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
Release the list of all those who surrendered or were detained during and after the war
In the baking sun. Through the cold of night. Amid the dust and pollution of the roadside. And against the trials of old age, trauma, and sorrow. For approximately half a year, family members of those who disappeared during and after Sri Lanka’s civil war have been protesting continuously at various locations across the North and East of the country. This petition is in support of them. The protestors are seeking answers as to the fate and whereabouts of their loved ones, many of whom were disappeared during the war, including after being taken into the custody of the Sri Lankan authorities in its final stages and immediate aftermath (2008-2009). In order to obtain those answers, they are calling for the release of information that could provide vital clues. In particular, they want the government of Sri Lanka to release a list, known to have been kept by the authorities, of all those who surrendered or were detained by the security forces during and after the war. This demand, along with four others, was issued by the protestors at a meeting with President Sirisena in June of this year. It was met by a pledge from the President that he would take immediate action to secure the release of the records. But as of today, they have not been disclosed. Meanwhile, the protestors – mostly Tamil mothers – continue their fight in makeshift shelters dotted across Sri Lanka’s North and East. We have produced a series of infographics detailing the locations of the protests and the number of days occupied at each. By the end of this month the longest running of these will have surpassed the half-year mark. These figures speak to the extraordinary resilience and determination of the families. But they also tell a story of utter desperation in the face of government indifference. The time has come to say: enough is enough. Promises and pledges from the government of Sri Lanka must now give way to concrete action. The release of the list of detainees, un-doctored and in full, would be a crucial first step in the right direction. Please help us ensure that this action is taken – and let the protestors know that they are not alone – by adding your voice to this petition asking President Sirisena to #ReleaseTheList. Even better, share it with a friend today and ask them to do the same. Thank you. Click here to see the full appeal and infographics.
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 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