Keep the promise to war survivors
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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.
On 21st March 2018, members of the Human Rights Council will meet to discuss Sri Lanka’s progress. We are urging them to issue the strongest possible statement of concern on Sri Lanka which:
- Request the government of Sri Lanka to produce a clear timetable for implementation of its outstanding commitments, including the establishment of the four pledged mechanisms.
- Request the government of Sri Lanka to take urgent steps to deliver on accountability, including through the establishment of a hybrid judicial mechanism, as well as through incremental measures such as the strengthening of witness protection mechanisms, the retroactive incorporation of international crimes and modes of liability into domestic law, and the establishment of a Special Prosecutor’s office.
- Reinforce the High Commissioner’s warning that cases under universal jurisdiction will be pursued by member states in the absence of a credible accountability mechanism.
- Re-affirm the recommendations of the final report of the Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms, with a request to the government to adopt a timetable for the implementation of its recommendations.
- Acknowledge the prevailing ground situation in the North and East, including persistent patterns of serious human rights violations, militarization, surveillance and intimidation, and the barrier that it poses to lasting reconciliation.
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.
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