative status to Tamil Centre for Human Rights

Committee on NGOs - Press Release
NGO/345 743rd Meeting (PM) 18 May 2000


The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) this afternoon did not recommend the granting of consultative status to the Tamil Centre for Human Rights, following concerns raised about its connection with terrorist activities.

In order to forge mutually beneficial relations between the Council and civil groups, the Committee's 19 members review and make recommendations on non- governmental organizations' applications for consultative status with either general, special or roster classification. Each of these carries with it distinct responsibilities and privileges. The Committee's recommendations are transmitted to the Council, which takes its final decision as a whole.

Non-governmental organizations with general status can propose items for the Council's agenda, attend and speak at meetings and circulate statements. Those with special status can attend meetings and circulate statements, while those on the roster can only attend meetings. Organizations with general and special status must report every four years on their activities in support of the United Nations.

Following concerns raised by the representative of the United States about the Centre, which had applied for roster status, the observer of Sri Lanka informed the Committee that the NGO was a well-known front for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a terrorist group banned in several countries.

The Centre had published literature promoting the division of Sri Lanka and its senior officials had participated in LTTE rallies. The Centre sought to circumvent the strict procedures regarding accreditation to the United Nations by applying for consultative status. Therefore, the Committee was urged not to consider the application.

Responding to the concerns, a representative of the Centre said that the NGO was committed to working for the protection of human rights and nothing else. It monitored and assessed the needs of Tamil people and fed them into the United Nations system, and did not have any violent objectives. It was entirely untrue that members of the NGO had distributed information produced by the LTTE. It collected money to produce material on human rights, but did not give any money to any group. While she had spoken at peace and human rights rallies, it had not been to advocate a separate State, but to speak about the need to address human rights violations.

Several delegates noted that the responses given were not sufficient to allay their concerns. The activities of the Centre seemed inconsistent with the provisions of resolution 1996/31 and the principles of the United Nations Charter. As such, they could not support the application of an NGO connected with violence and terrorist groups.

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