Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice
We are a multi-ethnic non-partisan group who campaign for a just and lasting peace in Sri Lanka based upon accountability and respect for human rights. We are not affiliated with any political or ethnic group inside or outside of Sri Lanka, and we exist to fight for the rights of all those living in Sri Lanka.
Started 4 petitions
Don't turn a blind eye to torture in Sri Lanka. Say no to restoring GSP+.
In just under a month’s time, the EU Commission will take a decision on whether to begin the process of restoring ‘GSP+’ preferential trade status to Sri Lanka, the scheme of concessions granted to non‐EU states that uphold human rights and the rule of the law. According to sources close to the Commission, there are strong signs that it is preparing to give the go‐ahead for the move, possibly as early as 8th January 2017. In light of serious ongoing human rights violations in Sri Lanka ‐ particularly torture ‐ this must be stopped. Many will recall that Sri Lanka was stripped of its ‘GSP+’ status in August 2010 in response to repeated and systematic human rights abuses under then President Mahinda Rajapaksa. That development followed the Government of Sri Lanka’s failure to respond to a letter sent from the EU Commission in June of that year, in which it laid out 15 conditions that would need to be met in order for GSP+ to be retained. Though wide‐ranging in scope, a significant portion of these comprised specific steps designed to eradicate torture, in fulfilment of Sri Lanka’s obligations under both the Convention Against Torture and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – international treaties that EU rules require countries receiving GSP+ status to implement. Yet six years later, and despite the change in government, torture has remained disturbingly persistent. Following a comprehensive review, the pre‐eminent UN body for addressing torture, just last week described torture as “common practice” in Sri Lanka, the result of long‐standing impunity for perpetrators combined with a failure to undertake basic institutional reforms to deter its use. Acknowledging the credibility of various reports by human rights organisations concerning ongoing abductions and torture under the new government, as well as the continued existence of secret detention sites used to facilitate them, the Committee made a series of 50 recommendations along with a request for the Government of Sri Lanka to provide a further implementation report by 7 December 2017. The Sri Lanka Campaign is demanding that the EU Commission postpone any decision to restore GSP+ to Sri Lanka until the UN Committee Against Torture has evaluated this report. To determine the issue any sooner would not merely fly in the face of the EU’s own advice on the matter; it would also seriously undermine the important work of the Committee and represent a grave affront to the survivors of torture. Please stand with them by urging the EU Commission to say #No2GSP+ in January 2017.
Keep the promise to war survivors
Following a landmark international investigation, in September 2015 the United Nations released a major report on Sri Lanka in which it found strong evidence that serious rights violations, war crimes and crimes against humanity had been committed during the civil war. In response, the government of Sri Lanka – acting through the UN Human Rights Council – made a series of promises to war survivors and the international community, pledging a wide-ranging set of measures designed to address the legacy of the war. These promises were contained in Human Rights Council resolution 30/1, agreed in October 2015. The Sri Lanka Campaign is currently monitoring these promises and the extent to which they are being kept by the government. Our latest evaluation, available here, is very concerning. It suggests that not enough is being done to lay the foundations for a sustainable peace in Sri Lanka and avert yet another cycle of conflict. In March 2017, members of the Human Rights Council will meet to discuss Sri Lanka’s progress and, in light of the ‘expiry date’ on the current resolution, consider the further courses of action available to it. The international community must not shy away from the frank and robust appraisal that our analysis suggests is needed. And it must not let the government of Sri Lanka’s promises slip by the way-side. To that end we are calling on members of the Council to pass a follow-up resolution which reaffirms those promises and sends a strong message to the government that they must make them a reality. Please take action today by signing the petition and signalling to the government of Sri Lanka, and the members of the Human Rights Council, that these promises have not been forgotten – and that they must be renewed and honored.
Keep your promise and push for an independent international investigation on Sri Lanka
Five years ago, Sri Lanka’s civil war was reaching its bloody crescendo. Over 40,000 people are estimated to have died during the final stages of the war, and more than 480,000 forced to flee their homes. The end of the conflict, however brutal, had the potential to usher in a period of peace and prosperity for a country whose people have suffered from decades of violence. But sadly, a number of issues, including ongoing human rights abuses, a lack of progress on reconciliation and unresolved allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity, are holding back progress. Left unaddressed, they could lead to renewed conflict. Last November David Cameron promised that he would hold Sri Lanka to account, and push for an Independent International Investigation in Sri Lanka. Now with the March Human Rights Council set to discuss Sri Lanka we are determined to hold him to that promise. Today, what happened in Sri Lanka joins the other failures of the international community, notably in Rwanda, Srebrenica and Darfur. It is too late to save those who died, but it is not too late to demand justice. Doing so not only offers Sri Lankans a better chance of building lasting peace. It also sends a strong message to those committing war crimes today. This petition is endorsed and supported by UNA-UK
Give Sri Lanka the international investigation that it needs
The UN Human Rights Council will meet next week and confer for a month. They must use this opportunity to pass a resolution that will include a commitment to an Independent International investigation in Sri Lanka the form of a Commission of Inquiry. Only this will help to put the country on the path to justice and reconciliation. Although the long-running civil war ended in May 2009, a lasting peace is not in sight and we remain gravely concerned for the future of Sri Lanka and its people. A fear and sense of injustice persists, not just among minorities and political activists, but among ordinary people desperately trying to rebuild their lives. Post-conflict processes do take time, but what matters is getting on the right path. Nearly five years after the war ended, the situation appears to be getting worse, not better. The biggest issue Sri Lanka faces is a systemic lack of respect for the rights of its citizens, particularly - but not exclusively - its minority citizens. This is rooted in a culture of impunity which is in turn rooted in a failure to hold to account those, on both sides, who committed some of the worst atrocities this century. Only an independent international investigation of these atrocities will end this culture of impunity and give Sri Lanka a chance to climb out of its cycle of violence towards a lasting peace. This petition is endorsed and supported by UNA-UK